Ask the Expert

How to Shop for Your Bridesmaids

We chatted with Kelli Holmes of Bella Bridesmaids about how to shop for your bridal attendants.

How early in the process should a bride select bridesmaids dresses?
In order to have a maximum array of options, we suggest ordering your bridesmaid dresses six months from the date of the wedding. While we are now able to offer a line of bridesmaid dresses that actually stocks their dresses so that they can be shipped immediately once we place the order, most bridesmaid manufacturers make the dresses upon receiving the order, and quite a few are produced overseas and have longer productions times. So, in order to have the largest selection of designers and styles, start looking for your bridesmaid dresses sooner rather than later.

How long does it typically take to get the dresses in once ordered?  
Most lines of bridesmaid dresses take three to four months for the actual production. But a few lines can take four to five months. Then once the dresses are produced, they still must be shipped, sometimes from overseas. Additionally, we suggest ordering the bridesmaid dresses in time to have them arrive to us at least one month prior to the wedding. This allows for the bridesmaid to pick up her dress or have it mailed to her so that she can have any necessary alterations performed without being pressed for time.

What are some things to consider when trying to select dresses for women with varying body types?
Ideally you want each of your bridesmaids to feel happy with what she is wearing at your wedding, so you do want to take into consideration if you have any girls that have any particular body issues or sensitivity or anxiety about a part of their body. Probably the most common issue we deal with is the bridesmaid who is extremely busty. In this case, you certainly want to avoid styles that might reveal an abundance of cleavage and possibly look for styles that would offer some degree of support in this area. We love to see a bride select a few style options for her bridesmaids, especially if there is a lot of variation among body types. This allows the bridesmaid to select a style that better fits her body type without having to be compared to every other girl in the same dress, and the bride can still have some degree of uniformity if she wishes by making sure that the various styles are all in the same fabrication and color.

What are some of your favorite trends for spring?
We just returned from Bridal Market in New York where we were able to preview all of the new styles and colors for spring 2013. One trend we are excited about is incorporating printed fabrics in the color scheme instead of simply selecting solid colors. Many of these prints would be beautiful by themselves; however, for those larger wedding parties where 12 girls all wearing a printed dress might be a bit overwhelming, Amsale showcased their printed dresses mixed in among a coordinating solid-colored dress or a few coordinated solid-colored dresses. It was lovely!

What’s your favorite thing about working with brides?
The excitement and enthusiasm that is always present when assisting people with one of the most momentous occasions of their lives.

Kindly comment below.