<i>by Julie Sabatino</i>
The day you get married is your day. But if you want it to be special for everyone, dress your bridesmaids right. Your wedding is the one occasion when you are allowed to tell your college roommate, your best friend, your sisters and your future sisters-in-law what to wear. This is a big responsibility and requires a lot of thought and consideration. Believe it or not, as much as they love you, their happiness on your wedding day depends largely on what they are wearing.
For your sake and theirs, choose a style that will make them feel beautiful walking down the aisle. Because if nothing else, it's nice to have someone (besides your mother) genuinely interested in the 14 rolls of film from Bora-Bora. Here are some tips:
Top Bridesmaid Dress designers realize that the bride wants her wedding party to complement her. All the women in one party, however, very rarely have body types that will look good in the same dress. Fortunately, designers now offer multiple styles that come in the same color and fabric. I advise the brides I consult to choose the color and fabric (satin, taffeta, silk dupioni, etc.) they want their wedding party to wear, then let the bridesmaids choose the style dresses they feel the most comfortable in. If possible, go with them when they try their dresses on to make sure you like what they select.
The key is to give them choices that will make them feel comfortable, but to ultimately achieve the look you desire. It is your day, after all! Letting your bridesmaids have too much freedom sometimes backfires. It's important to define what you want. If you'd like them in floor-length dresses, be sure to tell them that. If you're wearing a strapless gown and, therefore, want them to wear sleeves, make that clear. If you give them guidelines while letting them know that you are concerned with how they feel, they will be happy to please you.
Okay, so the hard part is over: You've chosen the dresses. But you're not in the clear yet! There are all sorts of other decisions that need to be made. What type of jewelry should your bridesmaids have on? What Save up to 60% at shoes? Do you want them to wear stockings? If so, what color? To deal with these issues without losing your mind, first consider the overall look you would like to achieve. Do you want all your bridesmaids to look the same, or do you want their personalities and differences to show? Then think about what the most important items are to you and what pieces they likely already have.
They've purchased the dresses you want them to wear, so it is important to be respectful of their budgets. One way to do this is to include pieces they probably already own. If black heels will go with their dresses, then let them wear the ones in their closets so they don't have to purchase new shoes. If you love pearl necklaces, then ask them to wear pearls in whatever style they already have. If one girl does not own them, faux pearls are relatively inexpensive to purchase. If, however, you are dying for them to wear a necklace that has your wedding colors in it, consider buying the piece for them. Many brides make these items part of their bridesmaids' gifts. Here are Closeout Jewelry Sets For Under $30!
While navigating this challenging and stressful process, remember to strike a balance. Be considerate of their feelings while accomplishing the look you want. Dress your bridesmaids so they feel beautiful. Not only will they be grateful, but they'll love talking about your wedding for years to come!