Bridesmaids Dresses – Past, Present & Future

Bridesmaids Dresses - Past Present and Future
A hot topic of discussion when wedding planning is the bridesmaids dress. In past years, this is the dress that costs a small fortune and your bridesmaids will most likely despise it. The role of bridesmaids has changed over the past few centuries – they were once dowry holders to now the devoted best friends – and with the changes so has the fashion. From the days of rainbow colors, hoop skirts and ruffles that plagued the 80’s, bridesmaids fashions have greatly changed, and I might dare say for the better.
The 1980’s
In 1980’s the fashion industry changed when Princess Diana walked down in the aisle in a gorgeous ball gown. Her bridesmaid debut the puffy sleeves and taffeta that would remain for the entire decade. Flower crowns and the color pink were exactly what every bride wanted for her big day towards the end of the 80’s decade.
The 1990’s
Fashion in the 90’s swiftly changed to minimalism. This decade had colors that were dark – think navy, black and burgundy – and the dresses were simple and sophisticated. In the middle of the 90’s the color lavender took over for pink as the most popular color because Princess Theodora of Greece chose to wear it to an English wedding. The 90’s also was the debut of the high-low hem line and floral maids’ gowns.
The 2000’s
By the time the 2000’s began, it was fashionable to wear full length satin dresses. This is when the rainbow wedding colors began to be front and center but in the pastel colors. Strapless gowns became very popular during the early 2000’s and have actually stuck around. Also, in the mid 2000’s the maid of honor wearing a different shade became popular. We also saw the halter top become popular during this time, along with chiffon fabric and pleating in the front.
The 2000’s
In 2010, Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City) paved the way for the loosening of the reins by the bride when it came to bridesmaid dresses and colors. She had her bridal party in not one, but three different haute couture dress and they were each in a different color. This began the mix and match trend.
The 2011
In 2011 all eyes were on the royal family again, as Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey. Kate brought a full does of tradition back into focus. Pippa Middleton, as maid of honor, wearing all white, brought the age-old trend of all white wedding parties back into focus. All white wedding parties go back to Queen Victoria, who was one of the first to wear all white on her wedding day in 1840. Things started to get natural and organic around 2015. Brides began to use colors like sand, blush and stone for maids. Steel blue, also declared a neutral color was the most popular bridesmaid color in 2019.
The 2020’s
Now as we are in our second year of the 2020’s, we find that brides want options for their bridesmaids. The designers are answering this by making a wide variety of silhouettes and colors to please any bridal party. I do see a some 1970’s inspired looks that go with the bohemian vibe. The colors are all across the board but in 2022, you will see more bold and vibrant colors taking the stage! It is the perfect time to be a bride and bridesmaids as your choices are endless!

Treating Your Bridesmaids (Your Best Friends) Right


Your bridesmaids are very special friends in your life. So much so, that you want them to take a special place on your wedding day. Bridesmaids end up spending a lot of time, money, and effort on the wedding and deserve some special thanks and consideration.  Learn how to personalize your bridesmaid requests and thank them on your wedding day

A.)  How to personalize your Bridesmaid Requests

This is an exciting time for everyone involved, and here are some simple ways to make it a special moment no one will forget.  Rather than just calling or emailing your friends, ask them to be a part of your wedding with:

Customized gifts: You can add a label asking, “Will you be my Bridesmaid?” to a token of appreciation to give when asking your bridesmaids if they will be in your wedding. Bottles of wine, tote bags, wine/champagne glasses, chocolate – the possibilities are endless! If you are crafty you can customize gifts with paint or decals.

Personalized notes: Something special that money can’t buy is a personalized note for each of your bridesmaids. You can write everyone a letter about what they mean to you, memories of your friendship, and why you want them there on your special day.

B.) As a “Thank You” on the wedding day consider:

Matching robes: This is a functional gift that can be used after the wedding and will make everyone feel pampered and special before the reception even begins. Also, everyone in matching robes can make for some adorable photo opportunities!

Comfy shoes: Your girls are going to be standing and running around a lot to make sure the wedding is perfect; their aching feet will definitely appreciate the thoughtful gesture!  They also will appreciate Flip Flops for when they kick off their shoes.

Personalized bags, bracelets, or reusable water bottles: Not only are these items functional, but also fashionable. You can order customized bags with your bridesmaid’s names, or with a phrase like “Bride Tribe”, “Team Bride”, etc. You can also put an expression, phrase, quote, or initials so they can serve as gifts that will actually be used post-wedding.

C.) Be Considerate of Your Bridesmaids

Sometimes, consideration for your bridesmaids’ time and feelings goes farther than physical gifts.

Mismatch bridesmaid dresses: A fun option to give your bridesmaids some freedom is to do mismatch dresses. Choose a color pallet for the dresses and provide a picture of the colors you are going for and some possible guidelines. Then, let your brides choose their own dresses. This is perfect for a bridal party with a wide variety of tastes and body types!

Bridestlouis Blog Post of Bridesmaids

Be upfront about costs: Let everyone know from the start how much they will be spending on the bachelorette party/trip and wedding. Also, not everyone has been involved in a wedding before; let them know what is expected of them so there are no surprises.

No matter your budget, you can create a thoughtful, unforgettable experience for your bridesmaids. These are the girls who have been standing right by your side and will be there with you as your transition into married life.

Saving Money for Your Bridesmaids

Asking your friend or relative to be a bridesmaid is asking them to invest in your relationship as a friend.   It’s expensive.  And I’ve encountered girls who have participated in three or four weddings in one year!

So, be a good friend and help her financially as well when it comes time to purchase her dress.   We all want to look our best, so instead of picking out a specific dress, let them decide on a style within your designated color.   There are lots of different styles, and generally we all know what style suits our body shape the best.    Your gals can shop within their budget and find the dress in which they will truly shine. Suggest they shop end of the season sales to get some great deals.   And many brides are going with the shorter “knee” length dress because not only does it save money, but those dresses can more likely be worn again for other functions.