Wedding season is officially upon us, which means bridesmaids everywhere are slipping into dresses of all styles, colors and lengths. Even though brides do a lot to make sure 'maids love their dresses, chances are they won't be wearing them again. In fact, according to research from Wedding Paper Divas, 55% of female members of wedding parties say they wouldn't even consider wearing their dress again--even though a whopping 96% report liking or loving their dress!
Guess what? It's ok if your bridesmaids aren't completely in love with their dresses - as long as they feel comfortable and confident. Finding a balance can be a struggle, so here are some surefire ways to keep your 'maids happy without compromising your wedding style.
Keep the Cost Low
Your bridesmaids will be less willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that will never again see the light of day. Look for sales or online deals and retailers with options for a variety of body shapes and sizes to limit the cost of alterations.
You can also rent! Union Station offers a wide variety of gorgeous rentals, similar to Rent the Runway, which is convenient and affordable. Be sure to discuss any budgetary constraints with your gals beforehand - they will really appreciate your consideration.
Let Them Have a Say
You get to make the final call, but involve your bridesmaids in the decision-making process when looking for dresses! It will show them you are willing cater to some of their preferences and that their opinions are valued. Plus, it's a great excuse to spend some time shopping and lunching with your favorite girls!
Understand that a certain cut may not be flattering for every body type. In these situations, let your bridesmaids choose their own dress style in the fabric or color of your choosing. There are a variety of ways to make "mismatched" dresses look cohesive - just pick a few common elements (length, shade, straps, etc.) and roll with it. If you're afraid of too much variation, select a few different gowns for your bridesmaids to choose from.
Say Thank You With Alterations
Looking for a fun and useful thank-you gift for your bridesmaids? Have their dresses altered after the wedding in the style of their choosing. With some hemlines raised or tulle removed, your bridesmaids might actually get some more uses out of their dresses.
Help Them Sell
Offer to help your bridesmaids sell their dresses after the wedding...and don't be offended by the notion! Sites like Wore it Once and Bridesmaid Trade are great online marketplaces to easily list and sell bridesmaids' dresses. Bonus: bridesmaids on a budget can also shop for gently-used dresses on these websites!
Above all, open communication with your bridesmaids is key. Be straightforward and let them know that while they may not wear their dresses again, having a cohesive style or look is important to you. Most of your bridesmaids are more than happy to support you on your big day in any way they can. Just be sure to show your appreciation for their efforts!