Non-Matching Bridesmaid Dresses
Allow your girls to choose their own dresses
By Sara Doerrier
August 24, 2011
Your bridesmaids are an integral part of your wedding, let alone you life. Choosing bridesmaids gowns can tough. How do you dress some of the most important woman in your life? You don't want to offend them or horrify them with your selection. For this, a simple solution can be set into action: let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses. This is a trend that is growing and is here to stay. Why? It makes a lot of sense. Your bridesmaids will be happier, your bridal party will look dynamic, and most of all, the overall look will be a celebration of individuality. Also, this option allows bridesmaids to choose dresses that they could wear again. Remember, they are shelling out a lot of money here. Do you really want to force them to buy an expensive dress they will never wear again? Another option, if you like this idea but want to maintain some traditionalism, dress the ladies in the same dress but in different colors. Naturally, the color should match or reflect your wedding dress.
Give the ladies a color palate to choose from and let them choose their own style and dress cut. For example, if you want your bridesmaids in grey colors, you can advise them to choose a lighter shade, while your maid of honor can wear a darker shade. Head to the paint store for some color inspiration. Search online for a color wheel.
Wildflowers, sunset, beach, or citrus fruit are all great ideas and can create a beautiful tableau. Your bridesmaids may be wearing different dresses, but will match in color and what bouquets they carry. Have them all carry wildflowers, for example. Or have the colors vary, but ask that they are similar in length or shoulder style. For a vineyard wedding, imagine all your bridesmaids in a wine colored halter-top dresses, carrying purple lilacs. The dresses may be different, but a thematic cohesion will resonate. Flip through magazines or search the Internet for some expressive inspiration.
There are some things to keep in mind when you allow your gal pals to pick their own dresses. You want to give them freedom, but be sure to pick some ground rules, such as similar length, similar silhouette, similar fabric, etc. You almost always want to vet the dresses before the wedding. You don't want to be shocked by what you see on the day of, when it will be too late to ask her to change. Have them show you the dress via email or in person. You don't want them walking the isle in X-rated, too short, cleavage bearing dresses. Tell them to keep it modest, knee length and classy.
Before your girlfriends start searching for their dresses, scour the Internet for inexpensive wedding gowns. Many of these websites also offer affordable options for bridesmaids.