How to Choose Bridesmaids’ Dresses
Today’s bridesmaids have a lot more say in the dresses they’ll wear on the wedding day. We’re no longer in the era where bridesmaids had to wear matching dresses; now, bridesmaids can choose the type of top and skirt that best flatters them. They can go strapless if they’re comfortable with that style, or choose straps or even trendy one-shouldered dresses if that style is more their style.
Still, the bride gets to lay down some official rules about the dress, including choosing the color – or at least giving the bridesmaids a choice between two colors – and stipulating the length of the dress to suit the formality of their wedding. From this point, it’s most advisable for you to join up with your Maid of Honor to select a range of three to five bridesmaid dress styles that you’ll present to the bridesmaids for their consideration.
This narrowing of the field prevents total chaos when each of the bridesmaids looks on Pinterest wedding dress boards and emails five or six different dresses apiece, each having fallen in love with their chosen style and ready to fight for their choice to be selected. When you pick out a small collection from which bridesmaids can choose, you get a more organized selection process.
Choose from a designer’s collection that allows bridesmaids to pick their own desired style of top and skirt in the same color and fabric, and let bridesmaids know that they are allowed to choose their own style within that collection. Bridesmaids are aware from their previous experiences in bridal parties, and from knowing of other bridesmaids’ experiences, that the chance to choose their own style may be offered, but they’re waiting to hear it from you.
When looking at styles, keep your wedding’s formality in mind, and think also about the style and colors of your outdoor wedding garden so that their dresses will look even lovelier in the setting. Think about whether you want your bridesmaids in long, elegant sheath dresses to match your formal wedding setting, or if you want short, flowing, feminine gowns for your outdoor garden wedding. According to current bridesmaid fashion rules, short dresses are perfectly acceptable for formal weddings, although any black-tie or white-tie wedding calls for a floor-length dress.
Today’s color trends for weddings include mint, coral, purple, blue, and especially the PANTONE® Color of the Year: Emerald Green. Bridesmaids wear black dresses more often now as well, especially with a pop of a bright color like a vibrant green or yellow, or at night with crystals and sparkling bling. Artsy brides are also looking at bridesmaid dresses that feature floral patterns or unique watercolor effects, and ombre is a top trend in bridesmaid dresses this year as well. Ombre is an effect in which a garment’s shade flows from a lighter to a darker shade of a color.
Your bridesmaids’ dresses can also coordinate with your wedding dress with just a subtle accent, like a lace trim at the hem to go with your lace wedding dress, or the same high neck style, or a brooch at the waist.
Gather ideas by looking online for 2013 Bridal Fashion Week reports on bridesmaid fashion, and see how the top bridal gown designers have worked the current bridal trends into their bridesmaid collections, so that your bridesmaids get to wear gowns they love and will surely wear again the national average of two to five times after the wedding, making their investment in the dress keep paying off.