Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Adorning Your Bridesmaids

Your bridesmaid’s outfit for your wedding doesn’t end at a dress and shoes. Jewelry, shawls, and even hairpieces are necessary to round out the attire you’ve chosen for your closest ladies to wear.

What should you require that your bridesmaids wear? Should you purchase accessories for them? Where can you acquire these items?

Shawls and Wraps

A bridesmaid once told me that Pashmina shawls were “out of style”. Guess what? She was wrong.  Pashminas and other types of shawls are by no means “out of style”. In fact, they’re still very much in style – a simple walk through any upscale department store shows as much.

Not only are shawls and wraps available in a range of colors, but they are also offered in different patterns. Moreover, many are rather simple – meaning without any frills or décor - allowing bridesmaids to use them again in the future.

A wrap or shawl serves one essential purpose: keeping a bridesmaid warm. For this reason, they’ll never be out of style. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice that the bridesmaid with such opinions about her Pashmina wore it all night during her friend’s mid-March wedding. 


Sending a bride down the aisle without jewelry isn’t a crime, but it does end up leaving your attendants looking unfinished. Moreover, a lack of jewelry on bridesmaids can become obvious in pictures.

You may choose for your bridesmaids to wear the exact same jewelry, jewelry within the same color scheme, or jewelry that is the same but with each bridesmaid wearing different pieces. An example of the last option is one bridesmaid wearing a necklace and earrings in a specific jewelry style or color while another wears earrings and a bracelet of the same type.  

Most bridesmaids are more than willing to wear whatever jewelry the bride selects – even if it’s just a selection of “all silver or gold please.” However, the important thing is for a bride to select what she wants and to make it known: a task helped along by the fact that most bridesmaids will pose a question regarding the issue at some point during the planning process.


No, we don’t mean toupees (however, some groomsmen may need this assistance!)! We mean fascinators, flowers or some other adornment that your bridesmaids will place on their lovely (full) heads of hair.

Hairpieces are tricky. Many bridesmaids aren’t used to wearing them and often have quite specific views about what they’re willing or unwilling to put on their heads. However, the key to including any hairpiece in your bridesmaid’s attire is uniformity. Multiple types of adornments, which often happens whenever bridesmaids are allowed to select the hairpiece of their choice, look awkward in photos.

Note, however, that not every bridesmaid needs to wear a hairpiece. For example, it is perfectly acceptable for only five of ten bridesmaids to wear the fascinator the bride chose. The key is uniformity among whatever number of bridesmaids agrees to the hairpiece and to not have only one bridesmaid, even if she is the maid of honor, wear a hairpiece. One bridesmaid wearing a hairpiece will stand out and look strange.

A bride interested in having her bridesmaids wear hairpieces should pick them out herself and either put them on hold at the store for each bridesmaid to purchase herself or purchase the item for each bridesmaid.  This ensures that the particular piece chosen is actually worn.

With hairpieces, it’s also important to provide bridesmaids with a professional (read: hairdresser) to apply them as appropriate. This ensures uniformity within the pieces’ appearance, reducing awkwardness.

Should You Buy These Accessories?

Accessories are a great bridesmaid gift: the bride ensures that each bridesmaid has the specific item chosen for them and bridesmaids do not have to spend more money purchasing items for their role. You might consider purchasing accessories for your bridesmaids if:

  • They are expensive
  • They are unusual or unique; because not all stores carry the same items, it might be difficult for bridesmaids to find the item chosen if they live scattered throughout the US
  • They are custom made
  • Doing so is within your budget

Make it known to your bridesmaids if you’re planning on purchasing accessories for them, they’ll thank you for saving them time and money.

Where Can You Purchase These Accessories?

A key to purchasing any bridesmaid accessory, regardless of whether you’re gifting them as a “Thank You” for their participation in your wedding, is to keep them mid- to low-cost. Purchasing items for several ladies quickly adds up to a large expense.

Although you can bargain hunt at traditional stores, if you really want to purchase nice items at a reasonable cost, consider gently used items, such as those offered by Most jewelry and other bridesmaid accessories have been worn once and only for a few hours, and most resale websites and shops offer high-class and style items at less than retail.