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Bridesmaids – colours, accessories, styling


The tradition of a bride having attendants (bridesmaids) is said to date back to Roman times when law dictated that a wedding was attended by ten people. The female attendants would dress identically to the bride and the male identically to the groom, this practice was said to confuse evil spirits wishing to cause harm to the happy couple and their marriage.

There are no rules to dictate how many bridesmaids a bride chooses nowadays, some women choose to have one good friend or sister, whilst others may have a whole troupe of close friends and children attending her. It’s a good idea if you are asking young children to be your bridesmaids to have at least one adult attendant to keep order.

Whilst bridesmaids no longer dress identically to the bride, it is important to ensure their dresses compliment yours in terms of style and colour. Not all of your bridesmaids need to be dressed identically, but do make sure they tone together.

When first selecting bridesmaid dresses consider the body shape of all your attendants and, as when shopping for your own dress, keep an open mind – your first choice of dress may not suit all the girls. It’s a good idea to first shop for bridesmaid dresses with one close family member or friend to avoid becoming bogged down in the individual demands of several attendants. Nobody would want to force their bridesmaids to wear something they weren’t happy in, but do remember that your attendants should ideally respect your decisions.

There are many different options when selecting bridesmaids dresses, some brides will buy their gowns from bridal boutiques, whereas others will opt to buy from high street stores. There’s no reason why you can’t go for evening gowns which aren’t specifically bridal wear and which can be worn again. Like bridal gowns, bridesmaid’s dresses can be hired or specially made for you. If you intend to have your bridesmaids dresses handmade, do order all the dresses together so that they are all cut from the same cloth and create a uniform look.

Here’s a checklist to use when shopping for bridesmaids dresses:

  • Choose a colour scheme before you go shopping, the colour of your bridesmaids dresses will probably set the theme for the entire wedding day.
  • Be open minded
  • Consider the wishes of your attendants, but don’t be bullied by them, they are there to attend you!
  • Consider how the dresses will compliment your gown
  • If you choose different dresses, how will these tone together
  • What accessories will your bridesmaids need? Do you want them all to wear the same jewellery, shoes and head dressing?
  • What flowers will they carry?
  • Make sure you order the dresses between 9 -6 months before your wedding day
  • If you hope to have Page Boys in your entourage, how will those outfits tone with the bridesmaid dresses?