Being a bridesmaid at your friend’s or sister’s wedding is a coveted role for most young girls. However, this position of honor also requires a bit of dressing up so that the bridesmaids stand apart while also complementing the bride. This is perhaps why shopping for bridesmaid dresses is as important as shopping for the bridal gown itself.
8 Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Mistakes You're Probably Making
Bridesmaid dress shopping should be a fun, enjoyable part of the wedding planning process. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Sometimes bridesmaid dress shopping turns out to be a stressful experience--probably because there too many details to keep in mind. From the bride’s expectations to the bridesmaids' individual choices, there's a lot of factors to consider before purchasing the dress. That's why you don't want to add to the stress by making these 8 common mistakes while bridesmaid dress shopping...read on!
Mistake #1: You're not wearing the right underwear
Bridesmaid dress shopping inevitably requires trying out different options to see what looks best on you. Since you probably don't know the color, cut, or fabric of the dress that is going to fit you best, it's a good idea to wear nude underwear to avoid anyone seeing your favorite pair of neon pink panties outside of the dressing room (don't worry, we all have a pair).
Secondly, it is also a good idea to either wear a strapless bra or carry one in your purse so that you don’t have to hesitate before trying out a strapless or off-shoulder bridesmaid dress.
Mistake #2: You're the only one sharing your opinion
If there is more than one bridesmaid in a bridal party, it is necessary that choices and preferences of each of them are heard.
If you are one of the bridesmaids, you should make sure that you are not the only one voicing your opinions on what will suit you best. Be sure to listen to the other bridesmaids on their thoughts, too. The bride should take everyone’s opinion into consideration before picking out the dress or dresses that the squad will be debuting.
Mistake #3: You're brushing off the bride's opinion
It's an important day for the bride, so her opinion matters most. While you are always free to voice your thoughts regarding the bridesmaids’ dresses, it is always the bride who should have the final say.
If you do not agree with the bride’s opinion, you may gently suggest an alternative. However, rejecting the bride’s opinion altogether is simply rude.
Mistake #4: You're not speaking up at all about what you do and do not like
Bridesmaid dresses are often so lovely that they make the bridesmaid look and feel beautiful. While it is not recommended to be bossy around the bride or hijack the entire bridesmaid dress shopping trip for your own benefit, it is also a mistake not to voice your opinion at all.
It will be immensely helpful for the bride to know what you like and dislike. Your opinion does matter and will help ease the decision-making process for her while also ensuring that you get a dress that you love.
Mistake #5: You view being a bridesmaid as a chore, not an honor
Being a bridesmaid is one of the highest honors that a bride can bestow upon her friends or sisters. It is a privilege that the bride wants you to be the one to stand beside her on such a big day! Although the bride is relying on you to make her big day a memorable one too, that should be viewed as a special duty, not a chore.
If you are someone who views being a bridesmaid a burden, you may need to adjust your attitude or reconsider the position. Either put on your game face and put the bride's interests first, or have an honest conversation with the bride. Tell her that you would rather step away from being a bridesmaid and support her by being a guest at the wedding. It is better for you to save your relationship and forfeit the role than wasting time disagreeing about how you can fulfill bridesmaid duties.
Mistake #6: You're not transparent about what you can and can't afford
Just like there are some bridesmaids who do not speak up about what they like and don’t like in their dress, there are also some others who hesitate in confronting the bride about the price of the dress. Everyone's financial situation is different, so choosing a dress may be in budget for some bridesmaids while out of budget for others.
Rather than feeling bad about spending money you don't have and holding a grudge against the bride, it is better to be transparent about your budget with the bride from the start.
Mistake #7: You're complaining about the dresses, prices, shops, etc.
The bride has a lot on her plate when it comes to wedding planning: her gown, bridesmaids apparel, grooms wear, the list goes on. So let's be considerate of the bride's stress levels, ladies!
It is important to be transparent with the bride and let her know what you do and don't like, what you aren't comfortable wearing, and what is in your budget. However, there is a fine line between voicing concerns and constantly complaining. Complaining is annoying and doesn't help any situation, but it most certainly stresses the bride out more. Remember that your goal as a bridesmaid is to ease the bride's stress, not add to it!
Mistake #8: You're adding to the bride's stress
The role of a bridesmaid is to make the bride’s entire wedding experience easier by helping her out wherever she needs it. If you are making any of the above 7 mistakes while bridesmaid dress shopping, you are actually adding to the bride’s stress.
