Top Tips for Bridesmaids Shopping

Choosing bridesmaids dresses can be tricky when you’re trying to find a style that will make all of your bridesmaids happy. To help you through the process, Bridals by Lori shares these top tips for shopping for your bridesmaids dresses.

Plan Accordingly

First, make sure you allow enough time not only for finding your bridesmaids dresses but also for ordering and alterations. Bridals by Lori recommends leaving six months to allow sufficient time to receive bridesmaids dresses. Dresses generally take 12 to 14 weeks to come in. This does not include holidays or weather delays.

Set Your Budget

Knowing how much you can spend on bridesmaids dresses goes a long way in narrowing down the selection of choices. Bridals by Lori has lowered prices tremendously without sacrificing quality or style. The store staff understands that the bride’s friends are in five to six weddings, and, thus, are shopping for budget-friendly dresses. Prices at Bridals by Lori start at $120 for short dresses and $150 for long dresses and range to more than $400.

Start Shopping

When it’s time to look at bridesmaids dresses, don’t be afraid to stretch your fashion sense. There are no rules anymore regarding color or style; however, color and style should be based on the bridal gown, wedding venue and bridesmaids’ shapes. Even so, there is no right or wrong color regardless of time of year.

The time of day can play a role in dress selection, though. The earlier in the day the wedding is, the more relaxed the dress style can be. The later in the day the event is, expect to see more “black tie optional,” depending upon the venue.

With regard to shoes, dyeable shoes are out. Instead, today’s bridesmaids are wearing nudes or metallics, shoes that are already in their closet or they can wear again.

Tall maids, usually 67 inches and taller, may, depending on designer, require extra length. Height measurement should be taken with the bridesmaid wearing shoes with the same heel height as those that will be worn in the wedding to determine if extra length needs to be ordered to ensure the dress length will look correct.

Dresses may be purchased on 24 hours a day, and associates are available to answer any questions via email, phone or online chat. Please note that not all dresses seen online are available in the store, so be sure to double check your designer or style of interest before you come in.

Beyond the Order

Once the bride and bridesmaids agree on a dress, it’s essential that all bridesmaids get measured as soon as possible so the order can be placed. If a bridesmaid is not available at the time the dress is chosen, she should stop by Bridals by Lori or a professional seamstress as soon as possible to get measured. Sizing guidelines and videos are available online.

Bridals by Lori consultants suggest sizing based on measurements given and style, not your regular dress size. A person’s bridesmaid dress size typically can go up two to three sizes depending on the designers. No dresses are true to a person’s regular size. Approximately 99 percent of all bridesmaids dresses will need alternations, from hems to adjusting straps to taking it in.

In the event a bridesmaid plans to lose weight or otherwise wants to order a size smaller than is recommended based on her measurements, remember that she alone is 100-percent responsible for her size choice. For bridesmaids with realistic fitness goals for the wedding, Bridals by Lori consultants will work with you to get you the size you want. However, you are responsible for the dress size you order.

Sample sizes at Bridals by Lori range between 8 and 14, so there is a good selection of plus-size dresses available. The store has approximately 15 different dresses available in plus sizes. It’s important to note that plus-size dresses, those starting around size 18 and above, will incur an upcharge, typically between $20 and $60. Any bridesmaid dress requiring extra length for tall women also incur an upcharge, usually between $20 and $24.

Shopping for bridesmaids dresses should be a fun and joyous occasion for the bride and her bridesmaids, but it also can be stressful. Following these tips can go a long way in reducing that stress and leave the bride and her bridesmaids feeling good about their final dress selection.