Before Mr. Goodlaff and I were even engaged (in fact, way before there was even a Mr. Goodlaff), I knew that I wouldn't be putting all of my bridesmaids in the same exact dress. Because of my college roommate's love of all things bridal, I had seen a company that made bridesmaid dresses in a rainbow of colors with mix and match tops and bottoms. Even at 18, I recognized the benefits of picking a color and letting everyone choose what they were most comfortable wearing. Unless your girls are all 6 foot Swedish Bikini Models, you're going to have trouble finding a single style that not only flatters everyone, but that everyone also feels comfortable in.
Fast forward about 9 years to a few months ago, when I was frantically searching for the right shade of blue for the bridesmaid dresses. My conversations with Mr. GL went something like this: "This one's too blue blue, but that one's too navy blue. I do like this one, but it's just too cerulean, you know?" He almost had to get out a box of Crayolas to see what I was talking about. I looked at David's Bridal (Horizon was too bright, Marine too dark) and Alfred Angelo, and was beginning to expand my search when Mama Goodlaff, Sister Goodlaff, and I went to the Folsom Bridal show.
Now, sometime in the beginning of my planning, I came across an ad for what I considered to be some of the classiest bridesmaid dresses I'd ever seen. I loved colors and adored the retro, but somehow modern vibe. Still, I immediately wrote them off as probably being too expensive, without doing a single bit of research. Stupid, I know, but we all have our moments...
They still make my heart flutter.
So, imagine my surprise when, sitting on a rack in one of the booths at the bridal show was a dress in the most perfect, shimmering shade of cobalt blue. I checked the designer tag, and what do you know? Alfred. Sung.
Well, I figured it was kismet, and dared to do something I hadn't yet done--I checked the price tag. $175. Sigh. It was a lot of money, and I didn't really feel comfortable asking my bridesmaids to pay that much for a dress that, in all reality, they probably wouldn't be wearing again.
So I did what any self-respecting bride would do. I moped. For about a week I visited the Dessy website every day and wistfully stared at the beautiful dresses, knowing I wouldn't find a better color than that. Bridesmaid TCollins finally gave me a little pep talk--she didn't have a problem paying $175 if that was what I really wanted, she said. "Pick whatever you want, it's your wedding."
I wanted the dresses for my bridesmaids, but not at that price. Luckily, with a little bit of research I was able to find them in another local(ish) bridal shop for about 25% less than the show price. It pays to shop around! I felt better, the girls agreed, and suddenly, I had dresses! (As as side note: I could have found them cheaper on the Internet (and actually did), but ordering through a store with a local storefront was less frightening than the thought of sending money out to some unverified website in cyberspace).
I've picked the color (electric blue), fabric (Peau de Soie), and length (cocktail), and the rest is completely up to the 'Maids. There are about 20 dresses to choose from, and so far, each BM has picked a completely different dress, with only one more to go. I really couldn't be happier; with such different personalities and body types, I know there was no way I could have chosen a dress that would have flattered them all, and I hope that, at the very least (even if they never wear the dress again) they will each feel comfortable in their dress on the Goodlaff Wedding Day.
How did you decide on your Bridesmaid's attire? Did you let them choose, or did you pick a style?