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A Bride’s Guide to Bridesmaid’s Dresses

Everything you need to know for bridesmaid dress-shopping with your ladies.


Basic etiquette:

  • Book an appointment beforehand. Designer gowns take two to three months to order, and another four to six weeks for any alterations. Ideally, you should book your appointment six months ahead of time.
  • Off the rack dresses usually sell out more quickly, so if you’re looking for a cheaper route it could also mean time is not on your side.
  • Bridesmaids usually buy their own dresses, *usually*. There may be exceptions, and this tradition may not be ideal for your wedding but be sure everyone is on the same page before the appointment.
  • Not all bridal party members must attend the shopping trip. If a few cannot make the appointment, just have them send you their measurements beforehand to be sure the dress will work in their size.


Things to keep in mind:

  • Dresses do not have to match! Unmatched-style bridesmaid’s dresses are trending and could be the best option for all your girls to feel confident on your wedding day. Your party members may already have a favorite dress that could fit in with your vision.
  • Have a set budget and be considerate of all members of your party. This can be a large expense depending on the style, material and location of purchase.
  • Make sure to factor the fittings, alterations, shoes and accessories into the budget. If you promise a cap to your bridesmaids, stick to it! Your girls will be budgeting for this expense, so do your best to minimize their stress. If you fall in love with a dress that is over budget it might be a good idea to offer subsidization.
  • Have a dress in mind before starting the trip. Having a general idea of what style and color palate you’re interested in will make your shopping trip easier and much less stressful.


Some pro-tips:

  • Place the order early. Collect all measurements from out-of-towners and order all the dresses at the same time. If you have multiple orders, you run the risk of having the dresses dyed in different groups, resulting in slightly different colors.
  • Find the right fit (for everyone in the wedding party). Keep in mind bridesmaid’s dresses often require a few sizes bigger than what everyone would normally wear. Especially for alterations, you’ll want to make sure to keep this on your radar.
  • Have fun! When you’re finished with your appointment, have a day on the town! Celebrate crossing off that checklist.

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