A guest article by Emily Andrew Weddings
I hate to say it but more often than not bridesmaids can be one of the largest causes of stress my clients face when planning their big day! Number one of the issues is clothing! These are my top pieces of advice I give my clients to help them navigate this minefield.
First up is budget. If you are really tight on budget then it can be an option to ask your best ladies to provide their own outfits. If you select this option then always approach this topic sensitively with your friends as when they were asked to be a bridesmaid they were probably expecting to be provided with a lovely dress.
Be honest with them, and explain that it is so important to you that you can share your special day with them playing a major role but you are worrying about money and affording the whole expense of a wedding. If they are good friends they will be completely supportive and will be more than happy to help you out.
The flip side of this is that you may not be fully in control of the outfits they choose. You can give a loose criteria but don’t expect them all to agree to purchasing matching dresses they will only get one use out of.
Of course other ways of making your budget go further could be to offer to buy them their shoes if they buy the dresses or you treat them to having their hair and make up done in lieu of spending money on bridesmaid dresses.
Thinking about the overall style of your wedding may give you some clues about the sorts of outfits you wish to dress your maids in.
If you are having a vintage inspired wedding then think about using fabrics which would be in keeping with your theme like ditsy floral prints.
If you are planning something classic and elegant then your bridesmaid’s dresses should reflect this.
Your bridesmaids don’t need to be dressed identically, they could be in complementary patterns or colours, or ombre shades of your key colour.
Having said that, you need a certain amount of commonality to your maids, otherwise they will just look like wedding guests so an option could be to coordinate their bouquets to create some cohesion to their styling and look. For our shoot we selected brightly coloured spring flowers to create this.
The venue you have picked for your wedding may help you decide on the best dresses for your ladies.
A chic, contemporary setting wouldn’t really match tea length retro styled dresses, whereas sleek, modern sheath dresses would be more in keeping with the style of the surroundings.
Similarly, if you are getting married in a field then full length cream dresses may not be the most appropriate!
Also, think about how much moving around there is likely to be and the flooring. For a countryside based wedding where you may have a beautiful walk across fields to reach the church and a marquee reception, then stilettos would not be appropriate, neither would tight fitting skirts that didn’t allow your bridesmaids to walk safely across uneven pathways.
Footwear can become a real feature of styling your bridesmaids. For spring weddings a photo of brightly coloured, or matching, wellies makes for a fun and cheeky memory or for the summer think about comfortable, coordinating flip flops!
This is predominantly down to comfort and practicality which you need to consider, after all a bridesmaid with blue lips at a winter wedding doesn’t make for attractive wedding photographs.
This is not to say that your bridesmaids need to be equipped with thick coats and furry boots for a winter wedding or bikinis in high summer!
Think about creative ways of making your bridesmaids comfortable. The fabric choice of your dresses will be a key factor here.
Think about how fabrics react in the heat, if you are planning a mid-summer wedding then natural fabrics will be the best choice to prevent unsightly perspiration and in the winter, fine linen fabrics would offer little warmth, so consider opulent velvets or satins.
If the weather is slightly inclement then accessorise! Beautiful pashminas or feather stoles can add just a little extra coverage to shoulders and give some warmth. For winter weddings faux fur capes or bolero jackets can be a stylish option for keeping your best ladies warm.
There are so many options to style your bridesmaids in a unique and personal way, and you don’t need to spend a fortune. Let your personality, and those of your best ladies, shine through and have fun!
Photographer: Karen Fuller – Fuller Photography www.fullerphotographyweddings.co.uk
Florist: Jo Thomas – Constance Rose www.constancerose.co.uk
Cakes: Jon Blanchard – Constance Rose Cakes http://www.constancerose.co.uk/wedding-cakes/
Hairdresser: Leanne Giles – Sheer Perfection Instagram @xsheerperfectionx
Styling: Emily Andrew – Emily Andrew Events www.emilyandrewevents.co.uk