Five Tips for Styling Your Bridesmaids

A couple of my loyal readers emailed me after my last wedding-related post, asking for any other advice I would love to share. I do not proclaim to be a fashion expert. I’ve been a bridesmaid too many times to count and each wedding was completely different. When I got engaged in February of 2012, it was my turn to start planning. My friends probably thought I would be a bridezilla, barking orders and making demands. But alas, I only required a couple important details, and the rest I left up to them.

Your dresses don’t have to be all matchy-matchy.

Now, for someone who feels that she has a slight OCD problemo, I shocked myself (and my friends/family) when I decided to go a different route when it came to the dresses. Like I said previously, I was a bridesmaid in a bunch of weddings. Although the day is supposed to be “all about the bride”, as a bride, you want your girls to look and feel their best.

One of my best friends, Fran, got married in 2008 and I really appreciated that she let her bridesmaids choose which type of gown they wanted to wear. All the dresses were from the same designer, the same fabric, and the same color. She gave us a bunch of choices: A-line, mermaid, trumpet, etc. and we chose what we felt most comfortable in.

I remember walking around the dress showroom, not feeling my best at the time, and trying on these dresses that were meant for girls who were a size 0. Disheartened, I tried on the different gowns she had selected for us, and they just weren’t doing it for me. I would’ve settled, sure, but my best friend wasn’t having it. “Absolutely not,” I remember her saying. “Let’s talk another stroll around the room and see what else we can find.” We found another selection that she had missed and I tried it on. Instant success. I felt comfortable. I felt beautiful. Going into that day, I was excited to wear my dress and stand beside my best friend on the most important day of her life.

When it came time to start planning my wedding, I decided to borrow her idea. I have the most beautiful friends, but they are not all the same size and shape. I wanted them to feel gorgeous on that day. I picked out 8-10 dresses and they decided which one they liked the best. When I look back at my pictures, you can hardly tell they are wearing different gowns; the designer, color and fabric was all the same. It was important to me that my friends felt just as beautiful as I felt on that day.

Bridesmaids

“Get your hair did…”

It was important for me to have my bridesmaids at my house so we could get ready together. It has always been one of my favorite things to do before going out. My girlfriends came over around 8am and I provided bagels, fruit, and mimosas and they provided the memories and laughs. We relaxed in the sunshine on my deck, we watched the hair stylist and makeup artists do their thing, and we helped each other get ready.

I didn’t demand a specific hairstyle, but I did ask that they get their hair done in some way. I didn’t want a regular blow-out; they could do that for any old event. I wanted them to look a little different than a normal day. Some opted for a half-up/half-down look, while others wanted an up-do hairstyle. Most of them turned to Pinterest (as did I), to find the perfect hairdo.

“Nails done, hair done, everything did… you fancy huh…”

I am all for crazy colors, I often am found sporting purple, hot pink or some other crazy color on my fingernails. But on the wedding day, I wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. I asked my bridesmaids to stick to either a french manicure or something neutral, pale pinks or nudes. A nice manicure and pedicure tie the whole package together.

“I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is all right…”

If I could wear flip-flops all day, every day, I totally would. I do wear heels, but I don’t prefer them. I know most of my friends feel the same way. I thought about asking them to wear the same pair of heels, and then I thought, “I would be very unhappy if I had to wear the same pair of uncomfortable shoes for 12 hours.” The bridesmaid dresses were long; no one would be able to see the shoes.

I asked them to find a strappy, gold pair of shoes, with a slight heel for the day. I wanted them to be comfortable for the big day. In the bridesmaid gift bags, I bought them a pair of gold Old Navy flip-flops which they could put on after all the formal pictures were taken. I even changed into a pair of white, wedge flip-flops after the pictures; there was no way I could’ve lasted for 14 hours in heels.

Bling, Bling

I found a great pair of small, gold, dangling earrings from the Kohl’s Lauren Conrad collection for my bridesmaids to wear on that day. They were dainty and looked great with the dress. I wanted to buy them a pair that would look great with the dress and that they would probably wear again. I have often received jewelry from a wedding that looks great on that day, but sadly, I probably could never wear again.

I bought my matron of honors (yes, there were three of them), a simple, gold bracelet from C. Wonder. I wanted them to have something that set them apart from my bridesmaids. This small, simple detail looked beautiful on their wrist and was another gift they could totally wear again.

Bridesmaids - Photobooth

My wedding day was the most amazing day of my life and my bridesmaids were there for the entire ride. They looked and felt gorgeous and that was what mattered the most to me.

Getting married? How to do you plan to style your bridesmaids?