Navigating the Bridesmaid Dress Dance

Navigating the Bridesmaid Dress Dance

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Jennifer Hunter
Jul 30, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Elise (who works here at the Apartment Therapy office) is the sweetest, most low-key soon-to-be bride who just happens to have seven bridesmaids scheduled in her wedding next June. She's doing it right and thinking about her bridesmaids as people, not props. She wants the dreaded dress dance to go as smoothly as possible but it still seems impossible. How should she get everyone clothed and happy? We need your help.

Her biggest concern: that her bridesmaids feel comfortable, physically and emotionally. But that's easier said than done. Here are some options she's considering:

• Buying all seven dresses herself and calling it a day.

• Designating a theme color and letting her bridesmaids choose/buy their own dress.

•Picking up the tab for a few of the members of the wedding party who had so few requirements at their own weddings that she just can't justify asking them to buy a pricy dress in her honor (and creating a potentially awkward "fairness" situation).

• Choosing an inexpensive dress that won't bust anyone's budget and leaving up to each lady order her own (she hasn't had much success finding a dress that qualifies here).

Remember, Elise has participated in (and bought dresses for) several of these ladies' own weddings so asking for the same in return doesn't seem like a big inconvenience.

She wants her wedding party to look nice, of course, but isn't so concerned about perfect uniformity. She doesn't want to offend her friends by buying them their dresses (and essentially forcing them to wear what she picks), but she thinks it might be a financial hardship for at least a few women.

See? It's hard. As low-key as she is (and, as Elise says, "every bride thinks she's being low-key"), there's still so much to consider.

So,we want the benefit of your experience. What's worked for the weddings you've been in?

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