Choosing the Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses
How to Choose the Right Dresses for your Girl Squad?
Having An Outdoor Wedding?
Who doesn’t love an outdoor wedding? The sun is shining, the skies are bright blue, and the stunning scenery always makes for some incredible wedding photos.
At least, that’s how outdoor weddings are supposed to go down. In reality, the weather may not cooperate, bugs will probably try to feast upon your guests, and there’s a 50/50 chance that the wind is going to blow away all your beautiful wedding decorations.
Let’s face it–there’s a lot that can happen when you’re having your nuptials in the open air. But with careful planning and a foolproof contingency plan, your outdoor “I dos” can be as picture-perfect as you always imagined. Boutique events group is your ultimate Wedding Reception Venue to create your dream wedding.
Mix and match bridesmaid dresses are gorgeous, stylish and modern.
A trend that started among celebrity brides, now, affordable dress brands and dedicated mix and match collections have made it accessible to brides on any budget, without the help of a professional stylist.
The perfect dress, the coordinating colours, the cake flavours. It all seems so easy to pick until you have to put a price tag on everything. It may not be exactly what you dreamed of when you were little, but with the right budgeting, you can have the wedding of your dreams.
Once upon a time, bridesmaid dresses were a running joke. If the bridal party didn’t laugh about the ruffled, matching styles, they might cry instead. Thankfully, today’s bridesmaid dresses are often on-trend, gorgeous gowns they’ll enjoy wearing.
From keeping your guests warm and cozy to choosing seasonally-appropriate bridesmaid dresses for your squad, consider this your go-to guide for planning an outdoor wedding.
Not only can you add a little more style, colour and depth to your wedding palette, but choosing contrasting bridesmaid dresses is also a great way to cater for the different shapes, styles and colouring of your wedding party.
Sometimes the hardest part is picking a dress for someone else. When choosing bridesmaid dresses, the options are endless. Do you want dresses that match or dresses that suit the bridesmaid wearing it?
Follow our guide to find exquisite bridesmaid dresses that fit your wedding style and the distinctive style of each bridesmaid. Learn when to shop, where to find trending styles, and how to streamline the process. And as you get started, remember that shopping for bridesmaid dresses should create fun and happy memories for all.
Check Your Expectations At The Door
Think about it. Is it a good idea to have your boho-desert wedding in the middle of July when temperatures will be scorching hot? Or, conversely, to have your Minnesota nuptials entirely outdoors in late January?
But mix and match bridesmaid dresses are not always an easy thing to pull off.
Not only do you have to come up with a selection of colours, tones, and fabrics, but once you introduce choices to your bridesmaids, it can sometimes lead to more complications and complaints.
It’s overwhelming having to make so many decisions, especially keeping in mind that you won’t be paying for these dresses. You want your bridesmaids to love their dresses, but 78% secretly hate their dress. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 7 affordable bridesmaid dresses you and your bridesmaid will love. Check them out below!
When should you order bridesmaid dresses?
Order the bridesmaid dresses at least six to eight months before the wedding date to allow for delivery, fittings, and alterations. All of these steps can take longer than you expect.
Let us give it to you straight in a more detailed and organized manner. We know it sounds ridiculous to write an entire blog committed to the wonders of velvet. Honestly, you will be so surprised!
Do yourself a big favour and accept early on that you probably can’t have it all with your outdoor wedding. If your carefully-chosen wedding date is in December and your dream outdoor wedding venue doesn’t have an indoor/outdoor space, something’s gotta give.
But for something as prized as a wedding photo of you and your ladies all looking, and feeling, your gorgeous, individual selves, the extra effort is most definitely worth it.
Maxi dresses became a trend a few years ago and have only grown in population since. Now they have formal styles, casual styles, and everything in between to match any event you need to attend.
‘Sample sales’ offer opportunities to save money on discontinued styles or when stock rotates. Usually, only one sample dress is available—but your attendants may find mismatched styles in complementing colours.
From Jenny Yoo velvet bridesmaid dresses to Lulus, everyone seems to be hopping on the trend and loving it! Without further ado, read on for some of the best reasons to buy velvet bridesmaid dresses!
Be reasonable with your outdoor nuptials. But more importantly, be flexible. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for an epic wedding meltdown when things don’t go according to plan.
Make the task of mixing and matching your bridesmaid dresses that bit easier, with our handy tips.
