In the old days, the bridesmaid dress looked exactly like the bride’s wedding gown because bridesmaids are supposed to trick any evil spirits who may want to bring misfortune to the bride on her wedding day. Although that is no longer today’s practice, you should still give the same type of consideration to the bridesmaid dress as you would your own wedding dress.
Part of Your Entourage
Having a nice bridesmaid dress can make your bridesmaid feel like she’s really part of the celebrations and not just a third wheel (or fourth or fifth). While she does not have to keep the bad spirits away from you, she will really be more willing to help out if she knows she’s appreciated.
Look Alike, but Not Exactly One way to let your bridesmaid feel that she is appreciated is to pattern the bridesmaid dress to your wedding gown, but a much simpler version. Like perhaps having the same neckline and bodice, but with less embroidery or in the color of the motif or at a different length. Most designers will have bridesmaid dress designs that will accentuate the specialness of the wedding dress but at the same time give the bridesmaid their own chance to shine.
Along with the dress, you can also give your bridesmaids flower corsages or mini bouquets to complete the look. You can even have a girl’s day out and get inputs from them on how they want their dresses to look like. There is always room to compromise.
Another good idea is to choose simple designs and give your bridesmaids a free hand in the accessories that they will wear along with it, like shoes or bags. You could tell them the general description like it has to be of a this color for the shoes or general description of hairstyles but leave the interpretation to them. Let your bridesmaids personalities shine through.
Getting in with the Program
In case you want your wedding to be a “themed” wedding, try to be as flexible as you can about the idea. Think “substantial compliance” and not “letter of the law”. Not everyone wants to look like Scarlet O’Hara with ruffles and parasols. You also do not want to end up with bridesmaids whose main accessory is an “I feel really silly but it’s her wedding so let’s humor her” smile on her face. Neither will you want them to post a photo on their FaceBook profiles with the most unflattering of comments (they can and they will). Like the way the chorus line can make the diva look a lot better, your bridesmaids should also look good to make you look fabulous.
Still the Top Banana
It is reasonable to expect that you should still be the highlight of the entourage and most bridesmaids will understand and give in to this demand. In case you do have a bridesmaid that would like her bridesmaid dress to be better than yours, then it’s time to find a replacement.