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Dressing Your Wedding Party

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your wedding is choosing who will be part of your bridal party on your special day. After that, you’ll have to decide what they will wear during the ceremony and reception.


Most bridal shops, including Bridals by Natalie, 705 King St., offer bridesmaid gowns as well as mother-of-the-bride dresses.


When you're deciding on the color of your bridesmaids' gowns, wedding expert Monte Durham says one of the things to keep in mind is the season you are getting married. “You want to stay away from reds and oranges,” for a summer wedding, for example, he said. In the spring, think color and rejuvenation. In the winter, think jewel tones.


While Durham applauds making several dress styles in the same color as an option to bridesmaids in order to offer a better fit for a variety of body types, he still enjoys the uniform look of the ‘60s, he said.


“I’m still a fan of dyeable shoes,” he said. “I’ll get shot for saying that. I’m all about monochromatic.”


A change in color trends? Fewer black bridesmaid’s dresses. “They do that because they say they’re going to wear them again. Newsflash: They’re not,” he said.

Another consideration to keep in mind when dressing your bridal party is the venue. “What you’re going to wear to a beach is going to be different than a mountaintop or a religious facility,” he said.


If you’re having a hard time deciding on what your bridesmaids and wedding party should wear, Durham advises coming up with three adjectives to decide what you want for your wedding, as in “I want my wedding to be … elegant, understated and sophisticated or romantic, soft and lovely or fun, interactive and full of joy,” he said. “Get those three things, write them down and every time you go to make a selection, it’ll keep you on track.”


If you’re still having a hard time, make an appointment at a local bridal shop just for looking at bridesmaid dresses. Rosalin’s Bridal Boutique in Falls Church is a mom ’n pop shop where brides say they feel comfortable and get personal service, including shopping for bridesmaid dresses.


Some trends to look for in bridesmaids gowns this year, according to Wedding Wire, include cowl necklines and mid-length hemlines (between mini and maxi). Other trends to keep an eye on: Halter dresses and structured silhouettes. Sapphire blue and silky, satiny fabrics are also trends to look for in bridal party dresses.


Typically, while brides choose what their bridal party will wear, wedding experts say that each bridesmaid is expected to pay for the dress and the rest of the outfit, including shoes. They also pay for their own travel costs if they’re coming from out of town.


Brides might consider hiring a makeup artist on the special day for the entire bridal party.

The eyes have it when it comes to makeup trends for the bride and bridal party. Attention is on “very strong and intense eyelashes and brows,” Durham noted. “Eyes are the big hit. Lips? It’s ‘bring out the Chapstick.’”

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