Tips For Choosing Mix and Match Dresses For Your Bridesmaids
When it comes to weddings, maxi dresses work best for more casual outdoor venues. The new trend this year? Convertible maxi dresses. This style is perfect if you want bridesmaid dresses that match without actually matching.
Struggling to find your perfect gown? Check out our extensive list of Wedding Dress Shops in Melbourne
Who pays for the bridesmaid dresses and accessories?
Traditionally, each bridesmaid pays for their dress and accessories. However, the bride may choose to pay all or part of the cost. Consider your bridesmaids’ other financial obligations when choosing dresses, and offer budget-friendly options if your wedding party has financial constraints.
When you’re organizing an entire bridal party, the possibilities may seem quite endless. Velvet bridesmaid dresses are a fantastic addition to any mismatched bridal party. The texture and look of velvet make for a very eye-catching garment, and I promise you that the guests WILL notice. Have a few bridesmaids wear velvet, dress the entire party in mismatched bridesmaid dresses, or whatever you desire – get wild with it!
Pick Your Venue Wisely
Choosing a wedding venue isn’t easy, regardless of whether it’s indoors or outdoors. But when it comes to choosing an outdoor wedding venue, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
First and foremost: Mother Nature. She has an unfortunate way of ruining even the best-laid plans, so make sure that you have a wedding contingency plan. If possible, try to find a space that has an indoor location onsite that you can use in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
No one hue
Unless you opt for something like white, gold or black, don’t ask all your girls to pick up a dress in a single designated colour. Chances are if you ask for five green dresses, one will stand out as the wrong hue. Many brands offer lots of styles in the same tone, so opt for one of them, and let your girls make their choice.
Sometimes sure dresses don’t work for a bridesmaid’s body figure, and this dress offers a perfect solution. These convertible maxi dresses are meant to be worn differently to suit the event or body figure wearing it.
Where to look for bridesmaid dress inspiration and ideas
Before heading out to try on dresses, browse current trends and up-and-coming styles. Run ideas by your bridal party as you explore—and hear their opinions, too. Wedding magazines and blogs are favourite options, but branch beyond them for creative ideas and inspiration.
Are you looking to dress your bridesmaids cohesively? Velvet looks excellent on all the ‘maids too! Dress everyone in the same style and colour, and you’ve got a very chic and bold bridal party everyone will be talking about for years to come!
Oh, and pick your pop-up tents carefully as well! Be sure to choose tents and canopies that can hold up against strong wind, rain, heat—you get the picture.
Don’t delegate it all
You might be tempted to give your girls a free reign, but your bridesmaids will appreciate some direction. Make a Pinterest board of colours and textures you like, or show them the rest of your wedding inspiration, so they have an idea of the look and feel you’re going for. “A black dress” can be anything from an office staple to a gothic gown, so pointers are always helpful.
Have your bridesmaids match with the same style or involve them in the decision by allowing them to choose how to wear the dress. Read more here about all the variety of styles this dress offers.
Pinterest makes the top of every planning list, for a good reason: It’s a one-stop planning resource that’s easy to share. Create a shared board and let your bridesmaids pin ideas they love, too. Then share your favourites easily during a bridal shop consultation.
A bold bridal party is a fantastic bridal party. Velvet isn’t for the tame weddings – it’s for the wild at heart. We love a bold trend over here, and your guests will enjoy it too!
Choose Wedding Colors To Complement The Scenery
After finalizing your outdoor wedding venue, picking your wedding colours will be the next item to tackle on your wedding planning to-do list. Remember: You’re saying “I do” surrounded by stunning scenery. Take advantage with an equally gorgeous wedding colour palette!
Hook them up.
Mix and match can be convenient if you’re not all available for a group shopping trip. Say you have six bridesmaids spread across the country, so you’ve asked your girls to get dresses in either blush, mauve or taupe. So far, so easy! Just be sure to put them in touch with one another, to make sure your hues are evenly spread across the bunch.
Every wedding has a specific theme throughout, ranging from the decor to the dresses. If you’re going vintage, it only fits for your bridesmaids to have a dress that follows suit.
Whether you are going for a Roaring Twenties feel or as stylish as the ’50s, vintage dresses are classy, and the options are endless. This is another excellent option to have a coordinating theme without making your bridesmaids match.
