10 Things All Bridesmaids Need to Know About Dress Shopping

Are you already picturing yourself in head-to-toe taffeta à la 27 Dresses? While we can't promise your friend won't make you wear a dress that's probably better suited for an '80s prom, we can help you take shopping in stride. Use these tips to have fun and, most importantly, keep your bestie—aka the bride!—happy. 

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Universal Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Do focus on the bride.

It's all about her. Be there to support her vision (even if it's not what you would choose), and let her lead the way with the appointment. This is her chance to have everything from the dresses to the shoes to the hairstyles exactly how she wants them. Cheer her on! This is especially important if other bridesmaids are dissing her picks. A kind word can keep the appointment going in a good direction.

Don't skip it. 

Feeling burnt out? If you're a hot commodity this wedding season, you may be tempted to sit this shopping trip out. Don't! It may be your sixth time bridesmaids' dress shopping, but it's a one-time experience for her wedding. Be a good friend and support her. 

Do pop the bubbly!

Everything is better with champs! Call the bridal salon ahead of time to see if you can bring Champagne and glasses for a special toast. Many salons will even provide the glasses for you. Cheers! 

Choose the Right Champagne

Don't clash with the other 'maids. 

Bridal parties can be a melting pot of friends who may or may not vibe. If things get tense or a bridesmaid starts complaining, stay of out the drama. Shift the topic in a positive direction and keep a smile on your face.  

Bridesmaid Etiquette Tips

Do remember it's only one day. 

So you lost the dress debate. It's OK. Remind yourself that you'll be wearing this dress for less than 12 hours. The best part: You'll never have to wear it again—ever! Donate the dress to a charity post-wedding, and put that ugly gown behind you. 

Don't forget to save. 

As soon as she asks you to be a bridesmaid, start putting away a bit of cash each month. This is especially important if you know your friend has high-end taste. You'll be able to enjoy the shopping knowing you can afford the dress (and all the other expenses—big and small—that come along with your role). Still feeling the pinch? Talk to the bride privately before you go shopping. She'll be aware of your situation, and it gives her the opportunity to make a more budget-friendly choice. 

Do play paparazzi.

With the excitement of choosing the dresses, the bride may forget to chronicle the moment. Help her remember this fun, special day by snapping shots of the day's events. You can even put them in a small album as a gift for her bridal shower. 

Social Media Rules for Weddings

Don't let the party end. 

An hour or two at the salon doesn't have to be the end of the fun. Keep the party going! Plan massages or lunch or an afternoon by the pool. 

More Fun Activity Ideas
About the Author

Tia Albright

Tia's love affair with weddings started with 16 sweet little words, "Dad, I met a man in Rome, and he's wonderful and brilliant, and we're getting married." That was all it took. Now she's married and writing about cakes, dresses, and décor to her heart's content, and she still watches Father of the Bride at least once a year (OK, maybe more like three or four times).


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