Buying gorgeous gowns for your leading ladies can be one of the most stressful things for a bride. Especially if those ladies are hard to please or have very different tastes. Ultimately it is your special day and any bridesmaid worth having is going to be more than happy if YOU are happy, but if you want to stay besties with your gal’s (and keep your sanity at the same time) here are 3 things to consider before buying your bridesmaid dresses!
1. Your girls are probably different shapes & sizes
This is probably the trickiest part of buying bridesmaids dresses as it’s not often every girl is exactly the same shape and size (and the more girls you have the trickier it can be). Ultimately you want your girls to feel confident comfortable and these three solutions might help with that…
Solution 1: Mix and match
Choose a single colour, colour palette or theme and let you girls buy their own dresses. Depending on the girls, you may need to lay down some ground rules with this especially if you are paying. Give them a price range and sometimes it pays to state the obvious, nothing to short or skimpy (unless you like that look of course)
Image from Style Me Pretty
Solution 2: Go with a convertible dress
The convertible dress is popular for a reason. It is insanely comfortable and can be worn a number of ways allowing your bridesmaids to choose a style that suits them and wear the dress in a way that makes them feel comfortable (some may prefer to cover up more than others or wear it in a way that reflects their personality).
Solution 3: Choose a style that suits all shapes
If you decide you want to buy the same dress for all the girls go for a simple style. The dress style that flatters most shapes is a simple ‘fit and flare’ dress with a higher neck and fitted top area, and a flared out bottom to the knee or ankle. Think Audrey Hepburn and look for thicker fabrics which disguise lumps and bumps.
2. Cheap sometimes equals expensive in disguise!
Ordering from unknown Chinese websites can seem bloody tempting (trust me I am guilty of filling my cart up with goods and then remembering that the last cardigan I ordered arrived as a top in a totally different colour!) While the low price is hard to resist it could end up costing you more than you think…
Returns to untrustworthy stores are difficult, costly and a pain in the ass
Imagine they arrive and they are awful (or do not even look like the pictures). You have not only wasted your time but you will have to pay for the returns and you will be surprised how many of these sites will refuse to take things back. A friend recently ordered some jeans from a cheap online store and they arrived with no buttonhole. On requesting to return them for a refund she was told that there was nothing wrong with the jeans, and that in China everyone has to cut their own buttonhole. WTF!
Alterations can be pricey
If you are in the situation above but do not have time to return the dresses or look for more, you may end up forking out a fortune in alterations. A beautiful friend of mine spent over $500 simply getting 5 bridesmaids dresses taken up (they were crazy long and the type of fabric meant it was no diy project!). Embarrassingly mine cost $140 to alter (we all live in different areas so had different people do the alterations) so shopping somewhere that give specific and trusted measurements could save you loads of money in the end. Trustworthy stores like ASOS also often have the same dress in petite, tall and curvy catering for all heights.
3. Will they wear it again? And does it really matter?
Will you wear your wedding dress again? Probably not. So if you are paying for your bridesmaid’s dresses stop panicking about whether they will want to wear them again and focus on the day only (not whether the dress will work in with their wardrobe on a daily basis). Mention that you realise the dresses are very ‘bridesmaid’ (if they are) and that you understand that they may never wear them again (which is why you are footing the bill) then stop worrying about it.
If you are asking them to pay for their dresses then you might need to be a little more flexible with the dress choice (which is where my three solutions in point 1. come in again!) Good luck!
Image from Style Me Pretty