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Tips for Dressing Wedding Attendants Better, For Less

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Every couple wants a unique wedding in which they look their best and are well-represented by the beauty of their surroundings. That includes their attendants. Although many places still offer the single-color, single-style coordinated option that has been so popular in past, that approach is a little outdated, and can be a hassle as well. Before making a decision about the outfits your attendants will wear, consider the headaches that might come with traditional choices and a few of the alternatives.

Difficulties of Sticking to the Basics

In the past, brides often chose the style and color of their bridesmaid’s dresses. While that certainly makes dressing your girls easier and means that your theme will be perfectly coordinated, there can also be drawbacks. For one thing, not all styles look good on everyone, and it can be unkind to make a larger girl wear the same dress as her thinner friends, or dress a smaller girl the same way you would a tall one. Plus, bridal shops are expensive, with dresses ranging around a hundred dollars and often going as high as $200.

When it comes to the men, the same drawbacks apply. Not all guys look good in the same tuxedo or tailored suit. Plus, tuxedos are often very expensive, even for a day-long rental: at Men’s Wearhouse, one of the more mainstream and therefore cheaper options, rental starts at $59.99, and goes up from there.

Traditional Wear Do’s and Don’ts

If you are going to stick with a traditional bridal shop or tuxedo store, make sure you’re choosing reputable outlets. David’s Bridal is an excellent choice for women’s dresses. They have a huge variety and come in a wealth of sizes, from very petite to plus sizes. The Knot recommends choosing the manufacturer and deciding on a color and fabric, then letting your attendants choose their own style. The same approach can work for men: choose a suit style and color scheme, and send them out to find something that works at the store of your choice. Again, Men’s Wearhouse is a safe bet.

Look Beyond the Traditional

Of course, there’s nothing that says you have to go to a bridal shop or tux store to find your attendant’s clothes. Many brides these days are simply telling their bridesmaids to choose dresses of a specific color and fabric – yellow satin, say – and not restricting them to a certain bridal shop. This kind of choice not only frees girls up to find something that really suits their body type and style, it can be cheaper for you (if you are buying) or them. Consider, for instance, the choice to buy cocktail dresses at macys.com, which has a great selection of colors, sizes and occasions.

You should still stick with providing details for color, length and fabric. It can also be fun to create a rainbow using your bridesmaids. Try specifying a color for each bridesmaid (getting her approval is best), then line them up in an appealing order by hue.

Men can take the same approach. Guys look great in suit or sweater vests instead of jackets, says Wedding Window, and some suspenders really add unique oomph. Soft suede shoes in brown or tan add another novel dimension. Bottom line: both you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen, given some creativity and a sense of fun, can look great on your special day.

Bridal party photo from Flickr user vxla.

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