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Bridesmaid/Mother of the Bride: Shopping Overview

You've selected a wedding dress. Now you're ready to
shop for the attire that your wedding party will wear

You have the perfect wedding dress selected and everyone - friends and family members - has oohed and aahed over your selection. But, in the backs of their minds, they may be picturing the horrors of - you guessed it - wedding party attire.

Who hasn't seen the horribly miscast bridesmaid dresses at least once? These hideous attractions overtake not only the bodies inside the dresses, but can offset the entire wedding with snickers, gasps, and raised eyebrows.

Yes, it's your day and you - in your wedding gown - are the shining star, but how you choose to surround your dress with complementary styles and colors is a tricky road that must be traveled by your bridesmaids and your mother; each a different height with a host of tastes.

Bridesmaid dresses and the traditions they hold have changed in recent years. They can be any color, even chocolate. It is no longer a requirement that they match in design, either.

As a conscientious bride, you'll try to assemble your entire cast for a question and answer session on budget and wishes before looking at bridesmaid attire. Then, you will schedule an appointment, plan a lunch, and take them all to the bridal store. Once there, the group will narrow down their choices to perhaps half a dozen or less. Each maid can then evaluate the dresses according to individual preferences that include how the dress looks and how comfortably it fits.

A bride may choose dresses in varying cuts to ensure that her bridesmaids look their best. You may also want to select a variety of complementary colors. The wedding consultant will help you make the best choices based on the overall theme colors for your wedding. If you have not yet made that decision, then the consultant will perhaps ask about your favorite colors followed by the wedding's location and time of year.

Bridesmaid dresses can be similar in style to the wedding dress. If the wedding dress is a halter top, then the other dresses may be similar. They can be varying lengths, but should never overshadow the wedding dress. The maid of honor's dress should follow the same guidelines.

Another factor that will please your bridesmaids: choose styles and colors that they will be able to utilize for another occasion.

Shoes are the single item that look best when they match. Heel style should be uniform and those shoes in the same color family should be the exact shade. To achieve a perfect match, dying usually works best.

Once the bridesmaid dresses have been selected, the bride's mother can select her dress. Mom should realize that you have final approval of her choice and the two of you will want to shop together.

A mother of the bride should be in a dress that suits her personality, without overshadowing the bride's selection. Mom's dress usually is a complement to the bridesmaid dresses, either in color or in style. She should not look like a bridesmaid, but definitely should stand out as a member of the wedding party.

If you are including a junior bridesmaid, her dress can be in an age-appropriate style that is similar to the older maids. A flower girl can also wear a party dress of complementary style and color.

It's wonderful to be a bride, especially now that you can combine tradition and trends that will please everyone in your party.

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