What to Look For in Fall Bridesmaid Dresses

Need to know what to look for when shopping for fall wedding bridesmaid dresses? Check out our comprehensive guide today!

By Maggy Lehmicke

Fall Bridesmaid Dresses
Photo by Brittany Lee Photography

As beautiful as a warm, summer day may be, the changing leaves and crisp, autumn air really set the mood for a romantic celebration. If you’re leaning toward a fall wedding, there are several things to consider, such as which flowers are in season, whether to go outdoors or stay indoors, and, of course, wedding party attire.

Depending on your venue and geographical location, this may mean anything from knee-length shifts to sleeved, sequin gowns. If you’re looking for some added guidance on picking out the perfect bridesmaid ensembles, below are some key tips and creative wedding ideas to consider.

Work Around the Weather

Fall can be fickle, with temperatures sitting around 45 degrees in some areas and reaching up to 90 degrees in others. For this reason, you’re going to have to be flexible about bridesmaid dress lengths and styles. Full-length, black gowns might be a stunning addition to an October wedding, but likely won’t be comfortable for your maids if it’s 85 degrees outside. Maybe consider a knee-length black lace number, instead. Same goes for cooler temperatures, too. It’s not fair to ask your wedding party to rock silk, tank dresses at a backyard wedding in Seattle if the temperature isn’t expected to rise above 50 degrees.

Embrace Rich Hues

Autumn is not the time to hold back or play it safe with muted pastels. Bold, jewel tones, dark colors and rich, earthy hues such as olive and terracotta all work great this time of year. If you want to keep it fairly light and neutral, consider warmer tones such as sand and dusty rose. Champagne-colored silk slips and warm gray gowns both transition really well into September and October. If you’re naturally drawn to cooler tones (think shades of blue), consider doing a range of mismatched styles to create a more balanced aesthetic. More vibrant hues with cool undertones, such as emerald green and deep teal, also work beautifully in the fall.

Make Use of Accessories

As the temperatures drop, accessories are no longer just pretty embellishments, but often have to be practical as well. No matter your venue, if the temperatures are on the chilly end, it’s wise to make sure that you have something to cover up just in case. For bridesmaids, if it’s a more casual affair, this could be as simple as a satin blazer or a black suede jacket. Just make sure that you talk it over as a group so that everything looks cohesive.

Consider Convertible Options

Because of the fickle weather that fall often brings, it’s important to have options for the wedding day, which is why convertible styles are often a wise pick. Being able to change something as simple as the neckline, sleeves, or bodice style can make a big difference, particularly if the ceremony will be outdoors. However, choosing bridesmaid dresses with slits or mid-calf hemlines are another way to keep things fairly versatile.

Keep Florals in Mind

If your bridesmaid bouquets are full of red and wine-colored flowers, you might not want to pick mismatched scarlet gowns; however, navy bridesmaid dresses might work well if you’re set on the crimson floral hues. In general, a bit of a contrast works really well in photos, so if you’re going with darker bouquets, you might want to consider bridesmaid dresses in a lighter shade or complementary color. On the flip side, burgundy and deep teal gowns look great with light, airy florals.

Make Room for Dramatic Textures and Silhouettes

While many summer looks are breezy and easygoing, the changing of the seasons lends itself to more glamorous, moody styles. Lightweight silk and linen can be swapped with velvet and satin, while delicate, ethereal details are replaced with detailed lace, elaborate beading, and dramatic hemlines. Retro styles with big, billowy sleeves or more structured, art deco details also transition well into fall. Consider pairing a floor-length, beaded bridal gown with architectural earrings and a vintage shrug to complete the look.

Opt for Pants, Instead

It’s no secret that jumpsuits and pantsuits are growing in popularity, and there’s no better time to try out this trend than the cozy, autumn months. Look for jumpsuits with a wrap-style top that’s universally flattering, or matching pantsuits in neutral hues to complement the vibrant fall colors.

If you go the pants route, be thoughtful about your fabric choices, as they can dramatically influence your look. Flirty, satin jumpsuits in shades of green will look on-point at a backyard wedding, while satin, champagne-colored pant suits and heels might work better for a more formal affair.

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