It's mayhem in the bridal shop. Your little sister insists she looks "HUGE in this dress." Your best friend from Los Angeles loathes spaghetti straps. Your tan-averse cousin complains that lavender makes her look ghostly. Your bridesmaids have been trying on dresses for hours and can't agree on anything.
But the attack of the bridesmaids could become a thing of the past. According to wedding industry experts, brides are giving their bridesmaids power to choose their styles.
So, don't get overwhelmed. Simply let them wear what they want! But you need to put your foot down somewhere. After all, it's your wedding.
Instead of demanding that your bridesmaids wear one dress in one color, switch it up. Pick one color, and let them each choose a style they feel comfortable in. Bridal parties almost always consist of women of different sizes and skin tones, and you want your bridesmaids to feel confident in what they're wearing.
"It's a wonderful way to show your bridesmaids how much you care about them and want them to look and feel good," Nicole Brewer, David's Bridal style council member and celebrity stylist, wrote in an e-mail.
If all your bridesmaids have similar body types and taste, you could choose the dress, but allow them to choose their own colors.
"Brides have seen they can mix and match their bridesmaids while complementing their bridal gown," Amanda Sheronas, spokeswoman for Alfred Angelo, wrote. "This continues their hand in creating a signature, one-of-a-kind wedding."
Take a look at how Carrie Bradshaw's bedecked bridesmaids were all dressed in different long, lavish gowns in Sex and the City: The Movie. Charlotte in black, Samantha in orange and Miranda in electric purple — all crazy couture styles but classy nonetheless.
"The dress choices told a story of their friendship, but the fact that each of (the dresses) were different and flattered their figures perfectly translated into absolute flawless style," Brewer said.
Many bridal shops have an assortment of dresses that come in a variety of colors. Alfred Angelo, a nationwide bridal retail chain, offers dresses in 55 colors. David's Bridal, also a nationwide chain, has dress styles in 44 colors.
After the hours spent zipping and unzipping, poking and prodding are over, you and your friends can kick back with some homemade tapas and a movie. Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday.
Sabrina Rocco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8862.