As a bridesmaid, one of the most exciting parts of preparing for a wedding is selecting the perfect dress. However, with so many styles, colors, and fabrics to choose from, it can be challenging to know exactly when to start shopping. If you’re wondering when you should buy your bridesmaid dress for the wedding, this guide will help you plan ahead and ensure that you look and feel your best on the big day.
Factors such as the wedding date, the bride’s preferences, and the number of bridesmaids can all impact when you should start shopping for your dress. Waiting until the last minute to find a dress can cause unnecessary stress and potentially lead to limited options or a dress that doesn’t fit properly. Therefore, it’s essential to give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect dress that you love and that fits within the wedding’s color scheme and style.
Read on to learn why it’s important to start shopping early, when you should start looking for your dress, and expert tips for finding the perfect bridesmaid dress that you’ll love wearing on the big day.
So, whether you’re a bridesmaid trying to figure out when to start shopping or a bride looking to advise your bridal party, keep reading for all the information you need to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable dress shopping experience.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Bridesmaid Dress
If you’re a bridesmaid, you know that finding the perfect dress can be stressful. There are a lot of factors to consider, from the color and style to the fit and price. Comfort, style, and budget are some of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for your dress.
Firstly, comfort should be a top priority when selecting your bridesmaid dress. You’ll likely be wearing it for a long period of time, so it should be comfortable enough for you to move and dance in without feeling restricted. Secondly, style is also important. Your dress should fit in with the overall aesthetic of the wedding, while still making you feel confident and beautiful. Finally, your budget is another key factor. Make sure to discuss the cost with the bride and other bridesmaids so that everyone is on the same page.
When it comes to finding the perfect bridesmaid dress, taking these factors into consideration can help make the process smoother and more enjoyable. Remember, it’s important to choose a dress that not only looks great but also feels great, so that you can enjoy the special day to the fullest.
Wedding Theme and Colors
Match the wedding theme: It’s essential to consider the wedding’s overall theme and style when selecting a bridesmaid dress. Whether the wedding is formal or casual, traditional or modern, the bridesmaid dress should complement the theme.
Coordinate with wedding colors: The dress’s color should complement the wedding’s color scheme. It is crucial to choose a color that suits the bride’s dress and wedding colors. Consider the time of year when selecting colors, as some colors may look better in certain seasons.
Consider different styles: Different dress styles suit different body types, so it’s essential to consider everyone’s body type and choose a dress that flatters everyone. It’s also vital to consider the dress length, neckline, and fabric when selecting a dress style.
Choosing a bridesmaid dress that matches the wedding theme and coordinates with the wedding colors can make the entire bridal party look stunning. Take the time to consider these factors to ensure everyone looks and feels their best on the big day.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until the Last Minute
If you’re a bridesmaid, it can be tempting to put off buying your dress until closer to the wedding. However, waiting until the last minute can lead to a number of issues that you’ll want to avoid. Planning ahead is key when it comes to finding the perfect bridesmaid dress. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute:
Limited options: Many bridesmaid dress designers require a lead time of several months, meaning that if you wait too long, you may be limited in your dress choices.
Alterations: Getting alterations done on a dress can take time. If you wait until the last minute to buy your dress, you may not have enough time for alterations, which could result in a poorly fitted dress.
Stress: Waiting until the last minute can cause unnecessary stress. Don’t let the pressure of finding a dress at the last minute ruin your experience as a bridesmaid.
Shipping delays: Ordering a dress online can be a convenient option, but keep in mind that shipping delays can happen. Waiting until the last minute to order your dress could mean that it doesn’t arrive in time for the wedding.
Quality: Rushing to find a dress at the last minute could mean that you end up settling for a dress that doesn’t meet your expectations in terms of quality.
If you wait too long to buy your bridesmaid dress, you may find that your options are severely limited. Popular dress sizes and styles tend to sell out quickly, leaving you with fewer choices and the possibility of having to settle for a dress you don’t love. This can also be a problem if you’re part of a larger bridal party, as finding matching dresses for multiple people can be challenging.
Another issue with waiting until the last minute to buy your bridesmaid dress is that you may not have enough time for alterations. Alterations are often necessary to ensure the perfect fit and can take several weeks to complete. If you wait too long, you may not have enough time for alterations, leaving you with a dress that doesn’t fit properly on the day of the wedding.
Furthermore, limited dress options may force you to pay a higher price. Some bridal shops and dress retailers may increase their prices as the wedding date gets closer, knowing that bridesmaids who need a dress quickly may be willing to pay more. By shopping early, you can avoid these price hikes and potentially save some money.
