Morgan Mondays: 5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses

wedding tips


Hello again!

I’ve been a busy bee with all the tiny details that wedding pros warn you about – missed communications , last-minute budget squeezes, forgetting deadlines….

But now that I’ve finally chosen my own bridesmaid dresses, I can give you the skinny on pitfalls, tricks, and tips that will save you time and money!

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses


1. Shop for the most difficult girl to fit. 

Of course you want all your bridesmaids to look stunning, but chances are there are one or two girls that have more challenging body types. Your busty sister might feel awkward and exposed in a strapless dress, your curvy cousin may not fit in some retail sizes, your pear-shaped MOH might hate you if you choose a bodycon minidress… If you keep them in mind while you’re looking, there will be less tears in the long run. Bonus: if you make your girls feel amazing on your wedding day, they’ll pay it forward when you’re a bridesmaid in their weddings!

coral bridesmaid dresses

2. Retail or Bridesmaid Brand?

One of your first decisions will be whether you are going to buy retail or a bridesmaid brand. If you’re on a budget or are letting your girls go wild and pick their own, retail may be the way to go, but keep in mind that if you’re picking out one dress from say, Banana Republic, it might not be universally flattering. I found a fabulous dress at White House Black Market that was in budget, but its skirt pattern wouldn’t allow for hemming and it was far too long on my shorter bridesmaids. Another retail dress looked amazing on my MOH, but was only available up to a size 12, and ran small (not going to work for some of my curvy bridesmaids!). Bridesmaid brands may be a little expensive, and you have to wade through a lot of tacky ones, but they are highly customizable, available in a plethora of sizes and colors, and most salons offer in-house alterations. It’s ultimately up to you, and what kind of dress you’re looking for.

3. Do Your Research!

This was a tip on my wedding dress shopping list as well! It really helps to do some serious Pinterest pinning and see what options you have out there. If you have an amazing budget for dresses, you might try looking for bridesmaid dresses made by the same designer as your wedding gown! Modern bridesmaids dresses aren’t too hard to come by these days, and fabulous lines like Alfred Sung and Jim Hjelm offer much more wearable style than the taffeta disasters of old. If you’re on a budget, check out Vera Wang’s line for David’s Bridal – it’s drape-y romance for much less than you’d expect.

bridal party navy dresses

4. Wait to ask for input.  

If you’re picking out your bridesmaid’s gowns, chances are you want a cohesive look. Opinionated bridesmaids can be overwhelming, so unless you want an avalanche of differing opinions, wait until you know what look you want to let them in on the fun. After you’ve picked a few styles that are in budget and a good fit for your wedding, let your girls weigh in on their favorites. If heated battles persist, remember there are a lot of dress collections that look cohesive but come in a variety of necklines, lengths, and shapes so each girl can pick what flatters her.

5. Don’t order blindly. 

We’ve heard some horror stories about our brides ordering dresses online (sight unseen!) and having to dump money and time into fixing/reordering/realtering/returning dresses that were all wrong. If you’re dead set on a dress that you (or your girls) can’t try on, be sure to order really ridiculously early so you can fix any issues ahead of time. Take your MOH or your whole group of girls in to try on dresses. They look so different on real people than in a magazine or on a model!

bridesmaids and groomsmen

Bonus Tips:

  • If you find a dress you love in a boutique or department store, ask ASAP how long they plan to carry it, or if they go on sale periodically. It would be horrible if you couldn’t exchange for a different size later on, or it was out of stock by the time you could order.
  • It goes without saying, but if your girls are picking up the tab and you find the “perfect dress” overbudget, be ready to pay the difference yourself or double check with your bridesmaids. No one wants money drama to ruin their big day.
  • If you let your girls choose their own dresses, make sure you set some parameters. Just saying “black dress” could saddle you with four different fabrics, multiple lengths, and who knows what else making your posse look more thrown-together than styled. A safe bet would be: chiffon, black, floor-length, flowy, rhinestone or plain embellishments. Another (less controlling) way would be to go shopping with your bridesmaids for their dresses or request approval via phone photo before they purchase.
  • Don’t rule out “out of the box” ensembles. If you find the most amazing metallic circle skirt that everyone adores, go hunt for some adorable blouses and statement necklaces to go with it. Hunt for vintage lace dresses at thrift stores and get them altered, pick a bold print, mix and match colors – anything you want!

That’s all my experiences have taught me! Have a wonderful Monday darlings! I’ll be busy putting together my wedding in April – can’t wait to show you!

XOXO – Morgan Elizabeth


comments +


  1. Thursday Treats: Welcome Back! · Rock n Roll Bride

    January 9th, 2014 at 7:01 am

    […] inspired wedding shoot ♥ Gotta love a pink haired bride… ♥ A rainbow wedding ♥ 5 tips for finding bridesmaid’s dresses ♥ Colourful and playful pirate […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Considering Milou + Olin as your photographer?

- We have a fresh editorial style making photos timeless
- We believe in the beauty of each of our couples in love!
- We love casual and intimate poses with beautiful light
- We hunt for the small details that make up the story of your wedding day 
- We love documenting your journey. 
- We will shower you with our love and affection and laugh together! 



Brooke + Steve Calistoga Wedding

The lovebirds of the day are Brooke and Steve. The two had their fairytale wedding at the Calistoga Ranch in Novemeber. This lovely couple was full of life, and wonderful amounts of love. They were continuously telling jokes, and having a great time, with each other and their amazing friends. There was never a dull […]

Engagement: Jenny + Lars

Bow Sculpture Location: Cupid’s Span in SF    Ever want to walk in slow motion through San Francisco? Well working with Jenny and Lars was kind of like that. Traveling to San Francisco for this destination photo shoot was such a dreamy experience. This modern couple wanted to explore all the architectural structures and local […]

San Francisco Wedding: Claire & Alex

/ / / / / / / / / / / Wedding Location: Old Saint Mary’s Church 660 California St. San Francisco Reception Location: Olympic Club Downtown 524 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94102 United States / / / / / / / / / / /    Look up Ying and Yang in the […]

Carissa & Ryan Wedding

Ryan and Carissa were a pair made in heaven. Each photo was effortless and heart stirring, from the unbreakable bond the two clearly shared, to the amazing view of the vineyard behind them. When you think of a California Vineyard Wedding, Ryan and Carissa’s may be the dream wine country wedding you have in mind. […]