Dressing the bridesmaids: a word from the wise

Strappy boho bridesmaid dress in Cranberry (style 9132), from £199; Ruched chiffon bridesmaid dress in Dusty Rose (style 9150), from £249; Strapless boho bridesmaid dress in Blush (style 9026), from £219, all Sorella Vita

Got the girls in formation but no clue which gowns to go for? Step forward Scotland’s bridal experts, with a few tips for shopping and styling up your ‘maids:

“When shopping for bridesmaid dresses, there are four main things you need to consider: how many bridesmaids you’re having (and who they are!); who is paying for the dress; what the colour scheme of the wedding is; and whether you want all the gowns in the same colour and style or a mix of both.

“When it comes to hunting down gowns for ladies of different ages, shapes and complexions, it might be worth considering different shades of the one colour, or a variety of styles in the same hue. Our brides love designers such as Eliza and Ethan, that offer elegant, multi-way wrap dresses.

“These allow brides to buy one gown for each of her girls, which can then be easily switched up to fit the bridesmaid’s figure and personality. It makes for a more relaxing dress-shopping experience.”

Julie and King Wong, Isobel Florence Bridal

“Brides often come to us saying they have been struggling to find a dress that suits all of their bridesmaids. When they are looking for a design which flatters all body shapes and ages, I recommend going for a classic shape like our new style from Lanico (LN2054, £150), which has a gorgeous V-neckline, flattering belt and cowl back.

“It can be constructed with a figure-hugging mermaid-style skirt or, if your ’maids prefer something less fitted, they can opt to have it made into an A-line. All of our gowns are made-to-order and so can be customised to suit different body types. We even have junior versions of all of our styles.

“Or if brides like the increasingly popular ‘mix and match’ look, they have the option of getting different styles made in the same fabric and shade of their choice (we have over 150 to choose from, so it’s not often that we don’t have the colour you are looking for!). A great way of bringing diverse dresses together is to add the same custom element to each dress, such as a belt or brooch.”

Aileen Wright, Laced with Pearls

“There is no right or wrong way to go about bridesmaid dress shopping. Some brides find it easier to come themselves (or with one ’maid) first to make a shortlist. The issue is sticking to this when you come back with the rest of the gang!

“Others would rather have everyone there at once. In our experience, it is best if the bride gives some guidance to her girls about the look she is hoping to achieve. If not, this can lead to differing opinions, confusion and sometimes even arguments! Shopping should be done six-to-nine months before the wedding to allow time for delivery and alterations. Want each bridesmaid to wear a different style?

“We recommend choosing dresses from the same brand in matching hues. We carry three different bridesmaid designers and have around 250 styles in store to choose from, all of which are available to order in various colours.”

Karen Wright, The Finer Detail

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