Alterations Take Time
If you wait until the last minute to buy your bridesmaid dress, you may not have enough time for alterations. Most dresses require some alterations to fit perfectly, and these can take weeks to complete. Alterations include hemming, adjusting straps or sleeves, and taking in or letting out the bodice. If you’re buying a dress online, make sure to take accurate measurements and order well in advance to allow time for alterations.
Consider the cost of alterations when choosing your bridesmaid dress. Alterations can be expensive, especially if you have multiple adjustments that need to be made. When budgeting for your dress, factor in the cost of alterations as well. It’s always a good idea to leave a little extra room in your budget for unexpected alterations or other expenses.
Don’t forget about shipping times when buying your bridesmaid dress online. In addition to allowing time for alterations, you’ll also need to factor in shipping times. It’s important to order your dress well in advance to ensure it arrives on time. Make sure to check the estimated shipping times and factor in any delays that may occur due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Shipping and Delivery
When you wait until the last minute to order your bridesmaid dress, you may run into issues with shipping and delivery. Some retailers require a longer processing time for orders, especially during busy wedding season. Shipping delays or errors can also occur, which could leave you without a dress for the big day.
Additionally, if you need to order your dress from a retailer outside of your country, you may have to deal with customs and duties. These fees can add up and take longer to process, causing you to wait even longer for your dress to arrive.
By ordering your bridesmaid dress in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to ensure it arrives on time and deal with any issues that may arise. Plus, you won’t have to stress about tracking down a dress last minute, potentially costing you more time and money.
How Far Out Should You Start Looking for Your Dress?
When it comes to buying a bridesmaid dress, it’s always best to start your search early. Early planning will give you plenty of time to find the perfect dress and avoid the stress of last-minute shopping.
Experts recommend starting your search at least six months before the wedding date. This timeline allows you to order the dress, have it delivered, and make any necessary alterations without feeling rushed.
Keep in mind that some dress designers may have longer lead times, so it’s best to check with the retailer or designer before making a final decision. Be mindful of the time of year and popular wedding seasons, which can impact the availability of certain styles and colors.
Another thing to consider is the number of bridesmaids in the wedding party. If you’re part of a large bridal party, it may take longer to coordinate everyone’s schedules and find a dress that works for everyone.
Don’t forget to leave some buffer time in case of unexpected delays or issues with your dress. It’s always better to have extra time to address any last-minute problems rather than scrambling to fix them before the wedding.
In summary, start your bridesmaid dress search at least six months before the wedding, consider the number of bridesmaids, be mindful of the time of year, and allow some extra buffer time. With these tips, you can ensure a stress-free dress shopping experience and enjoy the big day with confidence and style.
3-6 Months Before the Wedding
Browse different styles: Start browsing different styles to get an idea of what you like and what will fit with the wedding theme and colors.
Order samples: If possible, order samples of the dresses you are considering to get a better idea of the color and fabric in person.
Take measurements: Have your measurements taken by a professional or follow the size chart provided by the retailer to ensure a proper fit.
Consider alterations: Keep in mind that alterations may be necessary to get the perfect fit, so leave plenty of time for this process.
Discuss with the bride: Discuss your dress options with the bride to ensure that your dress fits with the overall wedding vision.
Starting your dress search 3-6 months before the wedding will give you enough time to explore different styles, order samples, take measurements, and make any necessary alterations. It also allows for a buffer in case the dress is out of stock or there are shipping delays. By discussing your dress options with the bride, you can ensure that your dress fits with the overall wedding vision and avoid any last-minute surprises. Taking the time to find the perfect dress will not only make you feel confident and beautiful on the big day but also contribute to a seamless wedding experience for everyone involved.
Consider Your Schedule
If you have a busy schedule, you should start looking for your bridesmaid dress as soon as possible. Make sure you allow plenty of time for dress shopping and alterations. Look for stores that offer evening and weekend appointments to accommodate your schedule.
Consider scheduling a dress shopping day with your fellow bridesmaids. This will make it easier to coordinate schedules and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to try on dresses together. You can make a fun day out of it by going out to lunch or dinner after the appointment.
When scheduling dress shopping appointments, keep in mind any other wedding-related events you have on your calendar, such as bridal showers or bachelorette parties. You may want to schedule your dress appointment around these events so that you can consolidate your wedding-related activities.
It’s important to factor in shipping and delivery times when scheduling your dress shopping. If you’re ordering a dress online, be sure to check the estimated delivery time and factor in any potential delays.
Remember, the key is to start early so that you have plenty of time to find the perfect dress without adding unnecessary stress to your schedule.
