Every bride has an image of what her wedding day will be and how it will look. The bride’s dress really sets a tone for the rest of the wedding party and for the decorations. Once you have asked people to be in your wedding party and they have accepted, it is important to allow yourself and your party sufficient time to find the dress (or dresses) for your special day. The color of their dresses should be determined by the bride, whether it is one particular color or shades of a color.


For some brides symmetry is very important. They want everything to look the same, the color, the style, etc. When this is of ultimate importance, the bride should be aware of her maids’ body types and sizes, and she should direct her maids toward styles she thinks will flatter all attendants. If the bride is confused by this, relying on her bridal consultant to direct her choices can help ease some of her stress. 


In today’s world where wedding party members may be all over the country, a popular choice is for brides to choose a particular company that reflects their taste and aesthetics along with a particular fabric and color, and then to allow their attendants to choose a style from that company that will flatter them. Once the dresses are chosen, then the bride should order the dresses from one bridal shop so there is no difference in the dye lots.


Some brides leave the color choice up to the attendants as long as it falls within a certain palette. For example, a color palette could be blush tones along with soft shades of gray and champagne to create a romantic atmosphere. This particular palette has been trending for the past year. Some brides prefer bolder colors or more traditional color choices depending on the season.


When a color(s) is chosen, the bride should request a color swatch(es) which will certainly come in handy when planning other aspects of the wedding.


If the bride has a particular budget in mind for her attendants, it’s important to let the consultant helping you know what that is so she can direct you to appropriate companies and styles. Some bridal shops offer discounts based on party size or have packages that can help you in the budget department. Don’t be afraid to ask.


I like to recommend ordering bridesmaid dresses at least 6 months in advance. Most companies will ship orders in 3 months from date of order. This will allow time to ship dresses out of the area and to allow for alterations. Some stores have a backlog of alterations and there could be an extended waiting time. If you do not have 6 months to order, dresses can still be ordered, but when ordering too close to the wedding, the bridesmaids may need to pay a RUSH fee in order to get the dresses in on time for alterations. Most people would prefer the lower price and less stress, so order early!


Maternity dresses are available. Some companies offer maternity maids dresses, and it is important to let your consultant know if you are or you will be pregnant when the wedding takes place, or if you may be giving birth before the wedding. This will help the consultant determine if you just need a larger size than normal or if you will indeed need a maternity dress. A surprise pregnancy may require the attendant to order another dress. Stores cannot be liable for weight loss or weight gain between the time you order your dress and when it comes in.


By Deidre Torra