Delarah Banner
WEDDING

How to Choose Your Bridesmaids’ Dresses – The Ultimate Guide

How to choose a bridesmaid dress guide

As Wedding Know How editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.

Picking your bridesmaids’ dresses can be as stressful as choosing your wedding gown. In the sea of different styles, color options, materials, and silhouettes, this can be quite an overwhelming task. It gets even harder especially when you want to please all of your bridesmaids and pick dresses that will look flattering on each of them.

While you might not be able to indulge everybody’s style and shopping taste, you should at least make sure your bridesmaids feel and look amazing on your wedding day. While this might seem overwhelming, don’t worry because we’re here to help.

Delarah Banner

In this article, we’ve got some tips on how to choose your bridesmaids’ dresses and have fun doing it.

Go for Reasonable Prices

Bride and bridesmaid shopping

As a rule of thumb, bridesmaids are usually expected to cover the cost of their dresses. The prices will vary depending on how lavish you want your wedding to be and the stores you visit. They can range from anywhere from $100 – $800 or higher.

However, as a bride, you should be considerate when setting a budget for dresses. After all, you don’t want to have your friends upset at you for having to pay tons of cash on a dress they’ll probably wear only once. It’s important to remember that this is not their only expense, as they also have to pay for many other things such as shoes, accessories, hair, makeup and transportation, to name a few.

To avoid frustration and conflicts before your wedding, communicate with your bridesmaids and set the price according to their budget. If some of them still can’t foot the bill, you can always throw this old-school rule out the window and offer to pay for the dresses if you can afford to. If not, however, it would be a nice gesture to at least offer to rent the dresses for them.

Consider Different Body Types

Dresses to suit body shape

When choosing a bridesmaids’ dress style, you’ll need to take the body types of your bridesmaids into consideration. It’s important to go for a style that would flatter various body shapes and suit everyone.

You might want to avoid super-fitted styles, mini and sleeveless dresses. Instead, target long, knee-high or A-line dresses with a higher waistline. To make sure your girls feel comfortable yet elegant, go for shorter, loose fitting sleeves and a V-cut neck or back.

However, if you’re set on a particular silhouette and style, try to be flexible and allow your girls to alter the dresses to fit their figure. This way, they’ll not only appreciate that you took their feelings into consideration, but they’d feel more comfortable as well. Don’t forget to check for the maximum sizes available for a particular dress to make sure it works for your plus-size bridesmaids.

Be Smart About Dress Fabrics

Bridesmaid dress shopping

There are two major factors to consider when deciding what fabrics you want to go for. Remember, your bridesmaids’ comfort comes first. The last thing you’d want is to have your bridesmaids fidgeting because they’re uncomfortable and sore at you for choosing hot or scratchy fabrics. You should also consider the theme of your wedding as well as the venue.

If you’re having an outdoor summer wedding, chiffon dresses would be an excellent choice. Chiffon is a sheer and lightweight material with a simple weave, checking off both boxes: comfort and theme.

However, if you’re planning a lavish wedding in the fall or winter, satin is your go-to material. It’s ideal for colder weather and with its glossy surface, it will fit perfectly into your luxury wedding theme.

Pick the Right Colors

The color of your bridesmaids’ dresses is important, especially if you want to match color pallets and for your wedding to have a cohesive theme. You’d have to consider the venue, season, and skin tones.

If you’re saying ‘I do’ in a garden or by the sea, soft pastel colors or different shades of blue will fit these settings flawlessly.

If you’re having a spring or summer wedding, you might want to steer clear of dark colors like purple, eggplant, dark blue since these will look out of place. Similarly, floral patterns and flowy dresses wouldn’t be the best choice for an evening ceremony during winter or fall.

When it comes to matching dress shades with your bridesmaids’ skin tones, choose different shades of the same color to fit each of their complexions and create an ombre effect with their dresses. You can also try something different and unique. For example, some brides choose blacks and whites for their bridesmaids’ dresses since these colors aren’t taboo anymore. Neutral colors such as ivory, white, or black could be a perfect backdrop for any color theme and fit almost any skin tone.

Be Open to Some Input

To keep everyone happy and stress-free (including yourself) on your wedding day, it’s necessary to find the right balance and listen to what your bridesmaids have to say. Their suggestions, inputs, and preferences should be important to you.

Listening is a form of respect, so if you want your ladies to be happy, listen to their suggestions and be flexible. If they already have a perfect pair of shoes they’d be thrilled to wear again, give them that freedom! Also, by encouraging your bridesmaids to wear the jewelry they like, you’re allowing them to express their unique personalities and feel more like themselves.

Make Your Maid of Honor Stand Out

Listening to bridesmaids

As your most special person, after your future husband, of course, your MOH should stand out from the rest of your bridal party. To do this, choose a dress for her that differs in color or style from everybody else’s.

Another way to make her look the part, as someone chosen for this special role, is to have her carry a unique bouquet. It could have an additional flower that matches your bouquet, some extra color, or it could be slightly larger than the other bridesmaids’ cluster of blooms.

To Each, Her Own

To minimize stress as much as possible, you can simply let your girlfriends choose their own dresses.

However, if you want the best of both worlds, you can allow them to choose their own outfits and give them some guidelines as to color range, pattern, and length.

This way, each bridesmaid can have a dress according to her individual style, suiting her taste and budget. As a result, you’ll have a wedding party that still looks great and is full of cheerful guests.

Wrapping Up

Even though choosing bridesmaids’ dresses can be nerve-racking, don’t forget to have some fun and make the best out of this experience. Just take one step at a time and start with planning and shopping early enough to prevent things from getting out of control.

By doing this, you’ll make the whole process more enjoyable and stress-free. You’ll also be making beautiful, memorable moments for you and your bridesmaids to cherish forever.

For information on how to choose bridesmaids’ jewelry, check out our detailed article.

If you’re not sure whether to choose the color white for your bridesmaids’ dresses, we’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.