Benefits of Buying Your Dress in Advance
More options: Buying your wedding dress in advance will give you more options to choose from. You can explore various styles, fabrics, and designs without being limited to what’s available in the store.
Time for alterations: Purchasing your dress early means you have enough time for alterations. You can have multiple fittings to ensure that the dress fits perfectly and make any necessary changes without feeling rushed.
Avoid stress: By purchasing your dress well in advance, you can avoid the stress that comes with last-minute shopping. You’ll have plenty of time to make a decision and won’t feel rushed into buying a dress you’re not in love with.
Discounts and promotions: Some bridal stores offer discounts and promotions for customers who purchase their dresses in advance. This could save you money and allow you to splurge on other aspects of your wedding.
Peace of mind: Finally, buying your dress in advance gives you peace of mind. You’ll know that you have your dream dress and won’t have to worry about finding one closer to the wedding. You can focus on other aspects of planning and enjoy the lead-up to your big day.
Less Stressful Planning
Buying your dress in advance can help reduce stress in the wedding planning process. When you wait until the last minute, you may feel rushed and overwhelmed with the limited options available to you. By starting early, you have more time to explore different styles and find the perfect dress that fits your vision.
Eliminate Rush Fees: Rush fees can add up quickly, and can be avoided by purchasing your dress well in advance. You won’t have to worry about rushing the alterations process or expedited shipping to get your dress on time.
More Time for Accessories: Once you have your dress, you can start looking for accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and hairpieces. Having more time to find the perfect accessories can help complete your overall wedding day look.
What to Do if You’re Running Out of Time
If you find yourself running out of time to find your perfect wedding dress, don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to help ease the stress:
Look for off-the-rack dresses: If you don’t have time to order a dress, look for one that’s already made and ready to take home.
Visit sample sales: Sample sales can be a great way to find a beautiful dress at a discounted price.
Consider a non-traditional dress: If you’re having a non-traditional wedding, consider wearing a non-traditional dress. This can be a great way to find a unique and affordable dress quickly.
Get alterations done quickly: If you find a dress you love but it needs alterations, find a seamstress who can work quickly to get the alterations done in time for your big day.
Look for Rush Shipping Options
If you find yourself running out of time, rush shipping can be a great option. Many bridal stores offer expedited shipping options for an additional fee. This can be especially helpful if you need your dress within a few days.
When looking for rush shipping options, be sure to read the fine print. Some stores may have restrictions or limitations on rush shipping, so it’s important to understand all the details before making a purchase.
Keep in mind that rush shipping can be more expensive than standard shipping. Be sure to factor this into your budget when considering this option.
Also, make sure to track your package closely so that you know exactly when it will arrive. This will help you plan your alterations and fittings accordingly.
Consider Renting a Dress
If you’re running out of time and still haven’t found the perfect dress, renting a dress can be a great option. Renting a dress can save you time and money, and you can still find a stunning dress that fits your style and budget.
Cost-effective: Renting a dress is usually cheaper than buying one, and you can still wear a designer dress at a fraction of the cost.
Convenient: Renting a dress is a great option for those who don’t have the time or budget to buy a dress. You can rent a dress online and have it delivered to your doorstep.
More options: When you rent a dress, you have access to a wider range of dresses that you may not have been able to afford otherwise. You can try out different styles and designs without committing to buying them.
Eco-friendly: Renting a dress is a more sustainable option compared to buying a dress that you may only wear once. By renting a dress, you’re reducing your environmental impact and contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry.
Choose a Dress off the Rack
If you’re in a time crunch, one option is to choose a dress off the rack at a bridal or department store. This means you’ll be purchasing a dress that’s already in stock, which eliminates the need for ordering and waiting for it to arrive. Make sure to check the store’s return policy in case the dress needs alterations or you change your mind.
Shopping off the rack also means you’ll have limited options in terms of customization, but it’s a good option if you’re short on time and want a dress that’s already made. Keep in mind that some stores may offer rush alterations for an additional fee.
Another benefit of shopping off the rack is that you can potentially snag a dress at a discounted price if it’s on sale or clearance. This can help you save money while still finding a beautiful dress for your big day.
Don’t be afraid to ask the store’s staff for help in finding a dress that fits your style and preferences. They may be able to offer suggestions based on your body type, wedding theme, and budget.
Expert Tips for Finding the Perfect Bridesmaid Dress
As a bridesmaid, finding the perfect dress can be stressful. Here are some expert tips to make your dress shopping experience enjoyable and stress-free:
Consider the bride’s vision: Before you start shopping, have a conversation with the bride to understand her vision for the wedding and the bridesmaid dresses.
Think about your body type: Choose a dress that flatters your body type and makes you feel comfortable and confident.
