Choosing bridesmaids dresses can feel like a difficult task with trying keep all the bridesmaids happy while matching colours to your theme and planning for UK weather.
Do your research first to see what colours and styles you like – try Pinterest for inspiration as it’s a very useful resource, seek out manufacturers websites and go to a few local wedding fairs to get a general idea of what’s out there. There are many shops that post on Facebook with great tips and information, so follow some of them to get an insiders look at the market.
When consider your colour scheme, it is a good idea to select 2 or 3 shades of a colour so that you aren’t stuck with trying to find “the” colour for every single part of your planning! Go to a DIY paint store and pick up some colour swatches in the ones that you like – you can then see which tones work with others and which ones clash. The most important advice I can give is, “no-one is going to hold up the ribbon on your invites to see if it exactly matches the Men’s cravats!!”
About 10-12 months before your wedding, take no more than 2 of your trusted friends/Mum/bridesmaids to go with you to look at actual dresses. A lot of Bridal shops operate a “by appointment” service so make sure before you set off on the big shopping day!! (If you go with all your family and friends you will simply be bombarded by too many opinions so you will have a much more productive time if you restrict the number in the party for this initial viewing and engage others once you have narrowed down the search).
When choosing styles remember not every style looks good on every body shape and matching dresses for flower girls, teenagers and adult bridesmaids can be difficult. Your bridal shop should be able to advise you on the ranges that can accommodate different styles in the same fabric or have a range for all ages.
Look to be ordering your bridesmaids dresses about 6 months before the actual wedding date (although be careful as a few manufacturers have 5 month deliveries as the norm!). This allows you to know that the dresses will arrive about 2 months before the wedding, leaving enough time to get alterations done. It is very rare to not require ANY alterations, normally the hems will need shortening and perhaps a slight tweak to the bodice so ensure you enquire about alteration costs when you are ordering your dresses.
Always ask your bridesmaids to make sure that they are comfortable in their shoes and dress BEFORE the wedding – the earlier the better, as adjustments can always be made if you have time, so don’t leave it until the morning of the wedding.
Be cautious of buying online if you haven’t seen the bridesmaid dresses, especially if you are getting near to your wedding date as you may be disappointed in the quality and may need to time to send items back and find replacements.
Most of all, remember to enjoy your special day!