What is most important when picking out bridesmaids dresses?

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: What is the priority in bridesmaid dress choice?
    Make sure you choose a length that each bridesmaid is comfortable wearing, regardless of body type. : (77 votes)
    37 %
    Make sure you choose parameters that ensures your bridesmaids will want to wear their dress again. : (27 votes)
    13 %
    Make sure you choose parameters that ensure all the dresses will fit the formality of your wedding. : (55 votes)
    26 %
    Let the bridesmaids choose whatever they like. They don't need to match one another or wedding. : (29 votes)
    14 %
    Money is the biggest concern. No one should spend more than $100 per dress. : (21 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    926 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    My main priority was making sure they had a dress that 1) didn’t look like a bridesmaid dress and 2) they could and would wear again.  I have 4 BM dresses hanging in my old closet that have no purpose in life.  I couldn’t imagine asking them to spend over $100 on a dress to wear for 4 hours and never again.

    I like the idea of non-matching dresses.  Then they can pick something that flatters their shape and they would feel comfortable in it.  You could give them guidelines on color, length, and style.

    Post # 4
    Member
    157 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    A long dress could always be shortened after the wedding! Keep that in mind :). Also, it is your day and at the end of the day your decision. It’s one thing to honor their requests but like you said, you can’t 100% please everyone. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    8425 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Convenience for my BMs was most important for me.  This meant letting them wear whatever they wanted.  They decided that they would both wear black dresses that they already had and they picked out their own shoes.  Their only real expense for my wedding was travel (flying from CA to NC).

    Post # 7
    Member
    4540 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Royalton White Sands

    For me, it’s just that your BMs are comfortable and confident. My younger sister is my MOH/only BM and so I don’t have to worry about anything matching. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    5687 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I would throw wearing it again out the window. You may think you’ve picked a dress they can wear again but you probably didn’t. All the dresses I  wear have a pattern or an embellishment so the plain chiffon dress isn’t going to do it for me. I’d focus on price point, fitting the look of your wedding and not making anyone completely uncomfortable.

    Post # 9
    Member
    6204 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

    They can always shorten the dress afterward. I would choose something that fits your vision and that they at least like, and then they can deal with it after that. It’s not like it’s the only dress they are ever going to own ever again.

    Post # 10
    Member
    5421 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2014

    @sweet5k:  Our priority was that they wear something they feel comfortable and beautiful in. So, my MOH is wearing a completely different dress (above the knee, structured, ivory) to my other three adult bridesmaids (floor-length, emerald green, chiffon) who wanted to match. With the 3 who wanted to match, we allowed them to decide on length between them, and once they’d decided on length, my mum and I went shopping to look at floor-length dresses, get prices etc. We then took them with us, and two of them picked the same dress, with the other going for a slightly different style (which suited her much better) by the same designer (all 3 are strapless). We then allowed them to decide between themselves on the colour, with my only stipulation being that it wasn’t dark purple, baby pink, baby blue, or coral; they choose an emerald green.

    I felt uncomfortable dictating what they wear; plus we’re not really having a colour scheme, everything is going to be shades of ivory/cream. And, we’re paying for the dresses.

    So for me, they were the priority. If you want them to match, then I’d suggest setting at least some parameters. I wouldn’t consider re-wearability personally, as honestly, I think the amount of people who wear their bridesmaids dresses again is probably tiny. And like a PP said, they can always be shortened if they want to wear them again. So with that in mind, I’d likely go with floor-length. As far as colour goes, I would perhaps get them each to try both on, and then go with whichever suits the majority; I think trying them on is essential, as we thought some colours would look great on ours, but they looked awful.

    Post # 11
    Member
    822 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I let my girls choose their own dresses and they said they’d wear them again but I know they wont.  Somehow they still picked out things that were really expensive and totally bridesmaid like!  As someone who’s always had body image issues, I side with the girl that is only comfortable with the long dress.  There’s a big emotional difference between wearing a dress again and being comfortable in your dress when standing in front of a big group of people.

    I totally understand not wanting to go with the dark color, I wonder if you guys can find something in between charcoal & light gray?  And if you did go a little darker, how about adding a red sash or something to lighten them up a bit?

    You sound a lot like me when trying to make these decisions.  I was really concerned about everyone being able to make their own decisions & be happy.  I realized in the long run that I probably should have just told everyone what to do and let them figure it out.  I got stuck answering way too many questions!  This lead all the way up to a couple of hours before the wedding when my phone wouldn’t stop ringing because everyone had to ask my optionion before doing things!! 

    Post # 12
    Member
    5087 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I want happy and confident bm’s. They can wear what they want as long as its a dress and the same colour. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    944 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    My #1 concern was not listed… cost!

     

    I did not want to break the bank, considering I knew my ladies were also paying for shoes, hair, and nails. That could add up to a lot of money!!

     

    I hunted for those bridesmaid dresses and found something at a department store that was perfect and under $50 *sale!* — I grabbed various sizes and called everyone to come over to my place to try them on– making it more convenient for them as well.

    Being a bridesmaid is not only a lot of work, but money. Especially if you’re in multiple weddings… go easy on them!

    (and if it’s cheap enough, wearing them ‘again’ is not really a necessity. I told the girls if they wanted to sell the dresses as a ‘lot’ on craigslist, bee, or ebay they’re more than welcome to)

    Post # 14
    Member
    225 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I voted for the first option, but to me it’s less about length and more just about something that everyone is comfortable wearing (or letting them pick their own styles so they are comfortable). I am quite well endowed up top so my biggest concern would be something that doesn’t show too much and/or will allow everything to be held up properly. 

    The whole wearing it again thing– yeah, it’s nice, but you can’t please everyone. I have never re-worn a BM dress, even the ones I liked, because they aren’t really MY style, and so I always have something else I’d rather wear.

    And a long dress can be made short later, whereas a short dress cannot be made long, so I’d say pick a long dress. Or, go with different styles/lengths of the same dress.

    Post # 15
    Member
    9532 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    My top priority was that my girls be comfortable in their dress and not have to spend a fortune. But I did want some cohesion.

    2 of my 3 girls just had babies so needed a dress that could fit whatever size they turn out to be. 1 of my girls is out of a job and living on a very tight budget. 

    So my compromise was to let them pick within my parameters. I told them “yellow, knee-length-ish, non shiny fabric dress”. 2 got actual bridesmaids dresses (David’s and a private salon) and one got hers at Macy’s. They all had to buy new dresses but spent what they wanted and got a style that looked good on each of them!

    Post # 16
    Member
    10384 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    It costs $15-20 to have most dresses shortened. So the length and wearing it again aren’t exclusionary.

    Plus – and I know most brides have the “but they’ll totally wear it again!” mentality – they probably won’t wear it again. I wanted to light the lilac monstrosity I had to wear on fire, honestly, haha.

     

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