Arizona Bridal Source
Click Here to View Actual Weddings Planned by Kim Horn!
P.O. Box 50622, Phoenix, Arizona 85076   (480) 921-7891


February 22, 2013


Brides by Demetrios - Twist Options for Bridesmaid Dresses

You are engaged, and finally said YES to your wedding dress!  Congratulations, on having one major decision out of the way, many more to go!  Shopping for bridesmaid dresses is not an easy task since the average wedding has five bridesmaids, giving you a multitude of body types, skin tones, hair colors, and personalities.  Have you seen the movie 27 Dresses?  It is a must see before you go bridesmaid dress shopping!

This blog will put some “sanity” into your search for the right dress for your bridesmaids.  They will be thankful for your kindness since you are an informed bride by reading this.  At the end of the day, it is your choice, yet try to choose a dress everyone at your wedding will comment on how incredibly classy you are, since it is a reflection of you too!  As an expert wedding planner (1 of 61 in the world at Master Bridal Consultant level) and a matron of honor many times, have seen and have had to wear some HIDEOUS bridesmaid dresses.  This was not a master plan by the bride to intentionally choose dresses that were not flattering, it may have been the only dress they found in a color they loved.

Have your maid or matron of honor help you with the search.  Don’t be a control freak and try to do everything on your own.  You gave your MOH this prestigious position since you trust her.  Your MOH may be willing to run “interference” for you.  Your bridesmaids may be hesitant to tell you the dress costs too much, doesn’t flatter their body type, the color is wrong for their complexion, they will NEVER wear that dress again, yet may talk to your MOH about it, in order to not hurt your feelings.  Be ready to listen to feedback and be sensitive to their thoughts.

“I want to select a dress they will wear again.”  Many brides say this, yet in reality, because of the gown being uncomfortable, unflattering, or a color they would never wear again, this rarely happens.  If you are considering dark colored dresses, they may be worn to formal events later.  If you are fortunate to choose a dress which may be worn again, make sure you have the discussion with your bridesmaids to let them know the FIRST time they should wear the gown should be on your wedding day.  Be a friend, and treat them the way you would like to be treated if you were their bridesmaid.  If you were already in their wedding, and were not treated well, forgive them.  You, the bride, have the final decision in the choice of bridesmaid dresses, yet remember, this is not a dictatorship.

Discuss budgets, since friendships may be strengthened or broken.  Communication with your bridesmaids is important.  They have already made a commitment and are excited and honored to be in your wedding party.  Remember to think about everyone’s financial situation, since this is a sensitive topic.  (Bridesmaid dresses range from $100 – $300 on average.)  If you fall in love with a dress which is over their budget, are you willing to cover the difference for each bridesmaid?  When budgeting, remember this may include their dress, shoes, alterations, shipping, bra, slip, hose, earrings, necklace, bracelet, hair, makeup, travel expenses (airfare, hotel, rent a car, time off work, etc.) to get to the wedding, and expenses while they are at the wedding.  At the end of the day, everything adds up, and quickly.  You may want to give a part as your gift to them for being in your wedding, so they still look and feel incredible for photos, yet stay within the budget.  This will be a sensitive subject, yet the alternative is someone special to you may have to bow out of being in your wedding party because of financial concerns.  Better to know BEFORE ordering the dress.

Color selection is critical since this is your background color palette for your wedding photos.  You don’t want your bridesmaids to upstage you, yet you want them to look and feel their best!  The color palette you choose needs to be one you LOVE, look good in, plus helps set the theme and formality for your wedding.  Go to – and experiment with color palettes.  Try on the bridesmaid dress yourself to see how the color looks on you.  Have your MOH try on the gown next to your wedding gown.  Make sure you see this in different lighting too (if you are having an afternoon church wedding vs. sunset wedding, the lighting will be drastically different).  How will the gowns look in photographs?

Bridesmaid dresses must complement your wedding gown and formality of your wedding, and the body type of the bridesmaids.  Find a style and fabric which flatters your wedding gown, yet does not make them look like a bride.  Search for a style and fabric which flatters the different sizes and shapes of your wedding party.  Unless you have a group of ladies which are 34B and wear a size 6 jean, there are certain styles you should avoid.  If you have a 6’, size 0 jean, and voluptuous bridesmaid, don’t expect her to fit or look incredible in the same dress as a 5’, size 14 jean bridesmaid – it would not be fair to either of them.  If they feel they don’t look great in the dress, it will show in your pictures.  A strategically placed cover-up such as a shawl or bolero jacket helps make a body-conscious bridesmaid more comfortable with dress styles.  Think of your wedding gown fabric, formality, color, and style of neckline, bodice, and waist, and length.   You want the bridesmaid dresses to complement this.

Bridesmaid skin tones and hair colors need to be considered.  If the majority of your wedding party is light skinned and fair-haired, don’t choose a pastel color unless you want them to appear washed out.  This is also true with olive skin and colors like yellow or light green.  When choosing a color, try to find one that will complement all skin tones.  Of course, if your wedding party is fairly diverse, this will be more difficult.  In general, deep rich colors look better on most skin tones than lighter pale colors.  For example, emerald (hot color for 2013), crimson, black, eggplant, or midnight blue look incredible on the lightest ivory to the darkest coffee skin tone.  If you’re really hoping to have a light color, try working with a two tone effect.  If emerald is too overwhelming for an entire dress, while a mint will make most skin tones look pale or washed out, consider a mint green dress with emerald accents.  Most importantly, have the brighter color around the neck line and edges of the dress.  This way the skin color won’t be so washed out by the pale color.  You may also want to try a different skirt color.    Think of the floral bouquets and types of flower you love.  It may be easier to get the dress first, then work with your florist to include florals which complement your gown vs. trying to select a dress which has to work with a flower color which is subject to the rules of mother nature.

Bridesmaid dresses are sized differently from manufacturer to manufacturer.  If your bridesmaid is normally a size 0 and says “order it, I don’t have the time, and don’t need to be measured,” it will help if you insist each bridesmaid be individually measured for her gown.  You need time for the gown to be made, shipped, and altered to her unique measurements.  This will take time and normally more than one fitting.  Plan ahead, and understand everyone may gain weight, lose weight, or you may have a pregnancy in the mix, which will cause dress drama for alterations!  Plan ahead, you will be glad you did!

Order all the bridesmaid dresses at the same time from the same store.  Let them know this is for the same wedding, and make sure the gown store can verify these gowns will be cut from the same dye lot, (which is the only way to know your colors will match.)  If you are ordering the same color, yet different dress styles, these may be cut and sewed at a different time, meaning NOT from the same dye lot.  If you are ordering the same gown style, yet different fabric, make sure the fabrics complement each other, your wedding gown, your theme, and your formality.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. |

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292


Main | About Us | Contact | Vendors | Name Change Kit | AZ Wedding Planner | Blog | Video | Advertising Info | Magazine Ordering | Tips & Trends

Powered by WordPress