October 31, 2018
Choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses is both a monumental moment in your wedding planning process and a challenge. You want your girls to look beautiful, feel comfortable, and not pay an arm and a leg. It’s a surprisingly tough undertaking. At a bridal salon you can receive exceptional service and expertise, but also have a limited selection and higher prices. The magic of the internet can help with this process, especially if your bridesmaids are from other states and the prospect of getting you all together is none too easy. I myself being a bride who chose to order my bridesmaids’ dresses online, can attest that it’s a modern convenience that really paid off. To help make your experience even easier, though, I have eight tips for navigating the worldwide web of bridesmaids dresses.
It’s no secret that the way a color appears on your laptop or phone screen can dramatically differ from when it’s in person. Sometimes you think you’re ordering pink and the garment comes to you bright red. Thankfully a lot of dress websites now allow you to order color swatches so you know the color you’re choosing fits your wedding motif. I ordered six different colors all in the five different fabrics the website made their dresses in, and even with shipping it was under $10 and priceless for my peace of mind.
Reviews are a wonderful thing. Though not necessarily unbiased, they will give you a general idea if both the seller and the dress are up to snuff. Be sure to check websites like the Better Business Bureau and Facebook to determine the reputation of the seller, especially if the dresses seem too good to be true for the price. I felt comforted when the websites’ reviews included pictures of the dress from real customers. I could tell if the dress arrived in good condition, was high quality, and looked amazing without the assistance of major photoshopping. Basically, do your research.
CHECK SHIPPING COSTS FIRST
Sometimes I’d come across a dress I loved on a website with an equally lovable price. I’d go to order it and boom! The price of shipping was half the cost of the dress itself. That may be an exaggeration, but it definitely took a dress from being in the price range I was looking for to way out of it. Make sure to check shipping costs before you tell your girls you found the perfect dress.
GIVE YOURSELF AND YOUR BRIDESMAIDS AMPLE TIME
Even with online dresses, it’s still important to order them well ahead of time. Some of the websites you will find have their dresses “made to order.” This is great because they can come in without needing much (if any) alterations, but to make sure they are done in time, you will want to order them at least five months before the wedding. That may be more time than you need, but better to be safe than sorry. Same goes for dresses not made to order – the more time, the better. I would not order within three months if you don’t want them to pay for expedited shipping or have no time to get them altered.
TAKE THOROUGH MEASUREMENTS
Invest in a cloth tape measure. It will do wonders for picking out the right dress! The website we used had a video for each dress on the proper way to measure yourself for it. I cannot suggest that enough. It made ordering a breeze without the worry that they would be the wrong size. Be careful of bad sizing by the supplier. Read those reviews and pay attention to whether the customer says it came in the size they were expecting. For some sellers, a size L is really a size XS!
ORDER A “TEST DRESS”
Another reason to give yourself ample time is so you can order just one first as a test. When I found the dress I loved, I had my maid of honor choose her size from the measuring guide, and paid for express shipping to get it right away. She tried it on and I knew it was the one! We were able to see if there were stitching issues, length problems, zipper hiccups, etc. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good to know what alterations the girls would probably have to make and that there would be very few issues to fix. It’s a good way to test the quality before you make your final decision.
FEEL FREE TO MIX AND MATCH
One awesome thing about online dress stores is that your mix and match options are plentiful to say the least. Because you’re ordering from the same place, you can guarantee that the colors will be the same no matter the print, fabric or style. Plus it’s incredibly simple if you prefer your bridesmaids pick out a style that they feel comfortable with. Just give them the website link and the color(s) you want, and voilà! You have yourself some happy bridesmaids.
DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF
Have you heard the term “choice overload?” That’s what you get when you’re shopping for bridesmaids dresses online. I’ll tell you this from experience. I would over-under the time I spent staring at my phone screen at seven hours over the course of a month. There are just so many choices that you can get overwhelmed, most notably because you’re making this decision not only for yourself but for your closest gal pals as well. Don’t do this to yourself! Enlist help. Your bridesmaids, your mom, your future mother-in-law, and so on are there to help you decide. Within an hour of asking my mom to help me search, she had found the dress that ended up being the one we all picked. Sometimes a second opinion is all you need to narrow your choices to a few instead of a few hundred.
Cover Photography By DeGroot Film Co.
Operations and Content Specialist
Megan was recently engaged last fall to the man of her dreams! Her insight into what it feels like to be a blushing bride to be paired with her experience in the travel industry gives couples and their guests a personalized experience from start to finish. Megan contributes her best tips, inspiration and first-hand experiences on the blog!