Select Page

Choosing the Bridesmaids’ Dresses

This is one of the most difficult jobs of wedding planning. If you are planning a large wedding party, be prepared to deal with a lot of your best friends and family members who have been selected to stand next to you on your big day to give you their two cents. Some will give you ten cents. It can become extremely frustrating at times for the bride because you will want to please every member of your bridal party. Newsflash—It will not happen!!! It is your day and your opinions and tastes are the most important. Of course you don’t want to make your bridesmaids look unattractive, so there are some guidelines you will need to follow when choosing the dresses. You can ask for opinions, and you should, but be prepared to mediate between the ladies to come to a suitable solution.


This is the toughest part. You want your bridal party to look gorgeous and somewhat uniform, but nobody has the exact same figure. You will want to choose a dress style that is flattering for each member of your party. If your girls range from a size 2 to a size 14, consider going with an empire waist gown or an A-line gown. These are the most versatile styles and can be worn by anyone. You don’t want your best pals to feel as if they are exposing too much either. Don’t choose risqué dresses that leave the ladies feeling uncomfortable standing in front of a hundred people or more.


The color of the dresses will obviously need to coordinate with the colors for your wedding. However, the dress color should be one that is pretty and not garish. If you are one of those brides who just loves the color burnt orange, carefully consider your friends’ tastes. Don’t dress them up in something that will make them feel like a pumpkin. Neutrals are always safe, as are blues and blacks. You can’t go wrong with those colors. You want your maids to be able to wear the dresses again to get their money’s worth. Choosing unique or odd colors will likely make the dress a one hit wonder destined to end up at the thrift store or collecting dust in the closet.


Taffeta is the fabric of choice for many bridesmaids’ dresses. If you have ever worn taffeta, you know it is probably one of the most uncomfortable materials on the planet! You want your ladies to be comfortable in their dresses. They will be wearing them for hours and will likely be dancing the night away. You don’t want them sweating and risking a rash because the material simply doesn’t breathe. The following materials are the most popular, alongside taffeta, for bridesmaids’ gowns.

Chiffons are excellent choices for the empire waist and A-line gowns. It doesn’t cling and is very lightweight and flows nicely. It is a great choice for outdoor weddings and breathes nicely. Chiffon colors tend to be more pastel and may not photograph well when a flash is used.

Satin looks gorgeous, but it is a clingy fabric. This is a great choice for those bridesmaids who are okay with a form-fitting style. Satin isn’t great for the heat and the slightest sweat ring will stand out. Satins are very rich and look absolutely fantastic in photographs.

Jersey is a very comfortable fabric and would be suitable for a casual, outdoor wedding. It is clingy. Jersey dresses are very affordable.


Another very sticky situation is finding bridesmaids’ dresses that are affordable for every member of your party. Unless you are planning on paying for the dresses out of your own budget, you need to consider your friends’ ability to pay for a dress they may very well only wear one time. The average price for a dress is anywhere from $100 to $300. You will want to give your friends plenty of time to save the money if necessary. You can consider offsetting the cost by paying half if you have the funds. You may even be able to get a discount from some retailers by buying several dresses.

Ultimately, it is your special day, but you want to be able to enjoy it with your closest friends. They will have a lot more fun if they feel good in their dresses. Your wedding is supposed to be a time to make memories that will be treasured forever. Pictures from the wedding will be looked at and admired for years to come. You will want your bridesmaids’ dresses to compliment your gown and your closest friends.