Wedding Basics: Bridesmaid Dresses your Personal Attendants will Simply Love
Most women have mixed feelings about being asked to be a bridesmaid. On the one hand, they are happy for their friends, but on the other, they worry mightily about what they will be asked to wear. For some strange, unknown reason, brides-to-be have a habit of picking out ugly gowns for their friends. We're talking one step up from a bad prom dress. You know the dresses we mean: the puffy gowns with ruffles, frills and furbelows with colors so bright they can burn the eyes. Why would a bride-to-be ask her friends to wear these hideous contraptions?
After decades of sartorial neglect and abuse, bridesmaids are finally getting their day in the sun. The explanation for this unexpected volte-face is that most brides-to-be have reached the conclusion that it simply is not fair to ask their friends to wear something they don't like, especially when they are paying for it. And as wedding costs continue to rise, more and more women are ignoring tradition and giving their bridesmaids the option of choosing their own gowns.
Where to start?
Even if the bride-to-be lets her friends shop without supervision, she still has the privilege of selecting the color and the fabric of the dress. This makes perfect sense. After all, the color and the material must not clash with the bridal gown, and it should photograph well. With that said, there is nothing that says the bride-to-be cannot delegate the the responsibility to someone else, like the maid of honor, for instance. In fact, if you feel your friends will wear anything you choose just to please you, it might be best to pass the buck along. That way everyone will be happy, because they will all have a say.
A bridesmaid has many roles on the wedding day, but her most important one is as an attendant. She is there to help her friend on the biggest day of her life. This means different things to different brides. At the very least, bridesmaids are there to offer moral, emotional, and sartorial support. In other words, the bridesmaid dresses should complement the bridal gown. The neck and hemline should be similar and accessories should be kept to a minimum.
One of the most common mistakes bridesmaids make is that they select dresses that have too much going on. Dresses with an excess of lace, ribbons, beading, sequins and bows should be avoided at all costs. Remember that the extra finery should be reserved for the bridal gown, since the bride is the center of attention. When bridesmaid's dresses are overly showy, they actually detract from the bride's dress and do not serve their purpose, which, again, is to compliment. Therefore, it is always best to keep it simple. An extra added bonus of keeping it simple is that these dresses are almost always less expensive to buy and to have altered.
Selecting a color for a formal affair is not easy, especially when it's a wedding. As we mentioned, this privilege is reserved for the bride-to-be. In recent years, women have been choosing more wisely with an eye toward the future. That is, they are selecting colors that don't scream wedding, gowns that their bridesmaids might possibly be able to wear again. So instead of hot pink or fuchsia, brides-to-be are going with classic, understated colors like black and platinum for formal affairs.
As you might imagine, the setting or venue has a profound effect on the choice of color. For an outdoor wedding in the summer months, bridesmaids should be dressed in lighter colors like yellow, sand or taupe. Otherwise, they might get too warm. And in the wintertime, it is often advisable to go with darker colors like burgundy and winter green.
Nothing has a greater effect on the price of a gown, other than a designer label, than the type of material that is used. High-quality fabrics like satin, silk, velvet, crepe and chiffon can be quite expensive, no matter what kinds of dress they are used to make. If a bridesmaid is strapped for cash, she might not be able to afford these dresses. It is for this very reason that many of the top styles are now offered in synthetic fabrics.
Most bridesmaids are surprised to find that many of these fabrics were designed as substitutes for more expensive natural materials. Rayon, for example, looks and feels a lot like silk. In fact, most bridesmaids cannot tell the difference until they look at the label or the sales receipt. Synthetic dresses generally go for about half the price of dresses that use natural luxury fibers.
Keep these helpful tips in mind when picking out the bridesmaid dresses for your ceremony, and you'll be sure to please everyone.
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