Being a bridesmaid is a beautiful thing. It’s an honor and a gesture of trust and love between you and your soon-to-be-married best friend. However, it can be quite a hassle as well. Besides the regular bridesmaid duties, the most important task you’ll have to complete is bridesmaid dress shopping. While it sounds simple and easy enough at first glance, once you get to the shopping store you’ll start thinking differently.
There’s a couple of things you should know before you go shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and here we’ll discuss them all in some more detail.
1. Not considering the bride’s opinion
Shopping for bridesmaid dresses is never about the bridesmaids. Making the bride happy should be everyone’s primary concern. You’ll certainly have to compromise with other bridesmaids on what they’re comfortable in, but in the end, it all boils down to what the bride wants. It’s her big day, so don’t forget to ask her for her wishes and inputs as well.
Overall, your dresses should be in line with the theme of the wedding itself, so make sure you follow the bride’s guidelines as well as you can. Ask the bride to send you some examples to know what to look for in a dress when you get to the store.
2. Not agreeing on a reasonable budget early on
Make sure to talk to other bridesmaids about their budgets before you start searching for the perfect dress. Not everyone is prepared to spend a fortune on a dress they’ll only wear once. Be tactful but honest: don’t allow anyone to make you spend more than you can handle.
A realistic budget is something everyone agrees on, but also something that will get you what you all want in the first place.
3. Not getting everyone’s measurements as early as possible
Now, this especially goes if you’re shopping for your dresses online. Ill-fitted dresses can ruin the entire event by creating unnecessary delays and cuts to the budget. Make sure every bridesmaid has their measurements taken by a professional long before you start researching different styles.
4. Not wanting to compromise with the other bridesmaids
If you’re sharing your bridesmaid duties with more than one person, chances are you’ll have to compromise a lot during your collective shopping sprees. As we’ve mentioned before, you all have a common goal of keeping the bride happy. However, this doesn’t mean you should be forced to wear something you’re overly uncomfortable in.
If a bridesmaid says she cannot wear revealing clothing, or if someone’s body shape doesn’t work with the dress you’d like to wear, try to find something similar that fits everyone’s needs. Remember to be ready to compromise where you can: if it makes the bride happy, and nobody is feeling absolutely miserable wearing it, it’s time to say „yes to the dress“.
5. Ignoring the importance of accessories
Your search doesn’t stop once you’ve found the perfect bridesmaid dress. The next up is the accessories! All of the bridesmaids probably have different styles and preferences, so it’s important to coordinate them for the big day. You don’t have to shop for these separately if you all have something similar in your closets, but make sure you get the bride’s approval first.
Except for the jewelry and shoes, you should also wear similar hairstyles and makeup to look as close to what the bride pictured on her day. While coordinating all of this can be difficult at times, try your best to compromise and find the best solution together. Remember that you all have the same goal: being there for your friend on one of the most important days of her life.
6. Starting the search a bit too late
Your search for the perfect dress starts as soon as you’re asked to be a bridesmaid. It’s not a last-minute decision to make, so book your bridesmaid appointments as early as possible. In this way, if something unexpected occurs with the dresses (as it often does) you’ll still have plenty of time to fix it.
If you’re planning on shopping online, remember to order the dresses at least a few weeks before the wedding date. If the delivery is even a day late, it could mean a total disaster for everyone involved. Don’t risk it and start searching as soon as possible!
7. Not considering potential alterations
Once you start thinking about the budget, do not forget to leave some space for potential alterations, especially if you’re ordering the dress online. If the measurements end up being a tiny bit too wrong, you’ll need to have enough to cover the alteration.
Check the prices with your local seamstress, so you know what to expect if something goes wrong.
8. Not allowing yourself to have fun!
Yes, shopping for bridesmaid dresses can be incredibly stressful at times, but there’s no reason not to try to enjoy it! The occasion that put you all together is a happy one, so keep a positive attitude and try your best to have fun with it.
Even if you end up having some issues along the way, try not to trouble the bride with it. She probably has a lot to think about already, and it’s your duty to make things easier for her, not the other way around!
The bottom line
Shopping for bridesmaid dresses can be a daunting task. There are many things you’ll need to consider beforehand, but keeping the bride happy should always come first. As long as you keep that in mind, everything will work out as you’ve all imagined.
In this article, we’ve listed a couple of things you shouldn’t do while bridesmaid dress shopping to help you navigate the process a bit more easily. We hope our tips prove to be helpful to you and we wish you good luck on your search for the perfect dress!