• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
Wedding Party

Dress Shopping

So I've already decided that I want my bridesmaids to be in matching dresses (I'm a traditionalist) and wasn't really sure if I wanted to do the whole group shopping trip as from the sounds of the board you hear of more disasters than good experiences.  Also, it is honestly almost impossible to get everyone on a free weekend together...we're all so busy!

For those of you who had also decided on doing matching dresses, did you find it easier to do the group shopping trip, picking the dress out on your own, or just going with maybe just your MOH or close friend and ultimately making the decision yourself?

Side note:  All of my bridesmaids are very attractive but with different body types and I wasn't planning on doing some outrageous dress that only one person could pull off.  Clean lines, simple, flattering...that's what I'm going for.

Re: Dress Shopping

  • I didn't do matching dresses ... I had two BMs and they had a choice between three necklines on a similar dress (although I'll bet you can't even tell from the photos).

    If I had done matching dresses, however, I would've wanted to give each BM an opportunity to try on the dress before we decided to order it. So I would've either tried to organize one shopping trip, or maybe agreed to do 2 or 3 shopping trips within a month for whoever could attend each date.

    If that was impossible, I'd probably go with MOH and narrow it down to 2 or 3 dresses, e-mail the choices to the girls and tell them to try them on at their local salons and send me their vote by a certain date, and the majority vote would be the winner.

    I would also definitely start by e-mailing each girl and asking what she could afford to spend. That way, when I was picking out some finalist dresses, I'd know what price range to stay under. (That way you don't hear a chorus of, "I can't afford that" when it comes time to pay for the dresses.)
  • edited August 2010
    I had five BMs, and I was able to get four of them together on one night to try on dresses.  I had two dresses picked out and let them try them on and decide which one they liked.  The BM who couldn't make it that night went another night and tried on the dress.  Everyone agreed that they liked the dress and felt comfortable in it, and I had them order after that.

    Side note:  I wish I would have let them all pick their own dress (same color but whatever style they wanted.)  They all looked great in the dress we agreed on together, but there was probably another dress out there they might have looked better. 
  • We didn't do a group trip because everyone's spread out across two continents. This is what worked for us with no drama and minimal shopping time:

    I had an idea of what kind of dress I wanted, found a bunch of possibilities online and put them all in a Google Doc. My friends all commented on the dresses. We narrowed it down to 3 they wanted to try on but could only find 2 of those close to anyone. Two of my friends went to try on those two and hated them - they looked bad on them both, and they're different body shapes. Found a few more that were along the same lines as things I'd liked. Their favorite was everyone else's favorite including mine. I went to see it in person just to see the color, I liked it, we ordered.

    I think it's really important that everyone have the chance to try the dress on, but I don't think you need to have organized shopping trips - people can go whenever they have time.
  • I have 5 BMs, 3 out of state, all different body types. I choose David's Bridal because it was just easier for the girls. I got everyone's budgets and looked within that price range. I sent the girls an email with 5 different styles. It came down to two styles. 3 of the girls went during their free time to try the dresses on and gave me their top vote. 1 didn't care and just looked at the links and voted. 1 girl went shopping with me and voted. All voted for the same dress thank goodness; however, if they didn't I probably would have gone with the majority vote.

    At the time I really wanted everyone in the same dress...now that I look back I care less about that. Good thing I lucked out with everyone liking the same dress. Defiantly do separate shopping trips but narrow down their choices so that there is less confusion and mayhem.
  • I like the idea of narrowing it down with my MOH to a couple of choices and then asking the girls to vote (assuming I'm indifferent to which one is the winner).  That way they can go and try on the dresses if they would like before they give their preference.  Based on where we all live it's not logical for me to organize even one on one trips with each of them and I certainly don't have the time to go on 5 separate shopping trips on different weekends lol.

    I like the ideas though! 
  • Since my girls live all over the country, I suppose if I had gone the matching dresses route, I would have done most of the preliminary stuff via e-mail and IM (finding out budgets, trading links to potential dresses, finding out style preferences, etc).  Then, once I'd narrowed it down to a few top choices, I'd have asked them to go to a local salon to try them on, and then get back to me with their opinions, and choose the dress from there.

    ...Which sounds like WAAAAAAAY too much work.  Which is why I just told them to wear black.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • Black was my initial choice for a bridesmaids dress color, which would have been great and easy to have them choose their own style.  My colors have changed to a lot lighter of a palette so I need to go with something a little bit softer (haven't decided on color yet though).
  • I tried to leave it up to my BM even giving them the option of wearing a LBD they already have or all heading to DB and all picking different dresses in the same color.  And it made way more complicated than it needed to be.  No one could decide with everyone wanting something different.  So I ened up having to make the decision anyways and I went with pick any dress in Apple (red) from David's Bridal.

    Picking one dress for multiple body types may not work out but making the decision will help tons.  Just keep thier budget in mind.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Actually, it isn't really an "old tradition" to have them all matching. When my grandparents were married, it was totally unheard of among their peers to have matching dresses.

    It would honestly be easier to let them choose their own.

    BUT if you insist you will not consider that, just make sure you let them all try on the dress that you decide on. It would really bother me if I couldn't even try on a dress that I had to buy for a wedding.

    Before you start internet searching just be careful of one thing- My friend did this and kept showing all her BMs dresses she liked. We continually kept falling in love with dresses that were over our budget because she never knew what the prices of the dresses were.

  • When I go back and look at photos of my parents weddings, none of the girls are in matching dresses, let alone matching colors! I had every intention of letting my girls pick a knee length black dress from DB and let them run with it. My MOH and I went and we chose 4 dresses for the registry. She went home and her and the second BM went and tried on all 4 again, and they ended up liking the same dress, and the third will end up choosing that one as well because she wants to be able to wear an actual bra. So, in the end, even though they had the choice, thet'll end up with the same dress.
  • Another option could be to order online, so the girls can just order their street sizes. And then return the dresses if they don't work out.

    I did Ann Taylor dresses. I wanted LBDs and AT had three available (strapless, v-neck and scoop-neck) in the same fabric. I e-mailed them to my BMs and asked if they wanted to try these, and if so they could pick whichever of the three they wanted. And since Ann Taylor returns are pretty easy, I said that if they didn't wind up liking them, we could return them and then start from scratch with another store.

    MOH ordered v-neck in her street size and liked it, so she was done. BM ordered strapless and scoop-neck in her street size because she couldn't decide which style she wanted ... she liked the scoop-neck better but it didn't fit right because she's busty, so she returned both and had a bigger scoop-neck sent to her and she had a tailor alter it down a bit. So everything worked out great, and this entire process (including BM's returns) took about two weeks tops.

    So, there's another idea. You could always have them order from something like AnnTaylor.com or JCrew.com, or Nordstrom.com as well. Someplace with a good exchange/return policy. I liked this because I wasn't thrilled with the idea of having to go to a salon, try on a million things, get measured, wait months for the dresses to come in, and then get lots of alterations.
  • Haha ok, maybe I used the word "old" very loosely but based on previous family and friends of mine that got married several years prior to me (parents, older cousins, older friends, etc.) it seemed as though matching dresses were the "norm" and lately I've noticed a lot of posts on here about letting bridesmaids pick their own.  I guess I just prefer the uniform look regardless but I'm getting off topic.

    When I was in my older cousin's wedding several years back, we were just taken to Vera Wang and were shown the dress we would be wearing.  I thought nothing of this so that's why I was asking about the whole group shopping thing.  I've just had a lot more experience with matching dresses and since I assume it is impossible to please everybody I wanted to know how others were handling it.

    I appreciate it!
  • PS I totally agree with you, mbcdefg, that ordering something off of Jcrew, Nordstrom, etc. with street sizes tends to be easier than the salon hassle.  I think I need to do more investigating because a lot of the girls are very tall and I'm worried about things being too short, not enough hem to let out, etc.  It's something worth looking into though so thank you for the suggestion!
  • I wanted the same dress for my girls, i jsut didnt have any idea of what dresses i wanted for them - due to that i schedueld a weekend that worked for 4 out of my 6 girls (all but one needed to travel 3-5 hrs, including me) and we went shopping.  i really wanted them to pick out some dresses, but they all wanted me to pick out dresses - sigh.  In the end the 4 that were there ended up loving a dress we found, and when i emailed the other two they loved it aswell.  Im glad i got to get some of them together, since i we dont live near eachother and it was great to see those that could make it. (ps this was in no way a mandantory visit - just more of a hey, i wanted to go look at possible BM dresses, if your free and want to meet me at X spot that would be wonderful!)

    My MOH did things differently, she just went with her Sis (MOH) and they found a dress the loved, then emialed the rest of the girls -- but she has 7 bms and 2 jr, all living in different locations as well.  

    I think both ways worked really well.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • From my experiences (with my own wedding and the few I've been in as a BM), I preferred having everyone there for input. For my wedding, I hadn't said that the girls need the same dress, and we got three of the four (or three out of five including JBM) together for shopping, and texted pictures to the one who couldn't be there. They ended up loving the same dress, and it worked out. I later had the JBM come in and see if she liked the dress the other girls picked out, or if she preferred to be in a different style.

    When I was in my cousin's wedding, I had no input on the dress, just told to go to David's Bridal and order it. I was told that the dress was flattering on all sizes and that's why it was picked. I have to disagree. I think it looked bad on all the girls, and felt I should have at least been invited to go dress shopping, whether or not all the girls could make it.

    So even if not all the girls can make it, I know it's hard coordinating people's schedules, I would at least invite them to come. If you can share pictures, they can have some input, I think that works the best IMHO. GL!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards