Tips & Guide

Ordering Bridesmaid Dresses: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Gowns

/ Post by IshitaBhatt in / 0 comments

Here you are, bride-to-be or bridesmaid-to-be?

Let me guess. Your Pinterest boards are overflowing, your wedding dress fitting is scheduled (hopefully!), and you are knee-deep in the wedding planning bliss. But wait, another exciting AND stress-inducing detail needs your attention, ordering bridesmaid dresses!

I understand the thrill. From the never-ending debate over fabrics-silk, chiffon, satin to the challenge of finding shapes that flatter every body type, let’s not even start with the color conundrum! Will it be blush, navy, or a bold emerald green?

Before we get into the steps for ordering bridesmaid dresses, your first concern should be when. I’d suggest you pick out your bridal gown before the bridesmaid dress. Not really sure why, but I've noticed brides who start with their bridesmaids tend to struggle more with decisions. But, brides who've already ordered their wedding dress tend to have a way smoother and stress-free time.

Maybe it's easier to pick the bridesmaid dresses once the bridal gown is chosen. Either way, it’s YOUR BIG DAY. Let’s try to make it simpler for you with this step-by-step guide.

When to Start Your Search for a Bridesmaids Dress?

It Takes Time: 4-6 Months Lead Time

When it comes to ordering bridesmaid dresses, you’ll need to start your search a good 4-6 months before your big day.


Well, because good things take time. Giving yourself a solid 4 to 6-month lead time will let you have more than enough room to experiment with different styles, colors, and sizes. Plus, it will allow for any alterations or customizations without feeling rushed or stressed.

You surely don’t want to wait till the last minute to find the perfect dress that matches your vision and also fits. It’s not impossible but why take that risk?

Avoiding Last-Minute Stress

So yes, ordering bridesmaid gowns online (not just selecting) much earlier would really make the process smooth for you. With ample time in your hands, you can comfortably browse the online bridesmaid dresses collection, carefully scan through so many options, and confidently make decisions.

Not only that but you will have enough time to decide on other chores for your big day like finalizing floral arrangements, arranging accommodations for guests, choosing the perfect wedding cake, and whatnot!

Shop when it will be most convenient for you.

Where to Order Bridesmaid Dresses?

Now that you have enough time, it’s time to find a store, offline or online, but a place you can trust with all your heart. Of course, there is no one shop for all and the best website will be different depending on your dress choices.

But when selecting a store for ordering dresses online, there are some factors that you might want to consider.

  • High-quality fabrics. You don’t just want your bride tribe to look good but also to feel good! Check out their customer reviews, watch some YouTube videos (if any), and scan their website thoroughly to get a sense of the materials they use and overall quality.
  • A comprehensive size chart. As a wedding stylist, I often hear horror stories from my brides of their bridesmaids disagreeing, in fact, sometimes completely rejecting their choices especially because of their body shape and type. Actually, why not? You too would want your tribe to feel confident and beautiful in their chosen dresses.
  • Return policy. While there are still other factors to consider like return or exchange programs, customer loyalty programs, etc., I’d say these two are usually the prime issues that a lot of brides face.
  • Female founder. Also, choosing a female-founded company can add a unique value, as such businesses often have a deeper understanding and connection with their clients, since it is designed for bridesmaids by those who have been in their shoes before.

A Stress-Free, Step-by-Step Guide to Ordering Bridesmaid Dresses

Step 1: Set a Budget

Before you get swept away in the allure of chiffon and lace and whatnot, let’s talk budget!

I know budgeting does not sound as glamorous as literally everything else about the wedding! But considering your financial boundaries is equally important.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you prepared to pay any additional fees that may arise?
  • What happens if you find “the one” and it is out of your price range? Are you willing to bend or is that a super firm number?
  • Have you factored in potential customization costs for sleeves, necklines, etc?

By setting up a budget already, you will glide through the selection process with much more grace. This would be harmonious for both your heart and your wallet.

Step 2: Narrow the Options

Although ordering bridesmaid dresses online can be a real perk, it can also throw you in a spiral of choices. To ease the stress of outfit selection, it’s important for you, as the bride, to figure out the wedding vibe first. You can take a moment to envision the overall vibe you’re planning for and then guide them accordingly.

Maybe you might be just okay with whatever they have in mind or you might have a clear picture. In any case, it’s your special day so a little bit of guidance goes a long way.

Whether you choose a color theme or handpick a few styles, narrowing down the options will really save you all from a headache. So, before bombarding them dress links left and right, take a breather to streamline those choices!

Step 3: Gathering Measurements

To make sure that your bridesmaid dress hunt goes smoothly, the next important step to take is getting your tribe professionally measured!

Yes, someone needs to whip out that measuring tape because unless someone is super tall, chances are they will need a bit of hemming here and there on those long dresses.

Some key measurements to make are:

  • Bust
  • Natural Waistline
  • Hips
  • Hollow to Hem (with their shoes on)
  • Height

Golden Tip: Try to order for the size they are now and not what they want to shrink down to. It's way easier (and cheaper) to take in a dress that can get altered later! Trust me, a size bigger is better in this situation!

Step 4: Consider Returns

Okay, there is a chance that you might think, “Hey, I’ll just order a bunch of dresses in multiple sizes and then send the ones back that don’t fit.”

But, hold up that thought a second (if it arrives). Before you go on with this ordering bridesmaids dresses spree, check out their return policy.

Every shop will have its own set of rules so make sure you are aware of how it works for the one you are planning to order from. Check if you can send back the unworn ones, the deadlines for the returns, etc.

Step 5: Double-Checking Sizes and Measurements

Before ordering bridesmaid dresses online it’s time to make sure that everyone’s measurements are spot on.

You certainly don’t want any surprises when those dresses arrive, right?

So, double-check that list of measurements before hitting the order button.

Final Musings...

You are already doing an amazing job if you are here. After all, it is the love and connection you share with your bridesmaids on your special day, not just the dresses.

Remember to keep these tips in mind, trust your instincts, and enjoy this exciting process of ordering bridesmaid dresses!


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