Hollywood has made several movies where the dresses are a big part of the wedding story. Even the process of choosing can be quite interesting…(remembering Bridesmaids movie starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph). There is even the one friend who is always a bridesmaid, but never the bride (like in 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl). What I think I’ve seen from these films is the crazy brides who just think that their 7 different bridesmaids from different ethnicities and shapes and sizes will ALL fit miraculously into the SAME dress. When have you EVER gone shopping with a friend, and you both got the EXACT same pair of jeans? Same size, length and wash? I doubt it, but if you happened, to…keep that friend, because it’s like a 2nd closet!
Maybe I’m just not getting it, or it’s maybe a cultural thing, but I never understand why brides choose the bridesmaid dresses they do sometimes. Here is sort of my take on how the process really should be, and what rules people set back, who know’s when, on what should or shouldn’t be done. Hopefully this will help guide you into picking the best dresses for your girls and avoid your bridal party looking like walking piñatas or bottles of Pepto Bismol.
Q. How do I get perfect bridesmaid dresses that all of my girls will like and be happy with?
A. You won’t. You are probably never going to find a dress that every one of your girls will be in love with, or love the color on them or cut. It just isn’t something that is likely. Here is why, your girlfriends are individual people. They have physical qualities about themselves that make them who they are. You want them to feel comfortable in what they have to wear all day long, in front of tons of possible strangers and stand in forever photos dressed in. If you’re bridesmaid are uncomfortable, you’ll see it in their pictures. You want to make your girls shine. It will only make you look better.
Q. What if my bridesmaids look hotter than I do, and steal the spotlight?
A. I mean…really? YOU my dear, are the bride. Unless all your girls’ names are on the invitations and you are all wearing a white wedding gown…I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that. If you look at the picture above as an example…who do you think is standing out? The Bride in a white dress or the NEON PINK dresses in front of her that are blinding you? I’m sure the bride wanted to stand out there, but she failed in it. Instead it’s like a walking circus act.
Q. Okay…so they should have different dresses? What about length or colors?
A. Honestly…this is where YOU get to have more fun. I have 7 bridesmaid in my wedding. All different shapes, skin tones, heights and body types. I had one major thing in mind for my girls. I wanted them to feel like they were walking onto the Red Carpet! Straight out of Hollywood. So, they are getting dresses that have a similar amount of beading and design work, but all completely unique and different cuts, lengths and even different neutral colors! That may be the extreme to some, and I get that. So what I would do is pick a color pallet for your wedding, and then you can pick shades and tones of those colors. IF you only have 2 colors, and one is pink, then use shades of pinks that match. Length is all up to you. I have girls who love to flaunt their legs and others who’d rather hide under a rock then show their legs. So I offered both options because the length really didn’t matter to me. But thats up to you. Shorter tends to be more popular, and I have seen all long dresses before, but you’ll just need to see them on your girls to decide what you think will work best for your wedding and their bodies.
Q. But I’m buying the dresses, shouldn’t I decide?
A. Honestly, yes. If you are buying the dresses and they don’t have to pay a cent, they really can’t complain. However, if you are asking your girls to spend $50-$500 on a dress, and they will NEVER wear it again. I feel like you should probably consider that and find things that they’ll want to invest in and love for a long time, and not use in the future for a Halloween costume.
So, really that’s it. Think about these main things:
1. Color – use neutral tones, or shades of one color or a few colors that are in the same tone. Patterns and Details from lace and sequins can add a bit of unique flair to make each dress similar but different while even being the same color.
2. Lengths – Choose what looks best on your girls and ask them what they feel comfortable with.
3. Body Types – Find dresses that flatter your girls. If a girl is uncomfortable with a certain part of her body, then find ways to help her hide those areas and flaunt the ones she’s comfortable with. This will ultimately make you both happy because she’ll look great in your photos and she’ll be happy that she has such a great dress!
4. Cost – Consider costs for you bridesmaids, can they afford what you are looking for? Are they paying? Are you paying? Splitting costs? Just pay attention this and you may find your bridesmaids happier that you considered them and their finances as well.
5. Cuts – Dresses can still look cohesive and “matching” without being identical. Cuts of dresses, necklines, designs etc. can be combined with using the same color palettes or even lengths. There are other ways to make them look as part of a group without being identical.
And if all else fails, and you want what you want, or you are the bridesmaid and your bride-to-be friend chooses something you absolutely loathe. Then take a chapter from the Confessions of a Shopaholic manual, and FLAUNT IT. Pretend you’re on a runway and own it, live in the moment, knowing you’ll never have to wear it again. Ultimately they are just dresses, and it’s not worth fighting over or losing friendships over.