Ask the venue for photos of recent weddings so you can see some hyper-local trends. It’ll also give you an idea of what works (sparkling gowns play well with the lighting) or doesn’t work (sage green clashes with the wallpaper).
Not only will having a fantastic-looking bridal party make you feel great about the esthetic of your wedding, but it’ll also make your ‘maids feel good as well, and that’s important to make sure when everyone feels good about what they’re wearing, it shows in photos!
While you’re gathering inspiration for wedding colour palettes, think about which hues might best emphasize the natural beauty of your outdoor locale. Are you getting hitched by the sea? Play up the beach vibes with a wedding colour palette consisting of light pink, aquamarine and oyster.
Sparkle or lace
Don’t be afraid to introduce patterns, sequins, ruffle or lace for a real fashion-forward take on the trend.
Don’t have a specific year picked out? Have a bridesmaid wear a dress from each era! It not only incorporates their personalities but adds a variety of dresses from satin tea-length to brightly coloured shift dresses.
Sewing pattern books available at crafts stores are an incredible source of inspiration—even if you don’t intend to make the dresses yourself. Check out Vogue’s collection of bridal and evening gowns, or explore Burda’s catalogue.
It’s true; velvet flatters everyone! Seriously, the texture looks great on every body type and makes everyone stand out! Honestly, can you think of one person who hasn’t looked like a total god/goddess in velvet? We can’t!
Are you tying the knot in a forested area? Consider muted earth tones for the summertime or opt for dark sophistication with a moody, jewel-tone colour palette for a fall wedding.
A shade away
If you’re going for an ombre look or choosing colours from a similar spectrum, try to ensure the dresses are a full shade apart, like dresses that are almost the same colour but not quite, might look odd in the pictures.
For those hot summer weddings, your bridesmaids will thank you for opting into short dresses. These are perfect for casual weddings and will complement any bridesmaid with the fit-and-flare style.
Other resources to explore:
- Wedding expos
- Instagram & social media
- Wedding photographer websites
- International wedding blogs
- Wedding books
- Non-wedding style magazines
- Fashion week trends
- Celebrity look books (modern or classic Hollywood)
When you thought you’d seen enough, there is more for you! We are always trying to stay on trend coming out with new styles, creating new colours, and introducing new fabrics to cater to your needs and wants. That is why we now have our very own line of velvet bridesmaid dresses! Catch a sneak peek of our Kennedy Blue velvet bridesmaid dresses now!
One of the most popular fabrics for bridesmaid dresses, chiffon gives any dress a flowing, airy feel while remaining formal or casual. It provides the bridesmaid with wearing it a comfortable movement while staying feminine.
Think of your everyday style and where you love to shop. Do you swoon over the boho-chic style of the Sundance Catalog? They have a weddings and celebrations line. Are you a regular in Anthropologie? Explore their BHLDN line of bridal party dresses.
Okay, who doesn’t love a fitted bridesmaid dress? We over here adoring this low-cut v-neckline and halter top bodice! Halter tops are back in baby, and they are here to stay! This dress screams sexy! This sleeveless velvet bridesmaid dress screams comfort and emotional power.
Speaking of plants, you’ll want to choose your florals carefully. Hydrangeas have been known to wilt in humidity, whereas roses, zinnias and dahlias are all hardy options that won’t fall over at the slightest breeze.
Just look at the dresses below for inspiration, and you’ll see that clashing colours, wild patterns, and different textures can look great together if your girls have the confidence to pull them off.
Available in a variety of styles ranging from off-the-shoulder to spaghetti-strapped A-line, chiffon dresses make the perfect dress to suit your bridesmaid. If you opt for this fabric, make sure your girls are properly lined to avoid any slips.
Bring a throwback vibe to your fête: Explore vintage shops and ask each bridesmaid to pick a style they love. Guidelines for colour or era can create a cohesive look, but there’s something to be said for the eclectic. Or shop the bridal department from retro-minded retailers like Modcloth or Unique Vintage.
Who isn’t in love with this one-shoulder velvet bridesmaid dress? This beautiful dress is fitted in the bodice and then develops into a cute, flowing velvet skirt. Just think of all the compliments you’ll get from your guests with your bridal party rocking these gorgeous dresses!
