(Closed) Do you shop for the brides dress as well as bridesmaid dresses at the same time?

posted 4 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
461 posts
Helper bee

I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friends. She hadnt picked a dress yet but wanted to go look at bridesmaid dresses. Several shops wouldn’t even let us look/try any dresses on as they said she needed to pick a dress first so we could tie in with her! Some were really rude about it but it depends where you go.

Post # 4
461 posts
Helper bee

camette:  No it wouldn’t matter if you’re buying from diff places. Think its more to do with being able to tell them the style, material and colour of the wedding dress so they can have a hand in picking out bridesmaid dresses that would go well with it. I’d rather just look on my own though without the sales assistants watching my every move lol

Post # 5
210 posts
Helper bee

I agree, I went dress shopping a few times and looked at bridesmaids dresses too and picked out a fabric for my girls. But when I decided on my dress I had to totally switch gears because what I had picked didn’t really go with my dress. So I definitely recommend buying the wedding gown first then picking out bridesmaid dresses.

Have fun!

Post # 6
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I’ve been in a few weddings. They’re normally separate appointments. But it depends on logistics, too. I want my sister to be at both appointments for me, and we live on opposite sides of the country. So I plan on doing both appointments at the same time!!

Post # 7
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

camette:  When I was looking at accessories and veils for my dress the other day, there was a bride there looking for her dress while also looking for bridesmaids dresses with a few of her girls – her mom and aunt were there as well since she was looking for her wedding gown. It seemed really stressful and overwhelming (and I think they had been there a LONG time since they were looking for both). The bride kept waffling on her dress, it seemed like she would fall in love with a dress, then a bridesmaid dress that didn’t look good with it, then she would chose a dress for herself based on that bridesmaid dress – then realize that she didn’t like the bridal gown…and around in circles. It also seemed like her mom and aunt were getting annoyed when they were kind of left out of the bridesmaid shopping and there were long lulls between the bride trying on dresses.

I was there by myself, so I heard a lot of this going on – I felt really bad for both her and the bridesmaids because it just seemed overwhelming to be trying to choose both at once, and also to be trying to choose bridesmaid dresses without her dress chosen. When I was leaving, it sounded like she had picked 3 bridesmaid dresses that were pending until she picked her dress and she was going to go home and regroup and try to come back for just her dress.

My friend in college also picked our bridesmaid dresses and her dress in the same session – she had always wanted a simple gown for herself, which she found – but in the moment she picked Vera Wang A-line floor length gowns for us. When she got her dress in, she realized it was less formal than our bridesmaid dresses, so she had to buy a second gown. I think she would have chosen our dresses differently had she gone home and considered her dress and then gone back with us in tow.

I think it would be easiest if you went and looked for your dress first and set it in stone before considering bridesmaid dresses. Some bridal salons also have a max number of people that can come with you for bridal gown appointments, so it may not be possible to bring all your bridesmaids to the bridal consult if you also want to look at bridsmaid dresses in the same go. I don’t think it’s impossible to do both at once if you have an extenuating circumstance, but probably easier and less stressful to do them separately. Congratulations!!

Post # 10
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

My friend tried to do both at once, it ended up really ruining the experience for her because the sales ladies, her mom and her friends weren’t focused on picking HER dress… Which is, frankly, totally justified when buying a bridal gown.


get yours first, then your bridesmaids (and unless you only have two don’t bring them all with you, it’s a LOT of opinions)

Post # 11
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I always said when I went wedding dress shopping I would only go with a select few.  The more people you have, the more opinions you’re getting.  That means the more people you have to “please.”  Unfortunately, my people-pleasing side won out.  I still found a dress but all of the, “I just thought I’d see you in ___,”  and, “I prefer a ____ style,” was exhausting.  It was a fun process but there were too many for my tastes – and a few that invited themselves and I couldn’t see a way out of it.  That was frustrating as all get out.

*If you have a lot of bridesmaids, say more than 4-5, pick a date.  Don’t try to work around everyone’s schedules or you’ll go mad.  Pick a decent day, say we’re going to go look, and if they can’t make it text them pictures.  You may not even find one that day. 

*Please start early.  I was really, really hacked off when I had to pay a $50 rush shipping charge for a bridesmaid dress because they weren’t picked out early.  That was on top of a $300 dress.  (And unfortunately, it was ugly.)

*Make an appointment, wherever you go.  You’ll get better service.  David’s Bridal has been a mad house every time I’ve ever been there. 

*Unless all of your bridesmaids are the same figure (lucky you!!!) you’ll have some that may like this and some that may not like that.  I have one that’s extremely conservative with her clothing.  Her dress will have sleeves.  In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter.  She’ll still be beautiful.  I’ll have one that will be 9 months pregnant.  Her dress will be a maternity dress.  She’ll be stunning.  They’re the same fabric, along the same style, and it’ll be fine.  🙂

*Be very clear if you have certain ideas about shoes and accessories, too.  If you have a preference make it known well in advance.  Most will be fine with it as long as they’re given notice. 

*Have fun, and don’t expect to find the perfect dresses on the first try.  Just go and enjoy it the first time!

No matter how many bridesmaids you have, I would shop for their dresses separately.  Make the bridesmaid dress shopping about them, not about you.  And make the wedding dress shopping about YOU, not them.  And keep the price of the bridesmaid dress low.  They pay a LOT of money for a dress they’ll never wear again.


Have you considerd renting?  We’re renting all of ours from RenttheRunway.com for four days and it’s a fabulous dress for a fraction of the price of buying.  Just something to consider.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  goldiegirl.
Post # 12
470 posts
Helper bee

I bought a dress for myself, and then I went back with my mom, hung the dress up, and tried on every single bridesmaid dress I could possibly want. I literally stood next to the hanging gown. This was a really good idea, because I narrowed it down from like 30 options to 4, knew which of the 4 I liked best, and then I took all 6 girls shopping. I called ahead, and had the consultant pull the 4 I had picked, and told them to pick from that. This worked out super well, as well had three mothers, six bridesmaids, and myself. In the end, we picked the one I liked the best, which was a compromise: they wanted short A-lines (I wanted tighter), but I picked the color (neutral champagne).



***Also my friend told my afterwards she appreciated knowing I had tried them on myself, so I would know what was uncomfortable, etc. For example, there was a pretty dress with an illusion neck they tried on, and I warned them it was super itchy. They agreed 🙂

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  musket87.

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