Your wedding day is all about perfection—making it the fairytale event of your dreams. You’ve chosen who you want to share your life with, as well as all of the special people to stand by you as you say, “I do.” But, whether you like it or not, it’s important to consider the comfort—and wallets—of those special ladies that are with you on your big day.

By now, you’ve most likely heard tales of the horror that can be choosing bridesmaid dresses. At their best, they can perfectly compliment the bride as she stands at the altar. But at their worst, they can be a pricey and uncomfortable investment for those lucky enough to be your bridesmaid. You like these women enough to have them around on your day, so here’s how to stylishly ensure the comfort and happiness of your ladies.

​PRICE

There’s no polite way to put it—bridesmaid’s dresses are expensive. On average, you can expect them to cost around $200, plus the cost of alterations if necessary. One way that you can offset the expense for your girls is by gifting part of the cost as a thank-you for being there. It’s customary to pick out a “little something” anyway and this is a great way to ensure that everyone can afford to be involved.

Because of this, you may find that shopping around and researching local boutiques is the best way to cut costs for you and your girls.

​COMFORT

When choosing a bridesmaid’s dress, be sure to consider the thoughts and suggestions of your girls. As the bride, you get to choose a gown that’s the right mix of beauty and comfort for you, so why wouldn’t you want the same for your girls? They’ll likely be running around on your behalf that day – fetching you water (or champagne!) and dancing for hours in those things. So remember—a comfortable bridesmaid is a happy bridesmaid.

You’re likely not going to find the perfect dress on the first go. Make a day out of your dress shopping and plan to shop around at several local vendors before making a choice. Listen to the members of your group if they say, “this just doesn’t work for me.” and try to find something that everyone agrees is comfortable.

Since these dresses can get pricey, try to find a dress that needs minimal, if any alterations. When it comes down to it, this will make this process easier for EVERYONE.

It’s important to remember that all women have unique body types and the same dress will not be as comfortable or flattering on everyone. There are many different types of bodices and necklines, and you’ll want all of your bridesmaids to feel equally comfortable and beautiful in the dress that you choose. If you have bridesmaids that range from “toothpick” to “va-va-voom”, you may want to consider a unique style (and even color) for each girl so that every single one of them feel their most comfortable.

REALISTIC FOR VENUE?

Just like you’re considering this for your own gown, you’ll want to think about the practicality of the bridesmaid’s dresses that you choose for the space where they’ll be spending their time in them. The last thing you want is to watch your girls trip down the aisle in front of you.

​If you’re getting married outside, you may want to consider choosing a gown that won’t get caught on any uneven surfaces. This will alleviate the possibility of snagging and keep the dresses looking nice for your entire day and after. So maybe consider tea-length dresses or simply avoid gowns that billow or flow as you walk.

At the same time, you’ll also want to consider the time of year. For a summer wedding, you should consider the breathability of the fabric as well as the number of layers in the dress. This may be the furthest thing from your mind as you and your girls shop in an air-conditioned showroom, but you don’t want them to be sweating during your entire ceremony.

Likewise, you should consider a shawl or cover-up if your wedding falls in the colder months of the year.

RE-WEARABILITY

Now, take a moment to open your closet. Why, you ask? Notice what colors you see and what the most common color among your own pieces may be.

Since someone is going to have to pay for this dress, you should consider something that can be worn again. If your wedding colors are a vibrant or unique color, you might want to consider giving your bridesmaids a more neutral color to wear. Even if it doesn’t necessarily match the décor of your wedding, you can still get creative and complement the style. Perhaps you could then accent a neutral dress with vibrant accessories or flowers. In fact, this might end up looking even better than the vibrant coral or Kelly green dress you were considering at the start.

This is a great way to avoid burdening your girls with a gown that’ll collect dust in the back of their closet.

THE WRAP

Now, don’t freak out.

Keep in mind that these are simply SUGGESTIONS. Your bridesmaids are excited to support and help you on your big day and they want you to be happy. If you overlook any of these suggestions, it’s okay. Your maid of honor isn’t going to ghost you the day after your wedding. We’re simply trying to help you consider what’s best for you and your bridesmaids. At the end of the day, it’s all about making your wedding, your dream wedding.

Image by Justin Tearney