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Tight budgets, different body types

I only have three bridesmaids, but with VERY different body types... one is 6'2" and very thin, another's 5'8" and a bit on the heavy side, and the other one's 5'2" and wears about a size six. (I feel like I'm dressing the three bears or something, lol) I have no idea what will look good on all of them!  I like the idea of just telling the girls to just choose their own dress, as long as it's purple and appropriate for a wedding, but my mom insists this is horribly tacky.  To further complicate things, one of the girls is a full time college student and another works at a very low paying job, so I feel bad asking them to shell out a sizeable amount of cash for something they'll only wear once... which again, is one reason I like the choose-your-own-dress idea.  They've all got good taste, I'm sure nobody is going to choose something horrendous.

So, to sum things up... any ideas for three differently shaped bridesmaids on a tight budget for a mostly-purple-themed laid back (but still pretty traditional) outdoor summer wedding?

Re: Tight budgets, different body types

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    It's not horribly tacky at all!  Your mom's thinking is just a bit dated.

    Check out stina's bio--her BMs had different black dresses.  You can't tell unless your'e focusing on it.  I've been in and to weddings where the BMs wore different dresses in a coordinating color/fabric/length and it looks great.  
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    Your mom is really wrong about this.  It isn't tacky at all to have mixed dresses, and is really common.  Ultimately, BM dresses aren't up to her anyway. 

    I'd pick out a purple at DB and ask them all to get a dress in that color.  Then tip them off that they can get a discontinued or off the rack dress at the store, DB.com, or ebay, for a fraction of the cost.  I bought a discontinued DB dress for an event for $20 once. 
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    You are right, Mom is wrong. You have a good idea.

    Two options:

    1. Pick a designer you know they can all afford (talk to each of them about her budget so you know what price point you are working with, and maybe chip in a bit yourself - nice but not required). Then pick your desired shade of purple, plus a fabric and a skirt length if you wish, and ask them to choose their own dress within those requirements. (Like MNIN said, if you choose a brand like David's Bridal that's widely available, they can find cheap dresses on the clearance racks or maybe on eBay or Craigslist.)

    2. Go to a hardware store, get paint swatches of your desired color, distribute them to the BMs, and tell them to get a dress that closely matches that shade. You can specify skirt length if you want, and anything else (no backless, no sparklies, no other colors in the dress, whatever you want).

    And a third option would be to ask them each to get their own black cocktail dress or floor-length gown, and then give them purple accessories ... jewelry, wraps, hairpieces, a satin or ribbon sash, etc. Or just use the flowers ... purple flowers would pop nicely against black dresses.
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    OP, that sounds exactly like the preliminary round of my BM dress shopping (except our tallest BM is 5' 8", and I have 5 instead of 3).  My mom had the same problem with the idea.

    So we "compromised" - and basically did precisely what I wanted anyway.  I picked a designer (Alfred Angelo), a color (grape), a length (floor), and a fabric (satin).  That way they would all pick a flattering shape for their body types, but they would still have a lot of continuity in the specifics.

    Here are the three we have picked so far:

    For my sister/MOH.



    For one of my BMs - on the bigger side.  It'll have spagetti straps.



    For my shortest BM.
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    Oh, the visuals are because that was one of the best ways for us to convince my mom.  When she saw pictures of different styles with the same fabric/color/etc. she was more receptive of the idea.
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    Don't let your mom take control of this- especially if their budgets are tight.  You can also go to DB or AA and try ont he dresses, find ones they really like, then search: netbride, pearls place, ebay, or a bunch of other places that sell used dresses, or cheaper ones.  Netbride got me $80 off the store price of a Bari Jay gown. 
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    I have the same problem, as my 3 BMs range in height from 5'2" to 6" and size from 0 to 22.  I approached the issue by first asking for their preferences in dresses, then reading the reviews of various styles I found online.  I managed to find a dress from DB that would not only flatter each of them, but that they all liked.  If you really want them to all wear the same thing, you could try this route, otherwise different styles in the same color should work as well.
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    First, ask them for their budgets individually.

    Then, pick a designer, color and maybe length (they can always try on with you to see which is the most flattering for all) and tell them to rock it.

    Girls in dresses of the same overall look but different cuts look great!  And mom won't know the difference if you don't tell her.
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