6 Tips on Choosing the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

After selecting your wedding dress, it’s time to think about dressing the ladies who will be by your side on your wedding day. That’s right, you get to go shopping again! Now, before you get too excited, know that dressing others isn’t quite the same as dressing yourself. While dressing your bridesmaids can be one of the most enjoyable activities in wedding planning, it can also get challenging to find looks that both flatter them and tie in with your wedding theme. That’s why we came up with these tips for dressing your girls like the unique individuals they are, while still holding true to the look of your wedding day. Check them out below!

6 Tips on Choosing the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

Pre-tip: Start early! Whether you are having dresses custom-made or shopping off-the-rack, getting started with a lot of time to spare can only be to your benefit. The sooner you can solidify the look you're going for, the more time you'll have to refine. Now let's dive in.

Tip #1: Complement the Bridal Gown
Bridesmaids should always complement the bride. Traditionally, no one wears white to weddings, lest they compete with the bride. But these days, tradition isn’t so strictly followed and we see all-white wedding parties pretty often. Whether you’re into that idea or not, it’s useful to observe these wedding parties and how they pull it off without outshining the bride. Usually the fabric is less formal than what was used for the bridal gown, the lengths of the dresses are shorter, or the style and cut of the bridesmaids dresses signal their role in the wedding to complement and not compete with the bride.


Tip # 2: Dress for the Season When it comes to dressing your bridesmaids, consider the time of year your wedding is taking place. You probably already did this when selecting a theme. For example, matching pastels and brights for a summer wedding and jewel tones or deep and dramatic colors for the rainy half of the year. Carry this mindset into your selection of bridesmaids’ dresses to really achieve a cohesive look.


Tip # 3: Consider the Setting This is a practical matter: Wearing a ball gown at the beach doesn’t make sense and being in stilettos at a garden wedding can only spell disaster. Select dresses that suit your venue and if your ceremony is in a church, remember to dress your bridesmaids modestly or have them wear shawls.


Tip # 4: Consider Your Bridesmaids' Unique Looks Different skin tones, hair colors, heights, and body types all play against dress styles differently. As much as possible, work towards flattering what they’ve got going on. This is where you’ll really have to stop and take a look. Some pointers:

  • Longer hem lines are flattering for most body types and are in keeping with the formality of weddings
  • Consider allowing your girls to choose or suggest the cut of dress that suits them. After all, women tend to know their own bodies best!
  • And some general tips on color:
    • Lighter, pale complexions contrast well with deep, bold colors, but it’s best to avoid stark black and white
    • For medium complexions, primary and warm colors look great
    • On darker skin tones, most colors are flattering and there is quite a bit of freedom with whites and pastels too


Tip # 5: Show Individual Personalities
Some girls have a little more spunk and other girls like to play it safe with their fashion choices. Keep this in mind when choosing dresses for your bridesmaids and you’ll be able to give them the ultimate gift: comfort in their own skin. You can tell when someone doesn’t feel their best in a dress, so it’ll be best to make note of who your bridesmaids are and the styles they really like to wear.


Tip #6: Tie It Together in a Mood Board
Strike a successful balance between flexibility and direction by laying all your pegs and options out in front of you. You could use magazine cut-outs for a physical, in-the-flesh mood board or use Pinterest and share the virtual board with your friends. A mood board will definitely make contributing to look ideas and checking in on what’s going on so much easier!

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