Lessons Learned from Bridesmaids Dress Shopping

My maid of honor (MOH), a friend, and I went shopping for bridesmaids dresses the other night, and after months of searching, we finally found the perfect dress!  It’s the exact color I wanted to correspond with my wedding saree, and it will be very flattering and gorgeous on the girls.

One of the difficulties was that only one bridesmaid (my MOH) was with me,  the other two being in different states.  I wanted to get some input from the other girls, because I didn’t want them getting stuck buying something they would absolutely hate.  Of course, we’re all part of the wired generation, so my smartphone made instant communication very easy and I ended up selecting something everyone was happy with.

So here are some things I learned in this process:

  1. Have some idea what your style and colors are before going in. We went to a large chain to shop for the dress (with bridesmaids scattered across the country, this makes getting the dress and attending fittings easier for them, because they can all go to their local store).  As I learned from buying my wedding dress at a bridal warehouse in NYC, the options are vast.  I walked in knowing some specifics (ankle-length, strapless, the fabric), so this allowed us to bypass a lot of the dresses and really narrow in on ones that fit the look I was going for.  I also had pictures of my bridal saree on my camera, so it was a matter of deciding between two colors, not the dozens that were available.  This saved a lot of time and effort.
  2. Bring your phone. If you’re like me, you’ve got your smartphone with you at all times.  I was able to take photos of my MOH in the 2 dresses I was deciding between and send them to the other bridesmaids, getting instant feedback.  When you’re trying to put all your bridesmaids in the same dress, it’s important to remember it needs to flatter everyone’s body shape.  What is great on one girl is an overpriced sack on another.  Get their input if they can’t be there.
  3. Try to see the dress in the color you want. In the size my MOH needed to try on the dress, they didn’t have the color I wanted.  Luckily, they had a sample in the right color in a smaller size that would fit my friend that came along.  What was dull and unimpressive in the champagne my MOH fit in was stunning in the pink my friend tried on.  If I hadn’t seen the dress in the right color, I would have passed it by without a second thought.  Different colors can make details (beadwork, etc.) really stand out.  Look at it in the color and see how it looks before making your decision.
  4. Be open-minded to the saleswoman’s suggestions. The dress I ended up choosing was recommended by the saleswoman.   Twice.  I said no, my MOH said no, our friend said no.  We hated it, we didn’t like the details, we thought it was a strange shape.  Then we tried it on and – wow – perfect dress.
  5. Remember that in the end, it’s your wedding. One of my bridesmaids didn’t like the dress.  But I did.  In fact, I loved it.  My MOH loved it, the other bridesmaid loved it.  Fact: you can’t make everyone happy.  Do your best, but remember that in the end, it’s your wedding.  Limitation to this: There are some god-awful ugly dresses out there.  Remember that you are asking your friends to spend a significant chunk of change on a dress that they may never wear again.  Don’t make it the ugliest thing in the world.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 episode "Hells' Bells" - DO NOT DO THIS TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS




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