We love talking about our brides…but what about the bridesmaids? The ones who are with you beforethe big day, every step of the way? Its time for their time in the light! What better place to start then by talking about the importance of the bridesmaid dress.
It was a pleasure to be approached by Elena from BridesMade about doing a guest interview chatting about the importance of finding a perfect dress for everyone in the group and the traditional roles and expectations of being an essential member of the party.
Elena has graciously given us some insight into the wonderful world of picking out bridesmaid dresses, how their brand stands out from the rest, especially for those with a sustainable approach (which I obviously adoreand was highly impressed with).
Jeanine: Hi Elena! Tell us a little bit about the BridesMade and how it came to be! What is your philosophy and mission?
Elena: BridesMade is a bridesmaid dress company, evolved for the 21st century. It was started by two friends, Mallory and Kaleah, who founded it with the idea that there is a better way to experience being a bridesmaid. For us, what that means is making the experience of being a bridesmaid more convenient, affordable and environmentally sustainable. Everything we do as a company is centered around improving that process for the whole bridal party, including the bride.
J: I love that BridesMade was started by two friends to help make this process easier! Tell us about the services you provide and the process of working with you.
E: We rent and sell bridesmaid dresses, as well as other wedding accessories like mens’ ties, bridal party robes, and flower girl dresses! The process of renting a dress is really simple: first, you order free colour swatches so you can pick and choose your favourite colour(s) in person. Then you can order a sample box, which is essentially a test dress (or dresses) that you can try on for fit and style with your bridesmaids in the comfort of your own home, without the hassle of sales associates or other distractions. Next, you would place your order and secure your dresses for the big day and relax! The dresses will arrive at least 2 weeks before the wedding, and after the wedding you simply ship it back to us using the included return shipping label. That’s it! No alterations or extra costs involved.
J: That sounds absolutely amazing! And so convenient! That being said, is there a trend you are noticing a lot right now or a specific style that is high in demand?
E: There are a few trends we’re starting to notice for the 2018 and 2019 wedding seasons. One is that darker and richer jewel tones are no longer restricted to just fall and winter weddings. Our Wine infinity dress is a best seller for weddings year-round! There is more interest in knee-length dresses than previous years as well. We’ve also noticed that it’s not just the bridesmaids that are interested in renting from us! We get quite a few questions from mothers of the bride and groom and even wedding guests – renting dresses is becoming a trend for everyone involved in a wedding!
J: Let’s dive into more talk about the bridesmaids! In your opinion, what should someone realistically expect when they agree to be someone’s bridesmaid?
E: Bridesmaids should always be ready to offer their assistance, advice and emotional support! There are usually expectations like attending a bridal shower and bachelorette party, assisting with any planning or preparation tasks, and some sort of financial component is to be expected. The most important part of being a bridesmaid is a genuine willingness to help in any way you can.
J: What is one piece of advice you would give to future bridesmaids when they agree to be part of a wedding?
E: Don’t be afraid to do some research yourself! Whether that’s looking up florists or taking the reins on finding bridesmaid dresses, don’t be afraid to make suggestions and help the bride out. We have had many brides who came to us because a bridesmaid or friend suggested they rent their dresses from BridesMade, something the brides might’ve not even known was an option!
J: Financially speaking, there is a lot of talk about who is in charge of paying for what. Do you notice more that the couple pays for the attire more often or are the ladies responsible individually?
E: It is generally expected that bridesmaids will pay for their own attire. Other common bridesmaid expenses also include makeup, hair, accessories, any travel/lodging expenses, and a wedding gift for the couple! Sometimes the bride might choose to pay for certain expenses as a way to thank her bridesmaids for being a part of her big day. It’s important to remember that a bridesmaid should always voice her concerns if the expenses are getting to be more than she can handle. There are many ways that being a bridesmaid can be made more affordable – renting dresses being one!
J: I think its fantastic that there is a company like you out there that offers bridesmaid dress rentals – such a great way to manage expenses! What is the first step a bride should take in the pursuit of looking for the perfect dresses?
E: There are a few things to consider – usually, deciding on a colour is the best first step! We always advise our brides to order their free colour swatches from us first. This helps make sure the dresses flow seamlessly with the wedding decor and theme.
J: What are some important things for a bride to consider when choosing the dress(es) for the bridal party?
E: Wedding theme, ceremony and reception locations, time of year, level of formality and overall look are important to consider when choosing bridesmaid dresses. An elegant winter wedding calls for very different dresses than an outdoor barn wedding in the middle of summer. Certain styles can evoke certain feelings, and even something seemingly small like choosing floor length or knee length dresses can change the vibe of the wedding completely.
J: What is the best timeline of ordering dresses? Is there a difference between ordering purchased dresses and your rented dresses?
E: Traditional bridal boutiques recommend ordering bridesmaid dresses anywhere between 9 and 6 months before the wedding. This is because many of those dresses are made to order, but not made to fit, so you need to leave time for alterations, potential returns for sizing, and other issues that might arise.
For our brides, we recommend ordering no later than 3 months before the wedding so we can guarantee that we’ll have their dresses available. Because our dresses are size adjustable, bridesmaids can skip the alterations and have the dress fit them perfectly right away. We also offer sample boxes, which means bridesmaids can try on the dresses in advance so they can confidently order the correct size. If any other issues come up, we offer express shipping for returns and exchanges so that everything is perfect for the big day!
J: It just keeps getting better and better! What sets you apart from other companies?
E: Our customers often tell us how impressed they are with the attentive and personalized service they receive, especially since we operate entirely online. We are proud of how committed our personal stylists are to making every wedding they serve absolutely perfect. We truly take “Boutique Service” to heart and apply it to everything we do.
J: The health of our earth is very important. Can you discuss the importance of sustainability with BridesMade?
E: Sustainability is a core value for BridesMade, which is one reason we rent bridesmaid dresses. Renting let’s the dress be worn many more times than it would be if it were purchased, even if it was donated or resold after the wedding. From eco-friendly office practices to prolonging the life of our dresses beyond weddings, we do everything we can to minimize our impact on the environment. For example, dresses that are no longer perfect for weddings are still perfect for sample boxes! Dresses that are no longer usable for sample boxes are repurposed into swatches. Sustainability is always on our minds.
J: Thank you so much for chatting with us all about bridesmaids! It is great to hear that there are more incredible dress options out there for them and just how important their role is within the wedding. What are the best ways to get ahold of you if our readers want to learn more about your services?
E: Brides and bridesmaids can find us at BridesMade.ca. To get in touch with a personal stylist, they can send us a message on Facebook or Instagram (@bridesmade.ca), fill out a form on our website, or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org!
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