Real Weddings

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bridesmaids Dress Revamped

A few years ago, if you were asked to be a bridesmaid, a few things you would expect are:

1. To wear an unflattering dress.

2. To wear an unflattering dress, in an unflattering color.

3. To wear that unflattering dress, in that unflattering color, at an UNFLATTERING PRICE and

4.To do all these afore mentioned things with 3-10 other ladies.

Thankfully, times have changed. Now bridesmaids’ dresses come in an array of colors, designs AND price ranges. These dresses are ordered off-the-rack in department stores, boutiques and bridal shops. We love the fact that brides and bridesmaids are daring to say NO to these traditions and letting their creative side see some sunshine.

Bridesmaids are trading in their usual satin ball-gown dresses for lace and traditional (African) materials (e.g. Ankara, Brocade, aso-oke). It’s the BM dress revamped.

Another trend making waves, customized dresses. This is where the bride picks/approves the basic dress design and her BM’s are allowed to make certain alterations to make each dress unique to each person. This idea works well because now BMs can alter their dresses to a more flattering fit or style.

Here are a few tips to make it work:

1. Pick a basic length, fit and style of the top or skirt. This is what cannot be changed e.g. bubble skirt, a-line, mini etc.

2. Allow BMs to add elements that are unique to their style and personality e.g. a bow, puffy sleeves, extra fabric, buttons etc. Use pictures from magazines or online for inspiration.

3. Make sure that the additions are not overwhelming and match the theme and/or season of the wedding.

4. Once you have decided on your styles find a seamstress that will be able to bring the designs to life. This should be done months in advanced so that the seamstress has enough time to work.Don’t forget your example photos.

5. As a bride, be open minded to whatever styles your BMs pick. Remember happy BMs make your day even more special. Who wants to see a frown in their wedding album and

6. Just have fun with it.

ALTERNATIVE: If you don't have adequate time for custom sewn dresses, BMs can wear off-the-rack dresses that are in the same material and color group. The Twist is that Bridesmaids choose their different styles. This trend works best if the differences in the dresses are more subtle i.e length, sleeves bows etc.

Photos Courtesy of

& Rebecca Davidson

1 comment:

  1. This is so true! I love this post; the purple dress from No.4 is fierce, I would love to see bridesmaids in ankara, aso-oke,etc...keep the posts coming