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7 rules for stress-free bridesmaid dress shopping

Avoid a bridesmaid dress shopping nightmare with this important advice…

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7 rules for stress-free bridesmaid dress shopping
Get your bridesmaidssorted. Image: Jude Middleton Photography

Thought wedding dress shopping was stressful? Well, have you tried shopping for your bridesmaids yet? With so many different personalities, shapes and personal preferences, the whole experience can quickly turn from fun girly day out, into a changing room nightmare. So, whether you’re going designer of high street, here are the rules for dress shopping with your girls…

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1. Get a date in the diary
Do it now. Like, right now. Everyone leads busy lives and it can ridiculously difficult to find a time to get all your girls together and hit the shops. Boutiques will need at least three months to get your order sorted so this is not a job to leave to the last minute!

2. Have the budget talk first
Unclear about who’s paying for your bridesmaid dresses? It’s time to make your mind up. If you’re paying for the dresses you can be a bit firmer about what you want (although it’s still a good idea to listen to your bridesmaids!). If your girls are paying you may want to give them some more flexibility.

3. Do your research
Get on Pinterest for some bridesmaid dress inspiration and search online for similar styles. Send these to your girls so they know the look you’re going for and get their opinions on what they like/don’t like. Plan to visit specific shops or book some appointments with boutiques.

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4. Bring some visuals
It might sound a bit OTT, but if you have a few inspirational bridesmaid images that you really love, save them on your phone and bring them along. Remember though that dresses on a hanger look very different to when they’re all styled up, so it's always worth trying things on.

5. Give yourselves time
With so many opinions and so many changing rooms on you’ll probably need at least a day to get this sorted. Unfortunately, this is not a job you can squeeze into your lunch hour.

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6. Check everyone is happy
Think you’ve found your bridesmaid dresses? Ask all your maids if they’re happy and comfortable in the gowns. If someone is really not loving it consider going for something else or…

7. Alterations are everything
If the hemline isn’t quite right for one of your girls, or someone would prefer straps, but overall, they’re happy with the dress – you can always opt for alterations (they can make the world of difference). Just remember to factor this into your final budget as they can quickly add up.

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