You'll Love It and You Can Wear It Again!
How many weddings have you stood in? How many times have you heard the phrase "I know it's expensive, but you can wear it again!"? For many girls a bridesmaids dress is proof that no good deed goes unpunished. Isn't it enough that you have agreed to stand up for your girlfriend? Why must your act of goodwill be sealed in lemon meringue taffeta?
To all the brides-to-be, here are a few things you should think about when choosing your bridesmaids dresses:
1. Price DOES matter.
Remember that your bridesmaids are not only being asked to buy the dress, but also the shoes and the undergarments that go with it. A word of advice if I may - be considerate. Is it really reasonable to ask a friend to purchase a $350 dress, a $100 pair of shoes and a brand new plunging, strapless bra and Spanx? Taking into consideration the total cost of what you are asking your bridesmaids to spend is just good manners. Just as in all other details of the wedding, a budget is a must! Take a poll and see what each girl is willing to spend on a dress and shoes before you begin to shop. This bridesmaids’ budget is something your girls will appreciate. If you pick out dresses that are outside of the agreed to budget, you should be willing to pick up the difference for each dress.
Look at the BIG picture when it comes to the financial expectations for your attendants. Bridesmaids duties include buying the dress and accessories, hosting a bridal shower, attending any pre-parties thrown in your honor, and in many cases paying for their own hair and make-up the day of the wedding. When you begin the process of picking out your bridesmaids dresses, keep in mind that other “new” items will need to be purchased along the road to your wedding. Financial consideration by a bride towards her bridesmaids is not only the right thing to do, it keeps any strain that may be put on your friends pocketbooks in check.
2. Let them have a say!
Please believe me when I tell you that NO ONE will wear a lime green and brown floor length gown again! And, no, they won't pay to have it shortened either. Before you ask your bridesmaids to pay for a dress, think about the wearability of the dress. Sure, it may look great in your pictures but you have to ask yourself, “Would I even wear it again!?” No one is saying that all bridesmaids dress should be "little black dresses"; however, if the dress costs more than $100, it would be nice if it wasn't a total write off. A great way to please everyone is to pick a color and let your bridesmaids choose their own style of dress. Set parameters so no one goes short while another goes long. Certainly you should have veto power over all choices. However, letting your bridesmaids choose their own style is a good compromise because not only is everyone more likely to pick a dress that looks smashing on them, they are certainly more likely to wear a dress again that they have chosen.
3. Think nationally.
If your bridesmaids live out of town, consider using a national chain like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, or J. Crew. It is always easier for a girl to buy a dress in her home town than it is to make a special trip to be fitted for a dress. You can also simply choose a recognized name brand such as Waters and Waters or Jenny oYo that can be found at most stores. Designers have one color palette per season and most dresses can be done in any of the season’s colors.
When choosing your bridesmaids dresses, the word of the day should always be: consideration. Put yourself in the 5” leopard heels with the big red bow and you may just change your mind!! If, it doesn't change your mind, consider getting each of your bridesmaids one of our favorite books: 101 Uses for a Bridesmaid Dress!