Monthly Archives: January 2017

Best Tips on Selecting your Bridesmaids’ Dresses

If you’re a bride deciding on what style and design of bridesmaid dresses will be worn at your wedding, there are some fundamentals you’ll need to consider. We’ve listed and explained the most popular tips below:

Bridesmaids in aqua strapless dresses with bride in white from behind.

Make Sure They Look Great
Despite what you may have heard, it is absolutely in your best interest to find gorgeous bridesmaids gowns. Your bridesmaids, and therefore, your wedding party will look fantastic. They’ll also appreciate your making them look great, and will more likely have great attitudes in the lead up to, and during, the wedding. Don’t even bother worrying if they’ll outshine you- you’ll be the natural centre of both visual and social attention on your big day!

Size and Shape
It’s easy to forget that your bridesmaids will most likely come in different shapes. If they’re all wearing the same dress, ensure that the cut is universally fitting. Sweetheart necklines, A-line skirts and medium- tick straps tend to suit most women.

Suit the Scene
When shopping for dresses, it is essential that the gowns you purchase match the theme of the wedding. If the motif for the occasion is red and gold, the dresses should either be red or gold, or have both hues. Clarify with your bridesmaids whether you want both hues on the dresses, or if it’s okay for the dresses to at least be red, or at least be gold – this is if you don’t plan for the bridesmaid dresses to be made in uniform style.

Be Kind to your Bridesmaids’ Wardrobes
It would be pretty irksome to have to buy an expensive dress that you know you’ll never wear again. Try to help your bridesmaids avoid this situation by picking a dress you know they’ll wear again. Remember that they dont have to necessarily be able to wear the same dress exactly as is, but something which can be made more versatile with some talioring, such as taking the hem up or removing the sleeves.

Tonally Useful
A big part of what renders a dress reusable or not comes down to its colour. Darker and neutral colours tend to be more versatile. This doesnt necessarily mean that you’re restricted to blacks, browns, greys and navys, but even any dark version of your wedding colours. If your main wedding colours are red and yellow, for example, a burgundy or deep yellow dress will manage more miles than a cherry red or a canary yellow.

Keep their Preferences in Mind
A great idea is to devise a list of your bridesmaids’ ‘absolutes’ and ‘preferences’. An ‘absolute’ request could be nothing above the knee for a religious friend, for example, whilst a preference could be a cut which shows off her waist. Consolidating this information in one spot could enable you to find a cut which suits everyones tastes, which you love.

Get Communicative
Rather than taking all of your bridesmaids shopping- which can be an absolute nightmare- get an email conversation going. Let everyone give in their input, and consider what they want as a group before going shopping.

Cover Them
If you find a dress that you love that is out of your bridesmaids’ price range, offer to pay the extra cost. That way, everybody wins.

Get Flexible
If youd like to distinguish each of your bridesmaids from eachother, consider having each of them wear different versions of the same dress. This could mean each of them wearing the same dress in different colours, or wearing different dress cuts made in the same fabric. This way they can all play to their strengths whilst simultaneously being uniform.

Comfortable Dresses are Musts
Weddings take hours and if your bridesmaids aren’t comfortable in what they are wearing, they might not be able to perform their duties well. Skin allergies, breathing trouble – these are some of the things that could result from uncomfortable wedding clothes and could ruin your wedding.

Dress length should be appropriate
Generally speaking, bridesmaids dresses tend to be worn on the longer side (but this depends on the formality of your wedding). The main consideration is to have the dresses be classic and tasteful- not something you know you’ll cringe over in years to come. If in doubt, go long! The more casual the wedding, the lighter weight the skirt material can be. This also has the magical effect of suiting just about every wedding type- ranging from the casualty of a beach wedding to one held in a beyond- formal cathedral.

Delegate!
Chances are that once you’ve picked the dresses, you’ll be busy with other aspects of your wedding to organise. Delegate all bridesmaids- dress related tasks, such as having the dresses dry cleaned and fitted properly, to your maid of honour and/ or other bridesmaids. Let them know, however, that you’re always available for any serious issues or questions

More Information About Bridesmaids’ Dresses Glossary

A-line: a dress with a skirt that flares out towards the bottom, mimicking the appearance of the capital letter A. A-line dresses suit pear shaped women as the flare of the dress balances out the width of their hips.
Apple shape: apple shaped girls are usually big busted with small hips and a rounder tummy. Wrap style dresses that direct attention away from the stomach area are great for apple shaped bodies. If the bride isn’t 100% set on floor length dresses, knee length dresses look great on apple shaped bridesmaids as they usually have killer legs which are worth showing off.
Basque waistline: a dress with a U shaped or V shaped waistline which sits closer to the hips than the waist.
Boat neckline: a neckline which curves near the collarbone on a sleeveless dress which usually features quite thin straps at the tip of the shoulders.
Chiffon: a very delicate, transparent fabric which is often incorporated in the outer layers of a dress to add detail. Always check with the bride first about how much chiffon is appropriate for the bridesmaid dresses.
Dropped waistline: a waistline which sits towards the hips rather than the waist and is suited to women with an inverted triangle shaped body who want to draw attention away from their shoulders and towards their slim hips and legs.
Empire waistline: a dress which features a high waistline, just below the bust. An empire waistline suits almost all body types so may be the perfect choice for weddings where the brides wants her maids to dress uniformly.
Hourglass figure: hourglass shaped women have a large bust, small waist and large hips. Think Marilyn Monroe. If you are lucky enough to have an hourglass figure, show it off with a tight fitting yet classy dress but don’t be shocked if the other bridesmaids aren’t willing to wear exactly the same dress.
Inverted triangle shape: women with broad shoulders and narrow hips have an inverted triangle shaped figure. V neck dresses suit this figure because they draw attention away from the shoulders and towards the waist. A ruffled dress will also give the appearance of wider hips.
Maternity bridesmaid dress: most bridal stores stock lovely bridesmaid dresses for expectant mummies. Go dress shopping early to be sure to find something flattering which will match the colour and style of the other maids’ dresses.
Pear shape: pear shaped girls usually have a small bust, big hips, big thighs and a big butt that would make Sir-Mix-A-Lot proud. Wrap style dresses with an A-line suit pear shaped ladies. Capped sleeves will also give the appearance of wider shoulders and a V-neck helps to balance out the small bust.
Scoop neckline: a dress with a U shaped neckline. The scoop can be shallow for modest bridesmaids or deeper for bustier gals who want to show off their goods (within reason).
Sheath: a case to hide a dagger if you have a bridezilla on your hands or a closely fitted dress without a waistline. This type of dress is best suited to hourglass figures and petite frames.
Sheer: transparent material. Always check that your bridesmaids’ dresses won’t turn sheer with flash photography (or the camera won’t be the only thing flashing).
Silhouette: the outline or general shape of a dress, including the bodice and the skirt. Some examples of silhouettes include A-line, ball gown, mermaid and trumpet style dresses.
Tea length: a tea length dress is a dress with a hemline that is approximately midway between the knee and ankle. Tea length is just a fancy word for ¾ length, really.
Tulle: a netting-like fabric which is often featured as an outer layer on the bride’s dress. Bridesmaids, try not to go overboard with tulle dresses. You don’t want to look like ballerinas and you definitely don’t want to out-tulle the bride.

