1. Do your research
We don’t mean just on Pinterest, make sure you ask your maids what style dress they usually wear when they wear one, if they’ve got any concerns. You want them to enjoy the experience and not worry you’re going to ask them to wear something they’re not comfortable in. Are you going to go for matching styles or are you going to allow them to choose? If they’re choosing then you need to decide what similarities they will have – will they all be the same colour, do you want all of them to have a certain neckline like a V neck for example? Should all of them have sleeves or are you letting them pick the style entirely and you pick the colour? It’s good to have this clear in your mind before the day, and even explain it to your bridesmaids before the day it will save a lot of time (and heartache) trying on dresses that don’t fit with your vision.
2. Balance Flexibility and Direction
Sometimes you really do just want “whatever they want” but you do need to give some direction – there are thousands of bridesmaids dress styles and colours, so narrowing the pool slightly means you can at least make it a bit easier to pick. If you want to go for the same colour for all your bridesmaids but different styles why not pick the brand and then they can pick the styles? The dresses will all need to be made by the same brand to match in colour so this is a great way of giving them a range of dresses to pick from while not having too many options it’s too hard to make a decision! If you’re going for all in the same style it can be hard to find something everyone is comfortable in, if you want to involve your bridesmaids but are worried they wont all like the same dress give them a “top pick” card and one “veto” card each. Once you’re down to the top contenders let them vote, if one dress has the most top picks then easy, but if someone feels like that’s the worst dress for them they can veto it and you can get something that everyone is comfortable in.
3. Complement Your Wedding Dress
Don’t forget to imagine what your dress will look like with the bridesmaid’s dresses, if your wedding dress is super plain do you want plain bridesmaids dresses too? If you’ve got lace do you want them to have lace? Or because the lace’s won’t match do you want them to avoid lace? Have a couple of do’s and don’ts before you go shopping so your bridesmaids don’t fall in love with a dress that wont work with your wedding dress!
4. Alteration Costs
Don’t forget to include alteration costs in your budget or make your bridesmaids aware if they need to pay for them. Our normal bridesmaids seamstress charges about £50 for a length and bust alteration. Some dresses may need more or less altering than others but it’s good to be aware of this cost so it’s not a surprise in the run up to the wedding.
5. Set a date / shop in plenty of time
Bridesmaids dresses take around 12 weeks to arrive, plus you’ll need a couple of weeks for alterations and please don’t now count back from your wedding date 14 weeks! You should definitely plan for your bridesmaids dresses to arrive 2 months before your wedding at the latest so to avoid any last minute stress. It can be really hard to get your girls together for a date so put a date in the diary and with plenty of notice book your appointment (which if you’re thinking of coming to The Boutique you can do here).