How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses: 17 Helpful Tips

You had probably hit up the prom dress shops in the past when you were looking at prom dresses in high school. It’s a great start! Now that you’ve hopefully tried on several wedding dresses and found the right one for you, it’s time to find your bridesmaids’ dresses. What do you want your bridesmaids to wear? Ball gowns?  Evening gowns? Follow these tips on how to choose bridesmaid dresses when shopping around in bridal shops and boutiques for bridesmaid dresses. Additionally, find tips for staying on budget and options for money-saving, which your bridesmaids will appreciate.

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses: Tips

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses: Tips

1. Group Chat

Before your shopping trip, set up a messaging group between you and your bridesmaids. This will allow for sending pictures and ideas to one another about possible bridesmaid dresses. You can instantly get thoughts on a dress style from others.

2. A Good Fit

If you are fortunate enough to have bridesmaids all around the same size, that’s great. If not, don’t stress over it. When picking a dress, be conscious of making all your ladies comfortable in their dresses with their body types and skin colors. Ask for suggestions on classic styles from the store.

3. Color

You are probably insistent on the color matching the theme, and that’s normal.  However, please think about the season during which you will have your wedding.  If it’s winter, you may want to stick to dark colors and lighter colors in the summer. Bring some examples of bouquet ribbons or pictures of the wedding colors to find the exact match with the dresses.

4. Length

Typically, a knee-length cocktail dress will be a pretty safe choice for many of your ladies’ body types and will let them wear it again. However, make sure that your length matches the formality of your wedding.

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses: Question to Ask at Dress Shops

5. When will my dress be ready?

From the flower girl to the bride, all the dresses need to be in on time for your event, but it can take three months or more for a shop to get your dress. Talk this out with your consultant and, if you can, sign a contract that they will have your dress in by a specific date. This is one thing that definitely cannot be late.

6. Can I get a fabric swatch of my dress?

If you need to shop elsewhere for shoes and accessories, you’ll probably want to match everything exactly to the dress you have in mind. Carrying around this little square of fabric will let you match everything precisely and let you know exactly what your dress will look like in all kinds of lighting. Maybe it looked good in the shop’s fluorescent lights, but how does it look in harsh afternoon sunlight? If it doesn’t look good and you’re planning an outdoor event, it won’t be the dress for you.

7. Do you offer bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride’s dresses, and suits?

If bridal salons have all of the attire you will need for your event; you’ll be able to shop at just one store. This can save you time, and some stores may give discounts for group purchases.

8. Can you include all of the details?

Does the dress shop you are considering also provide shoes, hats, gloves, and other accessories? Sometimes a store can even order these accessories for you, and they’ll all be from the same designer so that everything ties together perfectly.

9. Do you do alterations?

This is perhaps the most critical question you can ask, especially if you are purchasing bridal dresses. Anything can happen between the day you are buying a dress and the day you actually need it. They’ll definitely charge you a fee, but it may be cheaper than going to a private seamstress or sewist.

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses: Tips to Save Money

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses: Tips to Save Money

10. Accessorize

When looking at wedding dresses, brides generally fall into the trap of thinking they need to incorporate all of their wedding colors into the dress’s fabric. This is simply not the case. Buy a simple dress, all in one color, in the primary color of your wedding. Use accessories to spruce up the outfit and bring in some of the other colors of your wedding. If your colors are purple and silver, buy purple dresses and have your bridesmaids wear silver jewelry. Jewelry can be used to tie colors that would fit into the color scheme in a fun way. This is an original way for each bridesmaid to personalize their wedding day look.

If you can’t find jewelry in your wedding colors, include that color in the bouquet or have your bridesmaids carry a clutch purse down the aisle instead of a bouquet. For more tips on wedding jewelry, check it out here.

11. Color Matters

Speaking of color, make sure that you choose colors that are classics, such as blues, greens, purples, and blacks. These colors will look timeless on your bridesmaids and match well with most complexions. Choosing the “it” color for the season will inevitably increase the price of the dresses. If you select the color that is popular in the season, be careful because it may clash with certain skin types and cost you more because it’s in high demand. Avoid using reds, yellows, and oranges unless everyone’s skin tone will complement these tones.

12. Dress Length

Short dresses will generally cost you less than their longer counterparts because you’re paying for less material. Your bridesmaids will have more chances to wear a shorter cocktail dress to other occasions than they will a floor-length gown.

13. Let Your Bridesmaids’ Styles Shine!

A cool way to present your bridesmaids’ attire at your wedding is to let them style themselves (as long as it follows your color scheme and theme, of course). This allows your bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dress and spend the amount they want. Be sure to give general ideas for what the dress should entail as guidelines for them to follow. For example, having the dress in a certain color or be a certain length, but the rest remains up to them. It’s going to look unique when all the bridesmaids stand together in slightly different styles and provide some uniformity.

14. Different Fabrics

Think outside of the box when it comes to fabrics for your bridesmaids’ dresses. Try out different fabrics that might not be the norm for bridesmaid’s dresses. For less rigid looking material, choose options that will flow more beautifully on your bridesmaids, such as silk, thin lace, or satin, which will save you money and look better on your bridesmaids. Consider where your wedding will be located and match the fabric of the dresses appropriately to it. For example, cotton dresses with sashes would be very fitting for a beach wedding.

15. Don’t Shop at the Bridal Shop  

Steer clear of dresses labeled as bridal dresses or bridesmaid’s dresses. These labels will increase the price, hoping to lure customers in and think those dresses are the only options. Buying a dress from a bridal shop is almost always more expensive. Actively shopping at department stores instead is an easy way to save money without too much thought. Department stores offer more affordable deals and carry a much more extensive selection and style of dresses for you and your bridal party. You’ll be sure to find the dresses you like. Many department stores will also offer free tailoring, so your bridesmaids will be able to have their dress fit perfectly.

16. Sales/Discount Coupons/Rewards Clubs

A great idea is to take advantage of sales when stores have them. Sometimes stores will put specific color dresses on sale because they’re no longer in season, but perhaps that particular color goes with your wedding theme! Many stores offer discount coupons and free membership rewards clubs that provide you with even more discounts just for signing up.

17. Online Shopping

While it may seem risky to shop for dresses without being able to try them on, the internet is full of crazy discounts that are worth checking out. If you decide to go this route, make sure you’re ordering the dresses in a timely manner so that you can return or exchange them.


These tips will definitely come in handy when picking out bridesmaids dresses. Selecting these dresses shouldn’t be stressful or difficult; it should be fun and exciting!

We partner with various affiliate sites, like Amazon, from time to time to assist our users in planning their events more quickly. If purchases are made, we receive a small commission.

Leave a Comment