(a) You love the style of the dress so much, you want to see it multiple times in every photo.
(b) You want everyone to know that the girls in uniform are your bridesmaids.
(c) You have to make so many decisions for the wedding, you don’t want to get bogged down with choosing a different dress for each bridesmaid.
(d) It’s tradition, it’s what everyone does
Now lets address the above reasons one at a time.
In scenario (a), you’ve found a dress that you feel really strongly about and you absolutely must have it at your wedding. This can absolutely work if you have very few bridesmaids and/or all your bridesmaids are about the same size and build. Say you have 2 or 3 bridesmaids and they’re all tall and slender, then chances are, they’ll all look great in whatever you put them in. However, if you have a bigger group and there’s different heights and shapes involved, then think twice. We all know that what looks good on one woman can look tragic on another. Even the much beloved strapless dress is not a friend to all. Women (and friends) come in all shapes and sizes, which should be celebrated. If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid yourself, you’ll know how important it is that you feel comfortable in your dress— you’re wearing it for a good 12 hours; not only parading down the aisle, but also featuring in wedding photos (that are everlasting).
It’s true that the same dress does lend itself an air of conformity and everyone will realise immediately that all the girls wearing the same dress is a bridesmaid (scenario b), but there are other ways to do so without upsetting any bridesmaids. Consider the following features of a dress: Colour, Fabric, Hem and Style. You can create coherence by just keeping one thing constant, for example all girls to wear peach. Even with 3 constants: all girls to wear long chiffon dresses in peach, you still have the option of putting each bridesmaid in a different style that best matches her body shape. Sure, weddings involve a lot of decisions and you may not feel like picking a different style of dress for your bridesmaids (scenario c). So don’t! Let your bridesmaid pick the style that best suits her. After all she knows her body best and what shapes flatter her the most. This is a great way to show your bridesmaid that you value her.
Which brings us to the final reason, “It’s tradition”. The origins of putting bridesmaids in the same dress is unclear.
One theory is that it stemmed from Ancient Roman times when the bridal party was expected to dress in the same dress as the bride to ward off evil spirits and nasty vengeful exes who might sabotage the wedding. The idea is that having a group of women all dressed the same as the bride would serve to confuse any potential troublemakers.
The other theory is that the tradition started when Queen Victoria dressed all her bridesmaids in the same dress back in 1841. And because Royalty are like celebrities, everyone else followed suit. Regardless of which theory is true, the “one dress style fits all” is an antiquated concept for dressing bridesmaids that has no place in modern times (unless all your bridesmaids are exactly the same size and build).
The simplest way to have a coherent theme to your bridesmaids dresses while affording them the choice of style is by going for the multiway bridesmaid dress. Simply pick a fabric (Polyester Jersey or Chiffon), a length and a colour (or go for tonal), and let your bridesmaids pick a style from the 16 possibilities. There’s bound to be a style that suits and everyone’s happy. If you have any questions about the multiway dress, feel free to contact us on +44 203 700 3906.