Movies like Bridesmaids and TV shows like Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids have provided some interesting insight into the bridesmaid dress shopping experience. Varying budgets, body types, and taste levels can lead to many different opinions and a lot of confusion.
Choose your bridal party carefully, and make sure that the friends and family you ask are up for the responsibility that comes along with being a bridesmaid. Once you've selected your bridal party, ask about budgets, and keep that number in mind as you search for the styles. Bridal website galleries and blogs are amazing, and I also found a lot of ideas through other people's weddings -- they helped me figure out the feel I wanted (casual/formal/long/short). Sites like Dessy, where you can click on different dress colors, are also great for deciding which hue to put your bridal party in.
Andrew and I are having a traditional, formal beachfront ceremony followed by a ballroom reception. My maid of honor, Amy, and I looked for dresses at a number of places and finally found one for her at Amsale -- a floor-length charcoal-gray gown with a sweetheart neckline. Then, after checking out a variety of other silhouettes, I chose one style for the rest of the bridal party to give them a cohesive look. Take a peek at some of the options below. Which one would you have picked?