Who should shop for bridesmaid dresses?

When you reach the stage in your wedding planning journey that involves shopping for bridesmaid dresses – there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. One of which is who exactly should be there when looking for the dresses and the general etiquette the bridal party should follow in order to make the experience as fun and stress free as it's meant to be. Let’s start with who you should have with you when you go shopping for bridesmaid dresses… 

Does the entire bridal party need to shop for dresses? 

If you have a large number of bridesmaids, it’s natural to want to have everyone there for the entire shopping experience. However, this isn’t always the best plan. A lot of people equal a lot of opinions, which can make it significantly more difficult to find bridesmaid dress styles and colours that everyone can agree on. 

The bride’s opinion might be the most important, but it's not a decision she makes completely on her own. It can quickly become overwhelming and incredibly time consuming to try and make every bridesmaid happy when everyone may prefer completely different dresses. Some girls might want bright and bold colours whilst others might want more neutral bridesmaid dresses for example. The last thing you want, or need is to have to diffuse arguments between bridesmaids and waste the precious time you have allocated for the bridesmaid dress shopping part of your wedding planning. 

With that in mind, it will probably be easier and a better experience overall to start the process with just one or two bridesmaids. This could include your maid of honour and one or two close bridesmaids who will act as the core decision makers in the group. You will want to take the closest ladies in your bridal party, whose opinions you fully trust. 

Once you have narrowed down a few options that you’re happy with you can present these to the other bridesmaids and let them offer their opinions at that time. By doing so you can save time and hassle as well as ensuring you choose a dress (or dresses) that you and all the bridesmaids will love. 

Bridesmaid dress shopping etiquette 

Finding the right bridesmaid dress for your wedding might sound simple enough but there are a few things that can go wrong if you don’t know how to prepare for it. Below are a few factors no one has told you around bridesmaid dress shopping etiquette that you will want to keep in mind. 

Plan in advance 

Even if you are following the advice above and are only taking a couple of girls shopping with you – you will still want to organise when you’re going to go well in advance. This will allow you to find the perfect date and time that works for everyone and hopefully leaves you plenty of time on the day itself, so you won’t have to rush to pick out the dress options you want to show to the other girls. Equally, when arranging a day for the entire bridal party to see the dress you’ve chosen and pick their favourite, that should be planned out far in advance. Once a dress has been chosen you will need to account for fittings and possible alterations before the big day. 

Don’t go in with a blank slate 

Going bridesmaid dress shopping with no idea what you’re looking for is never a good idea. Try and do some research before you go to get at least a bit of inspiration as to the colour, style, or fabric you want to go with the aesthetic you’re creating for the wedding. If you’re really struggling, you can involve your main decision makers in the bridal party who will be going with you to the initial appointment. 

Bring any necessary extras 

When you have planned a day for all your bridesmaids to come and see the dresses you’ve picked out, it can be beneficial to encourage them to bring along some necessities. This will help you and the bridesmaids to envision what the dresses will actually look like on the wedding day. For example, if you know what type of shoes the bridesmaids will be wearing, even if it’s just the height of the heel – bring them along to see how the dresses will look. Also, if the girls are intending to wear particular shapewear or there is a specific accessory that they will have on the day, it will be beneficial to see how that looks with each dress as it could be a key part of the decision-making process. 

Get ahead with key decisions as the dresses are chosen 

Choosing the bridesmaid dresses is a great opportunity to narrow down some other important details like the hairstyles and make up the girls will have on the wedding day. If you’re having more than one style of dress, then certain necklines and shapes might work better with different hairstyles. You can get insight from the bridesmaids into what they think will look good, which will make them feel more involved in the process (particularly for those who weren’t present during the initial dress shopping with your maid of honour and main bridesmaids). Having a vision of the finished looks planned out in advance will save you some time as you get closer to the special day. 


Of course, it’s always up to the bride who she wants with her when she goes bridesmaid dress shopping, whether it’s the whole party or just a few of her closest girls in the early stages. If you’re looking for the perfect bridesmaid dresses UK for your big day – Maids to Measure can help. 

We have a wide range of stunning dresses in different shapes, sizes, fabrics, and colours to give you plenty of scope to find what works for you and your girls. Explore our collections today and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.