The Definitive Guide To Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

You've chosen your bridesmaids, so now it's time to shop! We've rounded up the ten top tips for a fun and fuss-free search for the gown that both you and your best girls will love.

Shopping with your BFFs should always be fun, right? If only it was that easy. Picking the perfect selection of gowns for your bridesmaids can be a task and a half, so we’ve pulled together our top tips to make the search as easy and enjoyable as possible.

We adore these pretty pink Jasmine gowns
We adore these pretty pink Jasmine gowns

Start With Research

Aimlessly wandering into bridal boutiques or along the high street might seem like a fun Saturday afternoon, but it can be overwhelming. There’s so much choice out there, so to stop yourself getting disheartened make sure you’ve spent some time working out what you you’re looking for. Buy magazines, look on Instagram, create a Pinterest board – you’ve probably done all of this when searching for your own dress so why not for your bridesmaids? Trust us – it helps!

Be Practical

Fancy your girls in ’50s style strapless tea dresses but have booked a Scottish castle in December? You might have to rethink your vision. Moaning maids are not what you need on the happiest day of your life, so make sure the dresses are both pretty and practical.

REAL WEDDING: A Love and Laughter Filled Day in a Scottish Castle

Will she be your 'something blue', as seen at Dorothy Perkins?
Will she be your 'something blue', as seen at Dorothy Perkins?

Separate Celebrations

TOP TIP: Go wedding dress hunting long before you start looking for your bridesmaids gowns. That way, you get your own special day without worrying about how your girls are feeling, and you’ll know exactly what will complement your frock.

Timing is Key

In fact, purchasing bridesmaid dresses can be one of the last tasks on your wedding to-do list. This way, any changes to your girls’ figures (e.g. pregnancy) are less of an issue, and costly alterations can be avoided! You’ll also (hopefully) have the rest of your day sorted, so colour clashes won’t be an issue either.

READ MORE: Wedding Planning Stresses (and how to deal with them)

So many different styles available at Kelsey Rose
So many different styles available at Kelsey Rose

Try Online

Although the experience of going out and trying different pieces on can be super fun, the logistics aren’t always so easy. After visiting a few boutiques, consider bulk ordering a selection of gowns online, and trying them on in the comfort of your own home. It means your bridesmaids will feel comfortable and the low-pressure environment could mean they take to styles that they would usually dismiss. Win-win!

Celebrate Differences

When it comes to your bridesmaids, one size definitely doesn’t suit all. The same goes for style and colour. It’s a common misconception that all your girls have to be matching on the big day – try different colours in the same gown or the same colour in different styles. Well if it’s good enough for Rihanna and her friends

READ MORE: 23 Things That Happen In Every Bridesmaids Group Chat

Accessorise with flower crowns like at Maids to Measure
Accessorise with flower crowns like at Maids to Measure

Be Logical With Lingerie

We cannot stress the importance of this! There’s nothing worse than trying on dresses when you’re wearing pants that don’t fit and a bra that doesn’t hold anything where it’s supposed to be. We recommend a nude strapless bra and thong (or seamless shorts) to ensure any dress style will look fabulous. VPL is not a good look!

Don’t Let Accessories Be an Afterthought

The perfect pair of shoes or a fabulous statement necklace can transform an outfit. If your maids aren’t hugely enthusiastic about the dress you’ve picked for them, maybe give them a little more authority over their accessories. However, beware of leaving this to the last minute, especially if you’ve agreed to cover the costs. Last minute splurging on jewellery or clutch bags for your maids might not be in your budget!

READ MORE: What To Wear Under Your Dress

Be Assertive

Ultimately, it’s your special day, and although you want your maids to feel happy and comfortable don’t forget that the executive decision is yours. Try not to be swayed into choosing dresses that aren’t to your taste or style – you’ve invited your girls to be part of one of the most important days of your life, and they should respect that. Saying that, it’s not an excuse to make them look silly – we’ve all seen some of the, shall we say ‘statement styles’, that Katherine Heigl endured in 27 Dresses…

Get the girls in matching tee's from Rime Arodaky
Get the girls in matching tee's from Rime Arodaky

Enjoy Yourselves!

Like everything when it comes to wedding planning, it’s important not to get bogged down with the small stuff. Make a day of shopping with your bridesmaids – have a catch-up over cocktails or celebrate finding your perfect gowns with a dinner at the end of the day.  The motto to follow? ‘Happy bridesmaids, happy bride!’

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