First off, lets be real. Women are not all the same size, shape or colour. But that's what makes us beautiful and unique right?! So when brides choose their bridesmaids, this is the first worry everyone has. They begin comparing each other, what length is best, what neckline is most flattering, what bits should they enhance, and what bits do they want to hide.
Some bridesmaids will be excited, want a plunge neckline or a leg slit, and some women will be nervous and want as much covered as possible.
As a bride, you have chosen your bridal party because these are your girls, your biggest supporters and confidantes. So before you decide on colour or dress styles, perhaps have a think about them first. Trust me, the last thing you want on your wedding morning is an unhappy bride tribe dampening the mood! It'll soak out the fun, and this day is all about love, not just for the person you're about to marry. Love your bridesmaids too, and let them be part of your decision. I guarantee it will work in your favour.
My redheaded, pale daughter will not thank you for putting her in orange, it will wash her out and make her look like a carrot (I have photo evidence from one Halloween!). But popping her in a burnt orange satin number would really compliment her skin tone and freckles. Equally, pastel pink on her pale skin will completely wash her out, but a cerise pink will really pop.
There are so many colour choices nowadays - our collection has over 150! - that only being able to offer one shade is a thing of the past! Colour palettes are absolutely your best option if you have girls of different skin tones and hair colours, and not to mention that they are so on trend too!
There is quite an array of choice here, but the common dress fabrics are satin, chiffon, jersey and Mikado. Each fabric holding its own benefits, and the time of year should play a key part in decision-making here too. Think about how comfortable each of your bridal party will feel with the thickness and fit of each material.
Satin - It is smooth and soft to the touch. It tends to drape with the body, meaning it’s good for fitted styles, but still has a lot of movement (think twirling on the dance floor). Most satin has a subtle sheen, meaning it will catch the light slightly. However, satin dresses are a little heavier than chiffon, and can show sweat easily.
Chiffon - Chiffon is very lightweight and flowing, meaning that it does not cling to the body and is very good for styles with a lot of draping. It can be a bit sheer, so you will often find it draped in multiple layers - a positive if wanting to hide any lumps or bumps. Chiffon does not have a distinct sheen, allowing delicate colors come through, and is ideal for Summer weddings, as its light weight will keep girls cool.
Jersey - A stretchy fabric with an easy drape and a matte finish. It has a very soft feel and a lot of bounce and swing, but can be a little clingy depending on the style. Best for casual weddings and perfect for the outdoors.
Mikado - This stiffer, blended fabric has a heavier weight, making it an ideal choice for structured dresses. It has a slight sheen, but also a subtle texture. Mikado is commonly thought of as a winter fabric with it being thicker.
This is a tricky topic if your bridal party are buying their own gowns.
Sit down with each bridesmaid individually and discuss what their budget is. Everyone will be in different financial positions and you should respect that. If you're not paying for them, you cannot expect someone else to pay an unreasonable amount if they are unable to.
Bridesmaid dresses can range hugely in price, and research by the bride is key here. Knowing your price range will give you a good standing. Contact all the local shops in your area and ask them first what price range their collection falls within.
Once you have found a few shops who are able to accommodate your budget, check out their website and social media platforms to see what they offer and if it fits in with your wedding theme and ideas.
Communication is vital to ensure that there are no hiccups on this journey. If there is a dress that you love but outside their price range, perhaps you could offer to chip in?
Trying to please a bridal party is one of the toughest challenges of wedding planning, and I have seen and heard some horrible stories of friends and family falling out over it. This process should be fun; a group of girls who love each other, dress shopping, often accompanied by a glass of bubbly too! Remember, they are here to support you on your Wedding Day. Reciprocate that love and support and ensure they are happy and comfortable too.