Bridesmaids don't like the style of dress I would like for them to wear.

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: If neither me nor the bridesmaids like the dresses the other picks, who gets to choose?
    The bride : (117 votes)
    69 %
    The bridesmaids : (52 votes)
    31 %
  • Post # 31
    115 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    If one of my bridesmaids bitches about the dress I chose, then I chose the wrong bridesmaid, not the wrong dress.  (*Assuming you didn’t choose something awful that would make them extremely uncomfortable or against their religion in terms of length or something)

    I worked pretty hard to find a dress style that would work with my dress, my wedding colors, and would look good on the various body types in my bridal  party.   It’s not like I put them in anything tacky, uncomfortable, or unflattering.  


    If you like long floral dresses, then they are welcome to help you pick a different long floral dress if they don’t like the one you chose…but there’s no way I would allow a bridesmaid to dictate something like color or length.  It’s your wedding, not theirs.  They are welcome to do the same to you when you are their bridesmaid.   But they can suck it up and wear what you want to for a couple hours. YOU are the one paying a lot of money for the wedding and the photographs…they need to get over themselves and come around to making your day special.  


    I’m sure this sounds harsh to someone…but I don’t like how they are behaving.  As if you don’t have a million other things to stress about.

    Post # 32
    2420 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I’m not a fan of the dress you showed us, either, and I confess I would be pretty dismayed if a bride wanted me to wear it. 

    I know you specifically said you wanted long dresses because you think they are more formal.  That dress reads really casual to me,  not dressy or formal at all.  It also seems kind of shapeless – that may also be part of your bridesmaids’ reluctance. I’d look like I weighed 30 pounds more than I actually do, in that dress.  

    Post # 33
    183 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    There are several issues here…first, I kind of sympathize with your bridesmaids if I’m being honest. The cut of that dress isn’t going to be flattering on a lot of girls; plus, the print is abrupt and loud and not very “spring” feeling. 

    HOWEVER. I think that it is your decision. BUT. You need to pay for the dresses if you pick something they don’t like (and maybe even if you pick something they do…) I generally don’t think it’s very nice to make BMs pay for dresses they aren’t choosing themselves. 

    Post # 34
    122 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2017


    beaniebee :  These BHLDN dresses are gorgeous!


    Post # 35
    67 posts
    Worker bee

    The dress you posted looks like a knit maxi dress that you would wear with sandals casually. If you want a long floral dress, perhaps select a different fabric. Knit is really casual – this dress I would wear if it was sleeveless by my pool in the summer with a mixed drink in my hand. LuLus has really cute chiffon type material long dresses that will look more formal if that is what you are going for. I am sure you can find other places as well, I just frequent LuLus and know they have them. I also just bought a floral maxi at a depatment store this week for my engagement photos and it is a chiffon material and it looks nice and more formal than the knit.

    If the dress is really important to you, then select what you think is best I guess. For me, being particular about a bridesmaid dress is the last thing I am worried about – I just gave a color I selected and asked them to pick a short dress in a non-shiny fabric. They can pick the style they feel most comfortable in at a price they are comfortable with. Easy enough.

    I do like the pics I have browsed online of the printed bridesmaid dresses. Very fun! If that is your vision, then I am sure you can make it work somehow.

    Post # 36
    287 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2015 - Ballroom

    I agree with PPs who say it should be a joint decision. Yes, it’s your wedding and your vision, and yes, they should just do what the bride wants, but if they are paying for the dresses, they should get SOMETHING of an opinion about them. And don’t you want your ladies to look as amazing as possible? People are generally happier in something they are comfortable in.  Also, keep in mind that nobody but you is paying that close of attention to the bridesmaid dresses, so it’s ok to dial back your need to dictate such specifics because after the fact, only you will know that there was some kind of Dress War. 

    Post # 37
    71 posts
    Worker bee

    Personally, I actually think that dress is really pretty and if it had shorter sleeves it would be fairly on-trend for this spring and summer from ads/Pinterest I’ve been seeing.

    I voted that the bride gets to pick, since it IS your event to coordinate, although I personally did not mandate a dress for my ‘maids. I just specified black, church-appropriate as far as length/cleavage since that’s where the ceremony was, and that I’d like to see what it looked like beforehand. Because I wanted them to wear light blue sashes with a rhinestone detail, I paid for those myself.

    That being said, I just recently had to buy a bridesmaid’s dress for a wedding this year that I’m really disappointed about because of price. Not because it’s way out of the norm in price range ($180, which I gather is pretty reasonable), but because the bride promised when she asked me to be a bridesmaid that she’d keep it inexpensive in the range of about $60 (which was how much the dress cost she was looking at then). I love her dearly, but if I’d known she would change her mind, I’d have said “I’d love to help out in a different way, just let me know!” To me, the wedding industry/monster is completely absurd and I’ve never worn anything so expensive as this cheap-looking, overpriced China-made David’s dress in my life. My own gorgeous wedding gown cost less than that second-hand plus drycleaning so I’m having a hard time reconciling since neither I nor the bride live expensive lifestyles. Especially when price range was very different when I first agreed.

