Dos and Don'ts of Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Get ready to say yes to the perfect bridesmaid dress with our ultimate bridal party shopping guide!

From setting a budget to managing group dynamics, we'll provide expert tips and real-life experiences to help you easily navigate the world of bridesmaid dress shopping.

Whether you're a bride or a bridesmaid, this friendly and practical advice will ensure a stress-free and enjoyable shopping experience for everyone involved.

Let's explore the essential guidelines that can lead to a successful outcome and stylish wedding party ensemble.

Table of Contents

Setting the Stage for Success

When it comes to bridesmaid dress shopping, preparation is key to ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Here are the ultimate dos and don'ts to set the stage for success.

Setting a Realistic Budget

Before diving into the world of bridesmaid dresses, it's essential to establish a realistic budget. Whether you're the bride or a wedding squad member, having a clear understanding of financial constraints will help narrow down the options and avoid any unnecessary stress.

When setting a realistic budget for bridesmaid dress shopping, make sure to prioritise quality over quantity. It's tempting to opt for cheaper options to accommodate a larger bridal party, but remember that durable fabrics and well-made dresses will look better and last longer.

Look for sale dresses to save on costs without sacrificing quality. Keep in mind alterations may be needed, so budget for those as well.

Communicate openly with your bridesmaids about any budget constraints they may have to find a solution that works for everyone. By focusing on quality within your budget, you can ensure that your bridesmaids look and feel fantastic on your special day without breaking the bank.

Considering Body Types and Style Preferences

To ensure all your bridesmaids feel comfortable and confident in their dresses, consider the different body types when choosing styles and silhouettes. A-line dresses are universally flattering, as they cinch at the waist and flow over the hips.

Every bridesmaid is unique, and it's important to consider individual body shapes and style preferences when choosing a gown. Keep in mind that what looks flattering on one person may not work for another, so being mindful of these differences will lead to a more inclusive and positive shopping experience.

Empire waist gowns work well for petites, elongating the body, while sheath dresses complement athletic figures. If you have bridesmaids with fuller figures, opt for dresses with supportive structures like corsets or boning.

For those with curves, consider dresses with ruching or draping to accentuate their assets. Ultimately, the goal is for each bridesmaid to feel beautiful and at ease, so be open to mixing styles or choosing convertible dresses to accommodate various body shapes.

Choosing a Flattering Colour Palette

Consider how your bridesmaids' different body types can influence the choice of a flattering colour palette for their dresses. Opt for universally flattering colours like navy blue, emerald, champagne or blush that suit various skin tones. Darker shades like burgundy or forest green can be slimming, while pastels like lavender or baby blue exude a soft and romantic vibe.

If you have a mix of body shapes, consider colour-blocking with darker hues on areas your bridesmaids may want to minimise and lighter shades on areas they want to highlight. Also, keep in mind the wedding theme and venue when selecting colours to ensure they harmonise with the overall aesthetic.

Ultimately, choose colours or styles such as maxi, midi or floor-length dresses that make your bridesmaids feel confident and beautiful on your special day.


Choosing the Right Shopping Squad

Selecting the right group of people to accompany you on the dress-shopping journey is crucial. Whether it's the entire bridal party or just a few close friends, having a supportive and constructive shopping squad can make all the difference in finding the perfect bridesmaid dress.

Research and Preparation

Once the stage is set, it's time to delve into research and preparation to make the most out of the bridesmaid dress shopping experience.

Exploring Different Dress Styles and Trends

Take the time to explore different dress styles and trends that complement the wedding theme. Whether it's classic and elegant or modern and chic, having a clear idea of what's available will streamline the shopping process.

Finding the Perfect Dress Shop or Boutique

Research and identify dress shops or showrooms that carry a collection of bridesmaid dresses Australia. Whether it's a local store or an online retailer like White Runway, when it comes time to shop for shop bridesmaid dresses finding the right place to shop is essential for a successful dress-hunting expedition. If they are an online retailer it may also be worth checking to see if they offer Afterpay, returns policy, easy returns and international shipping.

Scheduling Appointments and Planning Ahead

To avoid any last-minute rushing or disappointment, schedule appointments at the chosen dress shops or boutiques. Planning will ensure that there's ample time to explore options and make informed decisions.

 Click here to make an appointment with Runway Way in our Sydney showroom.

Allowing Adequate Time for Alterations

Ensure you allocate ample time for alterations when preparing your bridesmaid dresses to avoid last-minute stress and ensure a perfect fit for each member of your bridal party. Once the dresses arrive, schedule fittings promptly to allow sufficient time for any adjustments needed.

