Finding the perfect wedding gown can be a HUGE mission but, believe it or not, choosing the perfect bridesmaids‘ dresses to go with it can be even trickier – after all, you’ll have to take so much more than your own tastes and body shape into consideration.
“It’s always a good idea to have already chosen your own bridal gown before shopping for your bridesmaids’ dresses,” advises Tania Roddy, owner of Sydney’s Perfect Day Bridal which specialises in wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ gowns.
“Your dress will provide a good base for the kind of ‘story’ you’d like to create for you and your bridal party,” she adds.
Have you asked a friend or family member to do a reading during your ceremony?
For example, if you have chosen a sophisticated, Grace Kelly-inspired gown, then its overall style will serve as the foundation of your bridesmaids’ dresses which you would, most likely, want to match your your gown’s classic styling.
Since she first began working in bridal boutiques five years ago, Tania has helped around 200 brides find their dream wedding dress – as well as the perfect bridesmaids’ gowns.
“I still get goosebumps when a bride walks out and starts tearing up because she knows – and I know – that she’s found The One, her perfect wedding gown,” says Tania.
“There’s something indescribably special about being the person who helps a bride find the dress she’ll walk down the aisle in – and it’s doubly pleasurable when I get to help outfit her bridesmaids and bring to life the perfect picture she sees in her head!”
If you’re wearing a classic princess ballgown…
So, you’ve decided to live the fairy tale wedding dream and chosen a dress fit for a princesses. This style, typically, features a very full skirt and is, often, strapless and may be adorned with a long train.
According to Tania, flowing, chiffon bridesmaid dresses look beautiful matched with this style of gown, but they could really wear a multitude of styles because you’ve opted for quite a traditional gown. Your bridesmaids could be in different colours and lengths, with or without straps.
Another option could be for your bridesmaids to wear a similar princess-style to you but in different colours, adds Tania.
If you’re wearing a formal dress
If your dress is all about modern elegance, your bridesmaid dresses should also be quite formal, suggests Tania.
“You might want your bridesmaids to wear long gowns, rather than short dresses. You could look at a luxe chiffon with a soft shimmer to it,” she says. “Lace is always very nice for a formal event, too. You could go down the path of satins and jerseys to keep it more elegant.”
Another option for your bridesmaids is to wear something more structured in full lace.
If you want to go all-white
It used to be that only the bride wore white, but all-white bridal parties are unbelievably elegant, says Tania. “It’s got a real romance and elegance to it.”
To set the ladies apart, they could each be wearing a different coloured sash that ties in with your flowers, which would really pop against their dresses, she adds.
If you’ve chosen a tea-length gown
Reminiscent of style-icon Audrey Hepburn, this dress sits mid-calf and is a little more fun and playful than other styles, such as the princess ballgown, says Tania. It’s perfect for a mid-afternoon garden party and it’s a good opportunity for your bridesmaids to wear something a bit more fun, perhaps something in a bold colour in a similar style gown to yours.
If you’re getting married on the beach
Short dresses work best if you’re getting married on the beach and your bridesmaids’ dresses could be fun, flirty and a little flippy, suggests Tania. Lots of soft, flowy chiffon works well in a less formal setting too and the girls could wear beautiful pastel colours.
However, adds Tania, though matching your bridesmaids’ dresses with your own gown – and the wedding’s overall theme – is the norm, it’s your wedding day and your decision whether to stick with – or ditch – convention when it comes to your bridal party’s outfits.
“Ultimately, you can do whatever you want,” says Tania. “There are no rules and it’s all very personal. One bride may want all her bridesmaids in the same style gown in the same colour, while another bride may want them in different style gowns and in different shades, too.
“It just comes down to what makes you, as the bride, happy!”
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