The bloggy consensus is having your bridesmaids pick their own dresses is the right way to go. It’s humble! It’s easier for everyone involved! It will make your bridesmaids feel the most comfortable and look the best! Uniformed bridesmaids are creepy anyway!
I was frankly astonished when one of today’s posts on A Practical Wedding acknowledged the “alternative” of bridesmaids in matching dresses, even though it was written about like it’s a shameful secret, and even though it was in a post sponsored by a bridesmaid dress company.
Matching bridesmaid dresses: the uncoolest.
And yet, I am putting my sister and sisters-in-law into matching dresses. That I am picking out. Because I am selfish, inconsiderate, and not even remotely hip. I am a Bridezilla.
But I am also lazy! So when faced with the prospect of dressing the women in the Bridal Hootenanny, who, unlike my sisters bio and in-law, are not all exactly the same size and shape, I decided to not bother trying to find a dress universally flattering to the whole gang. I said, “you all find your own dresses!”
I said it with an air of self-satisfaction, because I could pretend what this is really about is that I’m not ENTIRELY old-fashioned/uncool/cruel. I’m letting my friends pick their own dresses! I don’t like things completely matchy-matchy like those square brides stuck in the 1980s. I am hip and considerate! Well, uh, at least when friends are concerned. (Sorry, family!)
But then… the time came to email the Bridal Hootenanny ladies. Apparently, when saying, “go pick your own dress,” a Bridezilla needs to send out a 723-word email containing no less than 15 images. And a corresponding Google document. And while I was putting together that massive correspondence I may have also emailed my mother-in-law with a suggested dress for her. SOMEONE CALL GROOMOTHRA, I NEED TO BE STOPPED!
Or I could just chillax and own my choices.
The sisters will look good. I’ll get the satisfaction of playing with them like Human Barbies. They’ll get the simplicity of not having to choose.
My friends will look good. They’ll get the fun of shopping for their own dresses. They’ll enjoy that, whereas the sisters might not. And this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last time my friends have coordinated outfits using a Google doc.
And for all we know, in five years, mis-matched dresses will be considered old-fashioned and lame, and the Knot will send out newsletters gushing over the “Newest Wedding Trend: Matching Maids!”
December 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm
it’s gonna look fantastic…and you can pick on your sisters a little more than your friends because they can’t get rid’uh’ya. yeah…i caught that little ditty on apw….hm….
p.s. you are hilarious. for sure.
December 15, 2010 at 9:41 am
I wasn’t aware that mis-matching was the hip thing to do, seems to me unless you have sourced your entire wedding party’s clothing from obscure vintage boutiques there’s just no hope for hipness! I can say that from a bridesmaid’s point of view, being told what to wear is a huge relief. Especially when you are fairly certain the bride has an idea in mind – trying to guess what that might be whilst perusing endless variations of colorful clothing can be maddening.
I’m not having the wedding ladies match, it was too much work trying to force their completely different shapes, sizes, (and in one case, need for easy nursing access) into one particular dress. And beyond a color I honestly don’t care. However, I do have a sneaking suspicion that several might choose the same dress anyway. In the end, that might just be easier.
December 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm
So in giving your bridesmaids a color did you say, “blue” or did you say, “cerulean blue” from designer X? Because in the second case, I see wearing the same dress as a likely outcome, but in the first case, I’d be surprised. Not SHOCKED, but surprised.
December 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm
I said grey or silver and showed them pictures of the most different dresses I could find. And then I told my two sisters that they are now in charge. And now I expect we will be discussing until we all get sick of the subject
December 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm
My attempt to be remotely hip with non-matching bridesmaids totally failed. I told the girls to pick out their dresses – whatever styles as long as the color and style sorta matched. Well we went shopping together and within an hour all three had picked out the same damn dress. They also ended up all buying silver shoes and wearing their hair in matching curls. My bridesmaids basically conspired to make my wedding “alternative” against my will.
December 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm
Wow! I guess great minds think alike?
December 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm
I am doomed to mis-matchiness since we’re not having official bridesmaids/groomsmen but we have two flower girls. My niece, though. She’s…. How shall I put this?
Ginormous (in a healthy, but really, really, really tall Jolly Green Giant sort of way). Thus, she is one year older than my own little Bean but has feet that are already larger than mine and comes up to my nose. I fully expect that by the time the wedding rolls around, my brother’s family of Gentle Giants will be taller than all of us. It makes it hard to find a flower girl dress to fit her (she’s 7 so no hips/chest, but way too tall for children’s sizes), which means she won’t match Bean.
December 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm
One thing that is charming about groups of young people is how different they are in size, though. Mismatched dresses will work perfectly in that scenario. I don’t envy the prospect of finding a dress for a tall seven year old, though!
December 16, 2010 at 1:00 am
My attempt to be Laidback Bride of the Century were totally foiled when my bridesmaids, whom I’d told to wear whatever the hell they wanted, came back to me and were like, “Um, we would like you to pick something for us. And we want to match with each other.” (My hand to God, that’s pretty much what they said.) And I said, “Can you guys at least pick a color?” (Because I didn’t want the responsibility of picking Our Wedding Colors [TM]) and they were like, “……… purple?” And that is the story of how my bridesmaids came to wear matching purple dresses.
December 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm
I wanted to say, “pick your own long navy blue dress” and call it a day. My bridesmaids had none of that. So now, when I talk to people who make snarky comments about, “awful matching dresses”, I get defensive. Because part of being a bridesmaid is wearing the matching dresses – something about it shows how much you love your friend, it shows that you are special enough to get to wear the matching dress, somehow, for my girls, the matching dresses were a badge of honor. I love the mismatched look, but we went with all matching. It worked out in the end, but I still feel guilty about how much they had to spend on those dresses rather than finding something they liked on sale.
December 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm
I too must be seriously uncool as I am having matching dresses for my bridesmaids – they are all so different that if I was to let them each get something of their own choosing, well they wouldn’t look ‘bridesmaidy’!
I have two colours and a few styles in mind, so I’m happy to let them try a few combinations on and we’ll see what works – it may be that they all end up with the same dress but two in one colour and one in another, or all in the same colour with different styles. I’m flexible to that extent at least!!
December 29, 2010 at 7:06 am
not a bridezilla! my girls wore matching dresses because it was freakin easier for me to send them a link, for them to say they liked that one dress, for them to them buy it and for me to feel relieved and the girls feel happy. in conclusion: you are not crazy, one dress is easier to find & have everyone happy about
January 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm
I have so been there. Seriously. There is no right answer to the matching-or-not question. Any amount of dress-related info or suggestions is either a) too much and too pushy, or b) lazy and not enough, depending on who’s on the receiving end of the email.
Even after the fact, there’s no escape.
Even for myself…
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