When planning an outdoor wedding, look specifically for wedding décor that combines function and style. For example, twinkling lights and walkway lighting can set the mood and illuminate the path towards restrooms at night, while heavier centrepieces can be used to prevent tablecloths from being disturbed by the wind. Check out our list of Wedding Dress Shops in Melbourne to help you select your ultimate gown.
One of the essential duties of the bride is to make sure your bridesmaids look good in their dresses. Though you want to get a dress you like and that fits the theme of your wedding, it won’t do anyone any good if the bridesmaids don’t look right.
Before you make your decision, have your bridesmaids try on a variety of options to see what they like, what looks great, and get an idea for styles. Your final choice may surprise you.
We’re over here swooning over this sweetheart neckline moment. The softness of this dress is palpable, even from afar. Complete with flowing, butterfly-like sleeves and a gentle sweetheart neckline, this dress is perfect for the more traditional bride who wants to add a retro edge.
Make your space more inviting to your guests by adding plenty of lounge furniture and pillows. Not only will it make it feel cozier inside your tent, but the added furniture will also block some of the wind.
Just don’t forget to pick versatile décor that works with your contingency plan. Linen tablecloths may be easy to fold and transport, but your dreamy, 200-lb. Have you reclaimed wood tables? Not so much.
For those bridesmaids who are apple or pear-shaped, avoid dresses that have shiny fabrics like taffeta or satin. Instead, consider empire-style dresses which will complement the shape and size of any bridesmaid. Dresses that cinch at the waist, flare in the skirt, and have silhouettes are classic, elegant, and make perfect bridesmaid dresses.
Bridesmaid dresses don’t usually make it out of the closet again after the big day, no matter how gorgeous they are. Consider letting your bridesmaids wear something they already own—they can accent their favourite LBD or party dress with matching wraps, shoes, or accessories for a coordinated bridal party.
We are so excited to launch these new styles because not only are they the popular trend right now, but we are sure you are going to love it! Which colour bridesmaid dress and colour is your favourite? Although it’s a super hard choice because they are all beautiful – we would have to say Mila in Black is our favourite!
Finding a dress that works for bridesmaids of all ages is tricky. Typically, junior bridesmaids are around the age of 12 or older – perhaps a teenager. At this age, she won’t want to be dressed like the flower girl.
In case of cold weather, consider providing your guests with pashminas or wraps that they can cozy up in while you exchange vows. You can also give them a chic umbrella to fend off the rain.
Rented heaters are something to consider for your fall or early spring weddings. You’ll be glad you did if temperatures for the month hit record lows.
While her dress doesn’t have to match the bridesmaid dresses, it should look similar in style. If the clothing is age-appropriate, however, you could have them all match. If not, arranging a suit in the same or a close colour and around the same length would look best.
Good to know
You can’t alter rented dresses, but backup sizes help you get the perfect fit. Get professional measurements at the tailors before ordering your rental.
For warm weather weddings, keep guests cool during cocktail hour by offering seasonal refreshments and supplying plenty of shade. Once the festivities kick-off, ensure everyone’s comfort by renting AC units and having fans blowing—which, BTW, will also help keep bugs away.
A fabric which rarely goes out of style, lace offers a wide variety of styles and options for your bridal party. If you’re looking to go casual, cotton lace is a great choice. For a more formal feel, polyester or silk lace is a perfect option.
Keep Bugs And Wind At Bay
Bugs and wind will likely be your two most significant enemies for your outdoor nuptials. Luckily, there are a few useful methods at keeping both from ruining your big day.
Select some swatches.
Make things easy for yourself and opt to get your dresses from a ready-mix and matchable collection (like Dessy, Donna Morgan, Amsale, Twobirds, or Jenny Yoo). They might already have examples of dresses that go well together, but order swatches if you’re unsure.
Are you looking for a modern trend to incorporate with your bridesmaids? Consider a high-low hemline style for a feminine touch. This will keep your bridesmaids fresh in the summer heat and elegant enough to stand by your side at the altar.
Where to shop for bridesmaid dresses
When shopping for bridesmaid dresses, you can begin your search online, at major bridal retailers, or in local boutiques. Large department stores, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom, offer curated bridal apparel for a variety of tastes and price points.
Want to know the best part of this dress? The off-the-shoulder sleeves! It adds a lot of flavour to this dress and is an excellent classic v-neck dress. V-neck dresses look good on literally everyone!
