[Photo: Style Me Pretty]
Skipping the budget talk.
Not everyone has the same money to spend when it comes time to shop, and you don't want to be one of those brides that lets your maids get into credit card debt over a dress they will wear once. So sit down and have a serious talk with each member of the bridal party about how much they can realistically afford and then try to find a happy medium. And remember, the dress is only the beginning--they will also need shoes, accessories and hair and makeup on the big day.
Not looking at the bride's dress.
You’ll want the bridesmaids' dresses to match the overall look of the bride's wedding gown. After all, if the bride is wearing a flowy, bohemian dress, her maids might look out of place in formal dresses.
Thinking one style fits all.
Different body types look better in certain silhouettes, so it is usually a good idea to choose a fabric that fits in with your overall look, but allow the bridesmaids to choose the style and shape they feel most comfortable in. The same goes for color as well; not everyone looks good in the same hues, so it’s best to try to stick with universal colors--purple, navy, periwinkle, etc.--that look good on everyone, or choose complementary colors that can work well together in photos and let the maids decide.
Letting go of all control.
While the bride might think she's being fair letting everyone choose their own look, it can actually cause more stress. It's best to set some guidelines so that no one winds up choosing a style or color that clashes with everyone else (especially if they live in another area and won’t get to see what everyone else chooses).
Ignoring the season.
You need to take into account the time of year for the wedding. For spring, choose lighter fabrics like charmeuse and chiffon, while fall and winter calls for fabrics such as brocade and velvet. If you opt for strapless gowns, be sure everyone has some coverage--a shrug or wrap--so they’re not freezing when going from the car to the ceremony and reception locations.
Forgetting to move.
It’s not just about how the dress looks--it's also about how you feel in it. Don’t forget to sit, walk and even dance around a bit in the dress before making a final choice.