The Dress: Bridesmaids' Choice

Group of bridesmaids

No dress looks good on everyone (unfortunately, this isn’t the sisterhood of travelling pants!). With this in mind, why not let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses? It’s important that your friends feel beautiful and comfortable on your big day too. And if you're on a budget, your bridesmaids might already have a dress that would be perfect for the occasion!

If you're going to let your bridesmaids choose their own dress, we recommend you give your girls some guidelines, but keep them simple. Here are some things to think about.


Provide a colour swatch or a colour palette (stores like Mitre 10 are a great place find the perfect colour samples and hues).  Going with a colour theme (e.g. pastels) or colours within a range (like the above picture) is a great way to achieve some form of cohesion while having a range of colours.  If you're wanting everyone in exactly the same colour, it will be much harder to get everyone's dress to match exactly unless you buy all the dresses from the same store. But one way to achieve consistency in colour without needing to do this is to go for dresses in black, navy, or white.


Long, short, or mid-calf? If you're going for different colours, we suggest sticking to one length.


Do you want all of the dresses to have sleeves? Can they be strapless? Can they have a print or should they be plain? The overall vibe of your wedding including location and decorations will likely have an impact on this one! A New Zealand beach wedding will allow for a more casual style for your bridesmaids than a glam evening wedding. Letting your girls know your overall vision should also help them choose an appropriate dress.


We suggest being flexible on this, but again bear in mind the type of wedding you are planning. Think about lace, prints, and material type (cotton, silk, chiffon, linen, etc). 

What about embellishments like glitter, sequins, or tassels? If there is anything you really can’t stand, definitely veto it from the beginning.

Send your bridesmaids group reference shots (hello, Pinterest!) and provide links to dresses that meet your criteria. You might want to suggest that your girls send their own ideas through to you once they've done some window shopping! But trust that your bridesmaids will buy dresses that make them feel flawless, but won’t upstage you as the bride.

Letting your bridesmaids choose their own dresses allows each of your bridesmaids to set their own budget and purchase something they might actually wear again. They will thank you for it! Plus, it's totally on trend and it looks amazing in photos!

Group of bridesmaids