Aside from your own bridal gown, getting the outfits for your bride tribe is probably one of the most stressful aspects of planning your wedding. Maybe you are lucky and have very easy going family and friends that would happily accompany you down the aisle in a black plastic bag. For the most part, this isn’t the case. Most ladies are quite particular about their outfit choices- preferring certain colours, styles, lengths and fit. Also we are all so different in appearance that finding a dress that suits everyone can be a nightmare. Each bridesmaid may have body issues requiring a longer skirt or thicker strap or or or.

Finding dresses in your wedding colour scheme can also be a mission. Especially as South African clothing shops tend to lack a wide selection of formal dresses appropriate for weddings. Even more difficult is finding attractive outfits for mother-of-the-brides, who usually want something a little bit more demure, but still in the wedding colour scheme.

This means that bride tribes usually resort to having bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses made. Custom made dresses provide you with the freedom of choosing exactly what you want- the colour, material, style and fitting them exactly to everyone’s body. The process requires some time and often a few appointments with a seamstress to development the design and allow for fittings. 

We know how difficult and expensive it can be to find a trustworthy seamstress. Often a dress we envision in our mind, can turn out completely different in reality. The back and forth between the bride and the seamstress can be exhausting and thus you want to ensure that you find someone who shares your same vision. Our hints and tips for stress free retinue styles are:

  • Get everyone’s measurements done by the same seamstress. Often members of the bridal party may live in a different city, try arrange for everyone to meet up during the wedding planning process and get your measurements taken by a trusted person. This saves the mission of constantly needing to try on dresses that are being made, as well as save money and stress by needing further alterations.
  • Purchase ready made dressed for an outlet store or online. These days bridesmaids tend to wear more casual dresses that can be found at national stores like YDE, Forever New, Zara and H&M. Considering the price of dresses, it may be beneficial to buy ready made dresses that can be reworn for other occasions. Also these sizes tend to be standard and thus will fit well and can be tried on around the country by your different bridesmaids.
  • Mix and Match. We are all such different shapes and sizes, try accommodate everyone by allowing your retinue to chose the style of dress worn. Dresses in similar tones, but different styles add interest to your photographs. Be modern and try a mix of floral and plain dresses, or shirts and skirts. Playsuits and rompers are also trendy and can ensure your bridesmaids feel comfortable on the day. 
  • Start early . If you have a specific style or colour in mind, its best to start the process early- finding material and dresses can take a long time and you don’t want to be stressing a few weeks before the wedding that the attire is not ready.