If choosing a dress for yourself wasn’t tricky enough, now you have to choose bridesmaids dresses that are universally flattering, in shades and styles that all your gal pals love, to complement your attire and any wedding colours, and possibly without even having them nearby to try on. Wow… whoever thought bridesmaids dresses were a good idea?
Of course, the modern wedding party doesn’t just include bridesmaids and groomsmen either, you may be dressing bridesmen, groomsgirls, flower-people, possibly helping with Mother(s) of the Bride outfits too. Where do you begin?
Choosing Bridesmaid’s Dresses in Australia – Where to Start
- Uniformity, Mismatched or Choose-Your-Own Bridesmaids Dresses?
- Colour Palette: Pastels, Neutrals, Monochrome or Patterned?
- Are you buying the dresses for the girls to keep? If so, what’s your budget?
The first decision in choosing attire for your bridesmaids, and wedding party in general, is to consider whether you wish to have ‘uniformity’, or if you’d like to have a mis-matched bridesmaids dresses, or even letting them choose their own dress.
Do you have a particular vision for matching dresses, or will it be easier to dress quite different shapes of women by choosing a colour palette, general style or other? Pinterest may just be your friend here, search mismatched bridesmaids dresses to find beautiful, modern inspiration. This Nouba featured wedding of Steph & Callum showcases stunning mismatched bridesmaids who wore mismatched Hansen and Gretel dresses in lilac and yellow hues, tailored to fit each of their personal styles. “I wanted them to all feel comfortable and have their own style but still work together,” explains Steph.
The last thing you want is your bridesmaids feeling uncomfortable in front of a large group of people, so whatever you opt for, consider how your friends will feel in whatever you (or they) choose. Bridesmaid outfit etiquette is much more relaxed than it used to be, modern brides are looking outside the box when it comes to finding dresses for their bridal parties, seeking non-traditional brands for elegant, unexpected looks that can be worn long after the bouquet toss. For the 2023/24 wedding season, even separates and pants are coming into the mix, and styles and colours are often varied.
Next comes affordability, especially if you are purchasing the bridesmaids dresses, and gifting them to your friends to keep. Though traditionally, bridesmaids would purchase their own dresses, our etiquette guide suggests that unless they get to choose their own, the couple should probably cover the cost. If you are buying the dresses, consider your budget – although it’s possible to spend thousands on your wedding party attire, it is not necessary to do so – Australia has beautiful options for unique, high quality dresses at affordable prices… “The best thing is, you can shorten it and wear it again!” (27 dresses)
So, without further ado… (and a warning, not all of these will come in under-budget, but a girl can dream)!
Australia’s Best Bridesmaid’s Dresses for 2023 / 2024 Weddings
In 2020, Bec + Bridge launched their first range of slip dresses that make for perfect bridesmaids dresses for sunny Australian weddings. With asymmetrical, cowl neck, long sleeved and spaghetti strap slips dresses available in an array of colours. Since then, their collection has only grown, with stunning silk-look dresses in styles to suit most body types.
Below: A collection of Bridesmaids Dresses by Shona Joy, Bec & Bridge and Rat & Boa for Charmaine and Brad’s Hunter Valley Wedding.
Between dressing Nicole Kidman, the Kardashians and Chrissy Teigen (for her recent visit to The White House), Australian designer Rachel Gilbert has also turned her hand to a collection of luxurious bridesmaids dresses. These are not your average bridesmaids dresses (nor are they low-budget( – see below the Evana Dress in Coconut worn by the Bride & Xanthy in Nude!
With multiple colours across every beautiful style, there’s a perfect dress for each and every bridesmaid and style of wedding. Buying bridesmaid dresses by Shona Joy for your 2023/24 wedding means you’ll not only have perfectly on-trend dresses for the Big Day, but also something that translates into a stunning party dress for any occasion. Get inspired below by Caitlin and Mark shot by Jessica Mary Photography – see their stunning 2022 Adelaide Wedding.
If your Wedding Budget can stretch for Zimmermann Dresses for your Bridesmaids, your wedding party are in for a divine experience. Though they don’t have a ‘Bridesmaid’s Collection’ as such, their Celebration Edit has dresses perfect for your Big Day. Take your lead from Bride Georgia (wearing vintage Oscar De La Renta below), a senior design director at Zimmermann, who dressed her 8 ‘maids in each of their favourite Zimmermann silhouettes, customised in pinks and nudes for their French Chateau styled wedding.
Once you’ve decided whether to have uniformity or a little variety, consider colours, or a colour palette. Black bridesmaids dresses are certainly having a moment, and are easy to match if you are opting for different styles.
Bridesmaids Only have a collection of 88 black bridesmaid’s dress styles, at time of writing. Black bridesmaid’s dresses are perfect for the Bride looking for a dress that both elevates and resonates seamlessly with her modern everyday-luxe aesthetic. Of course, it’s also an eco-friendly wedding choice, and there’s no need to worry about whether the bridesmaids will wear it again! Pictured below, Zahara Bridesmaid Dress by Brisbane Designer Tania Olsen.
Your colour choice can create both cohesion and interest, while still offering your bridesmaids the best colour and shape to suit their individual style and skin-tone.
Pictured above, Tania Olsen Designs is an award winning Australia designer of bridal wear, evening dresses, bridesmaid dresses and couture. Ticking all the boxes, with a design philosophy centred around creating elegant, timeless, classic designs that stand the test of time. Featuring full length sleeves, pleated waistband and leg split the above style is available in sizes AU 4-40.
Use Tania’s ‘Boutique Finder‘ for a stockist near you.
Ethically made, with beautiful styles to suit all figures, Grace Loves Lace Bridesmaid dresses are sure to be treasured long after the wedding. A collection of luxurious lace, eco satin dresses and pieces in stunning hues.
Best known for their signature infinity bridesmaids dress, Infinity Bridesmaids have really made their mark dressing Australian bridesmaids since 2005. The design team have curated a unique, classic and fashion forward selection of beautiful bridesmaid dresses that are made to order for the brides special day, with the clear desire for the collections to be re-worn and not hidden away in the back of a closet after the event. Shop by fabric, order samples and see how many ways the dresses can be tied.
A New Zealand based company worth of mention, Leave Her Wilder specialises in mismatched dresses which complement, but aren’t matchy-matchy, “because no two girls are the same”. Of her chocolate-hued bridesmaids, Samantha said “The girls told me how happy they were to have bridesmaid dresses that felt so nice to wear and they were really comfortable throughout the day and night. They all said it would be a dress they would wear again which was really great to hear as I wanted to give the girls a beautiful dress that they would want to wear again.”
LHW has beautiful boho, relaxed silhouettes, that will be certain to be worn again. Their fabric is 100% natural, hand dyed and available in either a matte or sheen finish, and they’ll even make matching pocket squares for the groomsmen.
Forever New’s latest collection of bridesmaid dresses designed with a fresh range of spring colours and flattering silhouettes, perfect for summer. Complement the bride with one of the wide array of styles and colours – elegant wrap front dresses, romantic lace bodice gowns and modern one-shoulder styles. Forever New was founded in Melbourne, and its presence nationwide in Australia makes shopping for bridesmaids dresses pretty simple.