We can’t believe that it’s already mid-July, where is the summer going?!? In this month’s Trends feature, we reached out to Bridget Brown, founder of Bella Bridesmaid, to provide us with the latest and greatest in Bridesmaid dresses. According to Bridget, 2013 is all about having some fun while styling your bridal party. In this interview, Bridget shares her fashion expertise and advice for helping your Bridesmaids look and feel their best on the big day.
Q: Tell us a little bit about Bella Bridesmaid and your role within the company.
A: I founded Bella Bridesmaid in the spring of 2000, after seeing a need in the bridal industry for a boutique dedicated to chic, modern and wearable bridesmaid dresses. My first store was a tiny one room Victorian walk-up in Cow Hollow. We are still in Cow Hollow on Union Street, but in a bigger space with many more fabulous dresses! I franchised the company in 2006, after many emails from brides across the US asking where they too could buy a chic bridesmaid dress for their maids. Thirteen years and 43 stores later, our SF flagship location is still running strong at 2250 Union Street!
Inside Bella Bridesmaid
Q: Choosing the bridesmaid dresses is one of the most important decisions a bride has to make. When do you suggest a bride come into the shop to start the process? How long does it typically take for a dress to come in?
A: All of our dresses are made to order, and not stocked, so we highly recommend coming in at least 6-8 months before the wedding to help you choose your dresses. Your dresses will typically arrive 4-6 weeks before your wedding, giving your maids ample time for alterations.
Sample Dresses at Bella Bridesmaid
Q: How much time should the bridesmaids set aside to get their dresses altered?
A: Depending on what you need altered, a few weeks is usually enough time.
The Salon at Bella Bridesmaid
Q: Should the dress that a bride chooses match her overall wedding color scheme?
A: We’re seeing so many amazing and unique ideas these days. The days of matchy-matchy are long gone! I always think it’s a good idea to come in with an idea… albeit a far reaching one. While it’s important to keep in mind your chosen venue, season, favorite color etc., there are a lot of ways we can start the process of talking about what the maids should wear. We’re seeing a lot of mix and match bridal parties, where the bride gives the gals a palette or designer, and then lets them choose a dress within that range. Brides have also been choosing a combination of patterns and solids and then allowing the maids choose their style within that range. We’re seeing mixing of patterns, colors, and hemlines.
Right now I’m mad about STRIPES! Striped dresses are super popular and perfect for a preppy wedding. Unique, pattered dresses a refreshing departure from 6 maids in identical dresses! After all, they don’t all have identical personalities and body shapes, right?!
Sassy Stripes from LulaKate
Q: What are some of your favorite dress designers? Are there any new designers we should keep our eye out for?
A: We are loving the new dresses from Ivy & Aster and their subsidiary company which is exclusive to Bella Bridesmaid stores, Love Lane. Think flowy frocks in muted tones, florals, and polka dots. You’ll see these dresses in most of the Bella owners’ closets for everyday wear!
Phoebe by Ivy & Aster
Gemma by Ivy & Aster
Q: Which styles of dresses do you suggest for various body types (busty, tall, short, pregnant, etc.)?
A: This question is a perfect example of why we embrace the idea of the bridesmaid choosing her own style! Mini lengths have made a big comeback and work great for the petite gal. Cap sleeves, wrap necklines and v-necklines work beautifully for a fuller bust because you can wear a normal bra for support. Pregnant gals look great in an empire waist that will allow for a growing tummy!
Margurite by Ivy & Aster
Q: Which colors are we seeing less of in 2013?
A: For 2013, it’s less of the bright, punchy colors and more of the softer muted tones.
Q: Are there any dresses out of your 2013 collections that you think are particularly exceptional?
A: We love the new Mamie and James pieces with mix and match tops and skirts. Mixing and matching allows the bridesmaids to have a cohesive look and feel but choose a top and skirt style that is not only flattering to their body, but also something that fits their personality and that they will wear again! There’s even a darling little pant included in this collection. Tres Chic!
Mix & Match Options from Mamie + James
Thank you, Bridget, for all this fabulous advice!
Makes us want to run out and go dress shopping.
In case you missed it, click here to read out last TRENDS entry, featuring Florals with Atelier Joya!