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Plan Early For Ideal Bridesmaid Dresses
By Allison Powe Matthews
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For brides who want a picture perfect wedding, bridesmaid dresses are an important accent.
Everlyn Johnson, apparel and textile program leader with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said selecting dresses that are satisfactory to both the bride and her maids can be a frustrating task, but starting early can ensure dress success.
"As soon as a bride finds her own wedding gown she should begin searching for the bridesmaids' dresses," Johnson said.
"Starting four to six months before the wedding usually allows enough time to find or prepare dresses for the bridesmaids," Johnson said. "Start as soon as possible, especially when there are attendants who live out of state."
Brides today are selecting more nontraditional styles for their bridesmaids' dresses, Johnson said. The styles for bridesmaid dresses used to be similar to the style the bride choose for her own gown; however, brides are moving away from that custom.
Some new styles are appearing on bridesmaids in trendy weddings today. Two piece outfits that feature a jacket worn with a short or long skirt, fitted dresses and off-the-shoulder sleeves are replacing their more traditional predecessors.
"Two-toned bridesmaid dresses that feature brighter colors are another idea for lively wedding accents," Johnson said.
Important factors to consider when choosing bridesmaid dresses are the different sizes and shapes of attendants. Johnson said using different dress patterns but the same material in the same color is a good way to flatter different figures.
"Remember that bridesmaids are seen more from behind than from the front, so choose dresses that have emphasis in the back," Johnson said.
"When a bride is having the attendants' dresses made, she needs to be sure that only one seamstress is working on the dresses and that they are cut at the same time," she said. "This saves fabric and avoids slight differences in the dresses, such as shading."
Johnson said many formal dresses are not seasonal and most fabrics are appropriate for bridesmaid dresses at any time of the year. Heavier fabrics, such as velvet, are best used for cold weather weddings.
"Pastel colors are common choices for spring weddings. Bolder colors like red and those just a shade brighter than pastels are popular for summer ceremonies," Johnson said. "Forest green and red seem to be popular colors for winter weddings.
"Brides should think carefully when choosing their colors," Johnson said. "Some of the newer color trends can be hard to match with decorations. Many colors, such as coral, come in so many different shades they seem impossible to match."