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Monday, August 2, 2010

Plan Ahead, Rest Easy

Whether you’re just diving into the process or have been planning your wedding for months, you have probably discovered that everything takes a lot of thought, detail and time – much more time that you might have ever imagined! Choosing and ordering great bridesmaid dresses for your sweet friends and family who have agreed to stand up for you can be an overwhelming task. It’s an important – and time sensitive – piece of the planning puzzle and it deserves your attention! But, in keeping with our philosophy that planning a wedding should be fun, we have created a guide to help you in your quest for the perfect dress for your bridesmaids.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should order your bridesmaid dresses four to six months before your wedding to ensure your girls are looking their best. Most of the dresses take three months to come in, and you should also allow additional time for alterations. Attendant gowns are ordered from a size chart rather than made to individuals’ specific measurements, so 95% of all bridesmaid dresses will need to be altered. So, to help you breeze through this process, here is your step-by-step action plan:
1. Let's face it, bridesmaids’ dresses have come a L-O-N-G way – thank goodness! There are so many great designers and beautiful styles, and often the dresses available today can be worn again after the wedding. Because we know every bride has a different vision for her big day, we offer several lines from different designers, and you’re sure to find something to fit your style and budget. So, your first step should be to preview the extensive collections offered at our StarDust Celebrations Salon in West Plano and LuLu’s Bridal Boutique in Uptown Dallas at

2. Once you’ve found a few options that you love, come in to the store carrying the dresses you’re drawn to so you can narrow down your search and fill out an interest form, which helps you keep track of the designer(s) and styles you like.

3. Select the bridesmaid dress that best suits your wedding colors, style and season. Be a thoughtful friend and keep in mind the body types of your attendants. For instance, if one of your bridesmaids is a size 18, she probably cannot wear a natural waist, slim skirt dress. Today, many brides select two or three styles and give each maid the option of selecting the best dress for her body shape. The dresses are all then ordered in the same color and fabric. Or some brides even select the designer, fabric and color and allow each girl to choose her own style within those guidelines. Some additional tips when selecting the dress style for your girls: If your maids are “busty”, consider spaghetti straps over strapless; otherwise, you risk a mishap on the dance floor. Lastly, an A-line style dress fits 90% of all body types; if it’s very important to you to have all of your attendants in the same dress, consider selecting an A-line.

4. Whenever possible, bring your bridesmaids with you to be measured the day you place your order. All maids will need to complete their paperwork before the order is placed.

5. Out-of-town bridesmaids will need to download the required forms (PDF format) at Each designer has their own form, so be sure to your attendants select the correct form for your order.

6. Your out-of-town maids will need to fax or e-mail their completed forms back to the Salon or LuLu’s (whichever is the store you order from). We strongly encourage these ladies to have their measurements taken professionally by a local tailor to ensure the size chosen is as accurate as possible. The more accurate the size, the fewer alterations that will be needed, usually saving time and money!

7. A few special order notes to remember: if your maid is over 5’8”, she may need to order extra length; if she is over a size 16, she may need extra sizing; and if you need the gowns in less than 12 weeks, there is usually a rush charge that the designer applies.

8. Be sure to inquire about our discount program! To take advantage, all dresses must be paid in full before the order is placed. A little tip: it’s best to give the ladies a deadline before your actual deadline.

9. We will contact the BRIDE when the dresses arrive or have them shipped to previously specified locations. If your girls are in our service area, they can schedule an appointment with our alterations department to ensure a great fit. We accept appointments Monday through Friday during store hours.

10. Out-of-town bridesmaids should schedule an appointment with a local tailor, making sure they will have their finished dress in plenty of time before your wedding.

Your bridesmaids are probably those closest to you who have been a big part of your life so, of course, you want them to be happy with your selection. By planning ahead, you are likely to find beautiful dresses your girls will feel good about, in plenty of time and you can rest easy – that is, until it’s time to move on to the next to-do on your checklist!

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