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Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own?

My wedding colors are black and white with pink accents. For bridesmaids, I intended on having them wear black dresses. All three of the girls in my wedding party have very different body types. On top of that, one maid is newly engaged herself, and trying to save money for her own wedding, and another one just recently got a job. I don't want them to have to buy a dress that they will only wear once.
My plan was a send them pictures of a few dresses that I like, and then let them pick a black, knee length dress that they like and find flattering. But my sister (who is also my  MOH) thinks this will lead to diaster.
Is anyone else planning something like this? Or has anyone tried it? What's your opinion, good way for everyone to get something they like, or diaster waiting to happen?

Re: Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own?

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    It's not your sister's wedding, so from here on out simply say "thanks for your opinion" and then ignore her. The only thing she gets a say on is the stuff the concerns her as a BM - budget, dress style, shoes, make-up, etc.

    I don't know what "disaster" could possibly come from allowing your best friends to dress themselves in classic LBDs. They'll thank you, and your pictures will look plenty uniform (check out stina's bio for one example of this). Go for it!
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    1) Black, knee length dresses are a good idea because they can wear them several times!
    2) Send them 2-3 choices and have them choose. You will have picked out the dresses but they will have picked out their personal preference. I don't think this will lead to diaster. Maybe your sister thought you were talking about having them pick their dress without you sending them choices???
    Anniversary
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    Sounds great!

    It's fine if you pick a designer you know they can all afford (maybe Alfred Angelo or David's Bridal ... and they could probably even find the DB dresses on eBay or Craigslist to save some cash), and specify a fabric if you want, and let them pick their own styles.

    It's also fine to say, "Get a black cocktail dress anyplace you want." If you want to make some limitations - no sparkles, no backless, a non-shiny material, whatever - that is also O.K. Or you can just let them go buck wild.

    I sent my two BMs a link to three Ann Taylor dresses - black, knee-length, silk taffetta - and let them each pick the one they wanted, and I bought them green sashes to wear. We got a good deal on them during a Cyber Monday sale. They seemed very happy with that arrangement, and they'll wear their own shoes and jewelry too.
    image
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaids-dresses-letting-pick-their-own?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:5f7bfb48-3098-4a98-9405-7ad52934a3a1Post:3cd7e3b8-c8a5-43e7-8a39-ba99b6bbd015">Re: Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maybe your sister thought you were talking about having them pick their dress without you sending them choices???
    Posted by suz62984[/QUOTE]

    That would be fine too. I agree that if one's in a sundress and one's in a ballgown it'll look odd, but I think with length guidelines and a general idea of formality, they can each pick a dress without the bride's input.

    (For the record, I asked all my girls to buy matching dresses, so I think it's fine for a bride to ask for a specific dress or dresses, but I also don't think that it's necessary in this case since OP doesn't want to do that)
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    Our  BP chose their own, in our color scheme and fabric choices. It worked out great, they were able to choose a dress that they were comfortable in and in their price range.

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    My sister and only BM (I know, 1 made it tons easier) and I went shopping and I asked her to get a specific shade and general feel (summer sundress-ish) and then she's picking out her own. I'm not even sure which one she has gone with :-P. I think it's a really nice thing to let them pick out their own dress- everyone will feel more comfortable, whether it's shape or price. 
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    I picked the color, fabric and length (Aria dresses), and they look fantastic.  PIB.  I would let them each pick their own, maybe with a few restrictions (no boobs hanging out, no sparkles, whatever).  I promise it won't lead to disaster, esp if you trust them to keep it classy.
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    I was in a wedding, where we just had to get a black dress (any length), and all of the dresses were different. But I think it looked nice. See pic below...
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    What disaster does your sister foresee if all the dresses are different?  What act of God is sure to happen?
    Courtesy of megk8oz
    image
    "I think bablingbrooke is the 13 yr old marring her cousin at the town hall. Lets all give her a big hand. And hope her inbred children can live normal lives." -tabs.

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    I went shopping with my bridesmaids but still let them pick out their own.  I was able to tell them what I really liked on them and what I did not like whatsoever.  My rules were, they had to have a red dress and it couldn't be revealing.  To my suprise, they all liked the same dress!
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    My colors are black and white.  My BM's will be wearing black dresses also. I told all of them to find a dress that the love and will wear again.  My only stipulation was that it had to be at the knee or below.  I know all my BM's well enough that they would never pick anything out innapropriate.  I wont even see two of their dresses until my wedding weekend because they are out of state.  I am totally ok with it too!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaids-dresses-letting-pick-their-own?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:5f7bfb48-3098-4a98-9405-7ad52934a3a1Post:3d39e4ee-c2fe-4099-83da-fee94ff40c78">Re: Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own? : The one girl is really girly, and she thinks her dress will be nothing but ruffles and sparkles. The other one dresses like a hippie, and she thinks she would show up in a shapeless maxi dress.
    Posted by GACCAK[/QUOTE]

    Ok, that's what your sister thinks, and clearly that would bug her. But do you care? If so then give some guidelines on length and style, but if not then your sister can deal.
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    My bridesmaids will all be wearing the same dress, but they are picking it out. I had originally thought to let them all pick a LBD, but they, as a group decided that they wanted the same dress, so that's what we will do, although I was a little shocked that they decided that.

