Deciding on my bridesmaids was very special. In a way, it was like a walk down memory lane. Together, my eight bridesmaids represented the different parts of my life, from my school years to my stint on The Bachelor. Of course, the thought of juggling eight different opinions, styles, and personalities was intimidating – but that was all part of the fun. Here’s how I made sure everyone felt included while maintaining my sanity!
Take Their Opinions Into Account
We’ve all been in that wedding where we were forced to wear that dress. You know, the $300 satin monstrosity that hasn’t seen the light of day since you stuffed into the back of your closet after the wedding. I didn’t want that to happen with my bridesmaids so I invited them into the decision-making process. Now, you want to be careful with this because you don’t want to be overwhelmed with opinions. But it’s always fun to go on a shopping day with your girls. You can pop some bubbly and sit back while they model for you. At the same time, you already have a sense for what they like and absolutely hate. No matter what you decide, they’ll appreciate you taking the time to hear their fashion thoughts and opinions.
Be Budget Conscious
Ugh, nobody likes thinking about money! I used to work in a bridal salon as a consultant and I witnessed countless brides struggling to balance their budgets against their dreams. When it came to my bridesmaids, I was aware that they would be sacrificing their time and money to be in my wedding. As such, I did everything I could to show them my appreciation. For your maids, be sensitive to their unique situations. Maybe one is in school right now and can’t swing a super expensive bridesmaid dress. Overall, the most important thing is that these women are in your life – not whether they’re wearing a designer gown.
Find compromises, like renting your bridesmaid dresses. Your friendship is the most important thing and should come first- always!
Go For Different Necklines
As a bridal designer, I had a vision for my wedding. I knew I wanted my girls in long, flowing dresses in a particular shade of pinkish red that would feel fashion-forward yet romantic. However, my bridesmaids had different body types. When I used to be a consultant, I loved helping women discover their best styles for themselves. Naturally, I wanted to do the same for my bridesmaids! Even though the dresses were all the same color and similar in style, I picked a unique neckline tailored to each girl’s frame. At the end of the day, the most important thing was that they could dance all night long next to me without worrying about wardrobe malfunctions.
If you want a unified look, you can still get one by doing the same thing. Nowadays, there are tons of bridesmaid designers that offer dresses with different necklines. This way, you can highlight each girl’s features while giving them any support they may need. For example, if you have a busty bridesmaid, you can put her in a style with straps – she’ll get lift and will still be able to wear a bra.
Just Set Perimeters
Another bridesmaid fashion approach is to take the non-approach! Trust your girls? Want a mix and match look? Let your ladies pick their own frocks. Of course, you’ll want to set some perimeters (the last thing you want is to have one girl in light blue chiffon while another one is in navy charmeuse). Send them inspirational photos and a few guiding principles, like hue and length. And, just so you don’t induce any night terrors relating to bridesmaid dress disasters, ask to approve the gowns ahead of time and reserve your veto power! But don’t worry – your girls have great taste and, most of all, they want to make you happy.
At The End Of The (Wedding) Day
Looking back on my wedding planning, I don’t remember the stresses or the little things that went wrong. I remember my closest girlfriends holding my hands on the dance floor and raising a glass to Chris and I. So guess what? No matter how tricky it might get to navigate the various dynamics with your bridesmaids, when it’s over, all you’ll think about are those happy blurs of dancing, hugging, and celebrating.