10 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Short Bridesmaid Dresses

There are so many decisions to make when planning your wedding and quite a few of them involve the bridesmaid dresses. You have decisions on the style, the color, the fabric, the price point and …. the length! In a previous post I covered the options for the look of your bridesmaids as a group, so they will create a cohesive appearance as they walk down the aisle, stand with you at the ceremony and appear in your wedding photos.  In this post I’ll share tips on short dresses and in a future post, I’ll cover long ones.

If you want short dresses for your bridesmaids, here are some mistakes to avoid …

1.  Avoid varying “short” hem lengths.
If you choose short dresses one of the most important things you can do so that your girls present the “perfect picture”, is to make sure their hemlines are the same length.

Decide on a length from the floor that you want and then let everyone know the “magic” number! (Make sure they are wearing their wedding shoes when the measuring is done!) If your bridesmaids vary widely in height, you don’t want the short girls to end up with the dress mid-thigh and the tall ones’ dresses to hit at below the knee.  So in that case it might be best to ask all girls to hem their dresses to a certain point … for example, at the knee, below the knee, etc. (Or see #2 below.) The main point is to go for consistency, so your girls have a unified look and as a group create the lovely image that most brides want their bridesmaids to achieve.

The photo below shows an example of an overall look that works! It works because (1) The bridesmaid dresses are the same length (2)The bridesmaid dresses have the same “feel” as the bride’s dress (3) Their hair is styled similarly (4) Even though each is wearing a different dress, all of the dresses are the same fabric and present a cohesive look.
Short_Bridesmaid_Dresses_Same_Hem_Length_Beach

2.  Avoid short dresses altogether if your bridesmaids vary greatly in height.
If you have bridesmaids who have a wide range of heights, you may be better off with long dresses … you’ll get a more unified look that way. Short dresses will just call attention to the height difference.

3.  Avoid flimsy fabric.
Choose a fabric with some “body” to it. A flimsy (& possibly clingy) short dress just won’t look good going down the aisle or in photos.

4.  Avoid leaving your girls out of the decision.
Check with your bridesmaids to see if they have an overwhelming preference for any aspect of their dresses and then take that in to consideration when making your decisions.

5.  Avoid hemlines that are “too short”.
There are several reasons for this (1) If the wedding is in a church or is a religious ceremony, having dresses hemmed mid-thigh is not respectful of the religious aspect of the wedding (2) Dresses that are too short will draw attention to the bridesmaids in a potentially negative way (3) And most importantly … when the bridesmaid dresses are too short, it will draw attention away from the bride!

6.  Avoid mix-and-match shoes.
With short dresses the shoes are on display, so have your girls wear the same style of shoe or ones that are very, very similar. Short dresses are a perfect way to show off special wedding shoes, such as in the photo below:
Bridesmaids with red shoes

7.   Avoid dresses that don’t look “special”.
Make sure the dresses are distinctive and dressy enough, so they will reflect well on this important occasion and so your bridesmaids will stand out from your guests. This is especially important with short dresses.

8.  Avoid sit-down portraits if your maids are wearing dresses with tight-fitting skirts.
It is difficult to have a lovely sit-down portrait when bridesmaids are wearing dresses that have short, tight skirts. The portrait below is an example of everything working perfectly.
Bridesmaids seated

9.  Avoid short dresses for a formal wedding.
If you are having a formal wedding, you gotta go with long!

10. Avoid having some bridesmaids in short dresses and some in long.
You should strive for a cohesive look, which will create a beautiful vision for your ceremony and photos.  This is difficult to achieve with some wearing short dresses and some wearing long ones.

Short dresses that get it right …

When it comes to doing it just right, this bride nailed it with this Kate Spade dress. The bride and her maids are similar in size and height and of course that contributes to the unified look. And for a pop of color, the blue shoes for the  maid of honor and red for bridesmaids makes for total perfection! Their coordinated hair styles completes the perfect look!
Short Bridesmaids Dresses - Stripe

Another example of short dresses working really well is shown below. The chiffon is “flowy” and works perfectly for a beach setting. The heavier fabric for the underskirt keeps the dresses from getting out of control in the wind! These short dresses have consistent hemlines and show off the cute barefoot sandals.
Beach Bridesmaids in Blue

Short dresses show off the snazzy, red boots (optional footwear in case of rain).
Bridesmaids with red boots

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Resources:
Exclusively Weddings on Pinterest – Over 120 boards and over 10,000 carefully chosen wedding photos.
Pinterest Bridesmaids Board – Over 250 pins with ideas and inspiration for your bridesmaid dresses and attire.

Photo Credits: Aisle Perfect/Casey Rose Photography, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons Ever After Blog, Style Me Pretty/Caroline Frost Photography, Style Me Pretty/Josh Gruetzmacher Photography, Southern Productions, Jessica Owen

Bridesmaid Dresses – Eight Awesome Options

Today’s bride has a lot of options when choosing dresses for her bridesmaids; not just for the dress itself, but for the overall look of her bridesmaids as a “group” . . . which is what this blog post is all about!

