The road to finding that perfect bridesmaid dress could be easy and wonderful – or paved with a bit of drama and discomfort. It doesn’t have to be the latter, though. Whether you’re a veteran bridesmaid yourself or you’ve never been in someone else’s bridal party, many brides have expectations and assumptions about bridesmaid attire that just won’t work. Read on for 10 details your bridesmaids wish you knew about choosing their dress – but might not be telling you.
1. If they’re not comfortable in it, they won’t look or feel their best.
As a cardinal rule for all other details your bridesmaids will want you to know, this one probably is the most all-encompassing. Your bridesmaids need to be comfortable in what they’re wearing, or they simply won’t have a good time at your wedding. This applies for self-confidence as well as physical comfort on the big day. Plus, if they don’t look or feel their best, guests will notice…and it’ll show in your wedding pictures!
2. Price really does matter.
The average bridesmaid dress can cost anywhere from $100-$300. That doesn’t mean that each of your bridesmaids can afford to purchase a dress within that price range, though. Be mindful of their life situations. Will any of your maids need to fly in and get a hotel, in addition to purchasing a dress, shoes, and so on? Do they work more than one job to support their family? Are they students working part-time jobs?
While it’s likely not appropriate to inquire about their financial situation, you could definitely reach out to each maid privately to see what she feels is her budget limit for the dress. That way, you can make sure you choose a gown within everyone’s budget, or you can offer to cover the cost (or part of it) if out of their price range.
3. If the dress works, they’ll see it as an investment.
If you choose a really fabulous, functional dress as your bridesmaid attire choice, your bridesmaids will be oh-so-grateful! This is especially true for shorter gowns and lighter fabrics. Keep in mind that attire in darker colors is generally easiest to reuse, too.
4. Consider the time of year your wedding is, and dress your maids appropriately.
While you may be in love with Victorian, full-lace sleeves and thick fabrics down to the ankles, that won’t suit a summer wedding outdoors. Much like when you choose your wedding dress, you should consider how your bridesmaid dresses will look in your venue at the time you’ll get married. Your bridesmaids will thank you for it!
5. Sometimes one style just won’t work for everyone.
One bridesmaid is tall and lean. Another is short and stout. Will the same gown look great on both of them? Not likely.
Keep in mind that your bridesmaids don’t have to be matchy-matchy to look like they’re part of the bridal party. Pick a fabric and color, and then have each maid pick out a gown of her choosing to wear. I definitely suggest requesting final approval before they purchase it, though!
If you’re still holding on to dreams of a matching bridal party, try opting for an A-Line silhouette. This generally looks good on all body types.
6. One color doesn’t always work for everyone.
Fuchsia may be your absolute favorite color, but that doesn’t mean it’ll look great on every bridesmaid. When considering what your bridesmaids will wear, think about their complexions and hair colors. What will work? What will wash them out? Consider dressing them in another accent color if necessary and having them carry your primary color in their bouquets. Or, you could mix and match the colors they wear.
7. Strapless gowns can cause issues.
If any of your bridesmaids are chesty, a strapless dress could cause issues. Also, keep in mind how the dress will function if you’re planning to have a dance rave at your reception. Unexpected attire malfunctions could be quite distracting!
8. Their opinion matters.
It’s easy to think of yourself as the dictator of bridal party fashion when you’re the bride. Don’t let yourself go there, though. While it’s true that your opinion matters most, and you do in fact have the final say, what your bridesmaids wear should be a conversation – not just an assignment. That’s especially true if they’re paying for the gown!
9. They’re not out to upstage you.
I’ll just say it: if you chose someone who you think will try to upstage you or cause problems on wedding day, you didn’t choose the right bridesmaid to begin with. That being said, and assuming you did choose the right maids, they love you! Why would they try to steal your thunder on wedding day? So, instead of picking a gown that will ensure everyone looks a little frumpy or just a little out of place around you, choose a gown that they all look like rock stars in. After all, you’re the bride. All eyes will be on you! If they look bad, it’ll look like poor planning on your part…both during the wedding and in pictures.
10. They don’t want the dress decision to be stressful any more than you do.
Keep an open mind. Know what your vision is before you begin the dress-hunting process, and consider how the gowns will look next to yours on the big day. Once the decision’s been made and the gown or gowns have been chosen, assign your Maid of Honor to handle dress orders and other dress-related details. Stay cool and calm, and make sure everyone feels comfortable to discuss the decision freely with you from start to finish. You’ll be glad you did later – and so will they!
What other details do you wish brides considered when choosing the bridesmaid dress?
Tell me in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Chattanooga wedding photographers Bamber Photography.
