Expert Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses

by Nazy Rafaeil Last Updated 12th October 2020

Getting married is a monumental occasion, so finding the perfect attire is important to ensure a perfect day.

When it comes to choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses, how do you know which styles and colors to use?

Read on for some insight and tips from the experts so you can feel confident that you’ve found the best bridesmaid dresses possible.

Narrow Down Your Favorites

Shopping for dresses can feel overwhelming since there are so many designers, styles, and colors to choose from. It’s tough enough trying to find your own wedding dress, nevermind dresses for your entire bridal party. The best way to begin is by doing some research and deciding which styles you like, and which ones you don’t.

Save a list of all your favorite dresses, and make a list of the features you’re looking for. If you’re not a fan of ball gowns or long bridesmaid dresses, eliminate those from your list of favorites.

Over time, you’ll start to have a clearer picture of which dresses you want to see your bridesmaids in. You can even start a mood board or go on Pinterest and start saving ideas online to help you hone in on the perfect dresses.

The key is to have an understanding of which dress styles you adore and which ones aren’t for you. Are you having a fall wedding or will your big day be in the springtime? The time of year that your wedding takes place can also have an impact on the type of dresses you choose.

Buy a few bridal magazines and start flipping through them for inspiration. Tear out the pages that feature dresses you like, and use them as a guide as you start your shopping.

Talk to Your Bridesmaids

Whether it’s your sister, your best friend, or a few of your favorite coworkers, you already know your bridesmaids well. Now is the time to start talking to them and ask them if they have any favorite colors, styles, or brands in mind.

Get an idea of how much money your bridesmaids have to spend. Remember, these dresses can be quite expensive and not everyone will have the budget to shell out tons of cash for a dress they will probably only wear for one day.

Start a Facebook group or an email chain and get all of your bridesmaids involved. When everyone feels like they’re part of the process, finding the perfect dresses will be a whole lot easier and a lot more fun, too. Ask everyone if there are certain colors or styles of bridesmaid dresses that they absolutely will not wear. For example, some of your friends might feel uncomfortable wearing short bridesmaid dresses, so it’s best to find this out ahead of time.

Ultimately, you will have the final say when it comes to choosing your bridesmaid dresses. However, allowing your girls to give their input will ensure that everyone is at least somewhat happy about your decision.

Bridesmaid Dresses: Selecting the Color

Picking out the perfect color for your bridesmaid dresses is usually the most challenging part. Think about your wedding theme and what the overall color scheme will be, and let this guide you when you make a decision.

The season and the time of year should also play a role in which dress colors you choose. For example, an autumn wedding is a time to choose dresses boasting rich jewel tones like emerald green, burgundy, or a stunning red. Spring weddings call for lighter colors like pastel pinks, yellows, or lavender.

If you’re still not sure which color to choose, you can always let your bridesmaids choose the shade. If you’re going with a pretty purple, let your bridesmaids pick the intensity of the color. This can actually turn out quite beautiful, and it gives your bridesmaids a little more freedom when they pick out the color that works best with their hair color and skin tone.

For brides who are still on the fence, consider a dress in a fun pattern. Florals are actually a hot trend right now, and they can look absolutely stunning in photos. Just be sure that your bridesmaids’ accessories are simple and understated if you decide to go with a patterned dress.

Choose Colors that Match Your Bridesmaids’ Skin Tone

Dresses in a universally flattering shade that matches almost any skin tone is also a great choice for your bridesmaids. Hues like gray, blush pink, and sand all look stunning on people of every color. They’re also quite trendy, too!

Deep jewel tones like ruby red and emerald green tend to look best on those with fair complexions. Bright and bolder colors such as hot pink or cobalt blue are stunning against darker skin.

If you’re feeling brave, consider bridesmaids dresses in a sleek metallic. Silver, champagne, and bronze or the popular gorgeous rose gold is a fabulous choice, too.

Prints may not work for everyone, so if you’re going that route, try to choose one that looks good on every bridesmaid. You can also have your maid of honor wear a printed dress, and the rest of the girls can wear a complementary solid color to match.

If you are not firm on color, consider letting each bridesmaid pick out her own. This mismatched look can be a lot of fun, and it gives everyone the option to pick a hue that they will feel their best in on your big day.

Take the Venue Into Consideration

Aside from the season and your favorite colors, consider where your wedding will be held. The type of venue you’ve chosen for your wedding can have a big impact on which style of bridesmaid dresses you choose.

A wedding held in a formal indoor venue like a ballroom or other luxurious location calls for something a bit more formal like a ball gown. Casual weddings held at a farmhouse or in your own backyard means that you can choose a style that’s a bit more laid-back like strapless dresses or shorter options.

