Advice On How To Pick The Perfect Bridesmaid Dress

Selecting a bridesmaid dress for your wedding party is one of the fun parts of the wedding planning process. Getting all your “girls” together and heading out to a store to hunt and try on dresses is a wonderful bonding experience and often one of the best memories a bride can make. In order to help you brides out there pick the best bridesmaid dresses I went in search of an expert on the subject and I am happy to say that I can report back with not one but two bridesmaid dress experts. Today I have some advice from Bridget Brown(left), founder of the Bella Bridesmaid Franchise along with insights from the Westport, CT Bella Bridesmaid store owners, Madison & Maribeth.

What are the most important things for a bride to keep in mind when trying to pick a bridesmaid dress for her wedding party?

 Madison & Maribeth: First and foremost, a bride should consider the body types of each of her bridesmaids. There are so many dresses available that flatter any figure, and every bridesmaid wants to feel comfortable and pretty at the wedding! It’s always a good idea to consider color as well. A beautiful cream color that looks great on your super-tan MOH could completely wash out your more fair skinned maids.  
Bridget Brown: Be conscience of your maids figure soft-spots…you know, the one area of our bodies that we are all self-conscience of! For one gal it’s her arms, for another it’s the need to wear a normal bra. Choosing a low cut, straight skirted dress isn’t doing anyone any favors and won’t make them feel comfortable on the wedding day! If you prefer the simplicity and look of one style on all the maids,why not choose one of the new “convertible” bridesmaid dresses?  The “Reese” dress by LoveLane is a multi-tasker….it can be worn strapless, one shouldered, or with more coverage as a shrug. The skirt and color can be kept consistent. Or a long time Bella fave, the Two Birds dress which can be worn over 15 ways. Two birds…one fantastic dress!
There are so many bridesmaid dress styles out there do you have any tips on how a bride can start to narrow down her choices? 
M & M: Online browsing is a great way to start. It’s easy to send pictures to your bridesmaids and get feedback from them without having to work around everyone’s schedule to make an appointment somewhere. Once you have an idea of what you and your bridesmaids like, you can start to look at various designer’s collections that have the same feel. Having said that, sometimes all of that pre-planning goes out the window when you arrive at the dress store and see so many beautiful dresses in person. If you make an appointment for a ‘first-look’ somewhere, it’s best to at least have some things decided, like length, fabric, and price point. 
 For all the brides who are planning their summer weddings right now what colors b’maid dresses would say they should think about?
BB: We love bright, colorful weddings for summer! Think pantone colors…tangerine tango is the go-to color for 2012 and we love seeing it paired with a more subtle shade such as sand, beige and taupe for your accent colors. Yellow is always a fun choice for summer…..sometimes harder to wear for different skin tones, so don’t go too mustardy or too pale. And we love it paired with crisp and classic navy and white for a nautical themed or beach wedding. I love the color-block trend for maids as well…..but go simple on the shape of the dress for this trend. Think a simple strapless pencil skirt sheath in a punchy color paired with a bright 3/4 length cardigan. It’s a more fashion forward and unexpected combo!
 Looking ahead to the fall season what trends do you see coming for bridesmaid dresses?
BB: The trend is still towards varying shades and styles…the “ombre” effect as we call it. Brides love giving their maids a choice in what they will wear, whether it’s color or style. I always say “happy bridesmaid, happy bride”, so let the gals chime in on the options. For Fall we always see a return to the jewel tones (emerald, magenta, midnight) and longer lengths. Amsale’s full length chiffon dresses in varying necklines have been a mainstay for us. Fantastic for both a black tie ball room wedding or worn more as a casual maxi-dress on a beach…..
What seems to be your most popular bridesmaid dress at the moment?
M & M: Right now, everyone is loving style AV9825 from Alvina Valenta (pictured below). It looks amazing on practically every girl who has tried it on. We even had a pregnant bridesmaid try it and she looked gorgeous. I think it’s so popular because it translates to a variety of settings. It looks light and beachy in Aqua and glamorous in Indigo. In Rose, it looks great in a more rustic setting. The soft pink compliments any wooden finish.
 Do you have one pieces of advice that you always tell your brides and their wedding party when the come in?
M & M: We tell every bridal party : ‘Keep an open mind. Don’t judge until it’s zipped and clipped!’ A dress that doesn’t look great on a hanger can end up being the dress your bridesmaids wear at your wedding. It happens all the time!
Thank you to Bridget, Madison &  Maribeth!

For more information on Bella Bridesmaid, the dress collections they have or their locations please visit their website!For more information about the Westport Bella Bridesmaid please contact them directly

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