How do you pick your bridesmaids? First things first. Maybe you have a few close friends/family members that you want to walk down the aisle with you. Or maybe you have tons of friends to choose from. Choose the girls that are 1) closest to you, and 2) are reliable. I went to a wedding once where the groom’s boss informed him that he couldn’t stay & had to leave the wedding (during the ceremony!!) You don’t want that to happen with one of your bridesmaids. Honestly unreliable people are not good friends, anyway. Keep in mind, however many bridesmaids you have, your fiance must match you in number of how many groomsmen. Nobody wants to walk down the aisle alone. Keep him informed of how many you pick, and ask if all his friends can rent a tux. (Remember, your expenses & their expenses you should take into consideration)
Tip: They don’t have to wear exactly matching dresses. If they’re wearing different colors it could be a color theme, i.e. pastels, jewel tones. But this is harder to coordinate. You would have to go with your girls to the bridal shop all at the same time.
Another tip: The simple route: if you embrace uniqueness, & there’s a certain color you like, just tell your girls, i.e. “Go get a dress that’s pink!” They will all be unique but yet match. And honestly your girls will feel flattered because wear something they choose, vs. something they are forced to buy. And people can definitely see that they are your bridesmaids. It has been done at weddings.
The bridesmaids dresses: If you rent them through a wedding studio: If you haven’t read it already, pls read my post on ‘Wedding dresses‘. I mentioned wedding studios & the packages they offer. If you do manage to get a package deal through a wedding studio, you don’t have to worry about the dresses/hair/makeup/fittings for you or your friends. You get to pick out the dresses for them, & either you/they can decide about their hair & makeup. Tip: have them bring photos of the hair & makeup that they want for your special day. For the super picky brides, you can choose their hairstyle & jewelry. But for me this was a minor detail; let the girls wear what they want to wear! I think if they all look the same it’s a bit monotonous; they’re already wearing the same dress. Letting them choose their own hairstyle and jewelry allows them to feel a little bit more special, & plus it’s 1 less thing for you to worry about.
Another place to rent bridesmaid dresses: renttherunway.com. They have offered this option now! You will have to give/email your bridesmaids the picture of the dress you want; & have them reserve it for your day. I think renting clothes for special occasions like these are always a great idea; they don’t need to worry about dry cleaning, buying a dress they don’t need, & it gives them a chance to save some money.
Above: David’s Bridal bridesmaid dresses
If you don’t plan on renting: They offer bridesmaid dresses at David’s Bridal, as well as Macy’s, for the more dresses. Keep in mind that prices of alterations are NOT included with the price of the dress; & bear that in mind when picking them out. Keep that in mind for this IS an extra charge. Tip: You can shop at both places online or in person. Keep in mind that you can’t have fittings done online, unless you plan on taking them all to your personal tailor. If you DO buy them online & take them to your tailor, this is where you could negotiate a better price for alterations.
Above: a bridesmaid dress at Target.com, $80
For the really inexpensive bridesmaid dresses: You can check out Target.com, for they do offer options on bridesmaids. Their bridesmaid dresses start at $35!! This is great for you can pick out the dress, & they will ship it directly to their house. Just make sure that the dress you want is offered in all their sizes.
Weddingtonway.com: This website has recently popped up, gearing towards bridesmaids, claiming that they offer more than 700 dresses! It’s a website where you can pick out the bridesmaids dresses, invite your friends to get them, however, this experience is completely online. However, you can browse all of their brands to see which ones are your favorite colors, & match your budget!
Eva Mendes, who has been designing her own collection for NY&CO, for the past couple of seasons, has started a collection for children, as well as bridesmaids! A line that won’t hurt your wallet (that badly) their bridesmaid dresses start at $50!! Go there & check out yourself!
Tip: If you do pick out a dress for your bridesmaids, & doesn’t come in ALL their sizes, have them get a size slightly larger, for they can be taken in by a tailor. This gives you greater flexibility in your choices.
