It’s time to pick your besties’s outfits to be part of your bridal squad! Better find out all about the bridesmaid dress etiquette and what’s hot and what’s not!
Choosing bridesmaid dresses should not be – but it generally is – a source of stress for the bride AND her wedding party. Find out who pays for the bridesmaid dress, how much do bridesmaid dresses cost, when you should order the outfits, and even what’s trending!
Having a few bridesmaid dress etiquette rules handy will help everyone navigate this time with ease. And have a little fun in the process! It’s shopping time after all! 😉
General Bridesmaid Etiquette
While the general duties of a bridesmaid vary from bride to bride, know that your BFFs are there to help you with your wedding duties. Well.. some of the duties… like helping address the invites, running small errands for you and the like. But there is one thing for sure the bridesmaids have to do: stand by your side at your wedding.
That means having to wear a cohesive look on your wedding day. Let’s go over some bridesmaid dress etiquette tips before diving into the fash trends!
Who Pays For The Bridesmaid Dress?
This is a very good question! Traditionally, a bridesmaid is expected to pay for her own dress, including the shoes, accessories, hair and makeup for the big day – minus the bridesmaid bouquet, of course. That’s on the bride.
Now that we covered who traditionally pays for bridesmaid dresses, let’s go over a few alternative ways of handling this. The bride covering this expense for her bridal squad is becoming more and more standard, or at the very least, they cover part of the cost. Some brides are helping their friends meet their bridesmaid dress etiquette by loaning them the money over time.
How Much Do Bridesmaid Dresses Cost?
Bridesmaid dresses do range in cost. The average cost of a bridesmaid dress this year in the U.S. is $150 according to Brides magazine. But that price can go up if you need to have any alterations done. Plus, you need to factor in the shoes and any accessories and other expenses. Being a bridesmaid is not for the faint of heart! (or pockets!)
We know these are your bae people, but as the bride, keep it on the affordable side. Be creative – you’ll see many options that are totally lit here – and let them know how highly you think of them often.
How to Ask Bridesmaids to Pay for their Dress (Nicely)
First of all, it is good manners and of course perfect bridesmaid dress etiquette to include them in the search for “the” bridesmaid dress.
Share with them your vision of the wedding, the colors, shades or wedding theme. Furthermore, show them a specific dress you found and its price and ask them if it fits what they were planning to spend. There. you’ve done it.
If they expected you to pay for their dress, explain that it’s customary for the bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses. If they can’t afford the dress, this is the moment to let you know! Maybe you’ll decide on a cheaper alternative and even help them pay for the dress. Even though it’s your big day, discuss the dress issue with your friends and come to a good understanding on dresses that work for everyone’s budget!
One great idea is gifting them the shoes or the jewelry. Your bridal squad will appreciate that. You were going to thank them with a gift after all, right? Make it something useful for all of you!
When Should you Order the Bridesmaid Dresses?
For off the rack dresses, get them when you find them. You never know when they will go out of stock. If you’ve chosen designer outfits, think six months in advance. Three months for them to arrive and three for any alterations needed.
Bridesmaid Dress Etiquette: The Long and the Short of it
This never ends, does it? Long bridesmaid dresses are perfect for a black-tie affair, winter or an evening reception. On the other hand, short dresses will give a more informal vibe that could be perfect for a daytime or outdoor wedding. If you are having a hard time deciding, go with the time rule: is the wedding before or after 6PM? If it’s after, pick long bridesmaid dresses. But always, always be true to your aesthetic.
What’s Trending on Bridesmaid Dresses?
Finally, here are the hottest trends for your bridal party to flaunt and feel gorgeous at your wedding!
The Two-Piece Look that will Capture Everybody’s Heart
Love these flouncy tulle skirts that your bridesmaids will be able to use again and again. Being a bridesmaid is such an investment that thinking of their pockets will be hugely appreciated. If you are not a fan of tulle skirts, any two-piece outfit will do. Get inspired by these bridesmaid dress ideas!
Sweet Florals that Fit any Wedding Style
Florals can really pop against a bride’s white (or off-white dress). It’s a very feminine and appealing look that goes well with boho, vintage, garden, urban and backyard weddings! Lighter backgrounds are sweet and flowy and the trendiest darker backgrounds are ultra flattering!
Light up your Bridal Squad with Sequins
If you want your bridesmaids to really dazzle on the day of your wedding, sequin dresses are fire. They will add glitz and glamour of your wedding. This trend works full-length, knee-length or as a sequin top paired with a long pleated skirt. Perfect for re-use!
Luxurious and Soft Velvet Bridesmaid Dresses
If you’re having a fall or winter wedding, velvet bridesmaid dresses are perfect! The soft and eye-catching fabric provides some extra flair to the dresses, making them stand out no matter what color you pick!
This is more on trend now than ever, mix and match your bridal party look! Gives your bridesmaids a chance to show off their personal style and pick their most flattering dress silhouette. Just be sure to setup a few guidelines and ask them to check with you before purchasing them so you end up with a cohesive look.
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Photo Credits: storenvy, whowhatwear, revelry, wedding-venues.