You have chosen your wedding dress and your partner is well on their way to sourcing their attire, now it is time to turn your attention to the wonderful ladies and gents who are going to be right there by your side celebrating with you and making sure that everything goes perfectly.
Helen Venables, MD of House of Colour, has some sound advice for couples organising the attire for their bridal party:
Put together a budget and time-scale and have a chat with your bridesmaids about what is really important to them. Do some research about what is available and don't forget it is not necessary to buy a bridesmaid's dress from a wedding dress shop. Most high street shops and department stores offer suitable party, occasion or formal attire these days. With a growing emphasis on fashion eco-awareness, you may want to avoid a one-wear mindset so your bridesmaids can re-use their outfit for other occasions.
Your bridesmaids are unlikely to share the same body type, height and style personality. You may even have a mix of women and young girls. It is a dilemma, so how can you make sure your best girls feel fabulous in their outfits? If you have a little bit of budget one top tip is have a tailor alter the dress for each bridesmaid in their own chic style. Think different necklines, sleeves or slightly different lengths (although don't go to wild on this because your tribe can end up looking a little wonky). Ensure each bridesmaids dress is well-fitting and they feel gorgeous and comfortable, but this should still be subject to a few certain guidelines from the bride!
Taking the tailored tip one step further, of course not all colours suit all skin tones and so you may want to choose a colour but have different tones for different bridesmaids. Teals and blues are good example for how to work this tip - teals for the warmer tones and cornflower or airforce blues for the cooler tones will ensure they all look radiant. Remember to choose colours that suit them because you might naturally be drawn to choosing colours that suit you!
Red-all about it
The only colour that suits all skin tones is primary red so choosing accents in this colour to brighten up a more neutral coloured bridesmaid dress can be a beautiful way to go. Full on red bridesmaids' dresses risk over shadowing the bride so watch out! It is still considered rude for guests to turn up at a wedding wearing red for the same reason.
Choosing a classic bridesmaids dress can help keep things simple, but always encourage your bridesmaids to express their individual personalities through their accessories including shoes, hair detailing, bracelets and earrings.
If you don't have a big budget for the bridesmaid's dresses do not fear! Not every bride feels that their bridesmaids need to wear the same dress but when executed well the bridal party can still look fabulous in different outfits. It is best however to have a running theme of some sort. Perhaps try different dresses in a neutral colour with a power pop of colour or amazing styled shoes. Think outside the box If it suits the style personalities of your bridesmaids and you want them to wear something a little bit more modern, try on-trend smart playsuits, edgy trouser suits or cheongsams.
Pack a spare pair
These days most brides have two sets of shoes for the wedding; their wow shoes and then some cute flats to dance the night away in. Encourage your bridesmaids to do the same because weddings are long events and since bridesmaids play a pivotal part in keeping the day running smoothly you don't want them to have battered and bruised feet either!
Don't forget you can also use colour in the bridesmaids' bouquets to deliver a beautiful note during the wedding ceremony and it is a great way to have impact if you are sticking closely to a colour theme and want to bring the look together.
A lovely touch is to provide your bridesmaids with a chic shawl for any wedding evenings where the weather may cool. Shawls are often good value, re-usable and can be found in every colour under the sun. Your bridesmaids will definitely appreciate the thought (and you)!
AND FOR THE GROOMSMEN
Re-think the monochrome colour scheme
A black and white theme is often considered a safe bet when selecting groomsmen attire. However, black only suits winter palettes which means a quarter of our population. Black can also be a pretty heavy look for a spring or summer wedding. Again, groomsmen may suit different colours so why not try browns if he is warm skin-toned, a navy or greys as an alternative for cool skin-tones. Alternatively choose ties in a variety of different shades of one colour depending on whether they suit bright or muted shades in cool or warm colours.
Don't forget the little details
Groomsmen should also show off their own style panache and personality through their shoes and belts. Flamboyance may not be the look you are after, but well-dressed, dapper and confident definitely is. Remember quality is key for accessories.
Sometimes groomsmen are asked to just wear a suit and shirt in a particular colour and are then left to their own devices. Just make sure they know that everything should be in good condition, ironed, spruced up and fit properly. There is a reason they are called Groomsmen!
The suits should fit the formality
The groomsmen suits should complement the season, venue and overall wedding vibe whether that be a more casual suit for hot weather or an outdoor wedding, or a more formal suit for a big church or winter wedding. Best men in heavy morning suits in the middle of a hot weekend will spell sweaty, uncomfortable groomsmen who quickly want to disrobe.
Co-ordination is key
Be sure that the colours and style of suits selected complement that of the bridesmaids and most importantly the bride! Communication and co-operation are imperative when choosing bridal party outfits.
Check out www.houseofcolour.co.uk
Image credit: Kylee Lee Photography