When it comes to your wedding day, it’s not just your own outfit that you need to consider. Your bridesmaids also need to look and feel amazing and your choice of bridesmaid dresses will definitely impact the look of your wedding. Happily, there’s more choice than ever and the variety of bridesmaid dress styles out there means that you can pick a look that will suit everyone, whatever their shape or size. We’ve pulled together the best bridesmaid dress ideas for you here plus some tips to make shopping for your maids easy AND enjoyable…
Bridesmaid dress styles
We all come in different shapes and sizes so finding a dress type that will suit all your bridesmaids is going to be tricky. Brides used to love putting their maids in completely matching styles and colours and whether the gowns suited the girls who were wearing them wasn’t so important. Nowadays, brides are putting their friends first and coming up with creative ideas so that everyone looks as fabulous as they feel.
Image courtesy of Rachel Joy Barehl
So, how can you make sure your maids look their best? Well, instead of asking them to all wear the same style, how about choosing a colour and letting your bridesmaids choose the dress design they love the most? If you want to be even lovelier, suggest a range of colours rather than stipulating the exact tone so your bridesmaids can choose the colour that suits them best.
Image courtesy of Casey Rose Photography
For bridesmaids with the classic ‘apple’ shape (where your waist is wider than your hips and shoulders), think about a wrap dress or a gown with an empire cut. These are super flattering and they give the illusion of curves.
Image courtesy of Catherine Ann Photography
Bridesmaids with a straight body shape should go for a design that hugs the waist as this will help define their shape. Alternatively, your maids might like an empire waist gown for a flowing, almost Grecian look if they’re happier in this style.
Image courtesy of Greer Gattuso
Those maids blessed with a gorgeous hourglass shape can absolutely rock figure hugging bridesmaid dresses. Add in a sweetheart neckline and a structured silhouette for slinky style or, if a looser skirt feels like a better option, stick with a tighter bodice. Or, opt for a high-waisted skirt to draw attention to your legs or a dress that nips in at the waist to accentuate this area.
Image courtesy of Spencer Photography
Alternative bridesmaid dress ideas
If your bridesmaids want to wear something with even more personality, why not go for separates? This is a huge trend right now and it’s just so much fun. You’re able to really play with colours and patterns, you can mix up fabrics, add details like pleats and gathers and totally create your own look.
Image courtesy of Revelry
Image courtesy of Annabel Staff Photography
Necklines also create interest and different styles work with different figures. So, your bridesmaids could wear dresses in the same colour and opt for the neckline that suits them the best. If you want to show off your shoulders, a wide or bateau neckline looks great, if you’re a rectangle shape, create curves and add volume with a wide V-neck or off-the-shoulder gown. Athletic figures look fabulous with a plunging V-neck style.
Image courtesy of Jane Decle Photography
Of course, bridesmaids don’t have to wear long dresses. High-low gowns are a great choice as are cocktail length dresses, especially for bridesmaids with an inverted triangle body shape.
Image courtesy of Theresa Furey Photography
For a great compromise, multiway bridesmaid dresses work perfectly. These dresses, from retailers such as twobirds, can be worn in any number of ways so that your maids wear the same colour and fabric but personalise their look themselves. These are also wonderfully flattering plus sized bridesmaid dresses too.
Image courtesy of Kate Gray Photography
Tips for choosing bridesmaid dresses
When you set out to choose your bridesmaid dresses, here are some top tips to make shopping with your girls a great experience:
- Be open about budget. If you’re happy to pay for each entire outfit, you still need to set a budget and share it with your maids so you all know what figures to work to.
- Decide on your style. Do you want totally matching maids or are you happy for them to choose a style in a certain colour? Do they have free range to choose anything they like? Be clear before you start shopping.
- If you’re buying dresses from a bridal boutique, it’s quite likely that the gowns will need alterations too. Don’t forget to factor in these costs.
- If you’re ordering online, take time to measure your maids. Most online sites have really clear instructions on the measurements they need and how to make sure these are as accurate as possible. This is not the time to guess!
- Give yourself plenty of time. If you’re ordering dresses, you’ll need to allow months for them to arrive.
Before you start shopping, don’t miss this look at the new trends for bridesmaid fashion. Your maids will thank you!