Wedding Advice, Wedding Tips

The Six Most Common Bridesmaid Dress Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

You’ve got your bridal attendants picked out, and they are SUPER excited to be there for you on your big day. How can you ensure they all look amazing?

4.5 minutes to read

There’s that old ‘joke’ that the bride wants the attendants to look less-than-awesome so there’s no competition for her. But, let’s be honest, the bride is going to shine regardless, and she wants her attendants to look great too.

There are some common mistakes that result in less-than-great outfits for the bridal party. Luckily, they are all easy to avoid with a bit of planning, thought, and communication.

1. Too Much Control, or Not Enough

If the person organising the wedding has an extremely particular idea of how everything should look, this can spell disaster. Without taking into account the personalities of the bridal team, the weather, practicality, or comfort, the outfits may simply not going to work. The bridal team will be pulling the skirt down, or bodice up, or the colour will make them look washed-out, or they’ll be roasting in the sun, or shivering in the cold. Not only that, but they might get a bit frustrated with the bride’s inflexibility.

Similarly, you don’t want to end up with a sloppy or messy look, and giving people too much leeway can result in a bit of a circus. Not only that, but the bride can even resent the amount of pushback from the bridal party.

The answer is somewhere in the middle. Ideally, give a set of guidelines and have an honest chat about it. For instance:

  • Fabric types
  • All the same colour, or can there be different shades?
  • Length of dress
  • Neckline



2. Not Thinking About the Bridal Party’s Comfort

Everyone has clothes they feel comfortable in. For example, some people hate their knees being out in public, some women like low-cut necklines, some people like to avoid certain colours. There are also physical attributes to take into account; tall people make clothes look short, big-busted women may struggle to be comfortable in a strapless dress, or breast-feeding or pregnancy can make some dress designs completely impractical.

This may require some compromise on both sides, both the bride, and the individual bridesmaids. Everyone wants to feel super comfortable in the outfit, but generally there’s an overall ‘look’ and cohesiveness in a bridal party.

Ask everyone if they have ‘hard-pass’ design elements or colours. It’s easier to find a suitable dress knowing what is absolutely off limits. Bridal magazines make us think that bridesmaids are all models, with perfect figures and long, matching, beautifully styled hair. But in reality, bridal parties are likely a hotch-potch of body types, skin and hair colours, piercings and tattoos, and you love them for it. Respect that.

 3. Blowing the Budget

If your bridal party are footing the bill for things, the costs of the dress need to be taken into account. It can be an expensive day; makeup, hair, shoes, the dress… some people’s budgets may not stretch to a $500 dress they’ll never wear again.

4. Not Suiting the Location or theme

A beach wedding doesn’t lend itself to a velvet, floor length gown, and a gothic church in winter isn’t the time for a flowery, chiffon, knee-length gown.

5. Jump Up, Jump Up, and Get Down

Try on the outfits, and then dance around (this is why try-at-home services are invaluable). Can everyone bend over without falling out of the dress, is it comfortable enough to party in until 2am? Also, does it show up sweat stains or show crease lines easily? Take a handful of fabric, hold it tight in your hand for 20 seconds. If it looks creased, it might not look great past the first hour.

Weddings can be full-on, especially if you have some wild photo locations. Will the dress remain comfortable?

6. Not Getting the Outfits Tailored

Often, a nip here and a tuck there will make the outfits look better and fit better. It might be the difference between the bridesmaid constantly pulling the neckline up all day, or being comfortable enough to limbo. It is very distracting to have a bridesmaid constantly pulling on a dress, or adjusting it every few minutes.

It only takes a few dollars, but it can make a dress look a million bucks and ensure the wearer feels much more comfortable. For instance, tulip-style skirts or wrap dresses can blow open and expose a lot more leg (or cleavage) than other styles, but there are solutions that a dressmaker can quickly carry out.


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