Bridesmaid dresses are a style statement that lasts as long as the memory of your wedding will last. The dresses of your best girlfriends are important. They will be forever in your wedding album. And those dresses will be hanging in closets for many months, or in some cases, many years to come.
Todd Plummer, in a recent article in Vogue, interviewed 30-time bridesmaid Emily Schumann, a communications director in New York City. Her insights were predictable:
- The bridesmaids probably won’t wear the bridesmaid dress again.
- The day is about the bride. (This includes the dress.)
- Emily suggests that the bridesmaids donate the dress to charity, which may distribute it as an affordable prom dress.
But if this is your wedding, Emily has another comment that you may want to consider:
“The best bridesmaid experiences come when the bride has a laid-back vibe and just goes with the flow.”
So what is the best way to reconcile these two concepts? After all, it is your day. And after all, they are your best friends. The bridesmaids usually pay for their own dresses, and often they are paying for something that they wouldn’t have chosen for themselves. So here are five thoughts to help you decide what role these dresses should play in the drama of your wedding.
- The more simple the cut, the less likely that someone will look fat. There is something to be said for a simple classic a-line or empress waist, or a sheath.
- The more basic the color, the less likely that someone will be faded out. Pastels and soft creams are always wedding-like. A deep color should at least be beautiful in itself, and complimentary to your gown. A winter wedding could have small black dresses, which may work very well.
- They don’t have to be identical. You could choose two or three similar styles that agree in color, or agree in style but vary slightly in color.
- If you decide on something with a spicy flavor, try to compensate with reduced cost. Carmen Miranda costumes shouldn’t cost a fortune, too. Something that could conceivably be worn again might justify a higher price tag.
- Don’t concede too many points. It remains your wedding day; bridesmaids will understand.