Traditionally, brides select a dress for their bridesmaids and all of the ladies are matching as they process down the aisle. More recently, some brides have forgone this tradition, allowing their bridesmaids more options, sometimes letting them select each of their dresses completely on their own! This concept may leave some brides very scared, but if you think your ladies all have style or you just want each of their personalities to truly shine through or you just don't like the idea of all your besties looking exactly the same up at your altar, then this may be the perfect option for you.
One route would be to let each bridesmaid pick her dress in any color. This works best for weddings with lots of color that isn't sticking solely to a two or three color theme.
Another option is to have a similar dress but in different color combinations or have each girl play it up with her own accessories - this bride even brought stockings into the mix!
If you want to stick to your color scheme but still let your girls pick their ensembles, consider just giving a color family to choose from. It might seem risky, but chances are the ladies will all look lovely, and they will be happy to have a dress they love...and can wear beyond your wedding!
This works well with solids...
...but can also be pulled off with patterns and color block!
So whether you like the idea of matching maids or you want mix things up a bit with mismatched attendants, you should always stick to your guns and go with what makes you the most comfortable and happy on your big day!