Every bride wants the wedding planning experience to be flawless without all the extra drama. But let's face it. Put 10 bridesmaids in a room, sometimes personalities clash and the onset of stress is inevitable. Since bridesmaids appointments usually include several of your best girls and your close family members, we understand that there is a thin line between fun and work. The first thing you can do to have a stress-free appointment, of course, would be to select the right provider with quality customer service. But that's obvious. There are several other things you should know about shopping for bridesmaids dress that will prepare you and help make your appointment seamless. So we spoke with expert Wedding Party Stylist Lynsey Ham at Anya Bridal Warehouse (ABW), and she shed some light on the process to help you along. Here's what she had to say.
ABW: What kind questions will you ask your bride to get her started?
LH: Well, first, I like to know all the little details about her wedding to better understand her overall vision. So we will talk about her venue, the time of year, and she may even tell me all about the proposal. It may sound weird, but the proposal can help me understand the groom a little more since he usually won't be around for the bridesmaids appointment. But the wedding is about both the bride and her groom, so I like to get a feel for their personalities as a couple.
ABW: How many guests should a bride bring to her bridesmaids appointment?
LH: We ask that the bride bring no more than 1-2 guests with her. During this appointment, it is important for us to be able to focus on the bride's style. Having a large party attend her appointment can really cloud the bride's vision with too many conflicting opinions. After all, this is her day, and we want to know what she wants.
ABW: Will you suggest styles for her, and how will you show her your suggestions?
LH: First, we will talk a lot about what she is looking for and the styles she likes. She may bring in pictures on her phone or show me images she's pinned on her Pinterest board. Then I’ll pull several dresses that fit her preferences and dress the mannequins. We may even dress a male mannequin with a tuxedo or wedding suit just to get a feel for the overall look of the entire wedding party. We will talk about what we do and don’t like about each dress until we narrow it down to a few she loves.
ABW: Can bridesmaids try on dresses? Is there a limit?
LH: The bridesmaids themselves are only going to try on 1-3 dresses after we’ve narrowed it down to the favorites! This helps to keep the bride focused on her end goal. We dress the mannequins first or lay styles out on the table, and then she will have her girls try on the top contenders. This will also save her time by eliminating the styles that she's not all that crazy about.
ABW: Once the bride picks her favorite style, what’s next?
LH: Well, her bridesmaids can try on the dress if they’d like and we get them sized so they can order the dress! We take accurate measurements to file and compare to a size chart. Many times, bridesmaids will mention to me that they are on a mission to lose weight. I never suggest that we order the size they plan to be in several months. It's important that we order the size that fits them currently, and then plan to alter the dress later. This removes the potential for a massive headache if the bridesmaid didn't lose the weight as she planned and the dress arrives too small.
ABW: How much time should the bride allot for ordering dresses?
LH: Once dresses are ordered, it takes approximately 12 weeks for them to arrive to our store. Then the bride will want to leave at least 6-8 weeks for her bridesmaids to have their dresses altered.
ABW: What is your advice for brides to keep a stress-free appointment?
LH: My best advice? Only bring 1-2 guests with you, your opinion is what is most important and sometimes having too many bridesmaids at the appointment can make it quite hard for your voice to be heard. It's your time to shine, and I aim to honor that. Well there you have it. You're well on your way to having a drama-free bridesmaids appointment and selecting the perfect dresses for your girls to shine. If you have any questions, feel free to call and speak with Lynsey or any of our other amazing wedding party stylists here at Anya Bridal Warehouse.