There are two main strategies for outfitting your bridal party: impose a style, color, or specific dress on them, or let them choose their dresses. The latter is a growing trend. There are many good reasons to give your girls more autonomy, but there are downsides too. Consider the pros and cons before deciding how to proceed.
The pros of letting bridesmaids choose their dresses are significant:
- They Will Feel More Comfortable
This is huge if you care about your friends and family chosen to stand up at your wedding. First, it’s a matter of self-confidence and body image. You’re not likely to have everyone with the same body type. Forcing every girl into the same dress inevitably leaves some feeling bad about how they look.
You also want them to be physically comfortable. A wedding day is a long day, and they have to wear these dresses for hours. You expect them to stand for a long time in the gowns, dance, and pose for pictures. They should be comfortable.
Your bridesmaids may also feel more financially comfortable if they can choose a dress. Even if you have a narrow window of options in a specific price range, each girl can still select the dress they feel will give them more mileage. It’s a better financial investment if they can wear it again.
- It Allows for a Diverse Look
Dressing bridesmaids the same is a little old-fashioned these days. Diversity in the lineup is more modern. When each girl chooses her own dress, the wedding party looks more carefree and fun. Just be sure that you provide some parameters to avoid a messy look.
You can do this in several ways. Choose a color, like green. Some girls may pick out emerald green bridesmaid dresses, while others go for a lighter or deeper shade of green. You can also create cohesion by selecting a length, a general style, or the same material.
- They Can Order a Dress Online
Being a bridesmaid is fun and an honor, but it can also be an imposition. To be a considerate bride, you want to make the job as easy as possible. One major pro to letting girls choose their dresses is that they can do it online, saving time. If they live in different locations, this may also be your only option.
Buying online can be a time-saver, but consider some of the issues before you do it. Have good options for tailors your girls can use to get the dresses altered if necessary. Set a strict timeline to ensure they won’t be stuck without a dress on the big day. Do some research in advance to direct the girls to the sites you want them to use.
While the pros are major, there are some downsides to letting bridesmaids choose their dresses:
- It Means No Group Shopping Trip
Shopping alone saves your girls time, especially if they can order online. On the other hand, this eliminates the fun ritual of the group shopping trip. This is a great bonding experience that you may be looking forward to having with your friends.
If you have a diverse group of friends and family in your party, they may not all know each other. A day of shopping for dresses is an excellent opportunity for them to meet and bond for the big day.
- It Can Cause Stress
While you want your bridesmaids to feel more comfortable with their dresses, solo shopping can potentially add to their stress and yours. Even if they can save time buying online, your girls may feel the pressure of the important decision. If you give them too many options and too few parameters, they could end up spending a lot of time searching for the right dress.
For you, as the bride, this strategy can also trigger stress. You may worry that you’ll dislike what they choose or that someone will miss a deadline and fail to get a dress on time. Any tensions or discord this search shows among your friends can come back to haunt you.
- Bridesmaids Have Varying Budgets
Your bridesmaids are likely to have different budgets for a dress, which means tension may develop between them. If one girl can afford a luxury gown and another needs to work with a tight budget, it can cause problems. One way to avoid this is to set a budget or select a particular designer with dresses in a price range you know everyone can afford.
Choose Dresses Your Way
Ultimately, the choice of dresses comes down to the bride. Letting bridesmaids choose isn’t a perfect strategy, but it’s doable. Know what the cons are and how to avoid or minimize them, and you can keep everyone happy.
Image Credits: Emma Bauso