Post # 17
I let my BMs pick their own dresses, just asked that they all be the same color and preferably the same length. The fabric wasn’t a big issue, and it isn’t even what I notice when I look at our wedding photos. And my girls were able to get dresses that flattered their body types, and that they felt comfortable in.
We went shopping at a bridal shop, so it wasn’t so easy to find a dress that didn’t look bridesmaid-y… Two of my BMs were able to re-wear their dresses to proms, but the other I have no idea what she did with hers. I was recently in a wedding, and while I thought to myself “this is a dress I could wear again!” I probably never will.
As another Bee said, you can always shorten a long dress!
Post # 18
My main concerns were the color and length. Other than that, I was game for anything. They all happened prefer chiffon dresses with a natural waist. I let them grab dresses off the rack and try them on. I tried to not show favortism towards any dress because I wanted them to get whichever one they all liked best.
Post # 19
I think the most important thing is to make sure that your Bridesmaid or Best Man feels comfortable day of. To be quite honest, there’s almost no Bridesmaid or Best Man dress that people will wear again, unless you go totally off the grid. I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man several times and I so appreciate those brides who took my insecurities into some consideration. My first wedding, I wore a tight, strapless silk dress. I still cringe when I think about it. I felt horrible all night and I can’t even look at the pictures because the dress is so unflattering on me. It’s not the brides fault, I just went along with whatever. But the next time I was in a wedding, I politely requested something easier to pull off. The next two weddings I wore drastically different, but both were much more universally flattering and we all felt much better 🙂
Post # 20
@barbie86: I agree with trying them on, but none of the women in the wedding party live in the same place, and only one lives near me. Some are all the way across the country, so frankly, they’re just going to be on their own and I don’t want to have to make them take several trips to David’s Bridal because while it is technically everywhere, it is not always easy to get to.
Post # 21
My main priority was letting my ladies pick whatever dress they were going to feel most comfortable in. For a long time, I wanted something they could wear again, but I came to realize that this usually isn’t the case. I only have one bridesmaid’s dress that I’ve worn more than once, and that’s because it’s a floral print summer dress that I got on sale at Target. One of my girls prefers short styles, the other wants something longer to hide a few varicose veins. I gave them each color swatches and told them to have at it.
Post # 22
@sweet5k: i wanted my girls to be happy and to wear the dress again, even though i was paying for 75% of the dress.
i took them to the Bridesmaid or Best Man store and told them to pick any style dress in the color i had choosen.
they all picked the same dress.
everyone is happy.
Post # 23
I’d say my #1 priority would be a dress that’s comfortable and flattering for all their body types. In your situation, I’d go with a long dress and suggest to your friend that she can shorten it after, and then it will work for everyone.
As for the color, I think it’s less of a big deal than the cut, and as a bridesmaid I could totally suck it up and wear a color that’s not my best. How would you feel about mixed shades of grey though?
Post # 24
I picked color, basic length and fabric, past that they picked out what they wanted and they are all very different from each other and they look great together. But I wanted something they were happy with and comfortable with so they really got to pick the majority of what the dress was.
Post # 25
My number 1 concern was color. My girls all picked the same charcoal grey dress in different styles. I would think long dresses would be too formal for a morning wedding, regardless of what the groomsmen are wearing.
Post # 26
@crayfish: I have a bridesmaids dress that cost me $70 to get shortened (to a long length that I wasn’t tripping over, I’m 5’2). I didn’t, and am not planning on, spending another $70 to get it shortened again.
It cost that much because there was more than one layer to hem. So, cost of shortening can still be an issue. Plus, with the style of the dress, (corset, tafetta), I don’t think it’ll be practical as a short dress either.
Post # 27
@sweet5k: my main priorities were
1) everyone looked good, was comfortable in what we chose and matched (FI expressly forbid mismatched dresses, I gues she has some sort of pet peeve about it)
2) the dresses weren’t crazy expensive (they’re buying their dresses)
3) matched our color scheme/theme/formality. “went” with everything else.
“wear again” was a priority at first, until I realized they each have such vastly different tastes and lifestyles I was never going to fit that criteria.
Post # 28
Get the long dresses, it’ll look gorgeous! The way I see it, it’s fun to wear a long gown, and you don’t get too many chances to do so in normal life 🙂
Post # 29
@tampalove35: I agree with you on the cost thing so I added it to the poll. For me, cost is not an issue, since I know that I won’t pick the actual dress the girls wear. I’m just going to give them some parameters and let them choose. Since they get to choose their own dress (and the styles don’t need to match, I’m just picky about length and color) if they want to choose the one on the clearance rack, good for them!
Post # 30
@JenGirl: My top priority was that my girls be comfortable in their dress and not have to spend a fortune. But I did want some cohesion.
This. Originally, I gave the girls a color and told them to find a dress that they liked and could afford. They wanted more structure. I ended up finding Dressilyme and said, “This color, in chiffon fabric, they have 300 dress styles, pick something you like and can afford.” Everyone was happy with that. I have three wearing short dresses and one wearing a long dress (and she’s also wearing a cardigan or cover), but the styles they chose (and the color/fabric) are all cohesive.
You will never please everyone, so don’t bother trying. Your BMs should realize that they’ll have to make SOME concessions being bridesmaids. Do my girls LOVE pink? No, not really, but they’ll wear it. One is wearing pink AND it’s a dress, something she will do only for me (HA!), so I let her choose a long dress and wear a cover because she isn’t comfortable with her arms.
Post # 31
@vorpalette: You will never please everyone, so don’t bother trying.
My bridesmaids are all different sizes and shapes, so I opted to let them pick the styles they wanted, and set the designer, color, fabric, and length. They all have to travel here so I bought their gowns.
I want them to be happy and comfortable; the dresses are in navy which is universally flattering. I’ve seen the mismatched bridesmaids in a color group before which can turn out really well, especially with a large party.
I don’t have any illusions that they will or won’t wear the dress again; it’s a nice thought, but probably won’t happen.