I don’t have any personal experience being a bridesmaid, or buying bridesmaid dresses (that was a formality my wedding did not have) but I’ve worked in a bridal store and have seen how desperately tragic bridesmaid dresses can be. I have a friend who has a closet full of hideous bridesmaid dresses (I am pretty sure 27 Dresseswas based on her) and I am always flabbergasted that her “friends” expected her to wear those hideous monstrosities, AND made her pay for them! So, because of her, the request of one of my readers, and any future victims of heinous bridesmaid dresses, I have decided to compile a few tips.
1. Consider different body types. The problem with a lot of the ugly bridesmaid dresses I’ve seen is that they don’t suit all the girls in the party. Do you really want to stick one of your supposedly best friends (or sisters!) in a dress shape she’d never get caught dead in otherwise? No. Even if this means they won’t all be in the same dress, you’d prefer a happy bridal party than knowing your friends are going to resent you for the rest of their lives (or seek revenge. See point 5.)
2. Choose a theme, and allow some freedom. Pick a theme, and let your bridesmaid to choose something that works best for them. That could be a colour, a fabric, or a style of dress. For example if you want everyone in chocolate brown, choose the fabric and allow each girl to pick the shape that best suits her. You can have some guidelines (full length, short sleeve, etc…) but this way the girls can at least choose a shape that will flatter them. Another option is to buy accessories, and let them get a dress they like (ex. you provide a red belt and corsage, everyone buys a black, knee length dress. And then, the girls might actually wear their dresses again!)
3. Allow them to personalize. If you are going to insist that they all wear the same dress (this tends only works nicely if they all have the same body type and they will all look good in the colour you chose) then don’t force them to all wear the same shoes, fascinator, and jewelry. (Unless you are buying them all Tiffany’s bracelets, that goes over well.) In fact, don’t allow fascinators in your wedding, full stop. They are an accessory that should be banned unless you are a burlesque star.
4. If you are being a control freak, then don’t make them pay. For anything. Some Bridezillas are not going to budge on the bridesmaid dresses, and are going to insist they all wear a burgundy satin, full length, empire waist gown. Well, if you are going to be that b***h, then at least pay. For everything.
5. You may seek revenge. If you’ve had to suffer through several weddings wearing hideous dresses, and you want to get back at them, then invite those brides to be in your party, and choose the ugliest lime green, pouffy dress with matching dyed satin shoes. And, make them pay. They may not be smiling in the wedding photos, but you sure will.