Your best friends agreed to be bridesmaids. Now your job is to make sure they look great.
Finding a dress that fits several women with different body types and opinions can be tricky, but local experts say it can be done.
Now more than ever, brides can choose from a wide array of fabrics, dress styles and colors to keep their wedding vision within budget.
The sweetheart neckline — low at the front and shaped like the top of a stylized heart — is currently a popular style that works with most body types.
Soft, flowing fabrics are also big right now.
“We do more shorter chiffon styles, because of our weather and most girls like the looser fit,” explained Robin Gilley, manager of Bridal Boutique.
Helen Durham, owner of Gabrielle’s Bride and Occasion Salon, agreed that there are more fabric choices and that today’s brides are a lot more open to exploring new dress styles.
“One of our most popular styles is the Nouvelle line by Amsala,” she said. “These designs have a blouson waistline, no zippers and come in soft pastels.”
The dresses are very easy to wear, she added, and come both short and long, and some have one-shoulder necklines.
Lace, currently de rigueur for bride gowns, is also carrying over to bridesmaid’s dresses.
When it comes to color, dresses run the gamut from vibrant tangerine, raspberry, eggplant and aqua to a rainbow of pale pastels.
“We find that pastel blues, eggplant and crimson red are popular colors, depending on the season,” said Nicole Bergeron, owner of Deshotels Dress Shop in Eunice.
Gilley said different shades of pink are popular with her brides.
“Mint green is another big color,” Gilley said.
“Yellow,” Durham added, “is about the only color that is hard for everyone to wear, so I encourage girls who love that color to use it as an accent in their bouquets.”
It’s good for brides to have an idea of the different figure types of her maids before working with a consultant. She should also have a budget limit in mind on what they can spend. Most dresses run $175 and up.
Some brides have opted to pick the dress color and charge the bridesmaids with the task of selecting their own dress styles.
“They think it’s easier on the bride to do this, but it ends up being much harder,” said Bergeron. “There can be a lot of confusion with this.”
Gilley agreed: “It’s easier when the bride says, ‘This is what I’d like you to wear,’ and then the bridesmaids can be fitted for the same dress.”
Look in magazines or online at manufacturers’ websites for ideas of color and style, which will be helpful before shopping in the store.
Trained bridal consultants can assist with finding the perfect fit for every member of your bridal party, but, be warned, it takes time to order the dresses, so it’s advised to make your selections at least six to eight months before your wedding date.
“The bigger the group, the longer it’s going to take,” Gilley said.