Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Why else are so many bridesmaids asked to wear ugly gowns? We’re talking hideous contraptions of hot pink or baby blue chiffon. You know the ones we mean, with the frills, the lace and the ruffles. Dresses no sane woman would ever wear again. How can the bride-to-be be so cruel?
Really, it’s not her fault. Dressing your friends in the gaudiest gowns you can find is a time-honored wedding tradition. Just kidding! The truth is that most brides-to-be don’t know much about shopping for these dresses. But since the “privilege” of selecting the color and the fabric falls to her, she does the best she can. In this article we will proffer a few hopefully helpful tips for choosing the right bridesmaid dress.
Pass the Buck
There are practical reasons to shift the responsibly to someone else. For one thing, most bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own dresses these days. Why then should they not be able to choose them on their own? Sure, it’s your wedding, but they’re the ones who have to take these things home.
Our advice to the frazzled bride-to-be is to let the maid of honor choose the bridesmaids gown. Since she has to wear the dress herself, she is in a better position to pick one that will please all the girls. The maid of honor can also speak to each girl individually to make sure she can afford the dress. Where to start?
As important as the bridesmaids are, they are, in the end, attendants. They are there to help their friend on the most important day of her life. Their dresses should complement the bridal gown. As a general rule, the gowns should have a similar neck and hemline. The single best piece of advice we can give you is to keep it simple.
Some of the most atrocious bridesmaid’s gowns simply have too much going on. Stay away from extra bows, lace, ribbons, beading, sequins and bunchy material. These are the dresses that will never be worn again and they generally do not look good in pictures. By comparison, a simple A-line dress with an empire waist and delicate straps looks good on nearly everyone. Simple dresses are also much easier and less expensive to have altered.
Finding a color for a formal dress can be challenging. Finding a color on which five women can agree can be next to impossible. That is why the bride-to-be almost always picks the color. Sometimes she chooses wisely, other times she picks fuchsia.
Due to rising wedding costs, more and more brides-to-be are going with colors that don’t scream wedding. They are shying away from the hot pinks and baby blues and choosing more understated, classic colors. Though fashions and styles change, some colors are always acceptable for formal occasions.
Black and platinum are perennial favorites that can be worn at any time of year, especially at indoor ceremonies. For outdoor affairs held during the summer months, bridesmaids adorn lighter colors like sand, taupe and lighters shades of yellow. And during the winter months, darker colors like hunter green and burgundy are popular at present.
Aside from a designer label, nothing has a greater effect on the price of a dress than the material. Gowns that are made from high quality fabrics like satin, velvet, silk, chiffon, dupioni silk and crepe can go for hundreds of dollars. And some bridesmaids may be embarrassed to admit that they cannot afford them. What to do?
Most popular styles are available in synthetic fabrics for just that reason. A fabric like rayon, for instance, was designed to look and feel like silk. So, before a dress is officially selected, it is probably a good idea to ask each girl if she can afford it. If someone says no, look for a synthetic dress in a similar style.
People come in different shapes and sizes. This is an indisputable fact. Combinations were created to ensure that women can find dresses in the same color and fabric in styles that flatter their disparate figures.
The bride can and probably should set a few basic rules before she gives her girls the green light to select their own combinations. Simple rules like no strapless numbers or no dress above the knee are fairly common and shouldn’t meet with much or any resistance.
We spoke of the importance of color a bit earlier. But it seems that the times they are a- changing. A new trend called “color run” gives bridesmaids the option of choosing their own colors. Dresses that don’t match are particularly popular at spring and summer ceremonies that take place outdoors.
There are lots of factors to take into account when picking out the bridesmaid dress for your wedding ceremony. Remember to consider each of your attendants individually and ask for their help when choosing so that you’ll pick the perfect style.