by Anne Sexton
Ah, the bridesmaid’s dress – the source of many jokes and much discontentment! While the bridesmaids’ dresses may not be as important as the wedding dress, don’t think you can leave this to the last minute. There are plenty of lovely gowns out there, and just as many awful ones!
It is the bride and groom’s day, so yes, it is your decision, but don’t let that go to your head. Keeping the bridesmaids’ happy is important – these are your close friends, family members or members of the groom’s family – and you want them to enjoy your wedding day, not embarrass them or make them sorry they are a member of the bridal party.
When choosing bridesmaid’s dresses there are a few things to bear in mind:
Have dresses designed and made to your specifications, materials and colours can be very expensive, unless you happen to know a talented seamstress. Choosing an existing style and having the dresses fitted is generally less expensive, although not always – bridesmaids’ dresses can cost a fortune so you need to consider them early on.
If your bridesmaids are all different ages or sizes, finding a style to suit everyone may be tricky. Sometimes a different style dress in the same material and colour may be more appropriate.
Many brides have a very definite idea of the colours they want use for their wedding. That’s all very well, but finding bridesmaids’ dresses that match your colour scheme and match the bridesmaids’ body shape, age and skin colour may not be possible. It may be necessary to be flexible here.
The Irish weather is unpredictable at the best of times. If you are getting married in the autumn or winter, chose fabrics that are appropriate. Chiffon may be lovely in July, but looks ridiculous in December.
Do a little research on bridesmaids’ dresses and their prices beforehand. Decide on a few options you are happy with and get pictures to show your bridesmaids then ask for their opinions and input. This is a whole lot easier than traipsing from shop to shop with all your bridesmaids in tow.
If your maid of honour is a model, or a leggy blonde, you may worry about being outshone on the day. Some brides are not beyond dirty tricks to make sure they look better than anyone else, but this is a mistake. Don’t do it! It’s mean and underhand. No matter how beautiful the bridesmaids are, all eyes are on the bride, and a happy bride is a beautiful bride.