    TL,DR: make sure it’s not the price they’re balking at more than the style, especially if you created one budget expectation beforehand and have now gotten sucked into more pricey territory.

    Post # 38
    7813 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I would just pick the dress you love and go with it. As long as they aren’t violently objecting I don’t see the issue. I’m sure you have been a bridesmaid forced to buy a dress you didn’t particularly love, and you did it with grace. Personally, I have never reworn any of my bridesmaids dresses…none of them have really been to my taste or style, but whatever, it’s part of the deal so i’ve just accepted it lol.

    In my wedding, I gave my girls a palette and had them choose a dress from wherever they wanted that fit in the palette. If you’re concerned about your girls hating your dresses, maybe consider the mismatched approach? You could still stipulate that it has to be a floor-length gown, but give them a color and let them go wild with it. That way the dresses wont’ look as boring as if they were all wearing the exact same solid colored floor length gown. Idk just an idea!

    Post # 39
    411 posts
    Helper bee

    I’d say that ultimately the bride gets final say.

    I was just browsing the maxi dresses on Lulu’s today and they have some really nice floral dresses for under $100. Keeping the cost down would be really appropriate if you know they arent thrilled about the dress.

    Post # 40
    1464 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    Allure has several long floral dresses! Here are a few (but there are more on their website). Do you think your girls might like them?

    Post # 41
    4499 posts
    Honey bee

    Long doesn’t automatically mean formal.  The dress you posted is basically a maxi-style dress with sleeves.  I associate maxi dresses with beachwear.  A structured short cocktail dress can be far more formal looking than a floral maxi dress.

    As for your question in general, technically you’re within your right to dictate the attire.  However, I think that is falling out of fashion.  Friendships last longer than wedding days and the feelings and comfort of our friends should be more important than visions, in my opinion, or at the very least taken into consideration.

    Personally, I don’t quite understand the need for matchy-matchy.  In no other occasion in life do we expect our loved ones to dress exactly alike each other.  In a world of varying budgets, sizes, skin tones, etc. allowing people to pick their dress within parameters that work for them is practical.  I think it’s ok to give guidelines in order to coordinate (color or length, or general style), but most dresses don’t look good on all people.  Plus, we presumably love our family and friends for their unique characteristics – I think that should extend to what they wear.  Photos will not be ruined if people don’t match – it’s the love and happiness of occasion that shines through most in photos.  And comfortable people are happy people and that will show in photos.

    Also, I think if someone is going to be paying for their dress, they deserve to be happy with it.  Men can wear a suit in a classic color and basically be set for a lifetime of events because it works for everything – job interviews, church, funerals, business dinners, guest at another wedding, etc.  Perhaps a new tie in a coordinating color, but the expense for that is usually minimal.  But women are usually stuck with dresses they don’t much care for and have almost no occasion to wear again.  I think I would feel like a shitty friend asking my friends to basically throw their money away on a dress that didn’t make them happy or they feel comfortable with.

    Post # 42
    4910 posts
    Honey bee

    I feel like even if I like the dress, I’m still never wearing it again as a bridesmaid unless it’s an LBD.  So my vote is bride picks within reason. Meaning not too expensive or not a style that makes someone uncomfortable. I wore one once that wasn’t my fave but it didn’t make me uncomfortable. I donated it. 

    I say pick the dress you like within reason. I think a short floral would look cute! Either way don’t ask for too much input because rarely does everyone like the same thing and everyone will have conflicting opinions that will stress you out. 

    Post # 43
    4910 posts
    Honey bee

    Just an idea what about a solid color dress with a floral shrug or cardigan? I would wear a cardigan again. 

    Post # 44
    4499 posts
    Honey bee

    Just co-signing the floral shrug or cardigan idea.  Looking at the floral examples earlier on this page – I gotta say as much as I love most florals, I will usually do a short floral dress or a floral top with solid skirt or solid top with a floral skirt.  Floral head to toe with a long dress can be a lot to stomach.  It’s a very, very wafer thin line between pretty dress and upholstery.  Having floral accents is a good way to get the feel of a floral without it looking like grandma’s bedspread.

    Post # 45
    3773 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Having been both a bridesmaid and a bride, I still say the bride gets to pick the dress, regardless of who is paying. 

    I once wore a satin A-line FLORESCENT TANGERINE floor length gown with pickups on the skirt (we were gifted flip flops from Old Navy to match!) that I paid nearly $300 for. And I wore it and smiled because it wasn’t my wedding so my opinion on the dress didn’t matter.

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