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Bride With Bridesmaids Wearing Different DressesUnless you’re completely unfamiliar with wedding culture, you’ve probably heard about the so-called ugly bridesmaid dress. This humorous trope has been reflected in pop culture, including popular television shows such as “Friends” and “Sex and the City,” as well as films such as “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “27 Dresses” (which featured 27 of them). The idea of a bridesmaid dress being unflattering arises from the concept of ensuring that no one outshines the bride on her big day. For good reason, there’s much ado about finding the right gown, but care should also go into bridesmaid outfits. Here are some tips to help avoid an unfortunate situation between you and your bridal court.

Be Money-Minded

It is common for members of the wedding party to be responsible for paying for their attire. When you were deciding on bridesmaids, the ability to pay should have been a factor in your choices. Try to keep the cost down, even if your bridesmaids can afford to splurge. There’s a good chance that there are other costs they need to cover. That said, you’ll also get what you pay for, so going cheap might not be the best move. Think about affordability and usage. A more expensive dress may be a good choice if it’s something that can be incorporated into a wardrobe and worn multiple times. You can also look into renting, a more affordable solution for high fashion.

Put Yourself in Their “Shoes”

Bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes, and it goes without saying that not every silhouette will flatter every shape. Think about the style choices and bodies of the people in your party. Plunging necklines, high slits and sleeveless dresses may not work for everyone. Even if you’re envisioning a particular silhouette for everyone, try to avoid one that may require major or expensive alterations, adding to the cost burden. Check to see what sizes are available for the look you love. Your bridesmaids will appreciate you being inclusive with wedding-day apparel.

You may have a bridal party that can rock nearly any style. However, you should also be mindful of how the dress feels. When you find something you like, try it on yourself. How does it feel? Is it an outfit that looks good but feels uncomfortable? Perhaps it’s one that only looks good for the first hour but quickly goes south over the span of a marriage ceremony plus reception. Consider these details as you plan and shop. If you don’t like wearing the dress, your loved ones probably won’t either.

Watch the Weather

Alfresco nuptials are very popular in certain locales and times of the year. What might work for an air-conditioned or heated space may not work in the great outdoors. Heat can make certain fabrics uncomfortable, and moisture from a surprise storm can also ruin some looks. Bridesmaid outfits should be climate-appropriate and breathable, able to hold up to Mother Nature’s shenanigans.

Be Flexible

Personal relationships should be the deciding factor in your party, not physiques. It may be impossible to find a silhouette that works for everyone. Consider loosening up on the dress and giving your loved ones some flexibility. You could limit their options to a particular color story or range of colors. The location of your nuptials may inspire you to aim for a certain vibe with apparel instead of a specific outfit. If you’ve found a bridesmaid dress that you have to say yes to, allow some creativity and variety when it comes to accessories. Often, it’s the little details that turn a look from drab to fab.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to planning your wedding, and the attire of your party can be a major decision. Don’t let your wedding live up to the “ugly” bridesmaid dress trope. Finding an approach that complements everyone is one way to show appreciation for your bridesmaids’ time, treasure and commitment.

Category: Wedding Planning

wedding attire

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