House of Brides.com is able to offer our featured collections at up to 80% off retail prices for 2 key reasons. First, we operate at a lower overhead than a retail store. For example, we do not employ a sales staff or alterations department, all of which add to the cost of operation. Since we do not have to accommodate for these costs, we can pass the savings along to our customers. Secondly, House of Brides.com is able to offer exceptional prices due to the high volume of business we do with our designers. House of Brides has ten (10) brick and mortar stores and has been in business for over 85 years and is very well established in the bridal industry.
What is the difference between a special order and an in-stock gown?
Special order gowns are made according to each order we receive from a customer and submit to the designer. We do not keep special order gowns in stock. Likewise, designers also do not stock special order gowns. Special order gowns normally take 10 -16 weeks for delivery from the designer to our location. Immediate Delivery gowns ship in 7 business days or less. We have these gowns in-stock in various sizes and colors on a first-come, first-serve basis. Quick delivery gowns normally take less than 5 weeks for delivery depending on availability.
What is the delivery time for orders?
Special orders normally take 10 - 16 weeks for delivery from the designer to our location but delivery is dependent on the manufacturer's schedule. Manufacturers do not guarantee their delivery dates since their production can vary. Ship dates are tentative and subject to change. Quick delivery orders from the Quick Delivery Dresses collections can normally take less than 5 weeks for delivery depending on availability.
What is a Rush order?
Most of our designers offer a Rush service for orders that have been placed in a time frame that falls short of their standard production schedule. Rush does not imply that an order will be "rushed" into production ahead of other orders. Rush means, if time permits and the fabric of a particular style is available, our manufacturer will cut the order. Delivery for Rush orders is approximately 4 - 8 weeks dependent on the manufacturer's schedule. The fee for the Rush service is dependent on the designer and will display on the order form and added to your total price. Rush service is not available for all designers.
When should I order?
Special orders take 10 - 16 weeks for delivery from the designer to our location. Quick delivery orders are shipped from our location within 5 weeks of the purchase depending on availability. Please place your order as far as in advance of your wedding date as possible. By doing so, you will allow ample time for production and shipping. It also affords you a comfortable time frame to accommodate any alterations if necessary. Note: designers periodically discontinue their styles without advance notice.
What is your return policy?
All sales are final and cannot be cancelled at the point of purchase. Due to the special nature of our merchandise, we cannot accommodate exchanges or refunds under any circumstances. In addition, our vendors are unable to cancel or make any changes or modifications to any order once it has been placed. Please be sure of the style, size, color, and any other specifications before submitting your order. Also, standardized dye lots cannot be guaranteed for orders with multiple gown styles.
All merchandise must be inspected immediately. If there is a defect in the merchandise the customer must contact House of Brides within 5 days of receiving the merchandise. House of Brides must verify the defect or damage prior to issuing any refunds. Any dress altered or changed prior to the inspection will not be allowed for a return or refund of any kind.
How can I try-on or see the gowns before I order?
You will need to locate a retailer in your area that offers the designer and particular style you are interested in. House of Brides stores are located in Illinois only and do not carry samples of every style displayed on our website. We strongly suggest viewing the gown before ordering since all sales are final and cannot be cancelled.
How can I see a swatch of the color I'm interested in before I order?
Designers provide retailers with swatch cards for in-store use only. We do not have swatches available to send out to customers. You will need to locate a retailer in your area that offers the designer to view their swatch card. Please note that colors can appear differently on-site since computer monitors do vary. We strongly suggest contacting a retailer in your area to physically view the designer's swatch card prior to ordering for the best determinant.
How do I order?
To make a purchase online: Click on the product that you would like to purchase; Select size, color and any additional options, Click “Add to Cart” in the upper right hand corner of your screen to complete the checkout process. If you require assistance, contact our customer service department M-F 9-5 CST at 1-630-827-0500.
To order by phone, please contact us M-F 9-5 CST at 1-630-827-0500 or International customers contact 00-1-630-827-0500. A customer service representative will be happy to assist you. Se habla espanol.
Fax or Mail Orders
To order by fax or mail, please print and complete the customer order form located on the bottom (footer) of our homepage. Order forms can be faxed to 630-629-4066 or mailed to:
House of Brides
1184 Roosevelt Road
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137
Email your order to email@example.com. Be sure to include the following information: name, billing/shipping information, phone number, event date, designer, style number quantity, color, size, additional options and payment info.
Can I order directly from the designer?
Designers only accept orders from retailers and will not accept orders directly from a customer. Designers also do not communicate directly with customers regarding order statuses. Order information is only given to retailers.
How do I pay?
The payment of your order is due in full at the point of purchase. We do not offer any payment or lay-away programs. House of Brides accepts all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. We also accept personal checks, money orders, or cashiers checks for mail-in orders only. Be sure to mail the order and payment together at the same time. All mailed personal checks, money orders, or cashiers checks should be made payable to: House of Brides. House of Brides also accepts PayPal payments. House of Brides cannot refund any portion of your payment or accommodate any exchanges. Once your order has been submitted, our vendors are unable to make any changes or modifications relative to style, size, color, or specific length on an order.
