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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Dressing Bridesmaids

Take it from me, this is somewhere you really don't want to go.

One thing that puts a real dampener on a wedding day is bridesmaids who are obviously uncomfortable in what they are wearing. Why does this happen? Well, usually it's because the bride has a completely fixed idea about how she wants her day to look and won't compromise at all.

Here are seven ways a bride can ensure her maids vow 'never again'. Any to add?

  • Telling her ladies what they are wearing, choosing expensive dresses that are impractical to wear again and then expecting them to pay for their own frocks. No, no. If your budget is really tight you could ask the girls to contribute towards their frocks but - you're going to have to let them choose something they like and which they're likely to be able to wear again.
  • Putting her maids in lightweight, strapless dresses in the middle of winter and not allowing them to wear a wrap outside 'you'll spoil the photographs, I want to show off your dresses.' They'll be freezing cold, will find it hard to smile through chattering teeth and won't love you for it. So - a snuggly pashmina or wrap is the way - which will look wonderful in the photos in any case.
  • Choosing dresses for her maids with a neckline that doesn't suit them. Strapless dresses don't look great on flat-chested girls and they don't flatter large busts either. Mix and match your necklines to suit your girls' attributes - in fact ask them what they feel best in.
  • Choosing shiny satiny dresses that fit tightly across the stomach. Yikes. Most girls would find it hard to wear this look. If you go for a satiny fabric, allow for a few well placed flattering pleats and folds that will hide anything your maids would rather not draw attention to.
  • Putting them in flats in a cocktail dress. Not very 'dressy'. Shoes with a heel (doesn't have to be skyscraper) a much more flattering choice. Flats are fine with long dresses though - in fact they are better in many ways because there's no heel to catch in the hem.
  • Taking no account of a bridesmaid's colouring when choosing colours. Traditionally red heads are thought to suit greens much better than pinks. I'm a brunette and I look really washed out in pastel colours. But another girl's skin tone might be overwhelmed by a bright colour and she may look much better in gentle shades. Do some colour testing - hold up sample shades and see what works best. Although in fact just about everyone suits white and cream and black- so don't dismiss a monochrome theme.
  • Putting your maids in a dress that's covered in frills. - A frill here or there is fine - but you don't want to overdo it and make them look like a fairy on a Christmas tree or a dolly. There's a reason the publicity for the film 'Bridesmaids' featured girls in frilly pink satiny dresses and you don't want to be part of it!
  • What do you think? What other things can a bride do that would make her bridesmaids groan (and question the friendship)?
    pale pink bridesmaid dress A few strategic pleats can be very flattering - Alfred Sung Style D574