Your bridesmaids will be front and center in your wedding processional, during your vows and in your wedding photos, so their bridesmaid dresses play an important role in the overall look of your wedding décor.

It is worth taking the time to consider the overall look you are going for and what you want your bridesmaids to wear … and to research your options. I hope the information presented here will make it a little easier for you!

First Decide . . .

Long Dress or Short

The first decision to make in choosing bridesmaid dresses is whether you want your bridesmaids to wear long dresses or short dresses. It will add focus to your shopping and be one less option to deal with.

Tip: For both short and long styles, once the dress is chosen, be sure to decide how far from the floor it should be hemmed and then make sure they all  are notified … and remind them to wear their wedding shoes when they have their bridesmaid dresses measured for hemming. This consistency will add a lot to the total picture.

I think the length of the dress will be the most important “dress decision” you will make because the look you get from each length choice is very, very different. Sometimes the weather and locale can make the decision easy … Are you getting married outdoors on a hot, summer afternoon? If so, then short dresses may be an obvious option! Is your wedding formal or semi-formal in the evening? Then long is the perfect choice.

Tip: I have seen photos of wedding parties where some bridesmaid dresses are long and some are short (in the same wedding), but you won’t get a cohesive, “put together” look that way. I think you will create more overall visual appeal with all bridesmaids/maids of honor wearing dresses that are the same length.

Bridesmaids_Dresses_Long_Or_Short

Once you have decided on long or short bridesmaid dresses, you are ready to make one more important decision from eight choices shown below.

When deciding how much variety you want for your bridesmaid dresses, there should be at least one element that “ties” the dresses together … such as fabric, color, and/or style. Having bridesmaids in exact or similar styles, colors, and/or fabrics will create a a lovely effect and present a cohesive scene.

Do you want your bridesmaids to wear the exact same dress style? If so, then consider these four options:

  • Same Dress – Same Color
  • Same Dress – Ombre Colors (Different Shades of Same Color)
  • Same Dress – Two Colors
  • Same Dress – Multi Colors

Bridesmaids – Same Dress – Same Color
This choice works especially well when your bridesmaids are similar in size, shape and coloring or when you have chosen a dress that tends to looks great on everyone, as in the photo below.
Bridesmaids_Same_Color_Same_Dress

If you want your bridesmaids to wear the same dress style but you want a little difference among them, perhaps one of the ideas below will work for you.

Bridesmaids – Same Dress – Ombre Colors
In this scenario you choose a basic color and then choose a range of shades within it, such as seen in the photos below. For large wedding parties, have two (or more) bridesmaids wear the same color, as shown in the second photo below. The result of this choice can be really luscious!
Bridesmaids - Same Dress - Ombre Colors

Same_Dress_Ombre_Colors_Purple

Bridesmaids – Same Dress – Two Colors
With this choice you have two distinct colors, with half your bridesmaids wearing one and half wearing the other. It’s important to use two colors that work well together to create a beautiful and interesting palette, as shown below.
Bridesmaids_Same_Dress_Two_Colors

Bridesmaids – Same Dress – Multi Colors
With this choice, each of your bridesmaids wears a different color. It’s best if you choose the same intensity of color for each dress, though … that is important … which you can see in the two photos below. I show examples of a pastel and a vibrant interpretation of this choice, so you can see how different they look. The look is much more subtle with the pastel choice.
Bridesmaids_Same_Dress_Multi_Colors


Do you want your bridesmaids to wear different dress styles? If you do, here are four options . .
.

  • Different Dress – Same Color
  • Different Dress – Ombre Colors (Different Shades of Same Color)
  • Different Dress – Two Colors
  • Different Dress – Multi Colors

Bridesmaids – Different Dress – Same Color
Using mis-matched dresses gives your bridesmaids a chance to choose something that they really like and feel “good” in. Perhaps one will have a cap sleeve, one will be strapless, etc. but they will have the same basic “feel”, as shown below. This is a really good option, I think, if you want to give your girls the freedom to choose their dresses but yet keep the look consistent. In this case you can work with the bridal salon to select the color and fabric and the dresses your girls can choose from. Click here for an entire blog post on this choice.
Bridesmaids_ Different_Dress_Same_Color

Bridesmaids – Different Dress – Ombre Colors
The first photo below shows varying shades of green with each of the seven bridesmaids wearing a different dress. The dress styles are a bit more varied than I typically prefer but I think this works, especially since their bouquets and hair styles are the same.