    I think pps gave you some great ideas, and that it won't be a disaster if you let them choose their own.
    Photobucket
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaids-dresses-letting-pick-their-own?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:5f7bfb48-3098-4a98-9405-7ad52934a3a1Post:738dd6b0-ba1a-4f5c-ab48-049c7576064e">Re: Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My bridesmaids will all be wearing the same dress, but they are picking it out. I had originally thought to let them all pick a LBD, but they, as a group decided that they wanted the same dress, so that's what we will do, although I was a little shocked that they decided that. 
    Posted by mags0607[/QUOTE]

    <div>Mine did the same thing.  They looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested they all get different dresses in the same color.  </div>
    Courtesy of megk8oz
    image
    "I think bablingbrooke is the 13 yr old marring her cousin at the town hall. Lets all give her a big hand. And hope her inbred children can live normal lives." -tabs.

    A word of warning from your friends at Cracked.com: Remember that text is going to be how you make your first impression over the internet; if every third word you type is misspelled, people will automatically assume that you're a moron.
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    See, I think the veto provides everyone a safety net; it seems a lot of bridesmaids don't like choosing their own dress because they don't want to pick the wrong thing.  It's up to the bride to be judicious about it, especially if the dress has already been purchased.  For instance, the dress our groomswoman ended up with wasn't quite what I had in mind, but she had already purchased it, so I let it go.  If she hadn't yet bought it, I might have advised her to keep looking.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    image
    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
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    If I was a BM and the bride told me she reserved the right to veto (which I think is reasonable, esp. if the BM's choices are sometimes questionable) I would take that to mean that I should send a photo before I buy.
    Courtesy of megk8oz
    image
    "I think bablingbrooke is the 13 yr old marring her cousin at the town hall. Lets all give her a big hand. And hope her inbred children can live normal lives." -tabs.

    A word of warning from your friends at Cracked.com: Remember that text is going to be how you make your first impression over the internet; if every third word you type is misspelled, people will automatically assume that you're a moron.
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    I love the idea of black cocktail dresses.  If you specify a length and minimal detailing (or no sparkles) you'll end up with a more coordinating look.  You could send them some examples of things you like.  I just googled black cocktail dress bridesmaid and got a lot of cute pics.  I'd bring them here, but I don't know how. 
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    HI there...I actually am doing the same thing as you were thinking of for my April wedding.  My colors are B&W, and I had picked out a bunch of dresses which I liked and then had my girls pick from those (as they are all different shapes and sizes).  THEY LOVED IT!!!  Not only did they mention that they all got a cute little black dress out of it, but each one of them now feels like she looks good in her dress, which is terrific.  I've been in several weddings where I have walked down the aisle and felt like I spent a ton of money on a dress which made me ook like a disaster, so my thought was that since I was planning on feeling like I looked great on my wedding day, it would be good if they could too.  And remember, this is your wedding...it's great for people to offer their opinions, but in the end, you need to be happy and have no regrets in 50 years when you are looking at the photos!  Good luck!!!
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    My color is sangria/wine and I am letting my BMs pick their own dress. I got them each a swatch from David's Bridal and gave them limitations - knee length, no halters, etc. Then, they can either get one at David's or if they find a dress at a department store or something, can see if the swatch matches.

    If they will be wearing black dresses, there is no reason for them not to buy one. It is a staple in a woman's closet - I'd be surprised if they didn't already have one!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    White Knot
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    I think that is a great idea!

    Set guidlines (black, knee length, fabric) and let the ladies pick which dress they want.

    They can also reuse the dress as well!
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    I'm letting my 3 BMs pick out their dresses from Alfred Angelo. They are cocktail length in Berry with Kiwi accent. As long as you give them guidelines for what you want, I think you'll be fine. No worries for disaster.
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    hi. i am new on here but i am doing this idea too! all my bm's are very different and i dont want them to feel uncomfortable in  any way so i gave them guidelines on length, color, and accessories and let them go for their own style.Laughing
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaids-dresses-letting-pick-their-own?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:5f7bfb48-3098-4a98-9405-7ad52934a3a1Post:77a4e9ef-2b9a-4c32-af9e-8f3aca4932af">Bridesmaids dresses - letting them pick their own?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My wedding colors are black and white with pink accents. For bridesmaids, I intended on having them wear black dresses. All three of the girls in my wedding party have very different body types. On top of that, one maid is newly engaged herself, and trying to save money for her own wedding, and another one just recently got a job. I don't want them to have to buy a dress that they will only wear once. My plan was a send them pictures of a few dresses that I like, and then let them pick a black, knee length dress that they like and find flattering. But my sister (who is also my  MOH) thinks this will lead to diaster. Is anyone else planning something like this? Or has anyone tried it? What's your opinion, good way for everyone to get something they like, or diaster waiting to happen?
    Posted by GACCAK[/QUOTE]
    I'm letting my brides maids pick there own. I went shopping with my girls and let them pick and of course they made sure I liked what they picked and suprisingly I loved what they picked :) Hope that helps
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    My six bridesmaids each chose her own dress, and we had no problems at all.  All of the girls were asked to choose an Alfred Angelo dress in charcoal...I didn't care if it was long, short, or whatever!  I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses.  Each one of my girls chose a different dress.  4 cocktail length, 2 floor length; 5 satin, one chiffon; 2 with sashes, 4 without sashes!  They are all happy and I'm happy too! 
    Dr. Googs is married to Mr. Pelvis. Happily ever after!
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