1. Start Early
Bridesmaid Dress manufacturers are constantly adding and discontinuing styles and often increasing prices on more popular carryover styles of bridesmaid dresses. As a result, it is strongly recommended shopping for and ordering your dresses as soon as you have made a decision on the bridesmaid dresses you want. Different bridesmaid dress manufacturers have different lead times. You will also want to leave enough time for alterations for your bridesmaid dresses – usually at least two weeks to one month before the wedding if not sooner.
2. Get Measured
The first thing you want to do is to have all of the bridesmaids professionally measured for their bridesmaid dresses. You can often do this at your first bridal shop or department store. This way you can cross reference them with the size chart for the manufacturer you have selected in order to ensure you order the size that is closest to their figure. Most bridesmaid dress designers make their dresses in accordance with the measurements of their own size chart and not to each individual. As a result, you won’t be able to assume that a size 8 from manufacturer “A” will fit the same way a size 8 does from manufacturer “B”. Also remember bridesmaids taller than 5’7 may need to add extra length to their dresses.
3. Consider Your Bridesmaids Before Deciding on Your Bridesmaid Dresses
When choosing a dress, it is the bride’s privilege to select the color and type of fabric of the bridesmaids’ dresses. It should compliment the bride’s gown, but it should also be comfortable and attractive for the attendants. Consideration should be given to the bridesmaids’ styles, color preferences, their figure types as well as their budgets.
4. Shop Online for your Bridesmaid Dresses
Help your bridesmaids save money buying finding a reputable buying service online. Online retailers offer much better prices than most bridal shops! You can even have the dresses shipped directly to each bridesmaid if you prefer just in case your bridesmaids live in different states or countries.
5. Order All At Once
You should order all your bridesmaid dresses at the same time as fabric dye-lots can vary. If you don’t order the dresses one at a time, the dresses might not all be from the same dye-lot so they might not all be the exact same color. This goes for dyed shoes as well.
6. Leave Plenty of Time for Alterations with the Bridesmaid Dresses
Once you order your dresses, be sure to set up an appointment for alterations for your bridesmaid dresses. Since most dresses will need some degree of alterations, you should allow plenty of time for two fitting appointments. Bridal attendants should bring shoes with the correct heel size to the fittings, as well as appropriate hosiery and slips.
Accessories, such as shoes, gloves, shawls, purses and hair combs should also be decided upon once the bridesmaid dresses have been selected. Leave plenty of time for shoes to be dyed and picked up. Also consider what color hosiery you want everyone to wear, as well as bras and slips if applicable.