Shopping for bridesmaid dresses can be a great bonding experience for you and your favorite gals. Check out our top tips for bridesmaid dress shopping to ensure that all parties feel comfortable and confident in their ensembles.
Gather the gang: Ideally, all of your bridesmaids will be able to attend the shopping experience. That way, everyone will be able to try on dresses and come to a decision together. If there’s a ‘maid who can’t make it, consider using a video chatting service, like Skype or FaceTime so that she’ll feel included.
Make a day of it: Create a fun itinerary for your day of shopping. Treat your pals to a casual lunch before the dress shopping begins so that everyone is well fed and bridesmaids who may not know each other well have a chance to connect. Make appointments in advance at several boutiques and allow ample time at each store so no one feels rushed.
Come prepared: You and your bridesmaids should discuss in advance the type of styles you’re looking for. Send an email to your crew with some dress ideas, and get some initial feedback. Bring photos and swatches of your color scheme, as well as a photo of your dress, so that you can see how everything looks together.
Consider venue and season: When starting your initial bridesmaid dress research, it’s important to think about the time of year and your venue to ensure your bridesmaids’ comfort. For example, a summer wedding on the beach requires a lightweight dress so that your ‘maids will stay cool and comfortable. If you’re having a cold-weather wedding, consider buying jackets or shawls for your bridesmaids.
Be flexible: It’s unlikely that your bridesmaids will all look amazing in the same exact dress. They may have different body types, you may have a pregnant bridesmaid or a junior bridesmaid who might need a bit more covering up. Find a dress style that you like and allow your ‘maids to choose a neckline that works for them. The dresses should all be the same length and fabric to keep things cohesive, but your ‘maids will appreciate having a say in what they wear.
Think wear-again potential: The ideal bridesmaid dress is one that your ‘maids can wear after your wedding day. This should be an important factor in making your final decision.
Dealing with disagreements: Try to keep the mood light and jovial throughout the day. If there are disagreements among bridesmaids, remember that the bride has the final say in what the ‘maids wear. As long as you do your best to listen to everyone’s opinion, your ‘maids should be agreeable to your selection.
No pressure: If you feel that a salon appointment isn’t productive or is causing arguments or disagreements, cut your losses and move on to the next. Take pictures so that you remember what your ‘maids look like in the dresses they try on, in case you need to make a decision later on.
Don’t forget the guys: Nowadays, many bridal parties include male attendants. If your “bridesman” or “man of honor” wants to attend the dress shopping experience with your bridesmaids, he should be welcome. If not, take the time to go shopping with him for his tie (which should match the bridesmaid dresses) so that he feels included.
Get the details: Once you’ve decided on a bridesmaid dress style, find out how long it will take for the dresses to arrive. Also, confirm if the dresses will be shipped to individual bridesmaids or if you will handle the delivery. If bridesmaids are ordering their own dresses, ask them to forward you the order confirmation for peace of mind.
Tailoring tips: Ask your bridesmaids to try on their dresses as soon as they arrive to confirm that everything is correct and fitting. If a bridesmaid’s dress needs any tailoring, ask her to get that taken care of as soon as possible so the timing isn’t an issue.
Source: The Knot