The Foolproof Way to Show Your Bridesmaids What Colors Their Dresses Should Be 

Photo by Carretto Studio

Photo by Carretto Studio

Choosing a range of approved colors and then letting bridesmaids select their own dresses has become an extremely popular method for brides to decree what their besties should wear the day of the wedding. It takes a ton of pressure off the bride to select one perfect dress that fits all shapes and sizes (and style sensibilities), and it gives the ladies freedom to choose a dress they actually like, that has a prayer of fitting, and leaves them with enough money left over to buy their beloved bride a decent wedding gift.

But! With this method, things can go awry when it comes to said approved color palette: what is “blush” to some people might be “bubble gum Barbie pink” to another, for starters. I even have a colleague who followed her friend’s instructions to the letter and showed up with a gold sequin dress, only to find that hers was much more yellow gold than any of the other ladies’ pale champagne shimmers. (Can you, um, tell which one she is?) She—and the bride!—still laugh when they look at the photos of them all together.

That’s why, when I saw how my friend Lucy had been instructed to choose a bridesmaid dress for her sister Meredith’s upcoming spring wedding, I knew I had to share it. Because it is genius, and seriously foolproof.

The bride sent out paint chips! When Meredith was home over the holidays, the two ladies went to a hardware store in Bryn Mawr and eventually narrowed it down to three strips of Benjamin Moore ranging from soft mint to seafoam green, so that the girls have six colors to work with. She asked for extra strips so that each girl could have her own, and when she got home, mailed them out to her bridesmaids with a funny card requesting that they choose short dresses, and wishing them luck on their hunt.

Now each lady can slip the strips into her purse when she goes out shopping, and have something to hold up for comparison when online purchases arrive. Genius! And she totally just came up with this: Meredith says that she just figured that because everybody has different names for different colors, having something to look at for reference would be best, and that since paint chips are free, easy to pick up and come in so many colors, they seemed like the perfect choice.

So whether you want your best girls to be wearing hues of the most pastel peach or shades from sky blue to royal, maybe head to your local hardware store instead of the fabric shop. They might raise an eyebrow at why you need a handful of the same colors—but your bridesmaids will thank you as they search for the perfect dress to complement yours.

RELATED: 20 Places Around Philly to Shop for Bridesmaid Dresses 

RELATED: 16 Fun Ways to Ask Your Girls to Be Your Bridesmaids 

RELATED: Not Having Bridesmaids? You Can Still Officially Invite Your Best Girls to Be Your Non-Bridesmaids

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