- 3 years ago
- Wedding: April 2015
Bridesmaid dresses are a butt of jokes, and for a good reason too. For far too long, too many brides have made a mockery out of these dresses. Their reasons may vary but that does not make the end product any less hideous to endure. I have attended 7 weddings in all (not necessarily as a bridesmaid though) and in all of them bar one the bridesmaid dresses were bad enough to be friendship breakers!
Ok, that is a bit of an overreaction. But you get my point. It is rather rare to come across truly beautiful bridesmaid dresses, as evident from many a horror story narrated by your typical bridesmaid.
Consideration to what others would want and look good in should come naturally to a good friend (read the bride-to-be). And it is exactly this consideration that we are using as the starting point for this post. In choosing the bridesmaid dress if you were to take into account half the things that you did when buying your own wedding dress, you would do your friends a big favor. And they would love you for it.
In this post we look at the basic considerations to keep in mind when choosing the outfits for your bridesmaids, in order for them to look good and to make your wedding ceremony even more photo-friendly.
Set time aside for research.
All good things require time. Well, most of them, anyway. You will have to start early as finding the right dress, whether for yourself or for your friends, is a long process if you want non-stereotypical dress for your bridesmaids. Luckily, there’s a lot of help at hand — at your finger tips, in fact. When you are having your hair cut or feet massaged at the salon, put your latest smartphone to good use. Browse through some of the popular fashion blogs, magazines, and/or picture boards (like Pinterest, tumblr., etc.) for color, style, and theme inspiration.
Select a few pictures and mail them to your friends to gauge their response.
Take into account their body types.
It simply wouldn’t be fair on your curvy friends to be given a dress more suited to those with a column body type. How would you feel if someone was to squeeze you into an unflattering style and a revolting color, and expect you to happily pose for the cameras, knowing that those memories are going to be frozen in time forever? It would make you cringe each time you thought of that particular wedding and might also lead to a loss of interest in your friend. You don’t want to be that friend, do you?
So start with a frank assessment of your friends’ body types and think of styles that would more or less look good on all of them.
Give them a range of options to choose from.
You will have to give them at least some options since no color, length or cut looks good on everybody. Instead of zeroing in on a particular color, give them the choice of choosing similar shades. (They may not even take that choice if you have chosen a beautiful color – like burgundy – to begin with.)
What we are getting at is that it’s a good idea to give your friends a theme to stick to and let them work out the details in tandem with each other. The dresses will be tailor made anyway so fit wouldn’t be a problem.
Here’s an excellent guide to managing bridesmaid dress designs and styles.
Listen to their feedback
You propose the theme of the bridesmaid dresses and ask for their feedback. Now we realize this can be a bit tricky. What if all of them want different things? What if they are not able to come to a consensus despite lengthy discussions? In that case, you put your foot down. You must have a rough idea of colors and fabrics that would look good on all your friends. Choose one of those and convey that theme to them.
In your defense you did ask for constructive feedback to be able to help them look better in bridesmaid dresses but if nothing came of it you would have to go with what you have in mind. There’s only so much you can do and time is of the essence in wedding preparations.
On the other hand if they do give you good and helpful feedback, harmonize it with the larger theme for your wedding and convey the final look back to your friends.
Use shoes and accessories wisely.
The dresses are only a part of the equation. Accessories are equally important. The role of the shoes, in particular, cannot be stressed enough.
High heels look good on almost everybody but not everybody can pull them off with ease and grace, especially if they are expected to walk around in them for long.
You also need to keep in mind that not everybody is open about admitting their clumsiness around heels. So don’t even go there. We recommend going for beautiful wedge sandals that at once give you the desired height and a broad base that makes walking on a raised platform easier, more comfortable, and far less risky. Strapped ones are better than unstrapped ones as they offer better grip and fit. The best part is that these look good on almost all kinds of dresses and most women will be able to wear them without too many complaints.
Be sensitive to their budget.
Since bridesmaids pay for their own dresses it would be very callous of you to expect them to pump in a few hundred dollars (on top of flight or train travel, if they live away,and other expenses) for a one-time dress.
Again, not everybody will be vocal about their displeasure at the cost of the entire outfit, so in the interest of your friendship, keep the costs down. Peg per bridesmaid outfit spend at $200, or whatever you think is reasonable given your friends’ financial situation. Remember these $200 will take into account everything – the dress, the shoes, the accessories, the makeup, etc.
In conclusion: In the end, since you are the bride-to-be, all eyes will be on you anyway. So you don’t have to go to the lengths of making others look bad just to stand apart from them. It is your day and no one will upset the stage for you. Stay confident, secure, and glowing in that knowledge, and by extending consideration to your dear friends, make it a memorable occasion for them, too.