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When you are ready to begin shopping for bridesmaid dresses you first need to decide if you are going the traditional or non-traditional route.
Traditionally, all of the girls in your wedding party wear the exact same color and dress. Everyone looks identical. A non-traditional approach is having all of the girls wear the same (or complimentary) colors but foregoing the uniformity by wearing different dress styles. Once you make your decision, it’s time to consider cuts to compliment body shapes.
If sticking to tradition, opt for a classic A-line cut. This cut is universally flattering on all body types. You might also want to consider a dress with straps and light ruching around the waist to flatter the mid-section. Material that is matte and forgiving, such as organza, taffeta and chiffon, will be worn well by any of the ladies in your party. There are great designs out there to accommodate your bridal party’s needs.
If you’re going down the non-traditional route, pick a color that you adore and allow your girls to experiment with lengths and styles. A newer trend is to stick with color tones that are complimentary but not necessarily matching. For example, chocolate brown dresses with some kind of baby blue accent on them can be worn by a few of your girls, while the others in the party wear the solid blue shade or the solid brown shade. Alternating dress styles and colors looks great in photos, too.
No matter what you decide, top bridesmaid dress designers like After Six, Venus and Alfred Sung are sure to have gowns that will look stunning on everyone.
When actress Jessica Biel married singer/actor Justin Timberlake back in 2012 in a super secret $6.5 million Italian wedding, her colors weren’t Blush and Bashful (“Steel Magnolias” reference FTW!) but she still opted to wear a stunning pink Giambattista Valli gown for the ceremony. Biel called her pink showstopper “the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” A rather intimate crowd of 100 invited family members and friends were on-hand for the superstar nuptials.
Pink has been a growing trend for wedding dresses for some years now and Biel’s gorgeous stamp of approval certainly gave it a boost. Brides who are intrigued by the idea will find there are outstanding style options available.
For instance, you can go for an organza gown that features an asymmetrically ruched bodice that hugs tight to the figure, providing an exaggerated mermaid fit through the hips that opens into a breathtaking, layered skirt. The dress can be finished with a sweetheart neckline and corset closure. Available accessories include a stunning beaded belt or detachable ribbon belt with beaded motif, both featuring Swarovski crystals.
What do you do when you’re a deliriously happy new bride who feels like you’ve been given everything you ever wanted? Well, if you’re anything like Alisa Walter, you pass the blessing on in dress form. Walter gifted her gorgeous silk wedding gown to Renee Stroinski, a bride-to-be who couldn’t afford a dress for her own impending ceremony a few years back.
Walter said she felt so lucky to have the wedding of her dreams that she wanted to help someone else experience the same joy. That’s when she hit upon the idea of giving away her $800 dress. She publicized her offer in an online post that contained a photo of the dress. Dozens of requests for the garment were submitted, but Walter says she was particularly struck by one message. Stroinksi, a New Jersey student with thousands of dollars of college debt, expressed the same strong desire to pay the blessing forward by passing the dress to another economically challenged bride.
“Today” got word of Walter’s gesture and invited the ladies to meet on the show for the hand-off. Their on-air segment was quite touching. Stroinski was teary-eyed as she sized up her new gown. “I knew it was the one before I even knew I could have it,” she said. In a beautiful touch of cosmic coincidence, the ladies are the same dress size.
What a beautiful gesture and a wonderful way to build up good karma for a new marriage.
Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor. Even if she doesn’t explicitly say it, what the bride is telling her maids is, “My wedding will be even more meaningful with you standing up there with me.” That’s powerful and beautiful — and it comes at a price. There are things you need to do to help the bride have the best day of her life.
Here’s a list of five crucial things every bridesmaid should do leading up to the wedding.
1) Ask the bride right away how you can help. The answer might be something major or something minor — or sometimes nothing at all. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is she knows you’re there if she needs you.
2) Keep yourself under control at the bachelorette party. Have a good time and make sure others do too. But, don’t overdo it. Don’t put others in the awkward position of having to babysit you because you’ve overindulged.
3) You’ll wear the dress and you’ll like it. While we’ve no doubt your exquisite personal style would lead the gathered crowd to erupt in a chapel-shaking standing ovation were you to appear in your own clothing, the fact is the wedding is not your fashion showcase. Have your bridesmaid dress tailored to fit perfectly and wear it with pride.
4) If the bride wants your opinion, she’ll ask for it. It doesn’t matter that the colors aren’t your taste or that you prefer cloth napkins or that the hired DJ doesn’t play your favorite style of music. Don’t kill the joy with killjoy opinions. Your job is to smile and be supportive.
5) Spend time making memories together. Carpool for the wedding dress search. Meet at the florist’s to plan the arrangements. Listen — this one’s a biggie. Whether you’re having lunch, chatting on the phone or sitting in the chairs at the nail salon, always offer an attentive ear.
When the wedding is done and the bride reflects on the whole experience, you want her to think of how glad she is that you were a part of it because your support made it even more amazing.
Every bride wants her wedding to stand out. So if you’d rather not do what everyone else is doing, but still want a stylish wedding that everyone will remember, why not borrow some trends from the past? The Huffington Post has an informative piece by Rachel Griffiths titled “The 14 Hottest Wedding Trends For 2014” that could be just what you’re looking for. The main take away from the article: Romance.
This is how Griffiths puts it, “We went up and down the coasts talking to wedding experts and everyone agrees: 2014 will be the year of true romance. Weddings are going softer, sweeter, lusher and more heartfelt. It’s a return to classic chivalry, to the things that made our mothers cry, and it’s happening just in time for you to melt hearts and make memories.”
Take a peek at the opening trio of items to get an idea of what was hot that year.
1. Pink is back! Do you already feel like a blushing bride? Carry that sweet love over to your color scheme, says Tara Guérard, the event designer behind ultra-luxe Soirée in Charleston and New York. “It’s the nudes, the blushes, the peaches — not Pepto Bismol pink!” she announces.
2. The return to romance ushers in a new love for the formality of days gone by. Think white-gloved waiters and big band dancing, crystal candlesticks and gold-rimmed china. One major bridal inspiration for the return to tradition comes from Hollywood. “It’’s the look of ‘The Great Gatsby,’” says Beth Helmsetter of Beth Helmsetter Events in Los Angeles. Her brides are still falling hard for the bubbly, approachable elegance of the Roaring Twenties.
3. Pattern is making a new play but throw out the hard-edged looks. “Chevron was big last year,” says Tara, “but now I’m seeing trellis-patterns, bold stripes and florals.”
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Whatever type of wedding you have in mind, ensure that you work with bridal consultants who understand your needs and desires and will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.