Think About Price
If the girls are going to be paying for their own dresses, you will have to think about their budget when you hit that great store or online dress boutique to hunt for your gowns, and whether the dress will be something they can realistically get any other use out of. Sure, your bridesmaids may be comfortable paying a lot for a classic cocktail dress they love that they can wear to all kinds of future engagements, but will they be so keen to fork out a lot of money for a floor length puffy thing in a weird shade of green, which will only look right when surrounded by all your wedding decorations and other similarly dressed people?
Budget can be a difficult question too, when your bridesmaids are from different circles with different incomes. Your friend who is a student will not think of a ‘fair amount to pay for a dress’ in the same way as your cousin, the corporate lawyer. If your bridesmaids are your old school friends, some may already be married with kids and have bigger financial priorities than those career focused members of the group who love spending their disposable income on fashion. Talk honestly about budget and be willing to compromise if some girls simply can’t afford to buy that dress you think is perfect – it may be your big day, but for them it is not worth eating nothing but raven for two months over!
Know Their Shape
Unless you have a particularly similar looking group of friends (you are all sisters close in age, for example), you will probably have to consider differences in body shape. You may have a friend who always wears heels because she’s only 5ft 1, and a friend who never wears them because she is 6ft 1. You need to think about something that will make them both look and feel good. Equally, you may have a busty friend who looks great in halternecks but can never get strapless dresses to fit, or a plus side friend who isn’t up for showing her legs.
A bridesmaid dress that isn’t too heavily ‘themed’ is a good choice if you want your girls to be able to reuse their dresses. A strange color that works with your scheme may not be good if that color is an unusual or unfashionable one in other contexts. How often do you think you would wear a forest green velvet dress or a peach satin one? Not as often as a red or dark blue one, probably. Do consider your bridesmaid dresses as an expensive addition to their wardrobes rather than a costume for a bit part in your event! Bridesmaids have an important role in the wedding, and making sure they feel good in their dresses as well as looking how you want in your photos is crucial!