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How to... pick the perfect bridesmaid gowns

Bridesmaids' dresses have become something of a cultural icon – and their image is anything but positive. From TV sitcoms to stand-up comedy, the heinous dresses some brides choose are frequent subjects of derision. You don't have to doom your bridal party to ugly frocks they can't wait to take off. Follow these five simple tips for bridesmaids who are still speaking to you when the wedding is over.

Narrow down colors and themes

Before you begin shopping for bridesmaids' dresses, you need to know your wedding colors and theme. The dress color and style should either match or complement the look you're going for. For a vintage wedding, lace looks lovely, but for a more glamorous affair, you might prefer long satin gowns. Ensure the dresses match the dressiness level of your wedding - otherwise your bridesmaids might be left feeling a bit out of place.

Consider multiple dresses

Can't decide on just one dress? You don't have to. More and more brides are allowing their bridesmaids to each pick their own dresses within a specific color scheme. This makes for lovely, unique pictures and protects you from the wrath of bridesmaids who hate their wedding day get-up.

Think classic pieces

When you shop for date night, there's nothing wrong with picking out the trendiest piece in the store. But when you shop for bridesmaids dresses, a trendy piece is a disaster waiting to happen because it will be out of style by next year, leaving your photos looking dated. Moreover, not all trends look good on everyone, and your bridesmaids are unlikely to wear a trendy piece again. Instead, focus on classic, simple frocks with clean, elegant lines.

Solicit bridesmaid input 

Don't forget to ask your bridesmaids what they think! Of course, you can't let them make the final decision or you'll be subject to endless arguing, particularly if you have a large group of wedding attendants. But be sure to ask your friends if they loathe the dress you've chosen before you commit them to wearing git.

Weigh price considerations 

If your friends have to travel for your wedding or need to buy special shoes or accessories, consider this when choosing the dress. It's unfair to break your friends' budget, so stick to relatively inexpensive dresses. If you find a costly dress that you love, consider helping your bridesmaids purchase it. No one should have to go broke for your wedding – no matter how special your big day will be.



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