Giving Your Bridesmaids the Power
Giving Your Bridesmaids the Power
We all know the joke. The long running one about how awful bridesmaids dresses are. Women are constantly talking about it, comparing the worst dresses they ever had to wear in another person’s wedding. There are online albums dedicated to the hideous shoulder-poofs and horrendous colors. Bad fits are mocked, and despite the numerous brides who claim they picked a dress their bridesmaids would be able to wear again and again, I would wager that it is actually a very small group of women who has ever been able to find a secondary use for a bridesmaids dress.
Still, it is a function of being a bridesmaid that every woman accepts. If you agree to be in another woman’s wedding, you put on a brave face and you wear what she tells you to wear. Because it is her big day, and when the day is yours – you will expect for her to do exactly the same.
Thus, the pile of dresses in each woman’s closet signifying weddings she has stood in and garments she will never wear again.
So what is it? Do brides simply hate their friends? Do they choose awful dresses on purpose, not wanting to be overshadowed on their big day? Or is the answer, perhaps, less sinister than all that?
The reality is, women are built differently. Shocking, I know. We all have different body types, different skin complexions, and different preferences when it comes to the apparel we wear. Some prefer to show a little skin, while others would like to remain covered up. Some look great in pinks and reds, while for others – those same shades accentuate all of their skin imperfections. There is simply no single dress that looks good on everyone, and because bridal parties are typically made up of a mix of women – there are going to be varied results with each and every dress you suggest.
What usually happens is the bride has a certain dress in mind, or she goes shopping with her maid-of-honor and they pick a dress that looks perfect on that one friend. But then, when remaining members of the wedding party go to try on the same dress – at least one will inevitably be a bad fit for that specific cut. Too tall, too curvy, to thin; whatever it is that differentiates them from the bridesmaid the dress was originally tested on, that will be the aspect that stands out most when they put on this dress they never would have picked themselves.
And so, without fail, someone in the bridal party always gets the short end of the dress stick.
Sometimes, everyone comes out on the losing end.
But how do you avoid that? If the point is coordination and creating a pretty picture, how do you keep from falling into the no-one-dress-is-right-for-everyone trap?
Well, you don’t make them stick to one dress – that’s how.
More and more brides these days are recognizing the beauty in allowing their bridesmaids to choose their own dress. The bride picks her colors for the wedding, and then she gives each of the bridesmaids a color to start with – and the freedom to pick the dress that otherwise fits her best.
This is becoming such a common phenomenon, that bridal shops often have between 6 and 10 dress options in the same hue available on hand. Nowadays, many bridal shops can also dye dresses to match a specific color tone. Meaning you don’t necessarily have to worry about your bridesmaids sticking with a single designer. But variation in the same color family can be stunning as well.
In the end, chances are your bridesmaids still won’t ever wear their dress again – it turns out that bridesmaid dresses tend to exude a certain vibe that says I-was-just-in-a-wedding, no matter how much freedom you give them. But even if they never don that dress for a second wearing, they are still likely to be much happier in the dress they choose for your big day than if you had picked it out for them.
And isn’t a happy, smiling bridesmaid just as crucial to pictures as matching dresses?
The beauty is, no one expects your pictures to be all matchy-match nowadays anyway. And giving your bridesmaids a little room for individuality can go a long way in ensuring everyone looks their best.