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 everything you wish bridal shopping was: easy online shopping and coordinating, free stylists to help with all the details and logistics, destination-like showrooms with samples in all size (plus free champagne!) and a try at home option that is basically the Warby Parker of bridesmaid dresses. 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 has got you covered no matter how you want to shop — you can visit one of their showrooms, or order dresses completely online and you never have to set foot in a bridal salon (but you might want to for the free champagne and instagram moments).
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:
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 (from their in-house collections) 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. They even carry those extended sample sizes in their showrooms for you to try.
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 one out who looks like they 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).
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 some Lizzo, 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.
This post was sponsored by Brideside, the better way to shop bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses online or with your loved ones. Brideside makes it easier to focus on what matters with free stylists, multiple ways to shop, and a selection of hundreds of dresses, in size 00–30 to make sure everyone can celebrate in style. Click here to explore Brideside’s bridesmaid dress collection or sign up to get the (bridal) party started!