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Shopping for Your Bridal Party

Updated on August 22, 2013

Choosing dresses for your bridesmaids

Shopping for the outfits the women in your bridal party will wear and choosing gifts to thank them for participating in your wedding is an enjoyable task.

Be sure to ask for the input of your bridal party when selecting dress styles. Even if your bridesmaid tells you that she loves you and it's your day so she will wear whatever you choose, women especially may be very particular about what they wear and you will want to be sensitive to that issue.

Even if they don't want to voice their opinions at first, it might come up later, so be sure to ask so that every woman of every body type will be comfortable in her outfit.

Alternatively, you can select just the color and the material and allow each woman to select the style of her dress.

If you decide to stick with uniformity, know that you might go back to the drawing board a couple of times before you find consensus for a dress pattern that all of your bridemaids will love.

  • Shop around.
  • You can visit both the big bridal stores such as David's Bridal and the smaller and often independently owned bridal boutiques to find what you would like in bridesmaid dresses. The same goes for your wedding dress of course. Trunk shows are a lot of fun as well.

Bridesmaid dress styling issues

It might be hard to believe but a plethora of issues might come up when potential bridesmaids are trying on dresses. You might want to plan your wedding with formal floor length bridesmaid dresses but one of them might prefer how she looks in knee length or tea length dresses.

You might have chosen a particular color theme such as pink but one of the women hates to wear pink and decides that it's just better to let you know than to be miserable about it. Such challenges can cause you to tweak your original vision for your wedding planning if you have the type of personality that tries to be very accommodating to others.

  • Consider flexibility in your wedding planning choices in an effort to keep your bridesmaids happy. Remember how good it is of them to be there for you on your special day.
  • Perhaps choose three possible bridesmaid dress colors instead of just stating one and let all the bridesmaids vote on their favorite color. The color with the most votes can be the color for the bridesmaid dresses.
  • You can also potentially cast votes for knee length or tea length versus floor length dresses or sleeveless dresses versus dresses with sleeves. Whatever dress style issue comes up, you can look for solutions in helping everyone to feel satisfied with the choices being made.

Bridal Hairstyles

Regarding bridal hairstyles, this could be a category where you might want your bridesmaids to wear whatever hairstyles they like to express their individuality and their own choices for the special occasion. Hairstyles can run the gamut from updos to loose braids. Depending on the woman, so many hairstyles can be preferred.

Bridal party shoes and accessories

As with hairstyles, this category can allow for a lot of flexibility and expressing individuality. Consider having your bridesmaids wear whatever shoes and jewelry they like.

Tuxedos or suits for Groomsmen

When it comes to clothing choices, men can be so 'chill' which is very refreshing. Many of them are just willing to wear 'whatever'. So when you and your fiancé have chosen your wedding color theme and you have chosen your bridesmaid dresses, then you can tackle deciding what the men will wear. Stores like the Men's Wearhouse with the slogan "You're gonna like the way you look, I guarantee" can be great resources for deciding upon the outfits for the groom and groomsmen of the wedding party.

It is often standard for ties and/or pocket handkerchiefs of the groom's and groomsmen's tuxedos or formal suits to match the bridesmaid dresses.

Selecting Gifts for your Bridal Party

  • Your bridal party will include your dearest and closest friends and perhaps relatives so you might want to cater a thank you gift to the individual personality when you know what the individual likes
  • Nevertheless, if you choose to give everyone the same gift, this might be easier for you
  • You can choose something like jewelry for your bridesmaids and wallets for your groomsmen. There are lots of choices you can make. (It would be nice if the bridesmaids wore the jewelry gift such as earrings on your wedding day but don't necessarily expect this. As mentioned above, they might want to express individuality with the hairstyles, shoes and accessories they wear that day.)
  • Stores such as Things Remembered offer nice choices for personalized (engraved) gifts. You might also want to consider these types of gifts for your bridal party. These can range from silver plated key chains to photo albums and more.
  • Decide on a budget for your bridal party gifts and be sure to adhere to it. Weddings can be very expensive and you will want to make sure that you have a budget range for everything including this
  • As the size of your bridal party increases, the amount of money spent on each thank you gift might have to be more modest. For example, if you have 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen, how much can you spend one each of the 14 gifts? Calculate this and write it down in a wedding planner book. Everyone planning their wedding has their own financial circumstances so this is something that you and your fiancĂ© will need to discuss and decide upon
  • When you have come to a conclusion about price range for your bridal party gifts (such as no more than $40 per gift) then you can begin giving a lot more thought to what you might buy and begin shopping for the gifts.


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 3 years ago from USA

      Much belated thanks for these comments. MsDora and teaches12345, I hope you two are doing well. Have Happy Holidays!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This post will certainly make the experience more pleasurable and less hassle.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good instructions for the bride-to-be. Not surprising how many little details go unremembered until the last minute. This is helpful!