Pay attention to color: Consider the wedding colors and choose a dress that complements the theme. You don’t want to clash with the bride or the wedding decor.
Don’t forget about accessories: Accessories can take your bridesmaid dress from basic to beautiful. Choose jewelry, shoes, and a bag that complements your dress and the wedding theme.
Have fun with it: Don’t forget that dress shopping should be fun! Make a day out of it with your bridesmaids, and enjoy the process of finding the perfect dress for your friend’s big day.
Find a Dress That Flatters Your Figure
When choosing a bridesmaid dress, it’s important to find a style that flatters your figure. If you’re pear-shaped, consider a dress that cinches at the waist and flares out at the bottom to balance out your proportions. If you have an hourglass figure, a form-fitting dress will highlight your curves. For apple-shaped bodies, look for a dress with an A-line skirt and a V-neckline to draw attention away from your midsection. Petite bridesmaids should opt for a dress with a high waistline to elongate their legs, while taller bridesmaids can pull off floor-length gowns with ease.
Don’t be afraid to try on different styles and silhouettes to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that alterations may be necessary to ensure a perfect fit.
It’s also important to consider the fabric of the dress – some fabrics are more forgiving than others. If you’re self-conscious about your midsection, a dress made from a heavier fabric like satin or velvet can provide more coverage and create a sleek silhouette. If you’re looking for something more flowy and lightweight, chiffon or tulle might be a better choice.
Consider the Venue and Time of Day
Outdoor venues: If the wedding is outdoors, consider choosing dresses in lightweight fabrics that will keep you cool in warm weather, such as chiffon or cotton.
Indoor venues: For indoor weddings, you can choose dresses made from heavier fabrics, such as satin or velvet, that will keep you warm in colder weather.
Time of day: The time of day can also influence your dress choice. For daytime weddings, consider dresses in lighter shades such as pastels. For evening weddings, darker colors like navy or black can be appropriate.
Formality of the venue: The formality of the venue can also guide your dress selection. For a formal venue, consider long dresses or gowns, while a less formal venue may allow for shorter dresses.
Venue theme: Take the venue theme into account. For example, a beach wedding may call for a more casual or flowy dress, while a more traditional venue may call for a more classic and elegant dress.
Coordinate with Other Bridesmaids
Communicate with the bride: Discuss the bride’s vision and preferences for the bridesmaid dresses, including color, style, and length. Ensure that everyone is on the same page before making any decisions.
Consider the wedding theme: The bridesmaid dresses should complement the wedding theme and decor. If the wedding is formal, choose a more elegant style, while a casual beach wedding may call for a more relaxed dress style.
Choose a color palette: Decide on a color palette that will work well with the bride’s dress and the wedding theme. Consider the skin tone and hair color of the bridesmaids when selecting colors.
Discuss budget: Talk openly about the budget with the bridesmaids and the bride. Choose a dress that everyone can afford, and be mindful of any additional costs, such as alterations or accessories.
Be open to compromise: Remember that this is the bride’s special day. Be willing to compromise on dress style or color if necessary to make the bride happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should bridesmaids start looking for dresses?
It’s recommended that bridesmaids start looking for dresses at least six months before the wedding. This allows enough time for ordering, alterations, and any unforeseen issues that may arise.
How long does it take to order a bridesmaid dress?
The time it takes to order a bridesmaid dress varies depending on the designer and style. Generally, it takes between 8-16 weeks for a dress to be made and shipped. It’s important to check with the retailer or designer to confirm their production and shipping timelines.
Is it possible to rush an order for a bridesmaid dress?
Yes, some retailers or designers offer rush shipping options for an additional fee. This can expedite the production and shipping time of the dress, but it’s important to confirm the availability and cost of rush shipping before placing an order.
Should bridesmaids coordinate their dress choices?
It’s a good idea for bridesmaids to coordinate their dress choices to ensure a cohesive look. This can be achieved by selecting a color palette or specific style that works for everyone. However, it’s important to also consider the individual preferences and body types of each bridesmaid.
What factors should be considered when choosing a bridesmaid dress?
When choosing a bridesmaid dress, it’s important to consider the wedding theme, venue, time of day, and season. The bride’s dress style and color choices can also be taken into consideration. It’s also important to choose a dress that flatters the individual bridesmaid’s body type and complements their skin tone.
Can bridesmaids wear different dress styles?
Yes, bridesmaids can wear different dress styles as long as they coordinate with each other and fit the overall wedding theme. Different dress styles can add visual interest and individuality to the bridal party, but it’s important to ensure that the dresses complement each other and create a cohesive look.