BRIDAL WEEK: Bridesmaid Dresses
Weddings are a magical, hectic, wonderful nightmare, as far as I and anyone planning them is concerned. You have the venue, you said yes to the dress, you tasted every terrible hors devours, you picked a song to dance to for your mother, your father, your friends, your soon to be spouse, oh my god, there’s sure to be a million and one things left and what do you know? Bridesmaids.
Now, it’s all fun and good to go the traditional route of picking similar wedding dresses so that the evil spirits that could come and haunt your wedding will be confused as to who the real bride and groom are, and might in fact haunt some other poor sob who showed up in the same dress. That’s right. Back in the day when weddings were communal and spirits were more likely to haunt you—apparently—brides and grooms would have their bridal party and groomsmen dress similarly to them to confuse the would be poltergeists that crashed the event. If you’re not too worried about ghosts, mayhap you go a different route?
There’s a few questions you should ask yourself when picking out the bridesmaid dresses of your Big Event.
1. What’s going to fit your bridesmaids?
We all come in a variety of shapes, heights, colors, and styles and while this big day is about you and your partner, you’re going to have those photos forever, and the people that are flanking you should make you look good. Pick something flattering, more universal, and possibly muted. Me? I like the loud colors, but sticking to something as classy as white—again, back to tricking those ghosts we mentioned up above—or as simple and flattering as black can save you a lot of headache. Softer colors in a rose, a baby blue, or perhaps a yellow also tend to give the wedding some flavor without overwhelming. No poofy shoulders, no gaudy ribbons, no weird ruching. That velour wine colored dress of the late 70s just does not need to make a comeback. Floor length dresses are nice, their formal, but a mid-calf is comfortable and easier to find. Let them pick out something simple, perhaps a belt or a shawl or a bolero jacket to give something of a unique twist and a sense of control over their outfit. You would not believe how easily this tempers them to agreeing to the dress, feeling better at the wedding, and diving in to help you make your big day back to being about you. *snap snap*
2. What’s a budget?
Say you scoured the internet, the malls, the boutiques, and you found the PERFECT bridesmaid dress that compliments your vision of what the Big Day is going to be: it’s the right color, the right fabric, the right fit, beautiful! You’re girls will love it. Here’s the thing, if that dress only comes from a small boutique, the back orders are going to be a year and a half out, they charge extra for plus sized women, and it’s going to cost your girls 500+ without shipping and handling? That’s what we call a Dick Move. Hey, that might suit you all well and good, but make sure you keep it in the back of your head, especially if some of these bridesmaids are coming from out of town, out of state, or even out of the country! If it’s exactly what you want, hey, go for it. But just keep it brewing there at the back of your head. Don’t feel shy about checking out ModCloth and all their adorable dresses. And if you find something you love at Target, heck yes, you’re a fashionista and a money savor? Points to you, girl!
3. When to shut up and deal
Listen, this is more for the bridesmaids than the bride herself, but, ladies, we all know the horror story of a terrible bridesmaid outfit. Whether it was impossible to find, it doesn’t fit right, or it’s just a giant gaudy mess? You know what you do in that situation? You slide into that monstrosity and you work it. This isn’t about you. It’s about your dearest friend, sister, cousin, what‑ever celebrating a big, momentous occasion. It’s about love. You put those shoulders back, touch up your makeup, and you strut. The more confident you are, the more at ease you are, and then you're doing everything to make sure this is the bride’s best day. It’s exhausting, and it’s been a journey to get there. Put aside any ego and support the woman who picked you to be part of her bridal party, even if it is just to mess with potential body-snatching ghosts.
Take a look at our Pinterest for more ideas on Bridesmaid Dresses!