Shopping for bridesmaid’s dresses for a summer wedding can be almost as trying as finding the perfect bridal gown. There is so much to keep in mind when selecting summer bridesmaids dresses, from the comfort of the wearer to finding the best fabrics to making sure the dress is suitable for the type of wedding you are planning. If you are getting ready to shop for summer weight bridesmaid's dresses, here is a basic primer for what to look for.
Linen is often the go-to choice for summer formal events. Since the bridesmaids will be standing during the service and likely dancing the night away, there isn't a huge risk of a linen bridesmaid's dress getting so wrinkled that it won’t look presentable. That being said, if you do go for the linen look, make sure you have plenty of hot irons and steamers on hand to do last minute pressings before you all walk down the aisle.
Linen may not look "fancy" enough for some weddings, as it doesn't have a natural sheen like satin or silk charmeuse. If you are planning an evening wedding, you may find that a fabric with a luxurious sheen to it seems better suited to such a formal event. You may want to avoid manmade fabrics like polyester or similar threads, as it does not breathe as well as a natural fiber.
When shopping and ultimately selecting a bridesmaid's dress for a summer affair, you need to adhere to that time-honored real estate motto of "location, location, location." Summer weddings take place in all kinds of locations, from churches and ballrooms to beaches and national parks, and each location has different dress codes. If your summer wedding is indoors, you'll need to make sure that you allow for the height of formal shoes, while if the wedding is on the beach, you want to make sure that the hems are not so long that they will be tripped over. Certain fabrics will not hold up well against sand and sea spray without staining, so keep that in mind as well.
What is the average temperature and humidity index in the place where you will be married during the summer months? Plan your dresses with comfort in mind. If the wedding is outdoors in a place where the temp is likely to top 90 degrees, sleeveless or tube dresses may be a smart choice. If you are doing a destination wedding, make sure that you remember the differences in summer temperatures between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
How mobile do your bridesmaids need to be? Will they need to be able to bend down and carry your train? Will they be changing after the ceremony into a different dress for the reception, or will they need to dance in the same dress all night long?
It is important to select summer bridesmaid’s dresses that are breathable and bear enough skin to keep the wearer cool. However, don't forget to maintain proper decorum for both religious and family reasons. Avoid bridesmaid’s gowns that expose too much leg, lower back, or cleavage, as this will cheapen the look of the whole wedding party.