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Wedding Debates: Who’s choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses?

By admin on December 18th, 2006 5 comments

Hjelm We’ve already addressed the thorny issue of who should buy the bridesmaid’s dresses at a wedding, but this week I’m wondering who you think should get to choose them – the bride or the bridesmaids?

As we’ve been planning our wedding I’ve found that the sentence we’ve heard most often is "It’s your wedding – you should do what you want!" It’s one of the biggest bridal cliches in the book (and most of the time it seems to come with the unspoken condition "…but if you don’t do what I want, I’ll make your life hell"), but nevertheless, it seems to be a maxim that many people subscribe to.

In the case of the bridesmaids’ gowns, though, I’m not so sure it’s the right way to go. Of course, it is your wedding, and you have the right to have things the way you choose, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s much to be gained by forcing your best friends into dresses that they hate, either.

So, who gets to choose the dresses? I’m only having a flower girl, who thankfully isn’t old enough to really care about fashion (she’s told me that as long as she looks "like a princess" she’ll be happy, and funnily enough, that’s pretty much the look I had in mind for her!), so this issue hasn’t come up for me. If it did, I think I’d possibly be inclined to specify the colour and length I wanted the dresses to be, and then allow the individual bridesmaids to choose the styles they wanted. I’ve been to a few weddings lately where the bridesmaids dresses have been different styles (although the same colour, length and material), and I actually think it looks quite nice. Not all dress styles suit every body shape, after all, and I don’t think many women relish the idea of dressing in identical dresses to everyone else.

What do you think? Will you be putting your foot down and insisting that you do the choosing on this issue, or will you leave the final decision up to the bridesmaids themselves?

(p.s. The dress in the picture is by Jim Hjelm Occasions)

Here come the bridesmaids: but how do you choose them? | Bridesmaids 101 | A cautionary tale for bridesmaids

  • Brooke

    I was a bridesmaid in May, and as you mentioned, we got to choose our style, once the bride designated the color and length. What was nice about this option (on top of not being forced into an unflattering dress) was that we had some control over how much we spent, since some styles were more intricate or just more costly than others. I probably still won’t ever wear it again, but at least I don’t feel like I got robbed.

  • My plan is to put all of my bridesmaids in Armani LBDs. That way they’ll all look similar, plus his cuts are *amazing*, flattering every body shape I’ve come across, and they’ll have dresses they can wear forever, and like.

  • Funnily enough, my mum and I were discussing black bridesmaid’s dresses at the weekend: she thought it was a bit strange, but I think it’s a great idea – looks chic, and as you say, Kate, it’s a dress they’ll be able to wear for years.

    Good point about the budget too, Brooke: if I was paying for my own bridesmaid’s dress I’d want to make sure it at least suited me!

  • Fi

    I’m getting married next year and am having one bridesmaid and one flowergirl. Luckily my bridesmaid (who’s also my best friend) and I have really similar tastes and we chose her dress together (coincidentally it is a Jim Hjelm v. similar to the one pictured here) and we both love it. I would have definitely been willing to compromise on it though if she hadn’t liked the one I did, as there’s no way I’d want her to feel uncomfortable. Above all, going shopping for dresses together was such fun!!!

  • Ariana

    I am also getting married next year and have decided to go the “pick color and length and let them chose the dress” direction. I feel the same way you guys do; since they are paying for the dresses and have to wear them and have their pictures taken, I’d rather them be comfortable. True, they probably won’t be wearing them again, but maybe I can make it a bit less stressful on them.

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