The second photo is a huge favorite of mine! Each of the bridesmaids is wearing a shade of gray and the maid of honor is in gray and white. They just look sooo good! The bridesmaids and the bride look mah-va-lous!
Bridesmaids_Different_Dress_Ombre_Colors

Bridesmaids_Different_Dress_Same Color_Different Hue

Bridesmaids – Different Dress – Two Colors
The photo below is another example of how different dresses can work. They all have a similar “feel” and the fabric looks similar. In this case the maids of honor are wearing turquoise and the bridesmaids are wearing sapphire. The color combination is lovely!
Bridesmaids_Different_Dress_Two_ Colors

Bridesmaids – Different Dress – Multi Colors
Although, in the photo below, the dresses are different and the colors are different, this works! The reason is that the dresses are all in the same tone and all are a soft “flowy” fabric. Notice how the skirts of the dresses all hang in a similar manner. And the bridesmaids’ bouquets match and their hair is styled similarly. It all comes together to create a unified look!
Bridesmaids_Different_Dresses_Multi_Colors

I need to mention this, just in case … Do think twice before deciding to have your bridesmaids wear dresses of their own choosing with no guidelines at all from the bride. This will not achieve a unified look and most likely will appear that they simply took something out of their closets. You will lose the powerful impact that bridesmaids can make on the overall look of your wedding.

Take the time to figure out what you want your bridesmaids’ overall look to be and then … go for it!

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Resources:
Our Pinterest boards are filled with hundreds of carefully curated photos to give you lots of ideas!
Exclusively Weddings on Pinterest
Pinterest – Bridesmaids
Pinterest – Bridesmaids Bouquets

Colorful Wedding Invitations . . . With Cakes to Match

The wedding invitation you choose will help set the tone for your wedding, so finding the perfect invitation is obviously an important wedding-planning task. And when you find that very special invitation design/color that is just what you have been looking for, chances are that you will also love it interpreted on to your wedding cake.

To help you see the possibilities of using your invitation design/color on your wedding cake, I’ve put together a dozen options in a variety of styles and colors by pairing an Exclusively Weddings’ invitation with a coordinating cake from our Colorful Wedding Cakes Pinterest board.

First up is Chevron.  Chevron is definitely trending for 2014! We see it in women’s fashion, home décor, accessories …. just about everything! And of course Chevron is also popular for wedding invitations and it is a design that will translate with perfection on to a wedding cake.
Gray_and_Pink_Chevron_Wedding_Invitation

At least one chalkboard accessory is seen in most all rustic and casual weddings from signs to caketops and of course cakes and invitations, too!
Chalkboard_Floral_Wedding_Invitation

Roses have been a popular wedding flower for generations but yellow roses takes it up a notch for a modern look. Watercolor Roses, as seen here in yellow, is an easy transition on to a stylish, ombré, wedding cake.
Watercolor_Rose_Trellis_Wedding_Invitation


Cherry Blossoms
are perfect for a spring wedding as they signify the beginning of spring in many areas of the U.S. The artistic cherry blossom design is particularly gorgeous on an invitation and equally so, on a wedding cake.
Watercolor Cherry Blossoms Wedding Invitation

For a splash of color or for accenting a vibrant palette, you can’t go wrong with a poppy …or a few!
Orange_Watercolor_Poppy_Wedding_Invitation

For a little fun, go with a “Lucky in Love” invitation choice! The pink and cool-tone green translate easily in to a yummy wedding cake design, too.
Lucky_in_Love_Wedding_Invitation

Purple is always a popular wedding color and the rose is a popular wedding flower. The Watercolor Roses design combines both favorites for a design that works both for an invitation and a cake!
Watercolor_Roses_Wedding_Invitation

If you are having a beach wedding, you may want to use seashells in your décor, cake and in your invitation.
Gathering_Seashells_Wedding_Invitation

Sunny colors of gold, green and pink in your wedding invitation can be translated in to a floral design in your wedding cake. For spring and summer weddings, this is a palette that is a perfect fit.
Tropical_Garden_Wedding_Invitation


Lace
is a popular accent for weddings in 2014 and it works equally well in the design of a wedding invitation and wedding cake.
Timeless_Lace_Wedding_Invitation

A monogram is always in style and it is trending strong in 2014. And you can’t go wrong with black and white. A black and white Damask design with a monogram is the ultimate in classic style!
Monogrammed_Damask_Wedding_Invitation

It seems like every few years gold is a top trend and now it is happening in 2014! Gold is perfect with neutrals white or ivory or paired with a choice of pink, mint green, navy, and more! Nothing dazzles quite like gold!
Simplicity_Wedding_Invitation

For more details on the wedding invitations that are shown in each of the pairs above, just click the hyperlinked text in the verbiage that is above each photo. It will take you to the invitation’s product details page on the Exclusively Weddings’ site.

If you want to order free invitation samples, this page on the Exclusively Weddings’ website will get you started. (By the way, they are 100% free when shipped within the U.S. No credit card is needed.)

Collages created by Sher Silver – Exclusively Weddings
Click images for full-size versions.

Photo Sources:
Invitations: All invitations are from the Exclusively Weddings’ website.
Cakes: [1] Coco Cakes [2] Hang Out Cakes [3] Toot-C Cake Shop [4] Cake Photo Ideas [5] The Cake Whisperer [6] Belgiques Cake Gallery [7] Jelly Cake [8] Cake Central [9] Wedding Wire [10] Flickr/Cristina [11] Flickr/Tish Perez [12] Laura Ashbrook