Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
by Debbie Christensen, Publisher of The Wedding Guide
& former owner of Torrance Bridal Salon
When you ask someone to be in your wedding, they will be expected to spend a substantial amount of time and money on your wedding. This will include buying a dress and shoes or tuxedo rental, fittings, buying a gift for, and attending your shower, bachelor/bachelorette party, and wedding day. Working with your attendants will probably be one of the most stressful parts of planning your wedding, simply because you are working with a lot of different personalities, tastes, and schedules. Try to keep this in mind when you and your fiancé are choosing your wedding party. You want this to be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
The selecting of the tuxedos seems to be less complicated than the dresses and accessories. Of course this is true of the Bride’s dress and Groom’s tuxedo as well. The bride and groom usually pick out all of the tuxedos together. The groom is generally the only man in a different tuxedo. The best man will have a different accessory such as tie, vest, etc. The hardest part will be getting the groomsmen, best man, and dads in for sizing, and deposits to order their tuxedos. Always be sure they try on the entire tuxedo when picking it up, to be sure everything fits and is included. When choosing bridesmaids dresses, it is best to only take one or maybe two people shopping with you. If you want to go with more, just have fun and don’t try to make any decisions until later. Otherwise, you will be frustrated because you will have several people saying I want this dress, not that one, which will not be fun for you. Very rarely can several women all agree on the same dress as being their favorite. Keep in mind the sizes, shapes and ages of all your bridesmaids when shopping.
Once you have selected your bridesmaids dresses, each girl will need to come into the bridal shop to be sized, and put down a deposit which is usually half of the total. The shop will not place the order until everyone has been in, so the dresses will all come from the same dye lot. Otherwise, your dresses may be different shades. The maid/matron of honor can have a similar, but different dress or bouquet for her to stand out.
Once the dresses come in, each bridesmaid will need to schedule a fitting for her dress. Some alterations are usually necessary, and are not included in the cost of the dress The most common alterations are side seams for a tight fit, and a hem. At the time of the fitting, it is necessary to have the under garments and shoes that will be worn at the wedding. You will probably want your bridesmaids to all be wearing the same shoes, so it is best to order them at the same bridal shop, especially if you will be having them dyed to match the dresses. You will want to think about the jewelry they will be wearing. The perfect solution may be to buy each bridesmaid matching necklaces and earrings. This way everyone looks great, and you have your attendants gifts taken care of as well!