Your bridesmaids are your best friends. These tips will help you keep them like that. Many brides go all out with the bridesmaids’ attire, making everyone where the same color, same style, and the same accessories. In these modern times, it is no longer appropriate to do that. Follow these ideas to ensure your bridesmaids will love their dresses.

First of all, no one said they didn’t have to match. In fact, if you tell your bridesmaids to wear whatever they want, you are in for a disaster. The only problem is the extent of matching. For example, there are three different ways to match your bridesmaid dresses in a way that they will have individuality. First, you can have them all wear the same style and let them choose one of your wedding colors (give them swatches so they don’t go overboard). Second, you can choose one or two colors and let them choose the style they want (from the same manufacturer so the colors match). Third, you can let them choose their own style and their own color from a list that you have compiled of “acceptable” dresses.

Second of all, keep your bridesmaids in mind when looking at dresses. Would your tall red-head look as good in that dress as your stocky blond? What about your preppy college friend and your high school “concert buddy”? Different people all have different styles, not to mention different colors and shades that look good with their coloring. Make sure you keep all these ideas in mind when picking out colors and/or styles. The best way to go is to do the third option and let them choose from a designated list. This gives you control over-all, but lets them feel truly independent. You can even let them get their dresses from different designers if you choose a color scheme (like various colors of green) and a style idea (like only dresses with halter tops). This way, they don’t have to buy their dress from the salon down the street from you and have more chance of being able to buy a dress from a store accessible to them.

Third of all, remember their financial situations. If your best friend is still paying her way through college, don’t make her buy a $400 dress- that would just be cruel. Generally, it’s a good idea to keep your dress budget around $200. Definitely try to keep it under $200 so that your bridesmaids will be happy with your decision. Another consideration with money is- will they wear it again? If you don’t think they would ever wear the dress you pick out again, try to keep the price as low as possible. This doesn’t mean if they will wear it that it’s okay to have them spend $350- just be cautious about your decision. If you happen to follow one of the three options for matching the dresses, your bridesmaids are likely to wear them again since they had a say in it. However, it might be better still if you find inexpensive two piece that they can wear separately for every-day occasions. If you do choose an expensive dress that they won’t wear again (ex: if it’s too formal), then it is a good idea if you pitch in with their costs.

One of the main things to remember is that these bridesmaids are in fact your friends and you do not want to sabotage them by making them wear something hideous just to make yourself look better. Make sure all of your bridesmaids are happy with their dress before making them purchase it. This way, you will all be able to have a great day.