Ah yes, the dreaded bridesmaid dress. It’s been frequently used as a punch-line in many Hollywood movies, and for good reason; bridesmaid dresses are often a sore spot among bridesmaids. Not only will you possibly be forced to wear an ugly, unflattering, uncomfortable dress, but you’ll also have to pay for it and then smile all night long like you’re happy about it.
However, this is just the Hollywood worst case scenario. The truth is, you the bride have the option to let your bridesmaids actually enjoy your wedding night by picking the right dresses for them to wear. So here are a few things to consider:
1.) Ask about your bridesmaids’ budget. It typically costs an average of $1,000 to be a bridesmaid, so don’t add salt to the wound by requiring your ladies to buy an expensive dress. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask them about their budget guidelines while you’re scanning dresses online. After all, isn’t that the same thing you did when you went looking for your wedding dress? Set a budget and then went shopping?
2.) Understand the different body types. Just because one dress looks great on your 5’11”, 125 lb built-like-a-Victoria’s-Secret-Model little sister, it does not mean it’s going to look great on your 5’4” busty former college roommate. During one of my bridesmaid stints I had to wear a strapless dress that had nowhere near enough coverage for my 36DD’s. I wore the dress, and there were no wardrobe malfunctions, but I was definitely a little more popular among the fellas than I should’ve been for the night. Needless to say, I wish I could’ve been a bit more covered up.
3.) Keep the season in mind. If you’re getting married at 3:00 in the afternoon in July, don’t put your bridesmaids in heavy full-length, long sleeved gowns. Likewise, if you’re planning on exchanging vows in a snowy field in the middle of January, don’t expect them to stand out there in open-toed shoes and cocktail dresses without turning an alarming shade of purple.
4.) Allow them ease of access. If you’ve got bridesmaids spread all around the country make sure they have a reasonable way of getting the dress and having alterations made.
5.) Be open-minded. If you’re having a hard time finding something that works on everyone, consider easing up a bit. After all, they don’t all have to wear the same dress! As long as there is a general theme they’ll be fine! Consider letting them all wear the same color dress, but with different cuts or just requiring that all the bridesmaids wear something in the same color family. Everyone doesn’t have to be matching in order for your wedding party to look put-together!
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