Tips to Choosing a Dressmaker

For many women, fantasies of the perfect wedding gown date back to their days of reading about Cinderella and fairy princesses. Your dress may be the most expensive part of your wedding budget and, depending upon how much you care about fashion, may also be the thing you spend the most time debating, discussing with loved ones, and gathering information about. Hiring a dressmaker, rather than buying off the rack, can be the first step toward getting a one-of-a-kind dress that perfectly matches the dream dress in your imagination, but you’ll need to ensure you choose the right dressmaker.
The Role of the Dressmaker
Dressmakers come in two broad categories. Retail stores offer sample dresses and then tailor the dress to suit your measurements, while independent dressmakers can make a dress for you from scratch. The right choice for you will depend on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for something specific and one-of-a-kind, you’ll probably want to go with a dressmaker who can make your dress from scratch. You’re paying for the dressmaker’s time and experience, though, so having your dress custom made will cost you. But if you just want a dress that looks great on your body, your local dress shop should have plenty of options.
A dressmaker is an entirely different animal for a tailor. Tailors make minor alterations to clothes to help them fit better, while dressmakers can fundamentally alter the dress itself by removing or adding a train, changing lace, or changing the shape or style of the neckline. At retail stores, dressmakers often act primarily as tailors, making adjustments to the dress to ensure it fits rather than making a completely new dress.

How Much Time?
If you’re having the dress made from scratch, plan on ordering it no later than six to eight months before your wedding. Whether you have the dress custom made or simply buy and alter an existing dress, you’ll usually have one to two fittings after the dress is complete. Leave at least two months between your first fitting and your wedding day, because this gives you plenty of time to make significant changes to the dress. Your final fitting will likely be a week or so before the wedding. This is the chance to see the finished product, not to make big changes, so don’t count on giving your dressmaker a bunch of new requests right before your wedding!

Of course, different dressmakers and stores have wildly different policies, and the time it takes to actually get your dress depends on your dressmaker’s workload and working speed, as well as the complexity of your dress. Rather than relying on blind faith or a general guide, call a few dressmakers as soon as you get engaged, and ask them how quickly you need to order your wedding gown.

Choosing Your Dressmaker
Before you pay a deposit or sign a contract, you’ll need to do the legwork of vetting your dressmaker. Don’t just go on blind faith or based on a sales pitch, because you only have one chance to get this right. Instead, determine whether your dressmaker meets your needs and is qualified by doing some of the following:

• Asking for photos of previous work, as well as the sketches from which the work was produced. This gives you an idea of how closely the dressmaker’s made-from-scratch dresses match her initial sketches.

• Asking for references.

• Reading online reviews, and checking the dressmaker’s Facebook and other social networking pages to ensure there have been no complaints.

• Asking your dressmaker about her training and experience. Dressmakers who have been in business for years usually have a healthy track record of satisfied customers.

• Ensure that the dressmaker’s previous work matches your style. A dressmaker who specializes in modern, understated wedding dresses might not be the best choice if you’re hoping for a lace-filled vintage confection.

Saving Cash
If you’re hoping to save cash, having your dress custom made from scratch is not a recipe for a happy bank account. Instead, try picking a dress at a store and then having the in-house dressmaker alter it. You may also be able to save money if you buy multiple items from the same place. For example, some stores offer a discount to brides who purchase bridesmaid dresses, veils, and shoes at the same time as the dress.

Dressmakers with years of experience typically charge more, so plan on dropping some serious cash if you’re choosing the best seamstress in the business. You’ll also have to pay for the dressmaker’s supplies. Costly materials such as intricate lace, pearls, and beading can drive up the cost. If you’re on a budget, you may be stuck straddling the line between cost and quality, so be prepared to scale down your expectations, choose a new dressmaker who has a small but impressive portfolio, or stick to buying the dress off the rack and then making alterations.

Fairy princesses never have to contemplate budgets, but real women do. If you can’t afford everything you want, remember that the most important thing isn’t the dress. It’s the marriage that follows! By planning ahead of time and ensuring you carefully interview each dressmaker you consider, you have the opportunity to get the best of both worlds by minimizing costs and grasping for the dress of your dreams.