You’ve already started planning the big day (congrats, by the way)! And you’ve chosen your best pals to stand next to you at the altar. So now the tricky part? Picking the bridesmaid dresses your crew won’t totally hate.
Finding a dress style that matches your wedding day aesthetic and that your besties feel comfortable in is a challenge, no doubt! You’re dealing with different budgets, different body styles, and even different preferences. Not to mention, ya know, you’re planning all the rest of your wedding.
But don’t fret! We’re sharing our best tips on how to choose bridesmaid dresses for your entire party.
Do your research
The first thing you’ll need to do is your research. There are so many different styles to choose from! And we’re not even talking about colour or pattern, yet.
Consider bridesmaid dress length
You’ll want to think about the length of the dresses you want your bridesmaids to wear. If your wedding is on the casual side and you’re wanting your girls to show some leg, think about a cocktail length dress.
If you’re needing something that doesn’t quite show as much leg as a cocktail length, go for a tea length dress. They hit around mid calf and are a great way to still keep your attire a little more casual.
And if you’re planning on a formal affair, choose a floor length gown for your bridesmaids. They’ll all be showstoppers with a gown that just grazes the aisle.
Think about bridesmaid dress necklines
Along with colour or pattern, this may be one of the hardest parts when it comes to how to choose bridesmaid dresses.
There are so many styles to look at. Our biggest tip with this one? Make sure you and your bridal party keep an open mind when shopping for styles!
Here are the most popular bridesmaid dress necklines to look at:
Ah, the sweetheart neckline. This is the classic strapless neckline that dips just slightly in the front. It creates the outline of a heart shape, and it’s perfect for creating the illusion of curves along the bust. Or you know, showing off what you already have. This neckline is perfect for romantic, classic vibes on your wedding day.
- One shoulder
A more fashion forward, statement-making approach in the neckline. This one features an asymmetrical neckline with one single strap or sleeve that fits diagonally across the bust. Definitely a modern, glamorous choice. And always stunning!
This one does exactly what the name suggests. The neckline dips into a V shape which creates the shape of a narrow waist. It’s actually a more elegant and regal option. If you’re looking for something a little more bold and daring, check out the plunging neckline below.
The plunging neckline is similar to the v-neck, except it just … plunges deeper! This is a dress type for someone who’s not afraid to show a little skin. These are definitely statement-making dresses, so choose wisely based on your gown and the rest of your wedding day aesthetic.
Also called a bateau neckline, this one stops at the collarbone which gives such a romantic, ethereal mood to it. It has a wider opening that runs along the tops of the shoulders so the overall look of it is elegant and classic.
- Square neck
A square neckline sounds exactly like what the name says. It’s in the shape of a square, and definitely gives off a little retro, vintage vibe.
The illusion neckline uses sheer or semi-sheer fabric along the top of the bodice. It gives the illusion of a strapless dress, without it being…well, a strapless dress.
A scoop neckline does what it says! It scoops just a touch down the front to skim the top of the bust. This is a perfect dress for a flattering and feminine effect.
- Off the shoulder
Oh the gorgeous off the shoulder gown. When you think of the quintessential ball gown, you’re probably imaging an off the shoulder neckline. This one shows off the collarbone with straps or sleeves that rest on the tops of the arms right below the shoulders. It’s a gorgeously romantic dress style!
Be open and accepting when discussing budgets
Chances are your friends will have different budgets. But talking about money and budgets is always a sensitive topic when you’re discussing it with anyone regarding your wedding. If you’re open and honest from the beginning, you should be able to pull this off without a hitch.
Discussing budgets will give you more insight on where you’re able to shop when it comes to how to choose bridesmaid dresses. Talk one on one with your girls to not make anyone unnecessarily uncomfortable.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match
A popular trend over the last several years has been mixing and matching bridesmaid dresses throughout the bridal party.
The key to doing this successfully, and not having it look completely random, is keeping one element the same.
You can do this by choosing the same colour or same pattern and the same length. And then letting your bridal party choose the bridesmaid dress that best suits their body shape and their style preference.
This is an excellent way to make sure your bridesmaids get to choose something they love and feel comfortable in!
When should you order bridesmaid dresses
You’ll want to start shopping for bridesmaid dresses at least 7 or 8 months before your big day if you can.
Starting early will make sure everything is less stressful for everyone. Your bridesmaids will be able to budget accordingly earlier on. You’ll be able to spend a little more time finding the one. Plus, you may be able to snag a good sale or better deals if you start sooner rather than later.
Order your bridesmaid dresses around 6 months before the wedding to make sure everyone’s dress is ordered in the right style and in the right colour. Many colours have to be dyed to match the swatch so they need to be ordered in plenty of time!
You also need to order bridesmaid dresses earlier so each one has plenty of time to be altered correctly.
Where to buy bridesmaid dresses on the high street
If you’re looking to choose bridesmaid dresses or other occasion wear online, we’ve got you covered! Start shopping for your formal event wear here!