Bridesmaid dresses can often be a bone of contention for brides as it’s often tricky to find one style of dress that will suit an entire bridal party; that will work within your budget and complement the theme of the wedding. For my own wedding my bridesmaids (see below) wore neutral-toned Carla Zampatti gowns but they wanted to wear different heel heights so in the end I had them all wearing the same shoes for photos then supplied them with ballet flats that they could change into. Compromise is key!
Scroll down to read my top tips for choosing bridesmaid dresses along with bridesmaid dress options to suit every wedding style.
When choosing a bridesmaid dress consider…
It’s important to choose dresses that will work with the style of your dress. So if your dress is quite sleek and modern, it might not work to have relaxed boho dresses as they’re two completely different styles. Ultimately you want your bridesmaids to complement your dress for a cohesive look on the day.
Consider the overall colour scheme of your wedding. If you’ve opted for soft pastel hues for the event it might look jarring to have dark coloured gowns for your bridesmaids as it may look a little too harsh.
The type of wedding you’re having
Make sure that your bridesmaids’ attire works with the style of wedding you’re having. For example if yours is a relaxed, rustic affair a statement gown in a show-stopping cut or colour might not work and you may be better to opt for a relaxed silhouette in a slightly more romantic, feminine colour.
Skin tone and hair colour
Your bridesmaids will all be quite different in terms of skin tone and hair colour so think of one unifying shade that will work for all of the bridal party. For example you may need to consider that some shades might not work with olive skin as well as it does with fair skin or that tones that work for blondes won’t work as well with redheads.
If you’re really having troubles with this you could consider having a tonal scheme where everyone doesn’t have the same shade of dress but simply in the same colour family, for example you could choose pink and have dresses in a dusty rose right down to a pale pink.
Your bridesmaids’ body shapes
It’s very rare that all the ladies in your bridal party will be the same shape or size. It’s important to be mindful of this to ensure that you choose a dress style that will be flattering to all. This is one of the trickiest aspects of choosing bridesmaid dresses as you want everyone to look great but at the same time you need to find dresses in the same style. Have all your bridesmaids try on as many dresses as possible to determine a style that works.
Alternatively if this all sounds like too much of a headache you could consider having your bridesmaids wear different dresses but all in the same colour to give it a unifying theme.
Your bridesmaids’ opinions
It’s ultimately your day so you will of course, have the final say but it’s important to factor your bridesmaids’ wishes in your decision making process. Allow your bridesmaids to voice their concerns and opinions (they could have lots of ideas that you might not have even considered yet) as you want them to be comfortable in what they’re wearing but ultimately they have to respect that it’s your decision.
If your bridesmaids are paying for their own dresses it’s important to consider their financial situation in the dress you choose. Yes, you may have fallen in love with a $600 designer dress but that cost will be prohibitive to most – you don’t want to stress your bridal party out unnecessarily.
If you’re paying then the decision on what you spend will come down to what your budget allows for. If you want to splurge then go ahead but know that there are plenty of beautiful dress options out there that are budget-friendly, too (see below for proof).
Find a bridesmaid dress to suit your wedding style:
Photography: Morlotti Studio