With the holidays approaching, we’ll be looking at a new batch of brides to be with Christmas and New Years proposals. Such an exciting time! I got engaged in December and I quickly began planning a late summer wedding. One of the things I was conflicted about was my bridesmaids. How many would I have? Who would they be paired with on the groomsmen side? And of course, what type of dresses would they be wearing? Since we were planning an August wedding, I knew they would most likely wear short bridesmaid dresses since it was going to be fairly warm. However, I wanted them to have bridesmaid dresses they could wear again, after our wedding.
The first way to narrow down the overwhelming amount of bridesmaid dresses to choose from is to choose a color. I considered black, as you can certainly benefit from a little black dress more than once. Obviously, you’ll go with a color in your wedding theme. If you have two colors, you can choose a main color for the dresses, and add the second colors in a sash or flower. I’ve seen some mixed color dresses before, but I wasn’t particularly a fan. Also, I’ve seen wedding parties where the maid of honor or matron of honor wears the opposite color of the other bridesmaids. I liked that idea. In Kim Kardashian’s wedding, her sisters and mom wore white along with her. Many people were upset about it, but I thought it was a great idea.
In my aunt’s wedding, I was a junior bridesmaid. All of us had different styles, but the same color. That works for some brides, especially if your bridal party is all made up differently. There’s no one size fits all style. Some ladies love strapless, while others prefer spaghetti straps. Some women enjoy a flowing dress, while others prefer a straight down style or bubble type. A line works for some, and V-necks work for others. You have sweetheart necklines and halter tops. The possibilities are endless! Think of what type of dress they wear in other occasions and consider going that route.
It’s more than the dress. Accessories count too! Will everyone have the same style or color shoes? Will they match the dress color or compliment it? You also have jewelry decisions. In my sister’s wedding, she bought us matching earrings and a necklace. Pocketbook clutches or small purses?
A new trend for multi-use bridesmaid looks is to buy separates. A beautiful top and matching skirt could go a lot further than dress can when it comes to wearing it again. Different combinations can flatter a figure a lot better, and you can find them for a great price! This is also a great opportunity to mix and match different colors. An off the shoulder top and pencil skirt will look just as nice standing next to you, especially for a more casual ceremony. If you choose the same colors, it can come out looking like a dress anyways.
The biggest thing about bridesmaid dresses is certainly the price. Obviously, they’re not going to be as expensive as your bridal gown, and if your bridesmaids are footing their own bill, you want to keep it affordable. This is also a huge importance when it comes to multi-use dresses, because you want them to find the value in it, and not feel like they blew a bunch of money on a dress they wore one time. Maybe a bridal boutique isn’t your thing. You can find beautiful bridesmaid dresses for a great price at a department store. No one would ever know the difference!
So do your bridesmaids a favor and find them a look they can wear even after you say “I do”. Although I didn’t end up having bridesmaids for our courthouse wedding, but if/when we decide to renew our vows, I’m definitely going to make sure my ladies in waiting will have dresses they can use time and time again.
While doing my own planning, I learned that you can RENT bridesmaids’ dresses (and wedding gowns, too)! The cost is much less than buying at full price, and the styles offered usually go well together. If all the bridesmaids get their dresses from the same company, they can match the color but choose a flattering style.
I’m going to be a bridesmaid in April (for the first time!!) and my friend has told we just need short black dresses of any style. It’s pretty awesome but also gives me way too many options so I hope I don’t put off shopping till the last minute!