If your wedding will be held outside, you should also think about what the weather will be like. Outdoor weddings held in the fall can mean chilly temperatures, so consider long-sleeve dresses or encourage your bridesmaids to accent their outfits with a stole or other formal coverup to keep them warm.

Beach weddings are definitely more laid-back than other venues, so these dresses can be a bit more casual. A floral maxi dress, something with spaghetti straps, or a form-fitting shorter dress are all excellent choices.

No matter what, always take the weather, location, and venue into consideration when you pick out the dresses. You want your bridesmaids to be comfortable so they can mingle and take photographs without sweating or shivering.

Tips for Choosing a Shape and Style

The chances are pretty high that each of your bridesmaids has their own unique body shape. You want to make sure that you pick out dresses that everyone will feel comfortable and beautiful wearing.

With so many dress styles out there, it can be difficult to find one in a silhouette that flatters everyone. Here are a few styles of bridesmaid dresses to consider as you shop around:

  • A-Line dresses: This classic silhouette looks gorgeous on almost every body type. The style is fitted at the natural waist and flows outward at the bottom to create a flattering angle on any type of body.
  • Explore different necklines: The neckline has a huge impact on the way a dress looks. Explore several styles to find one that your bridesmaids love. Whether it’s strapless, halter, or boatneck, each design should be considered until you discover the one that works for you.
  • Dresses with sleeves: Some of your bridesmaids may not want to have their entire arms exposed, so take a long-sleeve or cap-sleeve dress into consideration. These dresses are perfect if you’re having an outdoor wedding during the cooler months, too.
  • Convertible dresses: These unique dresses allow each bridesmaid to fashion it in their favorite style. From cap-sleeve and twist-front halter to a one-shoulder design, a convertible dress gives each bridesmaid the freedom to design hers the way she chooses.
  • Mix and match: Many brides like to let their bridesmaids pick out the dress of their choice. From the cut to the color, this option makes the hunt for the perfect dress much easier. Allowing your bridesmaids to choose their own dress is easy, fun, and it will turn out beautiful. Just make sure you ask them to at least pick out something in a similar color family so the dresses don’t clash.

Fabric Selection

Color, style, and fit are all important when it comes to finding the perfect bridesmaids dresses, but so is the fabric. The type of fabric you choose can have an impact on how comfortable the dress will feel and how it will look.

Tulle is a gorgeous choice for bridesmaids dresses. This flowy, ethereal fabric is lightweight and versatile, and it’s a beautiful option for ball gowns since it gives the dress a dreamy princess-like effect.

If you’re having a formal or evening wedding, consider velvet bridesmaid dresses. This lush, luxurious fabric is exceptionally soft and adds a sophisticated component to formal occasions like weddings and black-tie events.

A satin dress is another pretty fabric option that’s also highly versatile. This smooth and shiny fabric can be dyed in any color, and it’s been a popular choice for wedding attire for years. Satin can also be featured in a printed pattern like an allover floral design.

If you plan on having a romantic wedding with lots of flowers and candles, lace dresses can be a perfect fit. You’ll find lace in a variety of patterns and it’s also a prominent fabric used to design an array of dress shapes and styles.

A current trend in bridesmaid and evening dresses is the glittered look. Consider a shiny glitter dress if you want your bridal party to sparkle and shimmer when they’re next to you.

For trendy bridesmaids, give scuba fabric a look. This smooth, stretchy fabric is constructed of neoprene and holds its shape well. Scuba dresses can have some unique features like ruffles that will stay in place thanks to the nature of the fabric itself.

If possible, ask for some fabric samples from different dress stores. This will give you a better idea of the look, feel, and how well it stretches.

Have Fun with Accessories

Once you’ve agreed on your perfect bridesmaid dresses, it’s time to dress things up with accessories. You can even pick out a necklace or a pair of earrings to give each of your bridesmaids as a gift before the wedding.

If you choose patterned or printed dresses, try to keep the accessories sleek and simple. Anything too gaudy will throw the look off-balance and it could end up clashing with their attire.

A pair of classic silver or gold hoop earrings are always in style. If you want something a bit more dramatic, have your bridesmaids wear rhinestone chandelier earrings for an extra bit of sparkle.

An evening shawl or other formal cover-up is recommended for weddings in cooler seasons. This accessory is also great when your bridesmaids want to ward off the chill as they dance into the night.

Dresses for a Perfect Wedding Day

With a bit of research and some input from your favorite girls, you can easily find the perfect bridesmaid dresses. Remember to take the time of year and the venue into consideration as you do your shopping.

To discover our range of beautiful dresses, visit our website or visit our FAQ page to find out more.

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