To go long or to go short: that is the question! Some brides will know immediately what they want their girls to rock, whereas others will drive their 'maids mad trying to make up their minds. While there's no hard and fast rule saying you have to choose one or the other (you can always do both!), Kelsey Doorey, bridal guru and founder of Vow To Be Chic, weighs in on some factors you'd be wise to consider.
1. The Formality of the Event
Long dresses traditionally set a formal tone for a wedding, but that's not always the case, points out Doorey. Short dresses can still be posh; you just have to experiment with the materials, colors, and of course, dress them up with some chic accessories. "After all, there's nothing casual about a knee-length metallic dress with statement shoes."
2. The Shoes
For some brides, it's all about the shoes. So if you'd rather your besties make a statement with amazing Louboutins or cowboy boots, Doory would recommend opting for short dresses so they can show those babies off.
3. The Season and Climate
Getting hitched outside? Then please pay attention to the season and climate! "If you're having a summer destination wedding, it's best not to put your bridesmaids in long, hot dresses," warns Doorey. "There will be running makeup and sweat in all of your beautiful wedding pictures." Also, keep in mind that even if your ceremony is later in the day when it's cooled down considerably, many of your photos will still likely be taken in the blazing hot afternoon sun.
4. Your Bridesmaids' Heights
Unless you're doing mismatched frocks and letting your girls pick their own, Doorey suggests going the short route for bridesmaids with big height differences. "Long dresses that are long enough for your tallest bridesmaid will swallow your shortest one," she explains. "Plus, you can save her from the additional alteration expenses that are inevitable."
5. Buns in the Oven
Pregnant bridesmaid? No problem! Doorey says she'll probably feel more comfortable in a long bridesmaid dress, though. "Shorter dresses lift a little too high around the baby bump to look appropriate and consistent with the other girls. And if you want or need to hide tattoos, long dresses can help cover those up also," she notes.
6. New Trends
Nowadays, it's not a must to put your 'maids in identical dresses, hemlines included. "Sometimes, the bride will place her maid of honor in a long dress and everyone else in shorter dresses," details Doorey. "Brides aren't as committed to matching hemlines as they used to be, and we love that they're having fun with it and bringing the mix and match trend to the dress length as well." We couldn't agree more!