20 Years of Wedding Wisdom: Shopping for ’Maids, Menswear, and More!
Finding the perfect ensembles for your entire wedding party can be just as fun as putting together your own big-day look, especially with these tips we have gathered over our two decades in publication. In celebration of our special anniversary, here is our seasoned advice just for you.
Dare to Be Different
Your pals don’t have to sport all one cut, color, or pattern. Let each bridesmaid exude her own personal style: after all, you hand-picked each and every girl for a reason! Be sure to stick to a palette of no more than three shades to keep your lineup charming, not chaotic.
“Make sure your best friends are comfortable! You want the most important ladies at your wedding to feel wonderful in what they are wearing. So as much as it is important to pick a dress that you love, make sure they love it too!” —Nikki Schneider, Director of Operations, twobirds Bridesmaid
Make Everyone Happy
While it may be tempting to try to make your entire wedding party happy with their bridesmaid dress, it’s important to draw the line somewhere. If you want to take into account different body types, choose the gown color and fabric you want your ladies to wear, but let them opt for the silhouette they like most.
“If you can stomach it, give your ’maids more than one style option. If you want happy (and appropriately attired!) bridesmaids, let them pick the style they are comfortable in that best suits their body.” —Joanna August
Stay on Palette
Beware of allowing bridesmaids to wear any dress they want as long as it’s in your chosen color. There are so many different interpretations of hues like navy, brown, and burgundy that you can quickly lose control of how the group will look overall. Instead, pass out a fabric swatch for them to match.
“Don’t make the mistake of choosing a dress because of the color. Choosing a style that is complementary to the girls’ figures and then choosing the color is the best approach.” —Lisa Brigham, National Sales, Amsale
Mix Your Fabrics
There is no need to be a one-material girl. A range of textures, from flowing tulle and sleek silk to boho chiffon, mingle nicely together if they’re in the same shade.
“I’m excited about the variety of styles and ‘thinking outside of the box’ these days. Who would have thought that prints or totally different styles, fabrics, and colors would all be in the same bridal party?” —Annie Sokoloff, Designer, Anna Elyse
Give a Gift
Tell your posse now what you’ll be giving them later, whether it’s a pair of pumps, a necklace, a cute clutch, or the dress itself. That way, they can plan ahead and budget for the rest of their ensemble.
Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids
“As the bride, I think it is necessary to set the direction of what you want your bridesmaids to look like on your big day. The more information they have, the less likely they are to go astray. This goes all the way down to shoe color, hair/makeup direction, and jewelry.” —Monique Lhuillier
Narrow Down the Selection
Let your bridesmaids run free and your ceremony look may become a crapshoot. Instead, have attendants pick from a selection of gowns. Post them on a Pinterest board, e-mail the link, and have each pal claim a style by writing “mine!” in the comments to avoid any who-wore-it-best mishaps.
“Be flexible—these are your best friends! Make sure the dress is flattering and comfortable. They want to celebrate your special day with a big smile on their face too!” —Vivan Dessy Diamond
Find a Flower Girl Dress
Most flower girl dresses come in a range of colors and sizes to suit your celebration. If you see a style you like but not in the right color, ask to see if the brand has other options on hand.
Isabel Garretón Inc.
“Get the right fit. The groom is going to look his best when he’s comfortable and confident that his clothes fit properly. Today’s tuxedos have changed to modern and slim fits, which is very flattering for most body types.” —Joseph Abboud, Chief Creative Director, Men’s Wearhouse