Post # 1
I told my bridesmaids they could choose their own dresses, as long as I got to see it BEFORE they purchased. I figured this would enable each girl to pick a style that flatters them, and decide on the price point they wanted to stay within. I told them it had to be black, knee length, with a shiny finish to it. My wedding is very Old Hollywood meets Modern Glamor – so I also asked them to keep that in mind when shopping. I even provided an inspiration board for them!
The dilemma I seem to be running into is, they’re just pulling any black dress out of their closet and asking if it’s ok. I’m trying to be as accommodating as possible, and if the dresses actually worked with the look I’m going for, I’d be ok with it. I just feel like they’re not really putting the effort into finding a really nice dress for the wedding. The whole “I can pick my own dress” has turned into “hmm…maybe I dont even have to buy a new dress and save the money”.
I don’t want to be a bridezilla, so how do I nicely tell them the dresses they’re pulling out of their closets aren’t working…?
Post # 3
Just remind them that the dresses need to have a certain finish–maybe let them know what material it shoudl be?
Better yet, find some dresses and say “oh like this!” seriously….and let them pick one of the 8 dresses you find that YOU like. I give them credit for being frugal but if the dresses don’t work, they dont’ work.
Post # 4
You’re in a tough spot. You gave them criteria (length, fabric, color) and told them to pick their own. But nothing they are showing you (that presumably meet your requirements) are acceptable. So you aren’t really letting them pick their own dress.
Can you blame them for wanting to wear a little black dress they already have? I have several black dresses and wouldn’t want to buy yet another.
I think you either have to tell them you changed your mind and pick something for them, or change your expectations.
Can you let them wear the dresses they own and do something to help them fit your theme? Like a hairstyle, a boa, a piece of jewelry (brooch or necklace or earrings) that could dress them up and make them more Old Hollywood?
Post # 5
I like ejs’ idea. Pick out a handful of dresses that you like and have them pick from that selection. Make sure that you have a couple dresses that aren’t too expensive so your girls don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money. It seems like they aren’t really getting what you are saying so I think letting them pick a dress from a handful of dresses that you like would be a great idea.
Post # 6
Agree with above posters. Pick several different dresses that you like and tell them to pick from those. That’s what I’m doing with my BMs and (so far) it’s going smoothly.
Post # 7
I also picked out 4 potential dresses and let my bridesmaids pick from those. It worked out great, they were happy and I didn’t haev to worry about them chossing something I wasn’t happy about.
Post # 8
I don’t think you are being unreasonable AT ALL! They should be happy to have another black dress they can wear again as opposed to a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress that will be twice as expensive and they’ll never wear again. Stick to your guns, tell the to buy something. Besides, tell them older dresses tend to fade, and you don’t want anything faded that will compromise the new shiny look you want.
Post # 9
we are doing black dresses too and I am letting my bm pick also. I have told them that it needs to be a new dress bc black fades and then the colors will look different. but were doing more of cotton type dresses. Im not sure if you could say that. But i think EJ has a good idea in your case.
Post # 10
i let me BMs choose their own dresses (navy blue, knee length), but I ‘preapproved’ about 9 dresses of different shapes, fabrics, and price points and let them pick the one they wanted. I made the mistake of letting them pick their own shoes with no pre-approval and it did not go as planned.
or pick a line and let them chose what they want from that line. like j crew, or davids bridal separates.
Post # 11
I don’t think you’re being a Birdezilla because one of your qualifications for the pick your own dress was that it had to have a shiny finish to it to go with your theme and if they are just plucking something out of their closet which doesn’t meet one of your three criteria then they aren’t doing what was asked of them. It’s fair enough for them to want to wear a little black dress they already own I suppose but not if it doesn’t fit with what you asked for.
Post # 12
This is why pick your own dress isn’t always as easy as it seems!
Its hrad to let them pick their own, but then need your approval…it sounds like you should give them some options to pick from to make life easier for everyone.
I like the idea of maybe telling them that you realized that you want a certain look, so are going to go ahead and pick a handful of dresses for them to choose from. As long as you can find stuff in a reasonable price range, that should hopefully be ok!
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
“It’s nice, but it doesn’t have a shiny finish, remember?” and then send over some options that do work. That oughta do it. 🙂
Post # 14
I’m doing the “pick your own LBD” as well, but you’re right, it leaves open to a lot of issues. I might just end up going to David’s or something, picking 5-10 styles and say “pick one of these in black”.
Post # 15
Like some suggested already, I picked about 35 dresses in the same length, different cuts, similar style and similar color. They had to pick from those. And if they considered another dress, they’d run it by me and I’d given them my opinion. It worked for us, but then again, I only have a Maid/Matron of Honor and 2 BMs.