Ah, the bridesmaid dress. They have a bad reputation- and for good reason! Girls dread the day they have to go pay $300 for a dress that doesn’t fit quite right in lavender or sage that they will “totally wear again”. Guess what – you are not going to wear it again. I will admit, I even thought for a minute the dresses I picked out for my ladies could make another appearance in their lives….I was lying to myself…it’s something brides do to make themselves feel better when forcing their friends to do something awful. It’s ok.
So, why do we make our best friends and closest family members dress up like toddlers and tiaras…and all matching to top it off!? Well, here is a little history lesson for you: “A custom once existed where maidens dressed similarly to the bride would accompany her as her protectors on her way to the groom’s village. This would deflect spurned suitors from kidnapping the bride or from stealing her dowry. Roman law once required witnesses to come to weddings in order to confuse evil spirits as to the identity of the bride and groom. This meant that female wedding attendants came to a marriage ceremony in garments akin to the bride’s, while male wedding attendants–the forebears of ushers–wore attire that resembled the groom’s own clothing. This supposedly threw off bad luck that could be directed towards an easily identifiable bride and groom.” via So it didn’t even start out in a good way! Bridesmaids were fighting off kidnappers and evil spirits!
All that being said, the bridesmaid dress is a tradition. A tradition you can choose to take part in or not. Brides today are getting a little more flexible and creative- allowing their party to wear the same color but different styles, different colors, or heck, even totally different dresses.
One awesome discovery I made recently is a company called Little Borrowed Dress. Guys rent their formal wear for weddings- why shouldn’t the girls? LBD allows you to pay around $50 to rent a dress – they will send you two sizes so you can pick one that fits best, you get it two weeks ahead of time, and just return it as-is. Their stuff is cute too! Here are some of my faves:
For my own wedding I chose a printed dress- all the same pattern but the girls chose different styles. A lot of photographers are anti-print…It is a little busy…but it fit with our fun, backyard party-theme well.
I am a huge fan of ladies wearing different dresses but all in the same color scheme. Still sets them apart as the wedding party, but allows them to feel comfortable in something they want to wear!
All of that being said, I do think that for formal weddings, matching dresses look best. Sticking with neutral colors is always a good idea, and try to be sensitive to everyone’s body types.
In the end, they are your best friends. They will suck it up and wear whatever you want them to. They will however, not wear it again. So what’s the word people? To match or not to match?