Bridesmaids Dresses - Everything you need to know! - Oahu Hawaii Wedding Photographer

As a Hawaii wedding photographer, I can tell you that today’s weddings are all about sophistication. From gorgeous cathedrals to upscale ballrooms to beautiful Hawaiian beaches, elegance is of the essence. 

This hasn’t always been the case. 

Maybe you have flipped the pages of an old family album to reminisce over a circus-colored ceremony complete with bright, shiny taffeta gowns. You know, where each bridesmaid disappeared under mounds of puffy hair, puffy sleeves, and a puffy bow on her backside!

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Fortunately, having overgrown Skittles for bridesmaids is no longer in style. 

Unfortunately, the pressure to make everything perfect can suck all the enjoyment out of your once-in-a-lifetime planning. 

Choosing bridesmaids’ dresses is a crucial step in wedding planning. Next to your gorgeous Hawaii venue, these dresses are the single most important design element. Their style and color set the stage for the flowers, the mothers’ dresses, even the reception.

But dress shopping should not be overwhelming. It should be fun! 

Let me share a few tips I’ve discovered as a wedding photographer that can take the stress out of dress shopping. 


The Color

There is no perfect color. And while each year has its own “in” color, this is a decision best left to you. 

Now, if you aren’t sure how to choose the perfect color, I offer this: Have your wedding photographer shoot a few photos of your venue and your wedding gown. These will be fun “before” pictures for your wedding album, and they will also help you SEE the colors in your palette. 

While an ocean backdrop may lend itself to pastel blues, a church sanctuary may have rich gold undertones. A ballroom may have a pop of red, while an April garden may call for lavender.  

Remember that colors come with preconceived expectations. Pastels feel like spring. Warm tones represent autumn. Lighter colors are more daytime appropriate, while deeper colors and black work best at night. 

Also consider how each will look with your bridal gown. Cool colors may be more attractive with a crisp white gown, while warmer colors may look best with an ivory gown. 

Looking at colors alongside photos of your venue and wedding dress will help you envision the whole picture. It will ensure your color scheme complements your location, season, and time of day. 


The Weather

Many a bridesmaid has shivered to near hypothermia in a strapless gown on a cold day. And even more have sweltered in heavy fabrics that don’t breathe. 

Your girls will not enjoy your day if they are freezing or sweating. Even here in Hawaii, where the climate is temperate and lovely, the comfort of your bridesmaids should be a consideration. 

Look for dresses that fit the season, temperature, and time of day. Consider shrugs for cooler days. Ditch the silk on hot summer days. 

Beauty may not always be comfortable, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. 

The Style

More importantly, your bridesmaids should be happy with the style. Different face shapes are flattered by certain necklines, just as different body types look best with certain waistlines.  

I think one of the greatest fashion-forward trends is having variety among the bridesmaids. Allowing attendants to choose the specific dress she will purchase is a great way for each one to feel good about her role in your wedding. 

You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Choose several styles you love and let your bridesmaids vote

  • Choose only a color and length, and let each bridesmaid chose her own style.

  • Chose a color family and a several styles, letting each attendant 

select her favorite combination. 

Weddings don’t have to be “matchy-matchy”! Remember, the goal is elegance and sophistication. Dresses that flatter are far preferable to matching dresses where no one looks her best.  


Make it a party!

While there is no right or wrong way to choose dresses, shopping online at sites like Asos

Lulu’s, or countless others makes dress shopping super fun! There are so many different styles, from gorgeous traditional gowns to amazing dresses you’ve never imagined! 

If you are a bride who needs to make decisions alone, you can easily do that online! And if you are one who wants to turn every event into a party, you can do that online too! 

Imagine having a little wine and cheese party with your besties while you peruse all the options from your living room. Or, if everyone is scattered across the country, being able to share a virtual experience with them as you anticipate your wedding day!

However and whatever you decide, have fun! And remember to document every step along the way so you can enjoy it for years to come. 


Aloha, I am Jojo!

A Wedding Photographer living on the beautiful Island of Oahu and I am passionate about helping couples plan their wedding in paradise!