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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

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

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