1.I would like each of my bridesmaids to wear a different color, but I don’t want them to clash. How can I make this work? What should I do about flowers? The groomsmen?
The key to pulling off a multicolored bridal party is unity, meaning your bridesmaids should all wear dresses made of the same material in a similar tone. If you’re opting for jewel colors, choose shades like emerald green, sapphire blue and plum—all of which look good together. If pastels are your passion, try dusty rose, pale gray and sage. Flowers should coordinate with each dress, meaning each bouquet should be a different color. But unless you want your party to look like a dance troupe, don’t play mix-and-match with the guys. Have them go with a uniform look—navy suits, black tuxedos or white tie.
2.I love my three bridesmaids—do I have to pick a maid of honor? How would I explain that without upsetting the other two? Would the lack of hierarchy mean that no one would feel obligated to plan my bachelorette party? I want them to work together and be able to save money.
No, you do not have to choose a favorite amongst your besties. I can’t think of a single reason they would be upset; the contrary should be true. But lest you think I’m all Pollyanna, I blame reality TV for amping up the competition in relationships. No one will get voted off the island; no one will be sent home without a rose. Tell your BFFs exactly what you’ve told us and enjoy yourselves.
3. I’m planning a summer wedding. Is it OK for my bridesmaids to wear black dresses?
Black is beautiful—even at a summer soiree. Just make sure that the dresses are fun, not funereal. The best way to do that is to opt for lightweight fabrics and designs that aren’t too covered, or to mix things up with bridesmaid dresses featuring trim in a lighter hue. If you’re having an evening affair, chiffon and organza are two dressy, elegant options.
4. In order to make things easier for my bridesmaids, I told them they could wear any dress they wanted, as long as it was lilac. Now I’m having second thoughts—will it look too much like a hodgepodge?
It might. While we applaud your gesture, having attendants attire themselves can be tricky. “You may find that you don’t like what they’ve selected,” says Cristina DeMarco, senior buyer at Bridal Reflections, a New York salon. “And if they’re picking different designers and materials, you’ll end up with multiple shades of lilac.”
To give your ladies a say in what they wear—while monitoring their choices—visit a bridal salon with a large inventory of attendants’ gowns, and choose a dress that can be ordered in several styles. This way, each maid can select the silhouette that best suits her body—halter, strapless, V-neck—and fashion harmony will still prevail. “It’s a win-win situation,” says DeMarco. “Your bridesmaids will be happy and they’ll all look beautiful.”
5. I wanted to ask five of my good friends to be bridesmaids, but my fiancé says that’s way too many. Now, so as to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, I’m thinking about not having any attendants at all. Does that make sense to you?
If your fiancé is worried that he’ll have trouble coming up with five groomsmen, tell him not to worry—bridal parties don’t have to be symmetrical. However, you can certainly skip the tradition of having bridesmaids and groomsmen and just ask your friends to attend the wedding as guests instead.