Remember that alterations can take several weeks, so it's best to start early. Rushing through alterations may lead to mistakes or ill-fitting dresses on the big day. By giving your bridesmaids ample time for alterations, you'll guarantee that they feel comfortable and confident in their dresses.

This proactive approach will also alleviate any unnecessary stress as the wedding day approaches, allowing for a smoother and more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Navigating the Shopping Experience

As the shopping day arrives, it's important to navigate the experience with grace and consideration for everyone involved.

Managing Group Dynamics and Opinions

Managing group dynamics can be challenging with different personalities and opinions in the mix. Encourage open communication and respect for each other's preferences to create a harmonious shopping environment.

Seeking Professional Advice and Guidance

Don't hesitate to seek professional advice from the store's staff or a stylist. Their expertise can provide valuable insights and guidance in finding the most suitable bridesmaid dresses for the bridal party.

Keeping an Open Mind and Trying Different Options

While having a vision is important, keeping an open mind and trying on different dress options can lead to unexpected discoveries. Embrace the opportunity to experiment with various styles and colours to find the perfect fit for everyone.

Making the Final Decision

As the shopping journey nears its end, it's time to make the final decision and ensure a seamless transition to the next steps.

Avoiding Last-Minute Decisions

Make sure you make your bridesmaid dress decisions well in advance to steer clear of any last-minute rush or confusion. Waiting until the eleventh hour can lead to limited options, rushed choices, and added stress.

Planning well ahead of the big day, gives you ample time to explore different styles, colours, and sizes, ensuring that both you and your bridesmaids are happy with the final selection. Avoid the pitfalls of making hasty decisions by setting a timeline for dress shopping early on in your wedding planning process.

This way, you can enjoy the experience of choosing dresses designed to complement your wedding palette or theme and make your bridesmaids feel comfortable and beautiful, without the pressure of last-minute changes.

Considering Comfort and Wearability

Prioritise comfort and wearability when making the final decision on bridesmaid outfits. Ensuring that the chosen dresses are not only beautiful but also comfortable to wear will keep the bride tribe happy throughout the wedding day.


Ensuring Coherence with the wedding theme

Confirm that the selected bridesmaid dresses align with the overall wedding and colour theme. Whether it's blush pink, sage green, or any other hue, coherence with the wedding aesthetic is key for a visually stunning bridal party.

Finalising Orders and Keeping Track of Deadlines

Once the decision is made, finalise the orders for the bridesmaid dresses and keep track of any deadlines for alterations or delivery. Staying organised in this final stage will guarantee a smooth and stress-free process leading up to the big day.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can Bridesmaids Wear Different Dress Styles?

Yes, bridesmaids can wear different dress styles. This adds a unique touch to your wedding party's look and allows each bridesmaid to showcase her own style while still coordinating with the overall theme.

This flexibility can also be a great way to accommodate different body types and preferences among your bridesmaids. It can create a more inclusive and comfortable environment for everyone involved in your special day.


Should Bridesmaids Cover Alteration Costs?

Generally whoever is paying for the dress should pay for the alterations.

According to traditional wedding etiquette, in Australia bridesmaids, are expected to cover the cost of their wedding day ensemble. That includes their outfit (be it a dress, jumpsuit, or otherwise)

Our advice would be don’t let the cost of a dress alteration costs get in the way of your celebration and friendship.

What Accessories Complement Bridesmaid Dresses?

When choosing accessories for bridesmaid dresses, consider jewellery such as elegant earrings, a delicate necklace, and simple bracelets. Opt for subtle pieces that enhance the dress without overpowering it.


How to Handle Bridesmaids With Conflicting Opinions?

When handling bridesmaids with conflicting opinions, it's essential to listen attentively, acknowledge their perspectives, and strive for compromise. Encourage open communication to find common ground, respecting each individual's preferences. Ultimately, aim for a decision that ensures everyone feels heard and valued.


Is It Okay to Reuse Bridesmaid Dresses?

    Sure, it's totally fine to reuse bridesmaid dresses. It's a smart way to save money and reduce waste. Just make sure the style still fits the occasion and the bridesmaids are comfortable with the idea.

    Remember to prioritise quality over quantity, consider different body types, choose a flattering colour scheme, allow time for alterations, and avoid last-minute decisions when shopping for bridesmaid dresses.

    By following these dos and don'ts, you can ensure a stress-free and successful dress-shopping experience for both you and your bridesmaids. Check out White Runway's range of stunning bridesmaid dresses - we've got a dress for you.

    Happy shopping!

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