3 Mistakes (Almost) Everyone Makes When Picking Bridesmaid Dresses


Plus 40 of Brideside's hottest bridesmaid dresses

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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stress free bridesmaid dress shopping

If most wedding magazines were taken as gospel, it would be safe to assume that all wedding parties are made up of models. More likely than not, your wedding party is made up of a lot of people who look nothing like each other, but who you love equally. Which makes choosing bridesmaid dresses a special kind of complicated.

Except, it doesn’t have to be that way. Today we’ve teamed up with the online bridesmaid dress boutique Brideside to bring you tips for making the process a little bit easier. If you aren’t familiar with them yet, Brideside is basically the Warby Parker of bridesmaid dresses: you choose a selection of three dress styles to try on, they ship them to your house, and then you pick the one you like the best. You never have to set foot in a bridal salon, so if your wedding party is flung all over the country, or has, you know, jobs, you get all the ease of one-stop-dress-shopping without the pain-in-the-ass factor.

Brideside even has a team of style consultants who can help your wedding party pick out the dresses that will look and feel best on their bodies (and who also do all the coordinating for you, so you don’t have to worry about that one procrastinating friend who is totally going to wait until the last minute to order her dress). And today they’ve paired up with us to shed light on some of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a bridesmaid dress:

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1. Asking the Wrong Questions: For the most part, people know what they’re signing up for when agreeing to be a bridesmaid. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still ask questions. Instead of trying to figure out what dress style everyone will love, ask if anyone has a no fly list. Maybe your redheaded bestie hates the color orange, your small-chested sister won’t wear strapless dresses, and your gender non-conforming cousin doesn’t mind dresses, but would prefer to wear something less fitted. It’s way easier to narrow down from a list of don’ts than from a list of must haves. The good news: unlike basically any other retailer anywhere, almost every single Brideside dress comes in sizes from double zero up to thirty (with the option to add extra length for the tall folks), so chances are there really is something for everyone.

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2. Giving too many options: Contrary to popular belief, more options aren’t always better in the world of bridesmaid dresses. At least, not if you don’t want to field eight hundred texts from your wedding party asking “What about this one?” or “Is this okay?” and then having to figure out what to do when you realize that “Choose anything you want” actually means “Choose anything except the one you just picked.” In fact, “Pick anything you want” can actually be more stressful than just giving some parameters (because no one wants to accidentally end up the odd woman out who looks like she didn’t get the coordinating dress memo). So here’s a helpful tip: if you care about cohesion, then choose a designer you like and narrow it down to a color or color family you like best and let your bridesmaids choose from there. Don’t care about cohesion, but still want your wedding party to feel supported? Outsource that ish, my friend. Brideside’s style consultants are here for as much or as little help as you want. Since they’ll already be in charge of emailing your wedding party to help with sizing and ordering, they’ll gladly walk your wedding party through the selection process and help keep an eye out for any inconsistencies or weird color combinations (in a helpful way, not in a chiffon police kind of way).

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3. Forgetting to jump up and get down: Let me paint a picture for you: you got to a bridesmaid dress store, find a dress you like, try it on, and it looks great, so you buy it. Then the wedding rolls around. And halfway through Baby Got Back, you realize you just accidentally flashed your best friend’s uncle and now you have to spend the rest of the night dancing with one hand hiking up your gown. Yeah, I’ve been to that wedding too. (I’ve, um, been that person at that wedding.) Of course, a multitude of problems can be avoided by simply choosing dresses with straps that you can wear with a normal bra, but if you’ve got your heart set on a strapless design or unique neckline, start by talking to your Brideside style consultant to figure out which styles have built-in support (you’d be surprised how many of those flowy ones have little corsets built in).

Brideside style consultants aren’t models, which means they totally understand the frustrations of shopping for a bridesmaid dress when you have… body parts. They’ve tried on the dresses themselves, and aren’t afraid to do it again if it helps give you a better understanding of how a dress might fit. Then when you have your selection and it comes time to try things on, make sure everyone takes those bad boys for a test drive. Jump around in it, throw on Icona Pop, and get down with your bad self (I recommend this move in particular.) Because what looks good standing still for five minutes could totally betray you halfway through the reception. Luckily, since Brideside lets you try on your dresses at home, it’s way less embarrassing to get your grind on with an imaginary partner than at the bridal salon. Not that I’ve ever done that.

To make your dress choosing process easier, Brideside features hundreds of dress styles to choose from. So with these three tips in mind, we’ve rounded up forty of our favorites for you:

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Donna Morgan Tiffany

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Joanna August “Kimberly” Short

 

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Joanna August Elena Long

 

e65d504c0fccb929f083113f423fcce8Lela Rose Style LR180

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Alfred Sung Style D691

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Donna Morgan Courtney

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Joanna August Newbury Long

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Jenny Yoo Annabelle

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Alfred Sung Style D628

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Joanna August State Street Long

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Jenny Yoo Aria

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Alfred Sung Style D656

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Joanna August Kimberly Long

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Bridesmaids by Alfred Angelo Style 8615L

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Jenny Yoo Sabine Liquid Charmeuse

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After Six Style 6613

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Wtoo by Watters Style 852i (Hot tip: this one is convertible!)

Wtoo by Watters Style 697

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Joanna August Lacey Long

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Lela Rose Style LR214

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Dessy Collection Style 2885

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Alfred Sung Style D678

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Adrianna Papell Beaded Blouson Short Bridesmaid Dress

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Dessy Collection Style 2844

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Lela Rose Style LR216

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Alfred Sung Style D586

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Dessy Collection Style 2919

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Lela Rose Style LR217

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Dessy Collection Style 2905

 

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Lela Rose Style LR159

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Joanna August 8th Ave Long

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Alfred Sung Style D693

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Bridesmaids by Alfred Angelo Style 7338L

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Dessy Collection Style 2879

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Dessy Collection Style 2940

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Lela Rose Style LR178

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Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Blouson Bridesmaid Dress with Art Nouveau Beading

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Dessy Collection Style 2918

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Joanna August DC Long

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Dessy Collection Style 2882

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This post was sponsored by Brideside, the online dress boutique that takes bridesmaid dress shopping out of the salon and into the comfort of your own home. With a selection of hundreds of dresses, in size 00–30, Brideside hopes to make the dress shopping experience a more positive one for all your wedding party members. Click here to explore Brideside’s bridesmaid dress collection today.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, she currently lives on a pony farm in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Michael, their son Lincoln, and an obnoxious mastiff named Gaia. Current hair color: Natural (gasp!)

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  • Lauren from NH

    Are we sure that first one is a bridesmaid’s dress because I am pretty sure I need it for some winter fete that I am not invited to yet…

    • Eenie

      You mean the fete you’re throwing and inviting us to? ;)

  • Mel

    One of my best friends used Brideside for her wedding and it was really helpful with all the out-of-state guests and destination wedding. (Their HQ is in my hometown.) They also offer some huge discounts throughout the year and we got our dresses 40% off! Caveat I will mention: they don’t have every dress in every size or color so we weren’t exactly sure what it would look like.

    PS. I tried on Bridesmaids by Alfred Angelo Style 8615L at their store and fell in looove.

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  • Kaitlin Fry

    I am currently in the “too many options” situation as a bridesmaid, and we all live in different places!! Does Brideside ship to Canada?

  • Lena

    I think Papilio Boutique offers a beautiful selection of evening gowns and cocktail dresses, highly recomended!

  • Danielle Stringer

    To avoid making these same common mistakes when shopping for your bridesmaids dress, check http://papilioboutique.com/ for a hassle free shopping experience.

  • Mariya Noskova

    In love with dresses, you adviced!