Flashback to a few years back, almost all brides insisted on single-style, same color bridesmaid dresses, an emphasis on uniformity and, let’s be honest, a hands-down reflection of no one else but the bride herself. Your bridesmaids mimicked your style and your bridezilla whims because that’s what people did when organic food products weren’t around? Who knows why, really (although, I swear, there has to be some correlation between the two). A bride myself 8 months ago, a bridesmaid several times, an avid wedding attender (12 weddings in 2013 alone), and a wedding industry professional, it’s no surprise the trend is changing and has been changing for some time from single-style bridesmaid dresses to, brace yourself, completely different bridesmaid dresses all-together. I reached out to a nice pool of fellow past brides and soon-to-be brides and put together a bit of information as to why lowering your bridezilla guard may be the key to wedding day bliss, beautiful pictures, and get this, avoiding future regrets.
For some time now, a reigning concern amongst brides has been finding that one bridesmaid dress style that complimented different body types and flattered different figures. This concern soon resulted in the very-popular, and still popular, same designer, different styles for different bridesmaids, because, not surprisingly, certain styles complimented certain bridesmaids more than others. In fact, a few contributing brides even mentioned that they only picked same-styled bridesmaid dresses for one of two reasons: either it was easiest (short planning timeframes, too many bridesmaids) or they flattered every single one of their bridesmaids.
The "different" trend continued. On a similar note, allowing your maid of honor to pick her own dress style, whether completely different or a variation of the same bridesmaid style, or allowing her to stand out in different ways - different headpiece, jewelry, or a different bridal bouquet - has become more widespread and made a little room for bridal party individuality. And then there’s the seamstress option - the bold “move away from bridal” to recreate imitations of beautiful designer dresses or just to simply, and more easily, create more flattering silhouettes via more trendy and organic styles.
(yes, this is me and that's my dog. Looking back, I now realize what a bad idea this was but isn't it the cutest picture?)
But in the past year, the “let the bridesmaids decide on their own dress styles” has made a bold move into the world of bridal - giving them a color scheme and allowing them to buy or make their dresses, picking out the actual fabric and allowing them to design their own dresses - and the reasons are pretty non-bridezillaesque:
- Allowing them to design their own dresses gets them more involved in the wedding planning process and makes them feel like their voices are heard;
- Allowing them to pick or design their own dresses allows them to wear the dresses again instead of leaving them hanging at the back of their closets;
And straight from the heart:
“I put myself in their situation, and imagined myself attending my best friend’s wedding. At the end of the day, your bridesmaids are guests of honor...and they should feel just as beautiful, comfortable, and confident as any other guest. I feel that achieving that would have been impossible if I had dictated what they were to wear.”
“I wanted them to like the dresses and feel beautiful the day of. They were the ladies that I had loved my whole life. I would want them to feel great the day I got married.”
“My friends are all fashionable and fabulous in their own way - and their dresses absolutely reflected that.”
And after looking back on their same-style bridesmaid dresses, some even full of regret:
“Maybe I would have given [the bridesmaid dress] task to the actual bridesmaids and [said] I 'approve'. They did spend the money after all on the dress and they did have to wear it. I trust my friends. That could have been a good idea”
All in all, it’s obvious that nowadays, maybe bridesmaid interests really do matter. And I’m not saying that a bride shouldn’t have a say in her bridesmaid dresses or that bridesmaid dresses are no longer a reflection of the bride or the wedding itself; frankly, whether or not the bridesmaids choose or design their own dresses, they’ll always be sensitive to the bride’s desires because, bottom line, it’s her wedding day (i.e., unless the bridesmaid has some strange vendetta against the bride, she won’t have her bust in the air if the bride is an avid conservative). What I am saying is that maybe we can blame it on stronger friendships, better trust habits, organic food products (who knows!) or maybe, just maybe, a spiked interest in things that are flat-out beautiful - friendships, flattering silhouettes, trust, and bridezillas allowing their maids to feel as beautiful, comfortable, and special than the bride herself (how times change!). I’m a fan of the latter. Let’s stick to that.
Happy bridesmaid dress shopping!
Bridesmaid dress shopping around the web:
- Love, Blush Bridal
- Weddington Way
- Zimmerman, U.S.
- J Crew
- David’s Bridal
Designers worth researching:
Local Miami Bridesmaid Shopping recommended to us by some fab contributors: