While it's a given that shopping for your wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, kitting out your bridesmaids can be just as much fun – maybe even more to be honest.
For one thing, it’s (obviously) way more relaxed, and for another, you can have a bit of fun with colour and pattern, the bride’s ‘palette’ being a tad on the restricted side.
The rules are simple: just be sound about it – don’t shoehorn your mates into a dress you know they’ll feel rotten in all day. Sure, you’ve got a ‘vision’, but that should include your maids feeling confident and gorgeous in front of the many clicking cameras.
And to help you, here 10 of the best independent boutiques in the city to deck your best gals out in shtyle:
1. Om Diva
We love how this gorgeous Drury Street boutique a one-stop-shop for both contemporary and vintage treasures.
Walking in the door with your maids it’s fairly likely you’ll all squeal, such is the range of dresses and separates in punchy colours and unexpected textures.
And to quirk up your bridesmaids even further, adorn their lobes with Om Diva’s huge Pat Butcher-esque statement earrings.
We love how far bridesmaid dresses have moved on from the fussy satin or tulle horrors of old.
Modern maids are now rocking sweet, floaty dresses in shorter styles and we couldn't be happier about it. Carousel’s range of retro Fifties-inspired frocks in whimsical patterns are just the job to add colour and charm to your day.
Pop into their Stephen's Green or Wicklow Street shops for a goo.
Folkster on Temple Bar is stuffed to the rafters with modern, boho and vintage-inspired frocks and separates your maids will absolutely love.
Think embellished gowns, heavy sequin maxis and cool jackets, all on the funkier, sexier end of the bridesmaid scale.
4. Fran & Jane
This gorgeous boutique is a hotbed serious style inspo. Fran & Jane is for a more 'fashion' bridesmaid, so if you want your girls to wear something a bit different, like a luxe embellished crop top with a high-waisted tulle skirt or a funky jumpsuit, get thee to the Blackrock store prontissimo.
South William Street’s Starla boutique has a massive selection of glam frocks, running the full gamut from Old Hollywood floor sweepers to midi party dresses.
We particularly love the multi-way range of maxi dresses in neutral and bright jewelled tones – brilliant if you want the same colour for all your maids, but not the hassle of finding one dress that will suit them all.
6. Bow and Pearl
This Ranelagh boutique is beautiful enough to give your bridesmaid dress shopping the sense of occasion it deserves, while also following through with the goods.
The goods of course being their fresh, classy edit of prom dresses, swishy skirts and cute cover-ups from brands like Chi Chi London.
And if you’re looking for a sweet bridesmaid gift, you can’t go wrong with their range of modern, minimalist jewellery and accessories.
7. Frock n’ Fabulous
This beautiful Exchequer Street boutique specialises in head-turning occasion wear both to buy and to hire, so if your bridesmaids have been really, really good, they might be lucky enough to score a designer gown from the likes of Badgley Mischka or Rachel Gilbert.
8. Cari's Closet
Well you’d have to include Cari’s Closet on the list now wouldn’t you? The Malahide boutique is the go-to for classy and modern bridesmaid’s dresses with a touch of sass.
The range is huge, with every colour midi and maxi imaginable in laces, pretty prints and crochets.
And if you’ve a twinkle in your eye for all things Self Portrait the boutique sells some gorgeous homages to the style.