The do’s and don’ts of bridesmaid dress shopping

Shopping for bridesmaid dresses UK is an important but often difficult part of wedding planning for many brides and their girls, especially if you have a lot of opinions flying around from a large group of bridesmaids. Trying to tackle dress shopping without a plan in place could lead to a messy and chaotic day where you can’t agree on dresses, tensions raise, and you end up having to plan another shopping day to try again. That’s why we have put this guide of top do’s and don’ts of bridesmaid dress shopping together. So, you can face the day fully prepared and avoid the key pitfalls many bridal parties fall into.


Have some idea of what you want before you start shopping

There are so many things to consider when shopping for bridesmaid dresses, colour, style, neckline, etc that if you go in with a completely blank slate you might become overwhelmed and struggle to settle on the perfect dresses. With that in mind it would definitely be beneficial to discuss ideas with your bridesmaids before you start dress shopping, so you can all be on the same page when you step into each shop and have a smoother and stress-free experience.

Keep your wedding themes in mind

When shopping with your family or closest friends, it can be easy to take a bit of a back seat and let them choose colours or styles they like. Even though it’s good to have their opinions in mind and ensure they’re comfortable in the chosen dresses, you need to also remember that you’ll have a specific palette of wedding colours and themes you will want to stick to. If you know you want neutral bridesmaid dresses for example to work nicely with the other colours you and your partner have decided on for the big day, make that clear to your bridesmaids so they don’t get carried away with bold colours that will clash and aren’t what you’re looking for.

Leave enough time to buy the dresses and ensure they are right

Wedding planning takes up a lot of time, there is so much to do and when you have to try and find a time that all your bridesmaids are free to go shopping, it can push the day further and further back. Last minute dress shopping is extremely stressful with a lot of pressure on everyone to find the perfect dresses, which ruins what should be an exciting and fun day for you and your bridal party.

Also, if you don’t leave enough time when you buy the dresses you might struggle to organise alterations if one or two of the dresses don’t fit perfectly, and it could have an effect on other elements of the wedding that tie into the bridesmaid dresses like the bouquets and accessories.


Choose dresses based on traditions or trends

In many cases, weddings are planned at least a few years in advance and within that time, styles and trends can rapidly evolve. This is why you shouldn’t choose bridesmaid dresses based on the hottest trends and what is in style currently as the landscape might look different by the time your wedding comes around and your bridesmaids could look out of place on the big day. Also, don’t feel like you need to traditional ideas of what bridesmaid dresses should look like. It’s your wedding day and the most important thing is to choose dresses that both you and your bridesmaids are happy with, not whether they conform to conventional wedding ideas.

Disregard your budget

It’s essential to determine early on a budget for the bridal party dresses as well as being clear about whether you’re paying for them, or the bridesmaids are paying for their own gowns. This will avoid any awkwardness or confusion during the shopping process and neither you nor your girls will have to worry about trying to pay for a dress that isn’t really affordable.

Go for the same style of dress for all bridesmaids (unless they would prefer that)

A very popular option when it comes to bridesmaid dress shopping is to choose dresses in the same colour but not the same style. The main reason behind this is to account for each girl’s body type. A dress style that looks amazing on one girl might be very unflattering on another which can negatively impact comfort and confidence on the day.

If the bridesmaids are happy to all wear the same style of dress and you prefer the more uniform, look then buying the same style of dress for all the bridesmaids will be the right choice for you. However, for a lot of bridal parties opting for different styles in the same colour is the best way to be sure that everyone is happy with the decision.


By considering the do’s and don’ts listed above you can ensure that you and your bridesmaids have the best possible shopping experience and come away with the perfect dresses for your special day.

Looking for dress inspiration? Check out our stunning collection of pastel bridesmaid dresses UK from Maids to Measure today.