How to Choose Your Bridesmaids’ Dresses

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Photo Credit: Gregory Woodman of Woodman Weddings

Once you’ve chosen your dream wedding dress, the hardest part is over! You can now start to think about what you want your bridesmaids to wear when standing by your side to support you on your big day. Here are a few tips on how to choose bridesmaid dresses to complement your wedding dress:


Assuming that your wedding dress is white, choose a neutral color that you love for the bridesmaid dresses. By neutral, I mean not too dark and not too bright. The reason for this is because neutral colors make white stand out the most.

This is all personal preference, but I think that in general, when bridesmaids wear dark colored dresses or very rich colored dresses, the bridesmaids actually stand out the most because those colors are dramatic and kind of sultry, while white dresses tend to look innocent, plain and unassuming in comparison. There’s nothing wrong with the dramatic, sultry look, but if you’re trying to create an overall look that draws the eye to the bride and not away from her, choose a color that makes white stand out and doesn’t make white look “boring” in comparison. Neutral colors look lovely without being overpowering.

As a side note, I chose dark gray as the suit color for the groomsmen, dads, and pastor to contrast with my husband’s black tux.


Give some thought to how you want the bridesmaids’ dress style to complement or contrast with your dress. For me, I chose long column dresses for the bridesmaids that were similar to but not the same as the shape of my dress and that were smooth in the front, to match the smooth front paneling of my dress. I think long dresses are more formal than knee-length dresses, which is why I never considered shorter dresses for them. However, my bridesmaids’ dresses had a very different neckline (high neck) than my dress (deep v-neck) and they had matching necklaces, whereas I chose to not wear a necklace.

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My bridesmaids’ dresses look lovely!


This is a given, but in case some of you are secretly debating in your mind… do not choose ugly bridesmaid dresses to make yourself stand out more. I’ve heard that some ladies do that. It’s not very nice and will only make you stand out as someone who has bad taste. Remember what Jesus said: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” So unless you want to be assigned an ugly dress yourself, don’t choose ugly dresses for your friends.

Be classy and choose beautiful dresses for your beautiful friends. Just be thoughtful to use color and composition to draw the eye to where you want. Think of it like creating a painting – you don’t surround the focal point of the painting with ugly things to make people focus on what you want. Rather, you create a painting that is beautiful in its entirety and you artfully use color and composition to draw the eye to the focus.

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