Stress Free Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Stress Free Bridesmaid Dress Shopping |
Image courtesy of Kelsey Rose

How hard can bridesmaid dress shopping really be? Well, factor in different opinions, personalities, styles, shapes, sizes and heights; finding one dress to suit all your bridesmaids can without a doubt be one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning. However, here at we have come up with some top tips to ensure stress free bridesmaid dress shopping!

Discuss Money

Make it clear from the very start, before you even step into a dress shop, who will be paying for the dress and what the budget will be. It’s fine to ask your bridesmaid to contribute to or pay for her dress if you can’t afford to pay for it, but bear in mind that she may not want to spend as much as what you had in mind. Have an honest conversation with her about how much she can afford and respect that. Asking a bridesmaid to spend more than she can afford is not fair and may cause resentment. Not a great start to the process! If you really want her in a dress that is more expensive be prepared to pay the difference.


If you are happy to pay for the dress, make it clear to the girls what your budget is before they try on and fall in love with the most expensive dress in the shop!

Top Tip – Don’t forget to factor in dress alterations, accessories, hair and make up when discussing the costs of the outfit.

Have a Plan

Rather than just heading into town and aimlessly wandering in and out of shops, decide in advance where you will look at dresses. If you want to try on bridesmaid dresses in a bridal shop you will usually need to make an appointment so make sure you do this in advance and find out how long the appointment will be for. By making a plan of where you will go and for how long, you will be able to shop more efficiently, making the most of your time. Planning in advance will also give your girls time to make arrangements to get a day off, organise child care and wear the right underwear!

Top tip – Take your planning to the next level  first check online for what styles of dresses the shop has to find out whether it’s worth the trip

Anna and Gavin's Real Wedding |
Image courtesy of Anna and Gavin’s Real Wedding

Be Clear

It’s always much easier to start dress shopping with an idea of what you are looking for. Choose a colour and roughly the kind of style you want as a starting point. This will make it a much quicker process when choosing dresses to try on. Shopping with no direction on style or colour will leave your bridesmaids with too much choice and not enough time!

David's Bridal Bridesmaid Dresses |
Image courtesy of David’s Bridal

Be Open Minded

Whilst we suggest shopping with a colour and style in mind definitely be open minded and flexible if needs be. It is likely that your bridesmaids will be different shapes, sizes and heights with different skin tones and hair colours. Finding a dress in one colour and style to suit all of them could be a challenge!

If you choose a colour, but it doesn’t suit your bridesmaids, be open to trying on variations of similar colours or have a back up colour in mind. You could change the colour to find one that suits everyone or choose varying shades for each bridesmaids, giving them each an individual look to suit their personal style, whilst still looking like bridesmaids.

Finding a style to suit all your bridesmaids will most likely be your biggest challenge. You want your girls to look and feel happy and confident so be open minded about them wearing different styles to suit their style and flatter their figure.

Top Tip – The key to mixing and matching bridesmaid dresses, but keeping them defined as bridesmaids and not just another guest is to keep one or two things the same. For example – the same colour but different styles or different colours and styles but all in the same fabric and length.

David's Bridal Bridesmaid Dresses |
Image courtesy of David’s Bridal

So remember, be honest and organised, firm but fair, but above all have fun and remember that your girls are their to support you and be by your side on your big day. That’s all that really matters so don’t let the little things stress you out – good luck!




Find Wedding Ideas, Inspiration, Venues and Services

mail icon

Subscribe to our Network

Stay connected with our network and get all the best Wedding Planning, Inspiration and Competitions directly into your inbox.