How to make shopping for bridesmaids dresses less stressful

Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid Dresses

It’s an aspect of planning your dream wedding that you may not have given an awful lot of thought – but shopping for attire for your bridesmaids, maid of honor and flower girls can be quite a challenge! Whether it’s young relatives throwing a tantrum about something you want them to wear or a group of your girlfriends who are all different shapes, sizes and coloring and can’t agree on a style that suits them all, there can be potential testing times ahead. And you thought the most stressful thing you had to worry about was the seating chart! (it is actually) But with the right approach, you can sidestep some of the stress and make bridesmaid dress shopping a fun event for everyone involved. At the end of the day though, you have to remember, this is YOUR wedding. And when you agree to be a part of someone’s bridal party, you are agreeing to the dress, the showers, the parties, the gifts, hair & make up, etc. It’s an investment. 

Research Online First 

Before taking the first step by getting everyone to take time out of their schedules to get together, and go dress shopping, spend some time doing research online so that you already have a good idea of the style, color, shape, and brand that you want so you are not walking into the store blindly with all those opinions floating around. (Remember the scene in Bridesmaids?) “It’s a Fritz Bernaise Ladies” You could start by doing a mood board using a tool like Canva – colors, shapes, fabrics you are thinking of and ask for feedback from the ladies. That way, you get an early heads up on certain shades and styles that are a definite dislike from your bride tribe. Dress boutiques can be quite overwhelming with lots of choices, so being able to go in there with a clear idea of what you want and rough agreement from those you want to wear it makes a big difference. You can even go one step further and shop online. Check out the 23 top places to shop for Bridesmaid Dresses. Sites like Princessly are great for younger bridesmaids and flower girls, and for older ones online department stores can be a good option for access to lots of labels in one place. 

Start Early

Time is always a factor in every aspect of planning a wedding. From choosing wedding rings to booking a wedding planner, venue or photographer to buying a dress and picking out bridesmaid dresses. Start as early as you can. If you are ordering dresses from a bridal boutique rather than buying off the rack, anything from 12 – 16 weeks is a normal wait time for the dresses to get shipped, once you place the order. That means, you should really be giving yourself at least 6 months to order, arrive and still have time to alter. Even if you’re buying from a department store, you’ll need to allow enough time for alterations. The sooner you can decide and get the order placed, the less stressful the process will be. When wedding planning, it is ALWAYS best to stay ahead of the timeline. 

Think About The Budget

No one likes thinking about budgets and talking about money when it comes to weddings. It’s a touchy subject, and the least bit  romantic. Yet most people have to consider it. Be clear from the beginning on what you can afford to spend on bridesmaids dresses and who you are expecting to pay for them. If your bridesmaids are paying or contributing, then you must agree on a price with them and stick to it. Don’t look at gowns outside your price range in case you fall in love with something that isn’t affordable. We all do. And don’t forget, you have to still consider shoes, accessories, and hair and make up. 

With some planning in advance, you can make the experience pleasant for all.


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