When it comes to your wedding day, your word goes. Whatever venue you want, you should fight to get. Do you want to serve comfort food instead of the usual boring chicken breast? That’s all up to you. But when it comes to your bridesmaid dresses, you’ve got other people’s opinions to consider. Sure, it’s your big day and you’ve probably had a dream wedding party image in mind since you were young, but we also want to make sure our best people look and feel great—it is a celebration after all. So it’s important to consider your group of gals and their comfort levels when you shop for bridesmaid dress styles.
But there’s a big problem with shopping for the most beautiful dresses you can find, ones that any bridesmaid would gasp with amazement at: the price. Weddings can come with a pretty big price tag and bridesmaid dresses alone can cost several hundred dollars each, even before necessary alterations or accessories like jewelry and shoes.
Sure, your bridesmaids love you, but they shouldn’t have to decide between paying rent or a dress for your dream day. Clearly, there’s a lot you need to consider just around this single planning point on your to-do list. You have to find the perfect bridesmaid dresses without sacrificing too much of your precious time or alienating your bridesmaids, and, most of all, without sacrificing style. But this guide is here to help you make the right decision. So don’t pull your hair out just yet; here’s how to shop for bridesmaid dresses online without fuss or going full bridezilla.
Select a Color
When you shop for dresses online, you’ll see just about every style and color under the sun. So having a bridesmaid dress color in mind can help you find a jewel in a sea of wrong gowns. Use the other elements of the wedding to guide you, like the colors in your flowers or table settings. Your bridesmaids should fit right into your theme.
What if you want your each of your bridesmaids to wear a different color? Try a monochromatic look by sticking to shades in the same color like minty blue to teal, or even just neutral tones. You can also stick to a theme like jewel tones or pastels to make sure the colors don’t fight with each other. When shopping online, colors can vary so order some swatches to mix and match in person.
Select a Fabric
Once you have a set of colors to shop for, it’s much easier to the pinpoint the right gown style. Think about the formality, location and time of year to help you find the right look. Beach wedding? Long, flowy wrap dresses would work as well as fun, short styles. Winter wedding in a ballroom? Opt for full-length, structured gown in a specialty fabric like satin back crepe or sequins.
An easy trick is to refer to your wedding dress, which you should absolutely pick before you even think about your bridesmaids. Look at the detailing in the veil, sleeves, and train. Shop for dresses that have similar detailing, just pared down. You never want the bridal party to overwhelm your dress. Once you have the fabric and color figured out, you can choose one style or let your bridesmaids choose from a range of necklines and silhouettes that fit and flatter each person.
You’ve narrowed down your choices to a select set of colors and styles. Now you need to make sure that the dresses actually fit your girls. Buying dresses online can be tricky for fit so every one of your bridesmaids should have their measurements taken by a professional, including their bust, height, natural waistline, and hips. Even if your girls are planning on slimming down for the big day, as you may very well do, it’s still best to order dresses based on advance measurements now, even if a little slight hemming needs to be done later. It’s almost always easier to alter a dress that is too loose rather than too tight.
Flexible Shopping and Ordering Times
The best place to shop for bridal and bridesmaid dresses online is with a flexible retailer, ideally a store that sells online as well as in brick-and-mortar boutiques you can visit anytime. A bonus would be if they also have a try-at-home option for the bridesmaids not in the same town. How else would you know if the dresses fit? Home try-on offers also help you to avert a major online shopping disaster: the dresses might look different in person than they do online.
Some online retailers even offer concierge stylists, who can help create the perfect mix of dresses based on your wedding vision. At a minimum, you should be able to call and talk to a human about the dress details. A good shop will be able to ask you questions that you didn’t even know to ask. One important piece of information is how long the dresses take to be made and shipped. There may be some in-stock options but most bridesmaid dresses are still made-to-order and can take up to 16 weeks before they are shipped. It’s ideal to order bridesmaid dresses at least 6 months before the wedding.
Where to Shop
So now you know how to shop. The last thing we can recommend is where to shop for a bridesmaid dress online. Brides and besties alike love Brideside for its amazing selection of gorgeous dresses, from the chic and casual to the oh-so-elegant. Easily shop online or try at home. Our style team can help over the phone or text or meet in person in one of our showrooms. Brideside just launched a line of affordable bridesmaid dresses perfect for mixing and matching. So if you want your wedding pictures to be full of the most stunning dresses you can find, dresses beautiful enough for your best girlfriends and appropriate for the occasion, visit Brideside and start shopping today.