Should my bridesmaids choose their own dresses?

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Whether you have one bridesmaid or twelve, the dress is a direct reflection of the bride’s taste, not the bridesmaid’s. Because they love you, most women will take your direction as to what you would like them to wear, often sacrificing their own style and taste for the blushing bride. This might explain why so many women have a collection of dresses, not to mention shoes and other matching accessories that will never have an encore performance.  

In today’s modern weddings, it’s a good idea to be somewhat accommodating and make it more of a collaborative effort. After all, you obviously adore these women if you selected them for this honor. I recommend making a selection of several dresses from the same vendor and in the same color palette, to accommodate different body types. Often vendors will make different dresses in the same dye lot. Let your bridesmaids select a dress from the grouping that you have pre-approved. This way the color of all the dresses will be consistent even if the styles vary. There will be no dreadful surprises or color mismatches.

It is okay to be a control freak, in fact, it is perfectly acceptable as this is your day and this is the one time that you get to be “the supreme ruler”. That said, staying sensitive to your bridesmaids weight, body shape or height issues will only make you look that much prettier. As my Mother always said, “you are who you hang out with”. Dressing them in flattering and complimentary silhouettes will only add to the overall magic of the day.

While you know I love glamour, I am of the opinion that less is more, especially when it comes to a bridesmaid dress. Stylish and becoming always trumps poufy, heavily embellished, overly ruffled, loud colored and overly designed dresses. I rarely go to a wedding and see a bridesmaid whose dress could actually be worn again. I know it’s not easy but it’s a good idea to try. Be considerate of your friends’ pocketbooks.  

Today there are so many tasteful options available that meet just about every budget, shape and size. A neutral color dress in a variety of different necklines is a sophisticated new trend. A knee length black dress is something every woman needs in her closet—simple and elegant, and can be resuscitated at a moment’s notice. A long black dress can often be cut off into a short dress as well. Why not consider this practical option and adorn it with a dominant color accessory.

Giving up control is losing control. Having control is maintaining control. It is your decision how you control the options. Remember, keep it classic, keep it flattering and keep it wearable for other occasions.  Mission control….. signing out.

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