Choosing your bridesmaid dresses: What to remember before you shop
When it comes to choosing the right bridesmaid dresses for your bridal party, there are a number of important considerations to be mindful of.
First, take a look at the style of your own gown - do you want your bridesmaids to compliment or contrast with you on the big day?
If you have more than one bridesmaid, you may need to consider each girl’s skin tone and hair colour to be sure the choice of dress suits everyone.
In a similar vein, body shape is a major influencing factor in many bride’s decisions for their right hand women - if you have one bridesmaid with the frame of an Olympian and another who could pass for Kim Kardashian, you might want to consider the emerging trend of multi-way gowns to facilitate all sizes and dimensions.
Weather and climate are two other significant issues to remember when hunting for your dream dresses. Velvet fabric and stiff tailoring won’t work in sweltering heat just as backless silk slips are utterly unsuitable for cold temperatures.
Finally, it’s essential to respect the budget, particularly if your bridesmaids are paying for the privilege of their dresses themselves.
Finding your dream bridesmaid dresses in Sydney
In recent years, Sydney has become a mecca for bridal and wedding wear with thousands of wives-to-be flocking to the city in search of the perfect dress for themselves and their party.
Bridesmaids play an integral role in every wedding day, but finding a look which makes the supporting act shine without eclipsing the main event herself is usually easier said than done.
New Idea have taken the pain out of the first part of the dress hunt by creating a list of the top 10 bridesmaid dress boutiques in Sydney - now all you have to do is get your chosen friends to agree to your pick!
10. Brides of Sydney
Brides of Sydney has two suburban locations in Parramatta and Miranda, as well as one CBD outlet and an online store.
In addition to its self-titled range, the boutique stocks three brands of dresses, Allure, Tania Olsen and Les Demoiselles, all offering a wide range of styles in a rainbow spectrum of colours to suit all sizes, shapes and tastes.
Allure stock a great selection of skirt and top sets for brides who want to mix and match their right hand women.
Product range: Wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, Debutante and formal gowns.
Price: The outlet does not list retail prices on its site, so prospective brides and bridesmaids will need to pop in store for a consultation.
9. Esther & Co.
For ladies who loathe shopping, exclusively online store Esther & Co. is an excellent option.
The e-commerce boutique stocks everything from everyday beach cover-ups to their self-titled range of stylish but cheap bridesmaid dresses.
The site offer a number of ivory, cream and white bridesmaid gowns for brides who want to match their best friends on the big day.
Product range: A wide selection of Esther Luxe own-brand dresses in various lengths, shapes and styles.
Price: $65 AUD to $259 AUD.
8. Shona Joy
Almost 20 years in business, Sydney designer Shona Joy stocks a stunning range of simplistic bridesmaid dresses at over 200 locations across Australia as well as online.
This brand is perfect for laid back beach weddings thanks to their excellent selection of moderately priced cocktail style dresses and on-trend asymmetrical slips.
Product range: Minimalistic silk bridesmaid dresses and outfits for wedding guests.
Price: $240 AUD to $300 AUD.
7. Perfect Day Bridal
Perfect Day in Sydney’s North Shore has a sprawling range of inspirational ideas for brides and their best friends, as well as a great selection of jewellery and other accessories to complete your chosen look.
Make an appointment with Perfect Day’s Tania Roddy, one of the city’s leading bridal consultants, to find your dream ensembles for your leading ladies.
Product range: Perfect Day stock a host of leading bridal designers, including Kenneth Wilson, Pronovias, Nicole Spose and Ella Rosa.
Price: Prices are available on request from the boutique.
6. Sweethearts Bridal
Blacktown-based boutique Sweethearts is about 50 minutes drive from Sydney’s CBD, and offers a an impressive private appointment service to give brides a sense of truly special treatment.
It’s also one of Sydney’s "rent a dress" outlets, a service targeted at Debutantes and teenagers in search of beautiful formal gowns.
You can view the Sweethearts collection here.
Product range: Sweethearts offers a variety of multi-way dresses to suit all shapes and sizes.
The store also stocks a beautiful range of embellished and sequined numbers for anyone after real wow factor, and a huge choice of designer wedding dresses by labels like Rebecca Ingram, Maggie Sotero and Martina Liana.
Price: Visit the Blacktown boutique for fittings and price information.
5. One Fell Swoop
Perth-based boutique One Fell Swoop is steadily seeing its sartorial star rise thanks to social media advertising.
The brand create beautiful bridal gowns and pristinely made-for-you ivory bridesmaid dresses, capitalising on the recent trend for all-white bridal parties - you won’t find any other colour in their range!
Shop the bridesmaid capsule collection online. To make a real impact, fashion forward brides could try putting each bridesmaid in a different style from this brand.
Product range: A plethora of different shaped bridesmaid dresses, all in white! One Fell Swoop even boast an all-white jumpsuit which WHO think will be the latest craze for brides’ best friends.
Price: On request from the brand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Bridesmaids Only
Australia’s one stop online shop for bridesmaids, this site stocks 12 acclaimed bridal designers with enough choice to suit any theme of wedding and any shape, size or skin colour of woman.
If you’re brave enough to buy before trying, Bridesmaids Only is the stress-free solution for you and your girls.
Product range: Bridesmaids Only offers a vast range of styles, including vintage, plus size and maternity dresses, strapless, backless, halter-necks - if you can dream it, this site stocks it.
Price: Prices vary from one designer to the next, with the average cost sitting around $400 AUD.
3. Luv Bridal and Formal
The consultants at Luv Bridal and Formal are renowned for the time and care they give to each and every bridal party, helping the shopping process become a cherished memory for all involved.
The boutique in Sydney’s Crows Nest offer a selection of stunning contemporary bridesmaid dresses in modern, fashion forward shapes like mermaid, A-line, trumpet, princess, tea length and empire.
Luv also boast a beautiful choice of cheap multiway bridesmaid dresses in every shade from fuchsia to mocha for every skin tone, body shape and hair colour for as little as $250 AUD.
Product range: Luv stock a range of wedding, formal and bridesmaid dresses, as well as veils and accessories to suit any theme of ceremony from beach and bohemian to a classic cathedral setting.
Price: $250 AUD to $700 AUD.
2. Sassy Boutique
Every bride has a different picture of her dream wedding day, and if a lavish spectacle dripping in opulence is what you’ve always imagined for yourself and your leading ladies, look no further than Sassy Boutique.
The Punchbowl-based store stocks a range of incredibly elegant couture gowns, from high-end designers such as Jovani, Faviana and Primavera.
Generally speaking this is not the place to go for cheap and cheerful bridesmaid dresses, but Sassy do have a small selection of very reasonably priced gowns online starting from $75 AUD.
Product range: Couture wedding dresses, mother-of-the-bride outfits, formal and bridesmaid dresses.
Price: $75 AUD to $800 AUD.
1. White Runway
Boutique store White Runway offers a huge selection of on-trend shapes and styles to suit any figure and is widely regarded as one of the best formal dress shops in Sydney.
Many of the dresses are so fashion forward, modern and versatile you could wear them again for a special occasion, making White Runway a good choice if you’re after a long-term investment piece.
Dresses come in various lengths, from just below the knee to floor length trains.
The outlet is located in Alexandria, about 20 minutes’ drive from Sydney CBD, and probably offers the best selection of cheap all the way through to luxury bridesmaid dresses in the city.
Product range: White Runway stock ready-to-wear and custom tailored bridal and bridesmaid gowns, as well as lines for mother of the bride and general occasion wear.
Price: $300 AUD to $1,000 AUD.