For makeup on your wedding day: The professional way: If you’re not going through a wedding studio, you can hire a professional makeup artist for your wedding day. However this is tricky for you always want a ‘trial’ to meet with the makeup artist, which most likely they will charge you for. If you are interested in meeting with a makeup artist, you can check out websites like Style Me Pretty, and Green Wedding Shoes. To make it less stressful on yourself, it’s best to meet with a makeup artist a couple months before your wedding.
The less expensive option for makeup / hair: this is the time to know a good salon that has good prices. If you haven’t found one yet, look on lifebooker.com or on yelp.com. There are some salons that are not good at doing ‘wedding’ hair, or updos, and you can ask them to ‘test’ it out. Search pinterest for ‘wedding hair’ or ‘wedding makeup’. Print out the photos your have in mind, bring whatever accessories you plan on wearing on your wedding day, & go to the salon with clean head of hair. They will charge you for this, but this is a chance to preview what kind of look you will get. Ask them if they do makeup as well, or if they have a wedding package (Where they would do both). Always bring photos of what you have in mind. Try to find a salon that does both, at reasonable prices.
The LEAST expensive option: Consider doing your own makeup, or even ask a friend. This will save you some money. You probably have a friend or relative who’s good at doing makeup. Or even consider doing your own makeup yourself! Who knows your own face better than you? Lots of brides do their own makeup on their wedding day! If you haven’t checked them out yet, go to makeupgeek.com, and the video tutorials on sephora.com. I find that doing my own makeup, it doesn’t always look good the 1st time, but I get better with practice. Or you can always go to Sephora or any department store and ask for a free makeover (remember to tell them it’s your wedding day & you need advice) before your wedding. You could, in theory go there for the free makeover ON your wedding day, but it is a bit rushed & stressful for yourself. You would still need to go get your hair done, & go home & get dressed. Practice doing your makeup now! There are HUNDREDS of videos on Youtube for you to check out! It doesn’t hurt to try. This is the time to have the makeup palette & the brushes. (See my post on ‘the Secret tool of makeup artists‘) Here I will list 2 of my favorite makeup videos on makeup for your wedding: Glamorous Bridal Makeup from Start to Finish, and one by Makeup Geek.
If you do ask a friend to do the makeup, offer her something for her service, and if she turns you down, at least give her a nice present/tell her that she doesn’t need to give you a wedding present. If she’s doing your makeup for you & all your bridesmaids, she IS doing you a big favor. Don’t be shy. I have a friend who did makeup for her friend’s wedding, so it does happen.
Hair & makeup for your bridesmaids: Like I said earlier, let the girls do what they want to do! That WILL save you a lot of money. Just tell the girls to wear their hair/makeup however they want to on your wedding day; they probably look fabulous by themselves. This is also less stressful for you because it’s another thing you don’t have to worry about.
If you really do want their makeup professionally done, for practical reasons, it’s best you all go to the same salon for hair/makeup. And in all honesty if you do have them all done professionally, you will probably have to pick up the tab. The girls are already buying the bridesmaid dresses, bringing you a wedding present, all coming in for your wedding day, and planning your bachelorette party/bridal shower. These are your closest friends/family, & it’s important to take their feelings into consideration. Now you have to take the bill into consideration for your budget. Either ask a friend to do the makeup (for all of you), or simply just ask the girls to look lovely on your wedding day & do whatever makeup they want. It’s a great idea, because it’s simple, the girls will appreciate their individuality, and you don’t have make an extra expense.
Important tip: It’s a good idea to give all of your bridesmaids a present before/after the wedding. It doesn’t have to be big, but it’s just a small token of your appreciation. Weddings can be exhausting affairs, & they are doing you a favor. A friend of mine gave her bridesmaids little wristlets, I gave mine each a bag full of makeup. Give them something nice/sentimental. This is not the time to give out Starbucks gift cards.
I just gave you a lot of information on Bridesmaids, hair & makeup. It sounds like a lot, but really it’s not. Pick whichever option is best for you, & go with it. Have your bachelorette party/bridal shower, & go out & have fun!