11 Things No One Tells You About Shopping for a Bridesmaids Dress

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1. Research before you shop! Don’t even browse. Instead, ask yourself what color, fabric, length, and silhouette you are picturing on your bridesmaids. Once you have a few ideas in your head, then you can start shopping for bridesmaids dresses.

2. Schedule your shopping trip well in advance. Getting all of your bridesmaids together can be a nightmare because of work, kids, hobbies, and distance. Use a survey app to find a time that works for everyone. That way everyone be there.

3. Or choose a chain or online store. Chances are if you’re not getting married straight out of college that some of your bridesmaids live out of town or out of state. Your ‘maids won’t all get the same dye lot if they’re wearing matching dresses but they will be able to get the same dress.

4. Shop with shapewear and shoes. Undies and footwear can make such a difference – not only to how a dress looks but also how it feels (especially when it’s body hugging or floor length). Make sure everyone comes equipped.

5. Be up front about your wants. Let your bridesmaids know in advance how much input you want. Are you going to shop around and want lots of suggestions or is the point of your outing to see everyone in the dress you’re 99.9% sure you’re going to pick?

6. Ask about discounts. Be brave! First question, does the price tag include tax and any shipping or alteration costs? If everyone is buying together that day, can you get a break on alterations? Bulk discount if you’re having a ton of bridesmaids? It never hurts to ask!

7. Bring cover ups. There may not be enough fitting rooms for all your ‘maids – without a robe or some other cover up, they’ll have to get redressed between try-ons. It’s a lot easier to throw on a robe between bridesmaids dresses.

8. Ask for suggestions. The staff has a lot of experiencing helping steer brides-to-be toward the perfect dresses, so use it. Tell them your ideas about color, fabric, length, and silhouette – and whether you want all your bridesmaids to match – and let them bring you some options.

9. Listen to your ‘maids. You want them to be comfortable on your wedding day, right? So if one of your bridesmaids hates her arms or is terrified to go strapless, but a kind bride and take their preferences into account.

10. Eat after. Brunch then bridesmaids dress shopping? Reverse that. No one feels or looks their best at a dress fitting after mimosas and a visit to the waffle bar.

11. Don’t hesitate to pick backups. No, not backup bridesmaids! Backup dresses. The turnaround time on bridesmaids dress orders can be insane and mix ups happen. Planning a wedding – and being a bridesmaid – is a lot less stressful when you don’t leave things to chance.

christa terry for usabride.com