Choosing the Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid dresses are an exciting part of planning. The wedding party fashion can get expensive and a little confusing when it comes to who pays for what. These tips will help you make all the important decisions about your bridesmaid dresses.
Who Pays for What?
Knowing who pays for what is not always so clear. Traditionally, bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own dresses. When a bride requests an expensive gown and it is in the budget, the bride can offer to cover part of or all of the cost. Not every budget can afford this level of generosity. There is cost and responsibility associated with the role of being in the wedding party. You should always be mindful of the responsibility when you invite someone to be in your wedding party, and make sure they understand the responsibility when offering the role.
Budgeting for Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid dresses can be expensive. The length and size of the dress can affect the cost. A taller bridesmaid will pay slightly more. The silhouette and the fabric are also factors. The average cost of bridesmaid dresses is about $150. It is possible to find sales and simple dresses in small boutiques for less. Depending on your vision, a single dress could cost $700 or more. The cost should not be the sole determining factor. Find sales, get creative and be prepared to share in the cost of the bridesmaid dresses you want. If a bridesmaid is unable to make the purchase and the money is not in the budget, they might consider taking a different role in the wedding.
Timeline for Bridesmaid Dresses
You should start exploring ideas for bridesmaid dresses about seven to eight months prior to your wedding. Make the order not less than six months before the big day. Shipping and any necessary alterations should be calculated and put on the timeline. Bridesmaid dresses should always be purchased after the wedding dress and before the bouquets.
Style and Color
Bridesmaid dresses should compliment the bride without stealing the attention away. The style and silhouette of the dress should match the body type of the person wearing it, and coordinate with the style, colors and theme of the wedding. If you are planning a formal event, your bridesmaid dresses should meet the dress code. A Bohemian themed wedding outdoors in a garden might call for an off the shoulders and flow to the floor kind of dress. You should consider the silhouette, length, back, neckline, fabric and color. A daytime wedding may have a shorter hemline. If neckline and sleeves do not provide enough options, floor-length, ankle, midcalf, below-knee, above, mid and handkerchief hemlines give us more to choose from. You might also play with terms like tea length, full length and maxi. Not all bridesmaids match. It is completely acceptable to alternate the color and the style of each dress for effect.
Not the Dress You Want?
Not every bridesmaid will look flattering in every silhouette. You should never push a bridesmaid to wear something outside of their comfort zone. A backless dress with a plunging neckline and a slit up to the hip might not work for everyone. Be mindful and make the process of choosing bridesmaid dresses a fun day that involves the wedding party that will be wearing the dresses. Everyone should have some input and there should be some compromise.
Most bridesmaids require a fitting. When the orders arrives, do not delay the first fitting. Every bridesmaid should step into their dress and be prepared for some alterations. Alterations should be done a couple months prior to the wedding. Complex alterations might require more time. An early first fitting will help you create a better timeline for alterations. The final fitting should occur about one month before the wedding.
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