Bridesmaid Dress Shopping {Must-Haves}

Thursday, August 1, 2013
I’m now a bridesmaid in my third wedding in three years! This time around, I was privileged to have a bride that allowed her bridesmaids to pick a dress of their choice, price point, and comfort as long as it matched the designated color (Ladies Choice). I recently went to pick out a dress and thought I would share some helpful hints I learned from this side of the process! When you have a ladies choice scenario for bridesmaids’ dresses here are the key things you must have when dress shopping:

bridesmaid dress shopping list | Cordier Event Planning

 1. Date - the first thing you will be asked other than your name and needs in a dress shop is when is the wedding! Know the date and aim for placing your order 12-14 weeks in advance to allow for shipping.

2. Time - if you like the dress hopping experience book an appointment, work with a consultant, try dresses on. If you don't want all the fuss you still need to make time to pick out and order your dress, provide your information etc.  Either way you slice it you need to clear out some time in your schedule.  Helpful hint: Weekdays are less crowded and have better appointment availability for dress shops. I went in on a Tuesday and was finished in 45 minutes (with no appointment)!!! 

3. Color & Designer (preferred) - in a ladies choice scenario it is helpful to know exactly what color you are looking for, this minimizes discoloration issues. Its good to shop from one specific designer so their is consistency (if that is what you are going for). I was able to pick a dress that accented my body type by the designer of my brides choice.  Helpful Hint: Provide bridesmaids with fabric swatches and pictures of your ideas to take with them.** 

4. Budget- how much can you spend?! Because it was bridesmaids' choice of dress style we had more control over how much we spent. When dress shopping it is important to have a range. I let the dress consultant know what I was willing to spend so I could only try on dresses in the right price point. Know your limits!
5. Dress code - even though it was ladies choice we still were given some dress code requirements for the wedding; dos and don’ts from your bride, length, cuts, etc. allowed. Our bride wanted us all in the same fabric (chiffon), she wanted a specific color (clover), and wanted us all in long (floor length) dresses. We were also given shoe color instructions. This information was necessary to ensure that we selected a style that fit her wedding theme. 

6. Camera Phone (if allowed)- Selfies aren't just for your instagram account, they are for your bride and the other bridesmaids. Having a camera handy is helpful! I was able to send the bride (and other bridesmaids) pictures of my dress selection in real time. Having the phone is also important if you have additional questions, needs, or feedback for the bride. I prefer a Samsung Galaxy S4 but that is just me *wink*

**Brides: If you want all of your dresses to be the exact same color you should probably coordinate as many of your bridesmaids as possible for an in store session. In some cases, it is best to have them ordered from the same designers, from the same place, at the same time so they can be dyed from the same batch (it just helps, trust me).


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