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Bridesmaid Dress Shopping: How To Do It Effectively

Your dream dress has been found, but now it's time to start another gown mission: The quest for finding the perfect bridesmaids dresses. It doesn't matter what your style of wedding is or how big the party; you need to find the right dress for your all your girls!

The first thing to do is do your research! The best place for this is obviously the Internet, where you can spend hours looking for inspiration, bookmark your favourites and share them with your bridesmaids to see what they think as they are the ones who will be ultimately wearing them. If you are flipping through magazines, tear out pages and add them to an inspiration board or scrapbook - this will help with inspiration and will also make a great keepsake.

When planning any part of the wedding, considering the budget is always important and bridesmaid dresses are no exceptions. If any of your friends have been in a bridal party before then they will know that the bridesmaids pay for their own dresses - but a gentle reminder is never a bad idea, unless you’d like to gift them their dresses yourself.

If however, you are concerned that your wedding may be a financial burden for one or possibly more of your bridesmaids, focus your dress search towards a more affordable range. Another good possibility is rental sites which let your girls choose high-end designer dresses in a wide range of styles and colours for the fraction of the price.

When it finally comes down to shopping, consider what kind of shopping experience will suit you the best. If you have very strong opinions then it's probably best if you shop alone or maybe just with one friend. If you a prefer a bit more input then take the whole gang and give them guidelines such as colour and fabric. You may want long flowing gowns, or shorter alternatives, but it might be worth considering the weather and venue here, as if it will be an outdoor event and the rain pours, no wedding umbrella is going to protect the precious bottoms of those lovely dresses!

Whatever you decide to go for, make sure it works with your theme and of course that all the girls are happy and feel amazing in them. Just keep in mind it normally takes two to three months for your order to arrive and also four to six weeks for any alterations that may need doing. Having a six-month cushion will give you and your bridesmaids a good amount of time to find, order and fit your dream dresses.

Image: Carolyn Coles under Creative Commons

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