Top Tips for Finding the PERFECT Bridesmaids Dresses!

This week's guest post is brought to you all the way from Canada by Best for Brides!

(Photography by  Meghan Melia )

(Photography by Meghan Melia)

Bridesmaids dress selection has always been an important aspect of wedding planning. Historically, bridesmaids wore dresses that resembled the bride's own wedding gown, so they would confuse vengeful spirits that were likely to harm the newly weds. Find out more about this interesting tradition at this link

Things have changed a lot since then. Nevertheless, bridesmaids dress selection continues to be an integral wedding planning task. Since bridesmaids form an important part of the wedding scenery, it is essential to match their dresses to the wedding theme. This is a challenge, as brides must attempt to also find dresses that the girls will approve of.

Here are some valuable tips from the Best for Bride team of fashion experts from Canada to help you find the perfect bridesmaids dresses for your big day. 

Buy the wedding gown first

The bridal party outfits should match your wedding dress for a cohesive effect. Finding a wedding gown is not always easy, and you can never predict the exact dress you will end up loving. Therefore, it is essential that you buy your dress first, before shopping for your bridesmaids. After you pick your wedding dress, look for dresses for the bridal party that work well with the signature features of your gown. 

Start with an inspiration board

Based on your research of styles that complement your wedding gown, create an inspiration board of dress styles, colors and features that you think will work best. Make sure there are a variety of options, so your girls can pick what they like best. This will give you a starting point to begin the dress search. Share this template with your bridesmaids and find out their opinions and suggestions. 

Welcome bridal party opinions

Once you share your vision with the bridal party, let your girls contribute their opinions and ideas. Ask each of them about the dress styles that appeal most to them, from your vision board. Also discuss if there are styles they absolutely hate wearing, and why. You can then go with the majority opinion, or mix and match options to find choices that will satisfy all. 

Don't hesitate to mix and match

The members of your bridal party will obviously differ from each other in size, build, complexion and taste. So, it is highly unlikely that there is a universally flattering dress choice that will work for all of them. Instead of searching for such a dress, go with the Mix and Match trend. This will allow your girls to find dresses that flatter each of them. All you have to do is keep certain features cohesive across the board, and their overall look should come together beautifully. 

Figure out the factors to keep constant

When mixing and matching dresses, it is important to keep at least two factors cohesive, or your bridal party will look disjointed. Aim to organize the look by color, hemline, fabric or print. The easiest way to do this is to fix a minimum of two constant factors across the board. Then narrow down your search to dresses that satisfy these criteria. Other ideas that work are same dress in different colors and same color family but different tones. Visit this post on A Practical Wedding for some fantastic ideas to mix mismatched dresses. 

Be considerate about budget constraints

Your bridesmaids will love you more when you are considerate about the expenses they have to incur for your wedding. When they agree to be your bridesmaids, they already know that they will have to pay for their dresses. Nevertheless, it is not a good idea to make choices that will put a serious dent in their pockets. Consider personal situations and pick dresses that are budget-friendly. Just be flexible with your selection criteria, and it will be easier to find dresses that fit any budget. 

Don't take the entire gang along the first time

If you are easily swayed by opinions, it is best to do the first round of shopping by yourself or with just one or two people. This will allow you to stick to your vision and narrow down the choices to those that fit your expectations. Once you shortlist the dresses, ask the girls to pick their favorites from what you have already chosen. 

Factor in extra time

It is unlikely that you will be able to buy dresses for your girls off-the-rack. Once you place an order, it can take up to three months for the dress delivery. Your girls will have to get the dresses fitted, after they arrive. So factor all this into your wedding planning timeline. Complete your bridesmaids dress shopping six months before the wedding, to ensure the dresses are delivered and ready to wear in time for the big day. 

Add the perfect finishing touches with the right accessories

The right choice of accessories will greatly enhance the effect of their dresses. This is also a great way to tie their outfits together. So choose similar accessories with signature appeal for all of them. Explore options in shoes, hair accessories, necklaces and belts to achieve the intended effect. This post on the Real Simple website offers some quick tips on how to accessorize different bridesmaid dress styles. 

Author Bio: This article was brought to you by Best for Bride from Canada, the premier bridal shopping destination for modern brides. Apart from an impressive inventory of designer wedding dress collections, they also have bridal party dresses, dress alteration services, bridal accessories and everything a bride needs to fulfill her wedding day vision. For more details on their collections and services, visit their website here