Clothing & Accessories

Picking Bridesmaid Dresses Without Waging a War

Picking bridesmaid dresses is hardly ever a winning game for the bride. Someone will hate the color. One style isn’t likely to flatter all body types equally. And undoubtedly, someone won’t be able to afford it.

Here are some creative ideas to try to keep the dress-haters at bay. After all, these women are some of your best friends. If you can help them feel confident and happy as they help you plan your big day, why wouldn’t you?

Same Color, Different Dress


Not all styles are going to look great across a variety of different body types. Maybe your friend who had a child would prefer some camouflage or ribbing across the bodice. Maybe your friend who is heavily endowed isn’t overly comfortable with an extremely low neckline. Maybe your friend with few curves would prefer a style that accentuates the ones she does have.

A great solution to this problem while still staying on  your wedding’s theme is to get different dresses in the same color, but different styles. Make sure you order from the same manufacturer so you can get a guarantee that the colors are identical.

Go Ombre


If you don’t want to be limited to the same manufacturer or designer, you could always go ombre. That way you can give your bridesmaid a color palette to choose from, and allow them to go shopping on their own. When the big day comes, arrange them from lightest to darkest dress color or darkest to lightest dress color starting with the maid of honor. This way there’s no hurt feelings over cut and style, and each bridesmaid can choose the shade that she likes best.

Does the maid of honor’s dress fall in the middle of the spectrum? Have it fade in and out with the girl in the darkest dress standing in the middle.

Addressing Money Concerns


Not everyone can afford a $200 dress and $200 pair of shoes. Brides like to think that bridesmaids will be able to wear the dress again, making it a good investment, but that is rarely ever the case. Here are some things to consider before losing your cool:

  • Could money problems be the reason this person is objecting to the dress? If so, what can I do to quietly help them cover the costs?
  • Will making everyone wear the same dress mean costly alterations for some of my bridesmaids? If so, try to see if you can get a deal with a local seamstress if you refer all of your bridesmaids to use their services. This gives the seamstress more business, and lowers the cost for your friends.
  • Do I care what shoes they wear? If the dress will be covering their feet anyways, and you require that they buy an expensive dress, it may just be graceful to let everyone pick their own shoes to match their own comfort levels and budget.
  • Have I offered everyone methods to save? For example, all the dresses in this post come from Fame & Partners. If you let your bridesmaids know about promo codes, they could save an additional 15% off on top of sales prices, lowering the cost of their dress.