The amount of choices available to sheath your squad can be overwhelming. By breaking the task down into easy to follow steps, you can narrow down your search to what will make your besties feel beautiful.

1. Begin by Browsing

Start off by doing some research. Before you begin, grab a coffee on the porch or a glass of wine under the covers (this is mandatory, just say we told you to.) Flip through magazines or browse online via Pinterest. Tear out pages and save images to your inspiration board to help zero in on the colors and styles you like best.

2. Keep Weather in Mind

It’s easy to get wrapped up in a particular look you saw on Pinterest, until the actual wedding day comes and you realize that all of your ‘maids are either freezing, or overheating.

That doesn’t mean you have to conform to long styles for winter or short for summer. If you’re choosing to go short for a winter wedding, pair the dress with a covering such as a shawl or faux fur coat. When deciding to go long in the summer, opt for lighter weight material or textured fabric on the bodice to deter from under arm perspiration marks.

3. Consider Cost

If any of your friends, or even yourself, have been in a bridal party before, you know bridesmaids pay for their own dresses. When it comes to price, be considerate of your friends’ lifestyles. If you’re concerned about people in your party may have trouble financially, focus your search on dresses in a more affordable range, or select a color and let them pick their own style.

Another idea: Take a cue from the guys and consider renting your bridesmaid dresses. Rental sites like Rent the Runway and Vow to Be Chic let your ladies choose high-end designers in a wide range of styles for a fraction of the cost.

4. Find the Right Fit

A bridesmaid dress is typically ordered using a person’s biggest measurements, so your friends will likely buy dresses at least a size larger than they normally wear. If a friend wants to buy a size smaller, let her know it’s much easier to alter a bigger dress. If the dress ends up being too small, she’ll likely have to order a new one.

5. How to Order

Check with your bridesmaid dress vendor for ship dates. It may take 2 to 3 months for orders to arrive, and another 4-6 weeks for alterations. A six-month cushion will give you and your friends ample time to find and order the dresses and get them fitted.

Don’t have that long? You don’t need to order specifically from websites that cater to only ‘maids. Today sites like Lulus offer simple elegant silhouettes with quick ship dates to get you options within a shorter time frame.

6. Lingerie Logistics

Remind your girls to get the right undergarments. Depending on the style of dress (i.e. strapless, cross neck), your bridesmaids may need some special support. Even the most amazing dress can look unflattering with the wrong bra. With silks and fitted shaped gowns, you may also need a specific panty or body shaper.


Want help creating Mix & Match style ‘maids dresses? Check out our guide on How to Mix & Match Bridesmaid Dresses.