Post # 1
Has anyone had a bad experience with allowing bridesmaids wear different dresses?
One of my maids won’t fit J.Crew or Ann Taylor sizes, so that’s out. The girls are from all over, and I don’t want to deal with the hassle of ordering through one shop, getting measurements, mailing dresses, etc. Budget = as much or as little as they want to spend.
I think having them purchase their own dress, online, off a rack or from a bridal salon (if they choose) is the best way to go. I would probably specify color, length, and solid (no patterns/prints). Are there any other guidelines I should set? Has anyone had a bad experience with dresses not matching? What colors usually work best for this?
Thanks for your ideas!!
Post # 3
I’ve seen people set these guidelines, but let the girls choose from one company. That insures some kind of continuity. I would also suggest thinking about fabric type. The jersey dresses from Alfred Angelo would look odd next to silk. Good luck! The Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses are a headache for me too.
Post # 4
What about David’s Bridal? I know the have a range of sizes and really pretty colors. I know people are not necessarily sure about the quality – but let’s be honest… who’ll wear it more than once?
Post # 5
Unless you are picking a color like black you have to be careful letting them pick from different companies because of differnces fabric color. I told my bridesmaids thta I didn’t care about what dress or even the length (luckily there were two that picked long and two short so I alternated them) but I told them the company, fabric, and color. It looked great and I think they still felt relieved they got to pick them.
Post # 6
PP makes a good point about color variations between companies. However, I’ve seen some really beautiful weddings where the bridesmaids have all been in different shades of similar colors, my favorite being pink and red. I think this looks better if you have several bridesmaids so you get a real range of colors and it doesn’t just look like everyone is mismatched.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2007 - Bride's family summer home in the Adirondacks
I tried to do this ("get any blue dress that’s not navy") and my bridesmaids just didn’t know what to do with it. No one took any initiative and THEY were worried about matching, so I ended up just choosing something just to make sure they actually HAD dresses in time!! But, I chose J Crew, which you said isn’t an option, and let them choose any of the 3 or 4 styles with a specific fabric/color. I think something like that is probably your best bet, since my girls seemed to flounder a bit without any more specific guidance, but this way it still wasn’t super matchy.
Another option, like DCbrideinATL suggests, is making sure they have a certain amount of range. My parents planned their wedding in a few weeks so they just told their bridesmaids to wear any pastel colored dress, and it worked perfectly. Also see Mrs Creampuff’s wedding – she did a similarly wide range of colors (but all in the same style) and the effect is really beautiful.
Post # 8
I am allowing my girls to pick out their own dresses as well.. I am in a similar boat with you.. I have two really tall girls, two really short girls… rail thin girls, big girls, average sized girls, etc…
I was going to pick a designer and let them choose any brown in that color, until I realized that all the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses from any designer reall,y including DB, would prob cost the girls over $100… now, MY gown cost $100 (ebay woo woo!).. and I couldnt justify making the girls spend more on their dresses then I spent on mine!
So, Ive told them all to get a dark brown dress and gave them all swatches of what "dark" brown means… I told them it doesnt have to be exactly that shade, just very near it… so no latte or milky looking browns… coffee brown, espresso brown, deep brown… etc.
I dont mind if the fabrics are off.. i think it would be a nice dynamic to the pics…
And now they can all feel comfortable in what they are wearing and spend as much as they want!
Post # 9
The color swatch idea is great. That way they know what your expectations are in terms of color but they still have the freedom of choosing their own style!
Post # 10
I’m doing this too, but with gray dresses. I’m using an alternative to the physical swatch method: I looked for dresses that were in the gray family I liked and put together a Polyvore collage with the dresses in it, ranging from lightest to darkest. To be honest, I won’t really be bothered if someone gets a dress a bit lighter or darker, but I think this is helping people feel like they have a bit more direction.
In addition to color, I also requested a length range.
I’m also going to use an accessory as an element to tie the dresses all together. Not sure what it will be yet, but it might be a pair of read shoes or a pearl necklace (I want to make sure I don’t pick something that wouldn’t work with one of the dresses). One bridesmaid suggested I choose this element first and have them pick their dresses around it, but I want them to get whatever they want so I’m waiting.
Here is a post from Offbeat Bride about non-matching dresses, with photos from real weddings: http://offbeatbride.com/2008/09/non-matching-bridesmaid-dresses
Post # 11
Post # 12
I picked 2 colors – 1 dress comapny and said pick your dress! End result – they all like their dresses, and it’ll look great… but that doesnt mean it was easy. This is a loose loose situation my bride buddy!! Tell tehm waht to wear and they will bitch about price or never wearing again or unflattering style – whatever. Give them a choice and they might say "why cant you just pick?"
It was a 3 part blog saga for me!
If you only follow one link – let it be the last one. Oy vey. I love my girls, but sometimes – YEESH!
Post # 13
I echo the same fabric thing, unless you really want them to be free form…for me, a celery green just looked too different in satin vs chiffon….some colors wouldn’t matter as much…I actually like it if they all match or they are all different…I’ve heard where they let everyone choose, but the Maid/Matron of Honor chooses first & no one else can have that dress, etc, but you don’t have to do that…you can also do diff. bouquets which could further accent their styles…Honestly, I couldn’t find many dresses that were modest enough (yay Watters!), so I just picked them out, and I think 3/4 were happy and the other one is supportive (she is trying to get pregnant, so maybe that is some of her concern…) I am, however, allowing them freedom w/ everything else (hair, shoes, jewelry, whatever)