Maid to Perfection: Favorite Tips for Managing Your Beautifully Bewitching Bridesmaids

By Terrie Needham

As a highly evolved, yet completely realistic, woman, I'll be the first to admit that when you place 10 females in a room, you'll wind up with 25 different opinions.

That's the dilemma each of us faces when we plan our weddings. As we peruse bridesmaids' gowns, jewelry and accessories, each 'maid will not be shy about sharing her own favorite colors, personal preferences and style agenda. In addition to a wedding gown, you may want to invest in a striped referee's shirt! After all, you're the umpire-but how can you stay in charge, while also keeping the peace as you prep for the most important day of your life?

Here are some of my favorite tips for managing your beautifully bewitching bridesmaids.

Don't Worry, Be Happy
Bridesmaids will often complain that they're spending a lot of money to be in your wedding party, so they believe they're entitled to a say in all fashion decisions. Your best bet? Listen politely and respectfully. Thank them for their input. Tell them you'll be taking everyone's suggestions into consideration-and then seize the reins.

Remember: Each pretty 'maid in the row agreed to be in your wedding. If you do your job with finesse and provide sufficient compliments, they'll be delighted to wear what you've picked out. This includes dresses, jewelry and accessories.

Some brides provide jewelry sets as a gift to their 'maids during their bachelorette bash or bridal shower. This is a great way to thank your bridesmaids for participating in your wedding, as well as to exercise control over what they'll wear-especially if you want each girl to have that "Supremes" look: same theme, slightly different jewelry. You can choose the same lustrous pearls or dazzling cubic zirconia. Slight variations in style are fine, as long as the look is relatively consistent.

Be sure to verify who has pierced ears. You'll need to purchase pierced earrings for the majority, but clip earrings are required for the few 'maids with virgin earlobes.

Practice Good Coordination
Be sure to match bridesmaids' accessories to the color of their gowns. Whether you're thinking a necklace or a choker, there are several dozen pearl and cubic zirconia shades available. Regardless of dress color, you're sure to find a complementary hue.

Also pay close attention to gown details. If bridesmaids' dresses are adorned with crystals, beading or pearls, you'll need to select jewelry with similar accents. Don't mix and match like a wild woman! Keep it simple and elegant.

If you've asked your 'maids to wear similar hairstyles, make sure earrings complement their 'dos. Updos like topknots, chignons and French twists call for drop earrings to accentuate facial features and add just the right amount of sparkle. If hair will be worn curled and loose, chandelier earrings fit the bill. For 'maids with short hair, all is not lost: Pixie cuts and short bobs are best accentuated with studs and button earrings. You can still achieve a consistent look by asking everyone-regardless of hair length, texture or style-to wear the same type of jewels, be it pearls or cubic zirconia.

To avoid bloodshed, never ask a bridesmaid to color or chop inches off her hair. That's an extreme makeover, so don't go crazy with Bridezilla power!

About the Author
Terrie Needham owns Anna Bellagio, a leader in the bridesmaids jewelry and accessories industry for 17 years. She loves attending fashion shows and checking out new designers so she can offer sensational, yet affordable, selections to her ever-growing customer base.
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