Post # 1
I am a bad bride who has taken ages to start thinking about the bridesmaid dress thing. I’m not a particularly matcy matchy person and I REALLY wanted all 3 BMs to have something they liked and would wear again. They are all different shapes, and more importantly, have different personal styles, so I knew from day one I didn’t want them all to look identical. So I told them I wanted them all to choose knee-length dresses in the same color family (I had paint swatches to represent the full range of greens I like). I didn’t want to get traditional bridesmaid dresses, because through planning my wedding, I have gained a healthy hatred for the Industry and with only two traditional vendors, I am trying to limit the amount of money I feed that monster 🙂
Four months later, none of the BMs had picked anything. Two hadn’t thought about it at all, and my Maid/Matron of Honor had a huge file of things in different colors that looked cute together but only 1 or 2 were the right color. Turns out it’s a color that’s not as easy to find in the ‘real’ world. So I broadened my color scheme to three different colors, and said they could get all the same color, or three different or one for Maid/Matron of Honor and one for the other two. Now I am thinking I may have broadened it too much. With three different colors AND three different styles, they might just look like random wedding guests standing up with me.
I thought I was doing the nicest thing for my bridesmaids by giving them all this freedom. Then, I got my own very first bridesmaid gig, and the bride told me exactly what designer, style # and color to buy. It was super easy! I will say there is no way I would have chosen this dress for myself, and the odds of rewearal are slim to none. But at the same time, it was nice to know exactly what to do and not have to worry about whether the bride would like my choice. There was no choice! I am starting to wonder if my maids might appreciate the easiness.
I’ve waited long enough now that if I get traditional bridesmaid dresses, I will have to pay a rush charge no matter where I go. But they are such different sizes that there are very few real world options that would fit all 3. And I am still very resistant to going the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress route. So my extremely long-winded question is, as a bridesmaid, what kind of guidelines would you find most agreeable regarding your dress?
Either way, I will be buying them some matching hair accessories and jewelry to tie their different looks together.
Post # 3
I’m not sure how to answer your poll in light of your situation. I have to say that the toughest time I had was also when the bride just dictated color family. I think my BM’s feel that what I did was easiest which was to specify designer/color/fabric and let them choose, but I totally respect your wanting to fight the establishment. Have you tried a chain store like Ann Taylor? That’s actually where I ended up getting the dress I wore when we had our own choice. They have Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, several in the same color/fabric. This at least would avoid the need to rush order.
Also, what color did you choose? Maybe some of us can help find some options. A lot of discount designer sites (e.g. bluefly) can be helpful too.
Post # 4
I’m sorry you’ve been having such a hard time with all this! I know that it can be hard when you’ve got different personalities and you’re trying to get them to make a decision. I had my Bridesmaid or Best Man choose a dress, but I gave them the color (black), length and store (JCrew), so that they had some parameters. I know I didn’t want them to be matchy-matchy and didn’t want to go the traditional Bridesmaid or Best Man dress route, so that worked for us.
At this point, in the interest of time, I might have a discussion with the ladies to tell them that you need to focus the efforts a little. I would try to suggest a specific store or style and possibly even send them suggestions. Like fizicsGirl, I would check stores like Ann Taylor and JCrew to see if they have anything that fits your ideas. Both stores have good selections and can ship much more quickly than traditional Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses. I’d also try some department stores like Nordstrom or Macy’s.
Let us know if you need help searching!
Post # 5
I would choose one store or designer and one color and say go for it. Anne Taylor has lots of options, so does J. Crew or you can choose David’s bridal where they may just be able to buy off the rack if there is one nearby. With regards to designers, there are so many like ABS, nina ricci, adrienee pappel, all of which can be bought at Macys and other large clothing retailers.
I agree that you need to narrow their fields, but these are the best options while still allowing them to buy off the rack or online.
Post # 6
That’s tough. I agree with you about wanting to give them choices and wanting them to want to wear their dresses again. The best thing I would do as a bride is give them a standard color (black or navy or something) material, length, and designer. That way they can go get their dress at leisure and it will fit your parameters.
I was a little out of this, asking the girls to pick out a dress in yellow, cotton, and knee length from Priscilla of Boston. (If we had gone with a different designer the dresses would have been a strange color!) I don’t know if they’ll wear it again as they aren’t the biggest fans of yellow, but I think they sure look cute on them!
Post # 7
Why don’t you just send them all an email and say, "hey have you guys picked out a dress yet? if not, do you mind if i just go ahead and pick some out under $ X ?" Then you could just be at ease and be done with it! What’s your colors? Stay away from regular bm dresses if you can help it. They’re so expensive and i’m sure they’d love to find wearable dresses for the same (or even slightly higher) cost.
I have given my BMs some freedom, and I find that they are uncomfortable telling me what THEY want in MY wedding. Tehy really expect me just to hand them a list and tell them to make it happen. I had to pull teeth just to get them to send me pics of how they want to wear their hair.
Personally i’m in 2 weddings where the dresses were chosen for me. As long as they are affordable I could care less. Cool! It’s when they’re pricey that I go "eek. i could have gotten something i LOVED for this price". But then again, if someone had told me "red, cocktail length…GO!"I would have LOVED an excuse to buy a pretty awesome new red dress.
So I’m not much help. Sorry!
Post # 8
I gave my BMs some freedom. I wanted long, dark grey, and not satin. We are now at the 5 month mark and no one has a dress. (It’s ok, we still have time….right?) So I went online while I was with my sister/BM and just looked. We found a nice dress that comes in maternity and non-maternity (our other sister/MOH will be ~8.5 months pregnant) and is around $130. I really wanted all my BMs in different dresses, but they actually wanted to wear the same dress, so they felt special. I am now in the process of calling around to see if any stores have this particular dress in stock to try it on, but no luck yet so we will probably just end up ordering them sight-unseen. But, they’ll be ordered and I can move on to more exciting things.
Post # 9
Thanks for the input ladies! The original color I was wanting to go with was a light cucumber or honeydew green, but there just isn’t that much out there like that. I went shopping with two of the girls and found tons of adorable stuff at the mall in a sunflower yellow. I look bad in yellow and don’t like to wear it, so I just hadn’t considered it, but they ended up all looking great in it AND liking it. And there is tons out there in that color, so I think it will be way easier. One Bridesmaid or Best Man still wants to get a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, and I don’t understand it, but its fine.
My Maid/Matron of Honor has tentatively chosen this dress from Nordstrom which is so her. http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3017119/0~2376776~2374327~2374331~6014133?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=6014133&P=2
Post # 10
On the one hand it’s nice, as a Bridesmaid or Best Man to be able to pick out a dress you like, since you are paying for it. But on the other hand, I would be a lttle uptight about making sure it was something the bride would also lie, and would go well with the other Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses.