You must agree a price range first because whoever pays must be comfortable with the decision. Be sensitive to those who may feel they have to go along with the other bridesmaids but may be stretching their resources.
Price will determine what your range of options are and where you go to buy your dresses. You may be able to do a deal with the maker of your bride’s dress if you are also shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses. Shop around; maybe have the bridesmaids appoint a representative to go with you. Come back with some ideas of costs.
You have a range of options: same color as bride; different but complimentary; contrasting. This is a matter of personal choice but unless you are having some New Age affair in the woods, it is recommended that all the bridesmaids are dressed in the same color. It is a good idea to take with a sample of the dressing dress and then try it with different colors. The bride should insist on the final color scheme but it is important to reach agreement. Depending on your bridesmaids and your relationship with them, it may be a good idea to have a firm opinion in advance about what you want. It is your wedding after all!
Before you decide on a different color to the bride you have to consider the overall look, and think of flowers, corsages or other accessories. Will I work? Get some advice. The best people are the ones with experience; dress shop owners, family and friends who have made their own weddings. Take advice and make a decision.
One last word of warning: don’t forget the poor groom and best man. You need to know what colors (all the poor dears will have a limited choice compared to you) they are wearing so you don’t clash with them.
This is very much a matter of taste and fashion. It is also determined by the bride’s dress. Your bridesmaids’ dresses really must compliment the bride’s dress. Contrasting styles can look disastrous. Depending on the formality of the occasion you do not have to insist on all bridesmaids’ dresses being exactly the same style but they should ‘match’. Again, it’s very much a matter of how you want your wedding.
You will be surprised at what bridesmaids are wearing these days if you are used to a ‘traditional’ look. These days bridesmaids’ dresses come in a variety of styles which will make your bridesmaids drop-dead gorgeous and turn the aisle into a catwalk!
Strapless dresses are very popular now as are spaghetti straps. Lengths vary but be sure to go for one length for all to look co-ordinated.
You might also want to consider that today’s bridesmaids wear dresses that can be re-used as evening wear, cocktail dresses, suits and so on. So when choosing, bear in mind that whatever the expense and whoever pays it is a nice thought that your girls will be able to wear their outfit many times in the future.