Confession: Sunday mornings are for bridal programs. Here at Casa Freya, certain shows get recorded to the DVR–Say Yes To The Dress, Four Weddings, and My Fair Wedding are all on there. Sunday mornings, before I even get dressed, I get a cup of coffee and some cereal and watch wedding shows. I am not even dating anyone (and I’ve kind of decided that if I get married I’ll elope), but I do love me some fantasy weddings. And of course, from watching all these wedding shows, I do have an opinion on bridesmaids dresses. So brides, future brides, and bridesmaids–LISTEN UP.
1. Brides: You Decide
I was talking to a bridesmaid the other day whose friend the bride had said “Here is a range of purples for the dress, a range of apple greens for the shoes, everybody pick their own.” (Can we just say–purple with green shoes is a NO.) My friend was lamenting, and said at one point “I wish she had just chosen something”. The bride still had a bunch of specifications, making it almost impossible for the bridesmaids to pick an “acceptable” dress. Plus, there are too many ways it can go wrong. If you want a mismatched look, choose a designer, and three or four acceptable styles and colors for your bridesmaids to choose from.
2. Follow Your Style…Thoughtfully
I love vintage looks, so I would put my bridesmaids in vintage-style dresses, even if my friends didn’t share the same taste. The key is to choose styles that are flattering on the body types you have in your bridal party. Don’t shop with the intent that the bridesmaid can “wear it again”. Some will, some won’t. Those dresses need to match your chosen wedding style, not each bridesmaid’s style. Also, unless your bridesmaids all have killer bodies, avoid shiny satin. It can look cheap, and it is absolutely unforgiving. You want your pictures to look incredible at the end of the day, so show your bridesmaids off to their best advantage.
3. Simplify, then customize
If you’re a budget shopper, you know how to be savvy when looking for clothing. Unfortunately, the bridal industry can make brides crazy. “This is your day,” they whisper. “Money is NO OBJECT.” But it is, especially to your bridesmaids. If you want to go crazy on your own dress, do it. But don’t put your bridesmaids in a financial bind. Keep your budget shopping wits about you. Don’t limit your search to bridal stores. There are a lot of fantastic dresses out there. Choose a simple, one-color dress in a basic shade, and then make your bridesmaid gift a glittery brooch, an ornate fascinator, or a bedazzled belt to give their dresses pizzazz. Encourage personalization–if your bridesmaid feels more comfortable in straps than strapless, that’s okay. If she wants a shrug to cover her arms, great. Stick to one length and one shape if you want them to match, but allow each girl to feel comfortable.
Which would you rather–a line of stressed-out, broke clones in mint green, or bridesmaids looking radiant, relaxed, happy and beautiful?