Choosing dresses for your bridesmaids can be a daunting task – it may seem virtually impossible to get exactly what you want and keep everyone happy. True, it’s your wedding, but these are your closest friends and family members we’re talking about. Ideally, you would stay true to your vision but also honor each of your bridesmaid’s individuality. Seem difficult? It doesn’t have to be! Here are a few ways you can achieve this balance:

Communicate upfront:

Communication is key – tell your bridesmaids about your vision, but also make it clear that you want them to be happy with their dresses. A good rule of thumb is this: establish one or two constant elements yourself and allow your bridesmaids to make their own choices in a different area. Of course, ask them to check in with you along the way.

Same color, different cut:

If you prefer the cohesiveness of bridesmaids in the same color, you can still create room for individual expression. Let your maids choose their favorite neckline or silhouette. There are gorgeous dresses out there that have this kind of versatility built in.

Similar shades + texture or pattern:

This is a great way to add subtle interest and variety. Tell your bridesmaids that you want them to wear neutrals, varying shades of the same color, or colors that are specifically similar (pink and purple for example). Within those parameters, let them choose a dress they love with unique beading, embellishment or tone-on-tone pattern.

Mix & Match:

You don’t have to choose one color, or even stay within a single tonal range. Think of your bridesmaids collectively as a bouquet by selecting colors that contrast with yet complement one another. Keep in mind that it is often better to work with odd numbers when mixing and matching. If you want to add pattern and texture, just echo the colors or motifs found elsewhere in your bridesmaid bouquet.

Go with the flow:

Another option is to let this process happen organically. Tell your bridesmaids about your vision in general, but give them artistic license. Ask them to send pictures your way when they find something that interests them. When you settle on one dress, you can fine-tune your feedback for the next and so on. This will require collaboration and compromise, but the result is likely to look natural and effortless.

Click through the slideshow below to see bridesmaid dresses with individual style:

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