It’s safe to say that I have made thousands of bridesmaid’s dresses since 1986. Every color, every style and every type of fabric you could possibly think of I have tackled. My favourite was the mid nineties puffy sleeves and big bows on the bum! They were so very beautiful in hot pink, aqua blue, mint green and some brides chose a rainbow of colors! Can you picture it now? Let’s just say I haven’t made a bow in years!
The women wearing these dresses have been petite, tall, thin, plump, some happy and some not so happy. I have always said if someone is tall they want to be shorter, if someone is short they want to be taller, if they have no chest they want a chest and so on. So it is fair to say that all bridesmaids are different so why the same dress for them all?
I have worked with bridal parties as small as one and as large as 12 bridesmaids. Can you imagine finding 12 ladies all the same build, same size, same shape, same height and self-confident? Absolutely impossible!!
Let’s dispel a few bridesmaids’ myths.
-Not all bridesmaids want to look alike.
-Not all bridesmaids enjoy being squashed into a strapless bra.
-Not all bridesmaids can find a strapless bra to fit.
-Not all bridesmaids want cleavage showing.
-Not all bridesmaids like a hemline above their knee.
-Not all bridesmaids are happy with the bride’s choice.
-Not all bridesmaids will be honest to tell the bride.
-Bridesmaids do not usually wear the dress again.
From my experience the happiest bridesmaids are those that have a say in what they wear. Typically the color, unless it’s bubblegum pink, is not the issue it is the style of the dress. The most finicky area is usually the top of the dress. Can they wear a regular bra with it? If you read my first blog about buying bras then you can imagine that to some, bra shopping is not a fun experience and can be expensive one on top of a potentially already expensive dress and shoes.
Some of the nicest bridal parties I have made have had completely different tops with very similar bottoms all in the same color. Each bridesmaid in the bridal party got to choose a fit that not only suited them and their personality but also was complimentary for their body shape. A proper fit has many benefits. This builds self-confidence and a self-confident woman glows! Thus making one beautiful and happy bridal party. Visually the pictures are much nicer and cohesive, as everyone feels good about them selves.
When you have younger preteen bridesmaids you may be challenged to find something that is reminiscence of the adults but is appropriate for their age. I have often made these dresses quite similar but still keeping the child’s age in mind. Try not to have a child in an adult style dress…it just doesn’t look right. My opinion of course but a strapless dress just won’t work in this situation. Just start the quest early but give growing room. I once made a dress for a child in January month on the insistence of the mother. By June the dress was way too small as the little girl had a major growth spurt over the winter and spring months. The dress was two sizes too small. Needless to say I never did that again!
Being a bridesmaid can be a big investment to some. Helps your friends and family feel good about them selves and suggest they choose what they want but give guides lines for them to go by. Cut out pictures, show them ideas and discuss items such as color, skirt length and styles and collaboratively make decisions. Think about what would make you happy and think about the reason for asking your attendants in the first place. It’s not just to wear a dress … it’s to be part of your big day and let them know they are special to you.
Next week’s blog is:
Beach, sun and sand…and the perfect wedding attire.
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