By Mary- Jane O’Regan

It’s meant to be a super fun bonding moment for you and your girls — you go to a shop, try on dresses, laugh, have fun, and find the perfect styles for your big day! You’ve got a scheme in mind but as the gals are all unique it can turn stressful quite quickly. Remember you picked these girls to help you and for whatever reason, you guys are starting the journey together.

The drama of pleasing all your bridesmaids, potentially ordering the wrong sizes, not knowing what styles to even look at, or dealing with multiple personalities, some that are perhaps stronger than yours can quickly turn the fun of shopping into an ordeal. So rather than dealing with bickering bridesmaids and stressful appointments, here are some tips based my own experience of being both a bride and bridesmaid. I even got un-bridesmaided so I, my friends have done it all.

1. Talk about a budget:

Make the ground rules clear on this; while it is your wedding you cannot expect your bridesmaids to wear ill-fitting or unflattering gowns you order from China while you flounce around in your gown. Equally, your gals must respect that you don’t have a bottomless sum of cash and so must be prepared to compromise. Please also leave a little money aside for alterations. Giving your girls guidelines will also take a lot of stress off their shoulders.

2. Do your research:

Have some ides of what you are looking for : Don’t make the appointment until you know that the dressmakers cater for all of the ages and sizes, remember you can choose a theme and go to several shops to find a few styles, they don’t have to be all the same. If you don’t set some requirements, I guarantee you’ll end up with a medley of different styles that might not look too great together.

3. Shop Early:

Honestly the earlier you shop the less stress involved: This makes it easier for you and the store. Shopping online is awesome, but you should be aware of the “too good to be true” situations. It’s also important to order based on your current size. I don’t know how many times bridesmaids have said that they plan to lose weight before the wedding (I’m 100% guilty of this!) and order a smaller dress, thinking that they’ll fit into it. Usually, that’s not the case.

4. Be Selective who you bring:

Too many cooks and all of that. Ideally, you want just the people involved and maybe your mum.

5. Know the gals:

Understand that some of your girls may be self-conscious and not confident. Particularly if you are having family, it’s one thing that isn’t worth falling out over. A good idea is to have a girl’s night at home with wine to discuss styles and needs. As someone that isn’t busty, I had no idea about things like straps and support. Control wear, on the other hand, I am well briefed on.

6. Keep an open mind:

Bear in mind that the shop may be not able to get your dresses, or they may need to be altered. So, take a deep breath, understand that things happen, and know that in the end, everything will work out!

In this piece, I have chosen some dresses from the fab Diamond Bridal on Maylor Street. Grace and her team are absolutely amazing at helping you and your crew at looking flawless.

5 Maylor Street

Cork City

Telephone: 021 4949900

Email: info@diamondbridal.ie