Don’t let the bride regret her decision of choosing you as her bridesmaid. Be supportive of her and encourage her to make good choices through constructive feedback and minimal complaining.
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid while shopping for bridesmaid dresses, here are some handy tips on how you can choose the best bridesmaid dresses. You'll be able to find something that fits your look and fits into the bride's vision for the big day.
Tips on Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
There are few little things here and there that bridesmaids don't think about while bridesmaid dress shopping, but we do! We've all been bridesmaid dress shopping before, so we know a thing or two about making the process easier for you and everyone involved.
Tip #1: Look at the bride’s Pinterest board for inspiration
If you are not sure what kind of a wedding the bride is planning, it is always a good idea to check out her Pinterest board to see what she is envisioning for the big day. This will help you pick a bridesmaid dresses that will fit your personal preference as well as fit the bride's vision!
For example, if the bride is planning a beach wedding, she is sure to have pinned some beach-themed wedding décor and ideas to her board. Look for flowy bridesmaid dresses and consider short dresses, too!
Tip #2: Ask the bride herself what she’s looking for
Undoubtedly, the final decision regarding bridesmaid dresses will be taken up by the bride. However, to help her out in making a choice, you can always communicate with her and find out what she has in mind. You can work accordingly and find the dress that is in line with her preferences. If she doesn't already have a wedding Pinterest board, ask if she has pictures from magazines or any other research she can show you.
Tip #3: Talk with the other bridesmaids about what they’re comfortable in
Create a group chat with you, the bride, and all the other bridesmaids and talk it out. Talk about what dress lengths, styles, materials, and colors you like best on yourselves. Share your ideas and concerns with each other. Talking about everything before bridesmaid dress shopping will give each of you a better perspective on what to look for while shopping! While the bride’s choice will be the ultimate decision-making factor, it doesn’t always work well if one or more bridesmaid is not comfortable wearing the dress that is chosen for them. In order to avoid such an awkward situation, talk to the other bridesmaids about their preferences so that the bride can choose a dress that will be approved by everyone.
Tip #4: Configure what your budget is for the dress and communicate that with the bride
Budget is an important factor in any kind of shopping trip and bridesmaid dress shopping is no exception. While buying a bridesmaid dress, you need to consider both the up-front cost of the dress and the alteration expenses. Those alone can turn a budget friendly dress into a very expensive item.
You should set a definite budget for the bridesmaid dresses after chatting with the bride before bridesmaid dress shopping. If you want bridesmaid dresses that are less than $150 each, you can check out Kennedy Blue’s bridesmaid dresses for beautiful, affordable designer dresses!
Tip #5: Consider online bridesmaid dress shopping
Online shopping for anything makes the process much easier and quicker without the hassle of visiting crowded shops. You can shop online for beautifully designed bridesmaid dresses at prices less than $150 per dress at Kennedy Blue. You also have the opportunity to test the dress with the At Home Try-On program! Simply order however many samples you want for $10/dress, try them on in the comfort of your own home, and then send them back! This is by far the easiest way to find which dresses you like best!
Tip #6: Order the dress ASAP
The golden rule to a perfectly planned wedding is never to leave anything for the last minute. Dresses will inevitably need alterations to fit each bridesmaid and will take some time to be ready. We recommend ordering the bridesmaid dresses at least 6 months before the wedding so that you have enough time on your hands for any changes and alterations.
Tip #7: Coordinate accessories and shoes with the other bridesmaids
While the dress itself is the prime feature, accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and bags are equally important to complete the whole look. It would not do for the bridesmaids to be dressed in matching outfits but with clashing shoes and jewelry.
As a bridesmaid, it becomes your duty to ensure that your accessories coordinate with each other. Communicate with each other on what you'd like, and make sure the bride approves, too, for a fiercely fabulous squad.
We know how difficult it can be to plan a wedding and to take care of each tiny step of preparation while also ensuring that everyone is happy. Nevertheless, shopping for bridesmaids dresses will definitely be an enjoyable yet fruitful experience if you follow our tips and advice. The wide variety of collection of bridesmaid dresses at Kennedy Blue is also sure to help you out in deciding what to pick for the bridesmaids. Have you ever made the above mistakes? What are your top tips to make bridesmaid dress shopping easier?