News From Normans

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses

Brides today are throwing the rules out the window, especially when it comes to bridesmaid dresses. Although some brides still adore the classic look of bridesmaids in matching dresses, others are switching it up with mismatched ensembles. You might ask your bridesmaids to dress perfectly alike, or you might request that they wear dresses with different hemlines, necklines, fabrics, or colors. With all of these options at your fingertips, it can be difficult to know how to choose bridesmaid dresses. Use the tips below to get started.

bride and bridesmaid in blue dresses with boots

How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses

Find Your Dress First

Select your bridal gown before you start wondering how to choose bridesmaid dresses. You’re the star of the show, after all, and you want to be sure your bridesmaids’ dresses will complement the dress that you love best. Try to make sure their dresses have the same general style as yours. For example, if you’ve chosen an ethereal, bohemian dress for yourself, you probably shouldn’t select structured, taffeta dresses for your ‘maids. 

Think Outside the Box

Long gone are the days in which all brides outfitted their bridesmaids in matching dresses. Although this is still a great option for many brides, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Consider the following ideas:

  • You pick the color and fabric; your bridesmaids pick the style.
  • Your pick the dress; your bridesmaids pick the neckline.
  • You pick a color palette; your bridesmaids pick the dress.

In addition, remember that you don’t have to select a solid-colored dress. You could select a print, lace, sequins, or sparkles – whatever you like! 

Carefully Select the Color.

When selecting the fabric color, don’t just think about the decor and flowers you will use on your wedding day. Remember to consider your bridesmaids’ skin tones and hair colors. While some colors are universally flattering, others may clash with a woman’s coloring. For example, pale pink, tan, and nude dresses, while very trendy, can be hard to pull off. And if your bridesmaids are significantly different from one another in coloring, you may have a difficult time finding a shade that works for everyone. Choose carefully.

Consider Letting Your Bridesmaids Have a Say

This is entirely up to you, but you may want to let your bridesmaids have some input regarding their dresses. For example, if you’re debating between a few colors, pick the one your bridesmaids prefer. Or as we mentioned above, you might wish to select the color and fabric of the dresses but then allow your bridesmaids to choose their own style. Not only does this take some of the pressure off of you, but it will also please your bridesmaids. 

Keep Cost in Mind

Although the choice of dress is yours, be considerate of your friends’ budgets. Most bridesmaids are expected to purchase their own dresses, so keep the cost in mind. Don’t choose a gown your girls can’t afford. To lower the cost further, consider letting your bridesmaids wear whatever shoes and jewelry they like. 

Shop Early

Don’t wait until the last minute. Once you select your own gown, start shopping for your bridesmaids. Try to leave a five- to six-month cushion between the purchase and your wedding day, so that there is time for shipping and alterations.

Pick Shopping Buddies Wisely

Some brides prefer to shop for their bridesmaids alone, to avoid the stress of so many competing opinions. Others make it a fun social occasion, inviting all of their girls to try on dresses and share their ideas. Which style of shopping suits your personality and your bridesmaids’ personalities? If you need input, invite your friends (or perhaps just your maid-of-honor). If you’re concerned about your girls’ strong personalities snuffing out your own ideas, go alone (or perhaps bring your mom along for advice). If you’re afraid your bridesmaids will squabble over the options, go alone. 

Don’t Yield

Remember that the choice is yours. You aren’t obligated to choose a dress that every girl adores. If a bridesmaid isn’t happy with your selection, ask her why. If she just doesn’t like the style, stand firm and explain that you love the look and hope she will wear it for this one special day. If she’s concerned about the fit or silhouette, look into alterations that would make her feel more comfortable. If the cost of the dress alarms her, consider chipping in if you afford it. 


Now that you know how to choose bridesmaid dresses, are you ready to get started? Normans Bridal is here to help. We have a wide selection of dresses from designers like Bill Levkoff, Christina Wu, Jim Hjelm, Madeline Gardner, Sorella Vita, and Jasmine. Once you select your dress (or dresses), we will add the information to your file. Your bridesmaids can stop by our bridal salon in downtown Springfield to get measured and order their dress. Or if they live out of town, they can get professionally measured in their hometown and send us their measurements online, and then we will contact them to discuss which size to order. RSVP for an appointment by calling at 417-720-2162 or contact us through our website