Bridesmaids: Create the perfect wedding dress shopping experience

Your best friend asked you to be one of her bridesmaids and you said yes! Elation has carried you around, floating, for weeks. However, now the work begins.

For many brides, the dress is the first thing on their to-do list. It’s the centrepiece of the wedding and their dreams. And you’ve been asked to join her at the bridal store and help her pick it out. You’re delighted that she values your feedback and wants to share such a great moment with you but this can be a case of, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.

Create a positive atmosphere

Dress shopping could take hours and hours, between browsing, getting in and out of yards and yards of fabric with tiny buttons and zippers, showing them off and discussing them. So, why not make a day of it? Go out to brunch first, drink one sneaky prosecco, have a laugh, and chat about what the bride is looking for in the perfect wedding dress. Get revved up for the task ahead!

Browsing for dresses

When you’re in the bridal store and browsing the racks or speaking with the consultant, let the bride speak her mind and don’t try to sway her towards your picks if she’s not game. Remember, this is about the dress of her dreams.

Don’t just look at the dress

When your bride-to-be friend walks from the dressing room to the podium and stands there in all her bridal glory, don’t just examine the dress. Step back and look at the picture as a whole. The most important part of this picture is your bride’s face. Is her expression happy or bored? Is she teary-eyed or frowning? What really makes a bride look beautiful is feeling beautiful. Keep that in mind when she asks for your opinion.

Constructive criticism

Feedback on wedding dress choices can make or break friendships- we’ve seen it happen. If a dress is totally not suiting your bride, even if she knows it, delivery is key here.

Don’t say

“You look awful!”


“That particular dress doesn’t suit you.”

Don’t say

“I don’t like it.”


“I don’t think it’s the one because of” A, B and C reasons.

Don’t say

“You look fat in that dress.”


“That dress doesn’t accentuate you like a different style could.”

As the saying goes, it’s not about what you say but about how you say it. The last thing you want is for your bride to be standing on a podium in a bridal store, surrounded by her loved ones, feeling ugly.

If you all enter into wedding dress shopping with enthusiasm and the joy of your bride in mind, it will be a fun and emotional day. So bring lots of tissues too!

Pam Ryan
WeddingDates Contributors
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