Dreaming of the perfect wedding? Well wake up sistah and get to shopping on AliExpress! The caterer is booked and your wedding gown finally fits; now it’s time to focus on the second most important dress of your big day — the bridesmaid’s dress. It’s true that you’ve planned this since you were 7 and that the bridesmaids’ dresses are equally important, so you’ve come to the right place. The right (or wrong!) dress can make or break a wedding. After all, the material, color scheme and design of these dresses can drastically affect the tone and mood of your big day.

The theme

First and foremost, your selection of bridesmaids’ dresses should fit the overall theme of your wedding. Whether it’s something to do with color, style or weather, we can agree that rich earth tones are ideal for winter weddings whilst pastel palettes are a no-brainer for spring. More importantly, make sure the dresses’ designs keep your besties well within the weather conditions. Don’t ruin the vibe of your bright, floral summer wedding with six sweaty bridesmaids draped in long, midnight-blue, velvet gowns.

The fit

Now this is where things get a little tricky… When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, one size definitely does NOT fit all. We’re all unique with distinct body types, so it can be difficult to pick a cut that’ll look fabulous on all your gorgeous besties. You could, however, rule out tradition and choose mismatched bridesmaid dresses that fit a set color scheme, giving each bridesmaid a silhouette that works well with her body type. On the other hand, you can keep it classic with one design and color — the choice is yours! Some helpful tips here: loose-fitting, flimsy fabric is flattering on few body types and it’d be wise to choose a dress with sturdier fabric and internal structure. Also, an A-line silhouette is usually a safe call as it compliments a range of builds and isn’t too difficult to adjust. Short cuts above the knee are generally regarded as a no-no, and don’t be afraid of color — black isn’t the only slimming color. Yep, believe it. Any monochromatic gown with a matte finish should do the job and ensure that all of your bridesmaids feel attractive and comfortable. Happy bridesmaids equal a happy bride, trust us.

The final look

Last but not least, styling. Depending on how much you budgeted for, you can either pay for a professional stylist or simply have your bridesmaids do it themselves. Again, try to stick to weather-appropriate hairstyles and one that really fits your theme. A natural look with loose waves are ideal for beach weddings, while a classic up-do may be better for a dramatic winter wedding indoors. You’re the star of the show, so make sure you’re first in line for hair and make-up and make sure the photographer captures this whirlwind of hairspray, powdered blush and female bonding session. Remember, no one wants to be rushed through this process, so be generous with your time — reserve at least 90 minutes for hair and make-up for each of your bridesmaids and at least 120 minutes for yourself. Don’t forget, this is a time to savor with your ladies, so enjoy it! After all, this is a day you’d want to remember.