Is there a charge for sales tax?
All orders shipped to an Illinois address are subject to an 8.25% sales tax.
How do I decide what size to order?
Each manufacturer offers their own size chart, which reflects how they cut their sizes. Please see Size Charts on our site. It is important that you follow the individual designer's chart to decide your size. Keep in mind that the measurements are taken to determine the closest size to be ordered and that the garment will not be custom-made to the exact measurements. Almost every gown will need some type of adjustment. Prior to selecting
your size to order, we suggest reviewing the information provided in How to Measure. The designer will be unable to accommodate any changes to the size once the order has been placed. The customer is responsible for the size ordered and or whether or not to order special length. House of Brides cannot assume any responsibility for measurements. We are unable to assist in measurements or the selection of a size.
Can I order fabric?
We accept fabric orders in additional to a dress order. Most designers offer their fabric at an additional fee per yard. The minimum amount to order is 1 yard after, which you may order full yards. To place a fabric order, please contact a Customer Service representative at 1-630-827-0500 for pricing and order instructions. Please be aware that fabric orders are not cut at the same time as the dress order and may be cut from a different bolt of material, which can result in dye lot variation.
What if my payment is declined?
Contact our Customer Service Department at 1-630-827-0500 and a representative will assist you with alternative payment options.
How can I check the status of my order?
Login to your account at www.houseofbrides.com, contact a customer service representative at 1-630-827-0500, or click on Live Chat.
Why can't I get an exact shipping date instead of an estimated shipping date?
Manufacturers do not guarantee their ship dates since their production can vary. Ship dates are tentative and subject to change. Manufacturers provide retailers with an estimated shipping date. House of Brides implements a state of the art computer generated expediting system for all the orders we place. This program allows us to follow up and update the progress and tentative ship dates of every order on a routine basis. We have on-staff expeditors assigned to affect this process on a full-time schedule.
Do you ship outside the U.S.?
We ship Worldwide! Orders shipped outside the continental U.S. are sent via the United States Post Office Global Express Mail. Shipping charges are dependent on the postal code and will display during the online ordering process. Please note our shipping rates cover our cost to ship a large box to other counties. It does not cover any customs or duty charges imposed on the receiver of the package.
How long is shipping from your location to me?
Orders shipping from our location normally take 5 - 10 business days for domestic delivery. International delivery can take 7 – 14 days for delivery. This may vary according to the United States Post Office's schedule. Note delivery may run faster than these time frames and the customer will be notified by the email shipping confirmation.
Can I request upgraded shipping?
You may select upgraded shipping on our online order form or by calling 1-630-827-0500. Please note expedited delivery refers to the shipping from our location to your specified shipping address. It does not affect the time frame for the designer to deliver your order to our location.
Orders with expedited delivery are shipped USPS Express only. The charge is dependent on your zip/ postal code and will display at Checkout.
Can I pick up my order at one of your stores?
Your order is shipped directly to our distribution center. Unfortunately, orders cannot be picked up at House of Brides store locations
Can I have alterations at House of Brides?
House of Brides salons provide alterations for online customers. Customers must contact the salon of their choice to set-up an appointment with their Alterations Department. Please be aware the salons will give their customers appointment preference so we strongly suggest scheduling your appointment as far in advance as possible. Alterations charges are dependent on House of Brides salons. Please contact the salon for pricing. Please remember to bring your order receipt with you to the appointment. All alterations charges are due at the first fitting.
We offer our collections at up to 80% off retail prices. Plus, shipping within the continental U.S. is free when you order any wedding dress or 2 or more bridesmaid dresses shipped to the same address that total $299 or more. Also, free shipping to Canada and Europe for orders $599 or more. Check our site for other special promotions.
What if I don't see the designer or product I'm interested in?
We will make every effort to find you the product you are looking for, if you do not see what you are looking for on our site call 1-630-827-0500 and a customer service representative will be happy to assist you.
Can I receive a swatch?
Designers provide retailers with swatch cards for in-store use only. We do not have swatches available to send out to customers and are unable to request any from the designer.
Can I have a picture of the gown?
The available pictures are as posted on our website. We do not have additional pictures to send out to customers.
Are these used dresses?
All gowns and products are new authentic merchandise obtained directly from the designer. We do not accept or offer resale items.
Do you have locations outside Illinois?
House of Brides has ten (10) stores in Illinois. We are not affiliated with any other stores.
How do I contact Customer Service?
For general inquiries or to check the status of an online order, please call Customer Service at 1-630-827-0500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still have questions?
We suggest viewing Terms & Conditions for additional information or contacting a Customer Service representative at 1-630-827-0500.