A dress (also known as a frock or a gown) is a garment
consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice (or a matching bodice giving
the effect of a one-piece garment). It consists of a top piece that covers
the torso and hangs down over the legs. A dress can be any one-piece garment
containing a skirt of any length.
The bridesmaids are members of the bride's party in
a wedding. A bridesmaid is typically a young woman, and often a close friend
or relative. They attend to the bride on the day of a wedding or marriage
Do bridesmaid dresses match the brides wedding gown?
Generally speaking, but not absolutely always, bridesmaids should wear
a dress that matches the formality of the brides gown. Typically this
would be in regard to the length. The dress style such as sleeves,
and necklines would not necessarily have to match the brides dress.
Some sources state that, in ancient times, originally the bride and all
the bridesmaids wore the exact same dress and veiled their faces heavily,
for the purpose of confusing jealous suitors and evil spirits. In
China during the feudal era, the female womb was seen as precious for the
production of an heir. Brides were susceptible to kidnapping at weddings
by rival clans and hooligans. Shouldering the responsibility to protect
the bride, bridesmaids were dressed up like the bride to lower the risk
that she might be identified and robbed.
Do bridesmaid dresses have to match other bridesmaid dresses?
Traditionally, all of the bridesmaids wear the same dress. However,
it is becoming popular for the bridal party to wear the same dress but
in varying shades of one color.
In modern times, traditions have become more "flexible".
Traditions and rules are no longer set in stone. Some weddings you
will find that the bridesmaids each wear different styles or colors of
Keep in mind each person is different in body & mind. To be
honest, some people are heavier than what is typically healthy.
What happens when the bride has invited a skinny bridesmaid and a rather
large one. They may not both look good in the same style of dress.
Should the bride give them flexibility and allow them each to wear a
different style dress?
What color is best?
In the Victorian era, white was the official color for female bridesmaids.
This trend originated with Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert
wearing a long white wedding dress, and her bridesmaids matched the color
of her gown.
Black bridesmaids' dresses are considered appropriate for weddings at
any time of the year but are seen more at night weddings.
Traditionally, bridesmaids were chosen from unwed young women of marriageable
The principal bridesmaid, if one is so designated, may be called the
chief bridesmaid or maid of honor if she is unmarried, or the matron of
honor if she is married. A junior bridesmaid is a girl who is clearly too
young to be married, but who is included as an honorary bridesmaid. In the
United States, typically only the maid/matron of honor and the best man
are the official witnesses for the wedding license.
Often there is more than one bridesmaid: in modern times the bride chooses
how many to ask.
Bridesmaid dress shopping doesn't have to be stressful. Check out these
tips for how to shop for bridesmaid dresses and still maintain your cool.
Tips for the Bride:
- First do some online research. Learn about fashion boutiques,
designers, bridesmaid dress shopping tips (like this one), etc.
- Contemplate a budget. Think about a budget for the dress.
Sometimes the bride pays and sometimes the bridesmaids pay. Either
way, the dresses are not free. If the bride picks the dress, but
the bridesmaid is paying, it is important to consider the financial
well being of each of the bridesmaids when making a final decision.
In addition to the cost of the dress, alterations may cost additional
- Don't wait for the last minute. Sure, you will want to pick
out the wedding dress first, but make sure to give the bridesmaids enough
time to get their dress and do alterations. Keep in mind they
have busy lives as well.
- When choosing a bridesmaids gown, take into consideration the height,
body shape, skin coloring and personality of your maids.
- Bring your bridal accessories with you to the bridal shop.
- Contact the bridal boutique before making your visit the store.
See if they require an appointment or can suggest a good time so that
you have the stores full attention. Also, if you have a particular
designer or style in mind, you can ask over the phone what they have
- The most important tip for a bride is, "don't pick an ugly
bridesmaid dress". Sure, if the bridesmaids are wearing an
ugly dress in theory it could make you look even more beautiful in
comparison. However, that is absolutely NOT a good idea.
Tips for the Bridesmaids:
- The bride must be happy for her wedding, or you won't be either.
Keep in mind that the wedding will be a special day for you, but it
is more important for the bride. If she loves a particular dress,
don't rain on her parade. Try to keep an open mind.
- Don't freak out the bride, but give her a bit of your honest opinion.
If you truly think she is making a mistake with her bridesmaid dress
selection, it may be a good idea to let her know so she can at least
consider your thoughts. Give her constructive criticism (feedback)
and hopefully she will listen.
- Keep the bride to be as happy as she can be...Picking out dresses
can be fun or stressful. Try to keep it fun.
If you want to be even more stylish, you may want to learn about
the following items as well. It is always a good time to learn more
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