9 important things to remember when going shopping with your bridesmaids.
Let’s face it; as much as we love shopping, finding the perfect dress can be a nightmare and finding the perfect dress to suit a group of your friends is going to be even more stressful. Different body shapes, tastes, personalities and styles are all factors that are going to need some serious consideration. It seems like Bridesmaid dress shopping mightn’t be as easy, or as fun, as you’d first thought. Don’t panic too much as we have some tips for you that will make your bridesmaid dress shopping experience that much easier.
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Do your research
The internet is an invaluable tool for the modern bride; so be sure to use it. Research the kinds of dresses that are available, what the current trends are and most importantly: what kind of styles you like. If you have some sort of idea of what you are looking for in advance you will avoid a whole lot of aimless wandering.
Discuss a budget
Money can be a difficult subject but try your best to address the issue of budget as soon as possible- especially if you would like your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses. If you intend on buying your bridesmaids their dresses then a budget should still be outlined as spending can often get out of control. We know you are all excited but try to reign it in- don’t forget you still have to get the alterations, the shoes, the jewelry, the hair, the make-up…
Book your bridesmaids
Just because they are excited to be your bridesmaids does not mean you can expect them to play hookie for you. Discuss shopping days and dates for dress fittings well in advance so that your bridesmaids can book the time off. When everyone knows where they stand you can plan to make a whole day of it; nothing finishes off a day of shopping quite like a nice meal and some wine!
Get in early
Ideally you need to start shopping for your bridesmaids dresses at least 8 months before the wedding. This will give you ample time to get your budget together; get all of your bridesmaids on side and sort out any dress malfunctions. By giving yourself more time than you think you need you’ll have compensated for the fact that there could be shipping delays or that one bridesmaid decided to go and get herself pregnant.
No nonsense knickers
This should probably go without saying, but warn your bridesmaids to wear appropriate underwear when going to try on dresses. Nude strapless bras teamed with nude control pants are a combination that will have them ready for every dress eventuality. The appropriate undies will allow you to see how the dresses will fit on the day. After all; no silk dress sits well on a lacy, padded bra.
Boutique bridal party
If you have your heart set on buying all of your dresses from a boutique store then try to avoid taking all your bridesmaids with you on the first visit. Book an initial appointment with your mum and closest gal-pal to whittle the choices down. Once you’ve decided on your favourites book another appointment with the rest of the girls so that they can try on your faves and see what suits them.
No bridesmaid is going to feel comfortable in a gown if she has turned up to the shopping trip having just rolled out of bed. Encourage your bridesmaids to make an effort with their hair and makeup on your pre-planned day of shopping - if they already feel confident in how they look they’ll be more receptive to trying on different types of dresses, and you’ll have a better idea as to the completed look.
Head to toe
While we are on the subject of styling; don’t forget the footwear. While it is a good idea to wear comfy shoes when going shopping, ask your bridesmaids to bring a pair of heels that they would be able to comfortably wear on the day. These shoes will give you an idea as to how the dresses will hang when the bridesmaids have their wedding shoes on.
You’ve already been warned about budget, but don’t forget- this might not include alteration or shipping costs. Never underestimate how costly alterations can be; especially if one of your friends has decided on a new, high-intensity exercise regime 2 months before the wedding!