Sweet Beginnings: Bridesmaid Shopping when Spread Out

Congratulations, love! You’re engaged and ready to shop for your bridesmaid’s attire! You have already found your gown and thought through what you want your girls to wear. Now, what to do for bridesmaid shopping since none of you are in the same area? It is certainly more challenging to get everyone on the same page and to select bridesmaids dresses when you are all spread out. However, it is not impossible, trust me! Today I’m sharing 5 tips for how to do just that!

I know what you are thinking – Jenn, I need to see them on everyone to get the picture. How will I know if they all are comfortable and love them? What if the color is different in person than when I look online? Don’t worry, I have been there as a bridesmaid and planner. I’ve got you covered!

  1. Do your research. There are a lot of options these days, when it comes to bridal party attire. You need to know what you are looking for, to an extent. Ideally, you will know whether you want all one color, the same fabric but different colors, length and a few other things. Also, consider a list of 3-5 designers you would like to look at.
  2. Talk to your girls. Know what budgets they are comfortable with. Do any of them need straps or desire to downplay an area with the cut of the dress? Do you have a group of gals with varying body types that you will need to consider different cuts for? Even though this is ultimately your decision and vision, making them as confident as possible in what they wear will go a long way. You might also want to see if any of them can get together on a weekend. If so, they can take a photo and send it to you for overall vision.
  3. Get swatches. If possible, you should go into a bridal salon and look at some of the gowns you are considering in person. When doing so, ask the boutique for swatches of the colors and designers you are looking at. This way, you will know what color you’ll be getting, not what is on the computer screen. If you are using an online boutique or service, many of them can mail you swatches at your request.
  4. Make it easy. Bridesmaid shopping has many challenges, even when you are all together. If you are not able to gather as a partial or full group, keep it simple. I suggest narrowing it down to 3 dresses for the girls to try on and find boutiques in their area that carries them. Then, email all of the girls the information and ask them to schedule appointments to try them on. Keep in mind that the boutique might not have the style in the color you are looking for, but they should have those two things available to see. For example, if the style is in navy and you want to get it in blush, have your bridesmaid try on the correct style, as well as the other style in the color. That way, you can see both on her.  (Bonus Tip: if you are using an online service, still have the girls try on at a salon if possible. If not, most online services offer a try on option for a small fee.)
  5. Stay in touch. Of course you want photos, but consider doing a group google hang out or facetime when everyone is at the boutiques trying on. If not possible to do so real time, schedule some time to chat as a group or one on one with your girls to get their feedback. Then, once you’ve gathered all of their thoughts and opinions, you can make your decision and tell them!

{ Katharyne Dunn }

As with most things in the wedding planning process, try to be open minded. The girls might have an idea or find something that you had not thought of. Or, you might even like something when you see it that you didn’t think you would. Also consider having the same dress, but with versatility. For my sister in law’s wedding, we all wore the same bridesmaid dress, but in two colors, and we were able to keep it versatile if we didn’t want a strapless (which I definitely took advantage of). Many designers are making multi-way styles these days, so take advantage of those options.

Happy shopping, lovelies!

xoxo, Jenn