Here is our specific blog post. I've spent hours, probably days of my life looking at the blog. If you look, you will too.
Picking one bridesmaid dress that works well for all members of the bridal party can be really tough and probably...for those of you who have done it..uncomfortable? I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and gorgeous in their dress and figured the best way to do that was to let them pick what they wanted. This might not always turn out perfectly, but for this wedding I think it went flawless!
First, I was so surprised at how similar many of the girls' taste was. I knew we were all somewhat similar, but when it comes to picking out a dress that you love and fits your body type, a lot of them really liked the same exact style. Below are some recommendations that might make it easier for someone else who is hoping to do the same thing:
1. Talk to everyone casually about what they like, length, material, shade of the color, etc. If you find that everyone likes the same thing, it could be difficult when you tell everyone to go out and pick what they like - you might have one bridesmaid who likes a dark strapless dress and all of the rest like light halter tops. If everyone has similar taste, it's probably better if you put some parameters and tell which maid to get dark, which to get light, etc.
|By the way, hangers from Whiskey & Wedding Bells, amazing.|
2. In my opinion, they should all be the same length. If you are going to do something mis-matched there needs to be one element that is the same. In my personal opinion, it should be the length. I've seen others do the same accessories, shoes, etc. Anything could work as long as you remember to keep something *noticeable* constant.
3. After deciding on a length I went to the paint store to look at all of the different shades of grey. There were about 50 of them...ha..........hahaha. Anyway, if you still haven't determined a color and you know you want your dresses to be mismatched, you want to pick a color that has a lot of good shades. If you love bright red, but you hate burgundy and you think lighter tones look too pink - red probably won't work. In this case, you might want to pick a uniform color for your bridesmaids and then they can pick the style. I'd recommend that with any bright color. With grey, I found that the shades were either warm or cool. Some greys leaned more towards a tan or brown color (warm), while others were more towards black or blue (cool.) I picked up paint shades that showed all of the "cool" shades of grey that I thought would look nicely together and put these in the bridesmaid packages. My bridesmaids were all pretty close and ended up going shopping together a few times, but for bridesmaids who are spread out distance wise, these paint chips could be really helpful for the solo-shopper.Because many shopped together we found it a bit easier to determine who purchased what shade, but naturally some bridesmaids will prefer a darker or lighter shade based on their skin tones - let them pick first and the others can fill in afterwards. We didn't calculate who had what shade obsessively, the girls picked what they wanted and the last few who purchased asked the group what we were lacking.
4. Material. This is really important especially because it will be noticeable in pictures. There is a big difference between chiffon and silk for instance. It just happens that I really liked the variety in color and material (this has a lot to do with the color being grey...cream would be the same way.) But most often, you'll want to determine a material for the dresses. This totally come down to personal preference.
5. Style was the most important thing for me to let the girls choose on their own. In their bridesmaids gift I sent a few pictures I found of dresses I really liked so they would know what my style was and I trusted them to go with the ideas. What would be most important is if you hated a particular style, you need to make that apparent early on in the process.
6. To keep things a bit more uniform since style, color and material were all matching - the girls had similar hairstyles that were down. This really really helped to pull it all together. Some hair up and some hair down would have really highlighted the differences and I think the hair down and the length being the two constants worked out perfectly.