Close friends and family members are an important component of a couple's wedding day. Individuals who are especially close to the bride and groom are often asked to become members of the wedding party, which means a bride-to-be will be asking one or more women to play an integral role in the celebration. To set these ladies apart from other guests at the wedding, they are often asked to wear coordinating bridesmaid gowns. Selecting a style and color that is fitting to the unique people of the bridal party can be challenging, but it's not impossible.
As if choosing your maid of honor wasn't tricky enough, you now must make a host of other decisions as well, all while playing stylist to the wedding party. Fashion sense is as unique as a fingerprint, and it is unlikely the bridesmaids will be able to agree on every aspect of the gowns they will be asked to wear. However, there are ways to narrow down the choices and be as accommodating as possible to their needs.
The body shapes and sizes of the women in your bridal party will be different, and this should be kept in mind when selecting a gown style and cut. There are certain dress shapes that are universally flattering, such as A-line. Try to avoid gowns that are extremely form-fitting, as only a few of the bridesmaids may be able to pull off this look successfully. The remainder could be left feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable. Plus, form-fitting clothing will be restrictive and can be difficult to move around in -- particularly considering the gown will be worn for an entire day.
As a bride you may have a colorscape in your mind for the wedding. But what looks good in table linens and flowers is not always the right choice for clothing. Take the skin tones and hair colors of your bridesmaids into consideration before choosing a dress. Green- and yellow-hued dresses may not look nice on women with olive skin tones, while very pale colors may wash out women with fair skin. Those with dark skin may need a brighter-colored dress.
It is an honor to be asked to be part of a bridal party, but that honor can be very expensive. The bridesmaids are expected to pay for their wardrobe, hair styling, and makeup, as well as parties and gifts for the happy couple. As a courtesy to the women who already will be investing a considerable amount to be a part of your wedding, make every effort to select a gown that is affordable. There are plenty of retailers offering stylish options that may not be as expensive as some specialty stores.
Once you've decided on the basic elements, consider the following suggestions to find a gown that the bridal party will enjoy.
* Take one or two bridesmaids shopping with you. Try to select ones with opposite body types so you can see how the gown looks on a woman who is thin and one who may be more full-figured.
* Think about choosing separates. The bridesmaids can mix and match tops and bottoms to find a fit that works. This may enable a woman with a larger bust size to select a top with supportive straps while another bridesmaid can opt for strapless. Many stores have increased their inventory of separates because of their growing popularity.
* Choose one color and then let the bridesmaids choose the style they like the best for themselves. The look will still be cohesive, but it won't be boring with one type of gown. Also, each bridesmaid will be comfortable with a gown that flatters her shape.
* Go with a tea-length gown. These gowns have become quite trendy and are less formal and cumbersome than full-length gowns. Plus, there is a greater likelihood that the gown can be used again at a later date.
* Purchase the bridesmaid gowns at the same store where you will be purchasing your wedding gown. Most shops will offer a courtesy discount if the bridesmaid gowns are purchased at the same store.
Ensuring bridesmaids are happy in their gowns takes a little work but will be well worth the effort.