So, you thought choosing a wedding gown was exhausting? Now you have to deal with the bridesmaid dresses. This is the part of the wedding planning process where friendships are made or broken. Bridesmaids don't want to upstage the bride, but they do want to look -- well, not hideous. You've probably seen so many disastrous bridesmaid dresses in movies that they're a cliché. Oh, you know -- the Little-Bo-Peep dress with balloon sleeves, or the satin nightmare with puce stripes and a big ruffle to match.

This brief primer will help you inject some sanity into the search for the perfect apparel for your bridesmaids. Check it twice before you make a final decision. Your friends will thank you for your thoughtfulness.