“Bridesmaid dress shopping can sometimes be as overwhelming as shopping for the bridal gown!” says the Bridal Boutique by MaMe owner Melissa Estess.
Recently, I accompanied my newly engaged friend and her six other bridesmaids to pick out our dresses for her upcoming nuptials. While on the outing, it became extremely apparent that this trip is much more than just deciding on a dress. Many of the same factors that go into the process of finding bridesmaid dresses mirror those of the bride shopping for her own dream dress.
Lucky for our group, we all have similar tastes and preferences when it comes to outfits we wear and our vision for our friend's wedding. However, this is not the case for every bridal party, especially those groups with dominant opinions and objections.
Together with Estess of the Bridal Boutique by MaeMe, we’ve come up with tips and trends for shopping for the ultimate bridesmaid dress.
- Do your research: When it comes to your bridesmaid’s dresses, season, venue and color scheme all come into play. Would you prefer long dresses or short? Are you leaning more towards a dark color because of the winter or a light, airy color because it will be springtime? These are all questions you have to ask yourself before including your bridal party. Their opinions matter, but ultimately it has to flow with the style of your wedding.
- Schedule a pre-visit: Before inviting your entire bridal party to trek to the store and scope out the dresses, it may be a good idea to take all of your research and your ideas – plus mom or the maid of honor – and look through the multitude of available designs . This way, you can gather your thoughts and decide upon options you like best before bringing everyone in to try them on.
- Remember body types: No two women are alike and that is exactly how it should be; however, this will make finding a flattering dress for everyone all the more important. Estess says a dress that accentuates the natural waist is the most flattering for most body types. Also keep in mind if one of your maids is or becomes pregnant, she too will need a flattering silhouette.
- Don’t wait to order: When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, Estess cautions against waiting to order the goods. “Bridesmaid dresses take three to four months production time, so it’s best to start shopping six to nine months in advance to allow enough time for the gowns to arrive and alterations completed before the wedding date,” says Estess. Sometimes dress sizes can be tricky when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, undoubtedly alterations are necessary and time must be allotted for the changes.
The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe owner also shared some of the trends seen this season in bridesmaid dresses.
Most ordered fabric: Chiffon – a lightweight, plain-woven sheer fabric
Most popular fabric this season: Lace
Most flattering: Natural waist silhouettes
Growing in popularity: More elaborate styles featuring sequins, beading and lace – not your standard A-line satin dresses.
Jim Hjelm bridesmaid collection
Do you have favorite looks for your bridal party attire? Share your recommendations and stories in the comments below or email Kelly Massicot at Kelly@myneworleans.com.