Post # 1
So I have 5, potentially 7 people in my bridal party. There’s a variety of body types and one of them is a guy. I want them to feel comfortable and not feel pressured to shell out too much money so I thought it might be cool if they just all choose their own dresses but within a certain colour scheme. However.. I’m worried it’s just going to look jumbled or just be MORE hassle. Has anyone done this and did you have any troubles with it? It’s going to be about 130 people, but a pretty casual outdoor wedding. I will probably be wearing a semi-non-traditional dress as well.
If any of you did this I would love to see!
(I know someone just posted about mismatched bridesmaid dresses, but in that she still chose the colours and dresses. I was wondering if it still works to let the bridesmaids do it themselves)
Post # 2
My BMs and I went shopping in DB .. I told them the dresses needed to be long and black… That was all the direction I needed to give them. They picked ones they liked, tried them on, had me “approve” (I didn’t care as long as they were happy and comfortable). They purchased the dresses that day!
black is an easy color to do this with, but Iwould suggest that you give them a certain designer/material so It looks cohesive, as some designers’ colors vary and if you want something very specific then it might be good to give them more of a direction..
Heres a pic of my girls
Post # 3
I originally wanted to do this, but it ended up being a huge pain in the @**. I’d pick a certain designer and fabric, as PP suggested, and have them choose a cut that works for them. I picked a Jenny Yoo convertible dress (the Aiden) from vowtobechic.com and it was an awesome experience. They also have different dresses that aren’t convertible but have consistent colors/fabrics. There are some pretty Monique Llhullier ones that I almost went with! I went with this website because the dresses were rentable and were all under $100 and no one had to alter because they take your height into consideration.
Post # 4
It worked for me, but I was relatively laid back about it and none of my bridesmaids acted crazy. I sent them all an email that said I wanted them to pick whatever dress they wanted with the following parameters: knee length (not maxi or super short), any shade of purple – berry, plumb, lilac, grape, violet, no prints or patterns, no sequins and no lace. I included links to 5 or 6 dresses that fit my description so they’d have an idea. I was a little concerned we’d end up with 4 dark purple dresses and 1 lilac dress, but it all balanced out. I also knew I could ask 2 bridesmaids to switch their dresses if something was going awry. Everyone looked great and fit in with the outdoor garden theme. Everyone but my sister in law showed me their dress ahead of time. I didn’t bug my sister in law about it, and she looked great. I lucked out!
Post # 5
I did they exact same thing except in wine. I only had two bridesmaids and one maid of honor. Strangely they both picked the same dress except the maid of honor got the long version.
I went with them so they had a second opinion.
Post # 6
I told all my bridesmaids to pick any short grey dress they wanted. I thought they all looked fabulous!
Post # 7
I am planning to do this. I have a color and length and then am going to have them pick whatever they like that matches. I’m not too concerned about it being the exact same shade or material, so I think it will work out.
Post # 8
i didn’t do this (only had a single Bridesmaid or Best Man, so while I technically did do this.. well.. you can see how it’s not the same.)
That said, I’ve been on the bee for a while and have read many brides’ issues dealing with trying to arrange this sort of thing. Just want to say–I strongly suggest you go with @Cheekie0077 ‘s suggestion and pick not only a color but a designer too. It’s generally when a bride just says “royal blue” and lets her BMs run wild that you see some pretty crazy stories. (Mostly bridesmaids who buy something that’s a completely wrong color and refuse to return it.)
Post # 9
I had my bridesmaids pick any burgundy/wine dress. I gave them a few examples of “good” colors and styles I liked/would suit the style of our wedding but otherwise they were left to their own decisions. We all live spread out, everyone has different body types and budgets, and I was a very hands off bride–letting them pick their own made the most sense. They all texted me pictures of various dresses and I went shopping with one that lives in my city, at her request, but I really had minimal input or opinion.
I think they ended up looking amazing–everyone coordinated and it didn’t look like a mashup at all. I think what helped was that the groomsmen also coordinated but didn’t match–having them in exactly the same thing while the BMs were not may have looked stranger.
Post # 10
I’m commenting again – I think the easiest way to go about it is to stick with well-known obvious colors – pink, gray, blue, green, purple. If you tell everyone to pick a bone colored dress, or raspberry, or something like that, it will be more difficult.
Post # 11
I picked the color and the length and it turned our nicely. We had a themed wedding so everyone got theirs off Amazon for $40 or less. I started a Facebook page and had everyone post the dresses they pick, to make sure they matched. They took care of everything. MoH posted first, so she kind of set the tone.
Post # 12
I tried to do this and it ended up not working out, and was a huge hassle. I found that my bridesmaids wanted more direction and it became a bigger hassle for everyone to try to get somethign that worked. Everyone was much happier when I was more specific. Since I had wanted to let it be more free to keep people happy in the first place, I was happy to match their needs. For the record, my 8 bridesmaids are spread across the country as well – there is only one living in the same state as me.
I also think that even a color like black can go wrong with different shades of the same color/different fabrics that look very different. I went to a friends wedding who had her bridesmaids choose their own white dresses and it looked terrible (one very blue-white, one very ivory). The photographs turned out okay because of the editing but in person it looked very strange.
I picked a designer, a color, and a fabric and gave my 8 bridesmaids a pick between 5 different designs. They all were able to find something that flattered their bodies, but I was able to make sure that it all woudl look good together.
Post # 13
As a bridesmaid in a few weddings this year, I would much rather the bride tell me what dress and colour she wants. Makes for a lot less hassle on my end and ensures she gets the vision she wants.
Post # 14
I did this and it was the best thing ever. Made things so much less stressful for me. I gave them a colour and a length. They all found dresses that fit their bodies and their budgets. It was great. I think what made it easier was that I didn’t feel the need to “approve” their dress before they bought. I just trusted that they would find something that would make them look great. Oh, and in the photos, they all look cohesive and complimentary.
ETA: I think this only works if you don’t really have a specific “vision”. If you care about a certain look then it probably is better to either pick the dress or pick a selection of three or four dresses that they can chose from.
Post # 15
I did it and it was relatively easy, they appreciated getting to pick their own dress and I thought it looked great. I debated picking a certain designer/color but didn’t want to limit them that much. Two were going to be recently post-partum and the third was very short on money, so I wanted to give them lots of options.
I ended up telling them “knee(ish) length yellow in a non-shiny fabric”. I thought they all picked great options. For the guys (the two on my side and the 4 on his side) we had them get light/medium grey slacks/vest and a yellow shirt.