Choosing bridesmaids dresses is one of the first planning decisions you’ll make as a bride, and one of the most stressful for some. Finding a style that is flattering to all your bridesmaids is a task that forces you balance your bridesmaids needs and wants with your personal wedding vision, and can set the precedent of how you and your bridesmaids will interact during the engagement period. If there’s total drama over the dresses, it may turn off you and your bridesmaids from wedding activities right off the bat. A great experience can get everyone excited for spending the next 6 months to a year together.
Since most brides have never had to choose bridesmaids dresses before, it’s hard to know the DOs and DON’Ts for the process. Here are some pointers for choosing amazing dresses that your bridesmaids will love, and you’ll be excited about.
1. Don’t just leave it up to your ‘maids
It’s tempting to want to be the cool bride and let your bridesmaids do whatever they want. However, your bridesmaids aren’t going to know what your vision for the wedding is, and definitely don’t want to be responsible for messing it all up. This can cause a weird standoff between the bride, who might be too nice to mandate dresses for their maids, and the bridesmaids, who might not know how to start suggesting ideas. Since your bridesmaids are your friends and family, they probably won’t be offended or stifled by a little direction from you.
2. But, keep your bridesmaids in mind
That being said, make sure you take into account your bridesmaids and their body types. Since you’re close with them, you’ll probably know their tastes and styles. You don’t need to totally sacrifice your vision, but perhaps stop and think before making any final decisions. Your large chested cousin might not be comfortable wearing a strapless dress, and your pregnant BFF might need a dress with a little more room.
3. Narrow down the options
The best thing to do is choose a color palette and a general length, then let your bridesmaids choose their dresses from there. That lets you get the look you want, while your bridesmaids can actually have a dress they’ll wear again. Or, pick a few different styles and let your bridesmaids choose which ones they’d like to wear. If you’re looking for a single dress for all your maids to wear, narrow it down and then vote. There are a surprising amount of options!
4. Keep an open mind
As with any part of planning your wedding, keep an open mind and be okay with change. It’s also okay to put your foot down and make the final decision. Be open to hearing your bridesmaids opinions, and make sure they’re comfortable. Of course, discuss budget with your ‘maids before hand and make sure your choices are within their budgets. And at the end of the day it is your wedding; it’s okay if not everyone is thrilled with your choices.