Top Tips and Advice for Outfitting Your Wedding Party, Your Questions Answered!

Groom's tuxedo
So, you think picking out your dress will be the hardest part of the wedding? Think again! As the bride you are responsible for choosing not only your own attire but also the ensembles for the rest of the bridal party. The bridesmaids, groomsmen and of course your groom, will need your opinion and guidance in choosing their wedding day get-ups! Now the groom and groomsmen shouldn't be much of a problem,  they will wear whatever you tell them to (but don't forget to ask their opinion)! When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, all of your girls will no doubt have an opinion. This is where it can get tricky, there has to be a balance between taking into account your bridesmaid's choices but still sticking to what you envisioned for your wedding day. Here are some helpful tips and advice to tackle the task of outfitting your bridal party. Your top questions are answered here!

How soon should you pick out bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen attire?

Depending on how long your engagement is, consider starting to shop for your bridesmaids dresses around 8 or so months before the wedding (it is never too soon to start looking). Select and order the dresses about 6 months in advance. This will allow time for all the dresses to come in and for your girls to have a fitting before the big day!

The groomsmen should order their tuxes at least 3-5 months before the wedding. Because of the precise fit of a tuxedo or suit, the groomsmen should stop in the tux shop to get professionally measured. If they live too far from the shop they can always send their measurements in. The groom should stop in for a final fitting of his tux a week or so before the wedding.

Bride and bridesmaids

How much freedom should the bridesmaids have when picking out dresses?

It is important to many brides that their bridesmaids feel comfortable and beautiful in their dresses. Start out by choosing the color of the dresses, the bride can be fully in charge of this. The color of the dress will coordinate with the color scheme of your wedding. Now when it comes to picking out the style of the dress, this is where you can bring in advice from your girls. First off, designate whether you want short or long dresses, this can be dependent upon what season the wedding will take place in and how formal the event will be.

Ask your bridesmaids what style and fit they would be most comfortable in. Straps or no straps, a tight or flowy fit, are all things to take into consideration. Chances are, everyone will have an opinion on this. If the opinions differ greatly it is important to reign in all the choices and as the bride, have the final decision power. A couple strategies are to pick a few of your favorite styles and let the girls choose their favorite from this smaller selection. Another popular alternative to the bridesmaid dress dilemma is to have all of your girls in the same color but allow each of them to choose the style of dress they like. When choosing this option, all the dresses should coordinate and make sure that no one goes over the top with a micro mini or extravagant floor length number that rivals the bride's gown!

Fun groomsmen outfits

Can the bride go with the groom and his groomsmen to pick out tuxes?

The bride can definitely go along with the groom and his groomsmen to pick out their tuxes or suits, and she is encouraged to! It is not really taboo to see the groom in his tux before the wedding. It will be helpful to go along to pick out the style and color of tux that will coordinate with the bride's gown and the bridesmaid dresses. Your groom will probably be thrilled to have help in this endeavor. Make sure to ask your groom's opinion on his preferences of tux style and design, he is the one who has to wear it! Let him have fun too, consider funky socks or trendy ties to add some interest to that penguin suit.

Who pays for the wedding party's attire?

It is usually the responsibility of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to purchase their own dresses and to rent tuxes. That is why it is important to consider cost when choosing everyone's ensembles, you don't want to put anyone out financially. Some couples who are able to will cover the cost of everyone's outfits but typically it is the bridal party's responsibility.

So don't stress out ladies, the tricky task of decking out your whole wedding clan can be easy and pain free. Just go into the process with a clear concept of what you want to see everyone in and also an open mind to other's opinions. Have fun, this should be an enjoyable process for all involved! Good luck!

Photo Credits: Main tux image, Bridesmaids photo from Drew Brashler Photography, Groomsmen photo from Cooper Carras

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