How do you, the bride-to-be, choose the perfect bridesmaids dresses? Hopefully, the same way you decide on anything else having to do with your wedding... You research, listen to wedding experts like us, and follow your heart. Honestly, your bridesmaids' dresses aren't going to make or break your wedding, but they might just compromise your friendships! Be careful and be nice, and make sure you know what's in and what's out before you outfit your bridesmaids.
Here's a basic bridesmaid dress primer:
Styles: Sleeveless styles continue to outsell dresses with sleeves, even in the dead of winter, so think about buying matching pashminas for your bridesmaids. Tea and ballet length dresses are gaining in popularity for bridesmaids and brides alike!
Colors: Two tone dresses are hot right now, so you don't have to choose just one color. Platinum is in style at the moment, as well as pale colors like yellows, sand, and taupe. There is also a trend toward burgundy and hunter for autumn weddings, and black is always in style (though your older female relatives may not really get that it's okay to choose black).
Hemlines: The old rule that states that the bridesmaids' hemlines must match the bride's hemline have gone out the window. If you're wearing a floor-length bridal gown, you can still dress your bridesmaids in tea length dresses or knee length dresses. If you love a bridesmaid dress, don't worry about the hem. Better yet, switch up your hemlines!
Fabric: Many of the designers today are also using better quality fabrics like dupioni silk, silk chiffon and satin, velvet, and crepe. Note that these don't always come cheap, so don't be shy about asking for volume discounts or buying last season's styles.
Although today there is less tradition around colors, styles and seasons, it is always wise to use common sense. For example, it would not be wise to choose a short cut and strapless bridesmaid dress during the winter, while a heavy material during the summer in an outdoor ceremony may cause fainting, or worse.
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