To keep the bugs from eating your guests alive, choose plants that naturally repel mosquitoes, such as lavender and mint. You can also decorate your tables with citronella candles (in tall glasses to prevent the wind from blowing them out) and give guests bug spray as wedding favours that say something like, “Be smitten, not bitten!”
Toss out the rule book
There are so many articles on rules for constructing a palette of mix and match dresses, like sticking to a maximum of three colours, avoiding more than two differences in a suit, and keeping the same hemlines. But the truth is, there are no rules.
Can you rent bridesmaid dresses?
Yes. Renting bridesmaid dresses is a great way to save money. Check with your local bridal shop or tuxedo rental business for available styles, or go digital with online designer rental companies like Rent the Runway. Have your dress delivered a few days before the event (RTR includes a free backup size!), wear it for the wedding, and return it by mail with a prepaid shipping label—comfortable!
Styling your bridal party: How to pick bridesmaid dresses
Keep the wedding venue, your theme and colour palette, and the season in mind from the start of your search. Strapless gowns, for example, are better suited to summer weddings than winter affairs. If you’re set on strapless dresses for a winter wedding—consider adding faux fur shrugs or satin shawls.
Figure Out Your Restroom Situation
Yep, planning an outdoor wedding means talking about the unglamorous parts, such as your restroom situation. If your wedding venue doesn’t have easily-accessible restrooms onsite, then you’ll need to rent toilets for your guests and figure out how to place them strategically.
Lace dresses can work for any style of the wedding but are typically used for vintage-themed weddings. Whatever theme you choose, lace dresses are an excellent option which your bridesmaids will love.
Floor-length dresses may be out of place for a rustic barn wedding, and short dresses usually don’t suit black-tie events. Explore photos of real weddings to see what styles match specific themes and venues.
While you probably don’t want to spend your precious wedding budget on restrooms, consider getting a bathroom trailer for your guests. A bathroom trailer is pulled by a truck and features a high-quality interior with running water and lighting.
Yes, it’s more costly than your standard porta potty, but it’s also more beautiful and arguably expected at luxurious weddings. However, the most important thing is that you provide enough stalls for your guests.
Affordable Bridesmaid Dresses
Whether you want to go formal or straightforward, short dresses or long ones, picking out a dress you and your bridesmaids will both love is tough. There’s a lot of pressure making sure it compliments each body type, personality, and the theme of your wedding.
While some women love slinky dresses, others may prefer more modest options. Consider their preferences—and don’t require them to wear something that makes them uncomfortable. While it’s your wedding, it’s their body. Compromise can please all parties: Allow your bridesmaids to choose cap sleeves or an illusion neckline instead of a sleeveless dress, or add coverage with shawls, wraps, or modesty panels. Elegant doesn’t have to mean revealing or form-fitting.
Weatherproof Your Bridal Look
One of the biggest challenges of planning an outdoor wedding is figuring out how to stay stylish and comfortable on your big day. The last thing you want is to be shivering in your dress or sweating your makeup off mid-ceremony.
Luckily, trends have become more diverse with dress styles and offer more varieties which will suit each bridesmaid and complete your perfect wedding day. Keep in mind that affordable bridesmaid dresses don’t always have to match and sometimes that works out better.
Good to know
Look at colour swatches in daylight for an accurate idea of the hue—store lighting can cause colours to appear different than their actual shade.
Should the Maid of Honor wear a different dress?
Your Maid of Honor can wear the same style dress as your bridesmaids, but you may choose to let her stand out with a dress in a different colour, cut, or length.
Dressing For Cold Weather
If your wedding is in early spring or late fall, look for a wedding dress with heavier fabric that will help keep you warm against the biting chill. You can also throw on a fancy stole or pashmina to elevate your bridal style while being uber practical.
For other bridal tips, life hacks, or money-saving tips, check out our blog. For more information or if you have questions, feel free to contact us with your concerns!
Does a junior bridesmaid wear the same style dress?
A junior bridesmaid usually wears a dress in a similar style to the older women in the bridal party, but keep it age-appropriate: cap sleeves, A-line styles, or princess dresses are all great choices.
Also, don’t forget to choose closed-toe wedding shoes to keep your poor toes from turning Blue from the cold. If your wedding ceremony is being held in a grassy area, you may also want to avoid pointy heels altogether. Nothing ruins the magic of the moment like getting stuck in the grass as you walk down the aisle!