My bridesmaids don't like the dress I chose for them. Should I force them to wear it?

Which do you care about more:

  1. A dress that will be worn by someone else, or
  2. The feelings of your best friends?

Or, to simplify the question somewhat … Which do you care about more:

  1. Things, or
  2. People?

It’s your call.

Technically, when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, you’re the boss and the bridesmaids don’t get a vote. Allowing bridesmaids to select the dress design by committee is a recipe for arguments, hurt feelings, and no decision being made. But if you’re getting pushback from several of them, that’s a huge red flag that there’s a problem with the dress.

Let’s do a quick analysis of the costs and benefits associated with forcing your bridesmaids to purchase and wear dresses they hate.


  • You get your own way.
  • You get pictures of the wedding party that look exactly like you want them to look.


  • You have taken a significant step on the road to becoming a Bridezilla.
  • You harm your friends by forcing them to waste money on dresses they hate.
  • You harm your friends by forcing them to wear unflattering dresses in public, and even be photographed wearing them.
  • You damage your relationships with your best friends, who will get mad at you because you are being selfish.
  • You detract from the spirit of camaraderie and celebration that should accompany your wedding day.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a close call. I did not have any bridal attendants at my wedding at all, and the main reason I made that decision was because I don’t have any friends I dislike enough to force them to wear bridesmaid dresses. You don’t have to go as far as I did, but I do believe that out of respect for your friends, you should do your best to select dresses of a color and style that will flatter your friends’ figures and skin coloring.

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