So, I managed to acquire an extra bridesmaid last week. I was at another friend's hen party, which involved all alcohol and little food, and somehow I told her I had always wanted to ask her (but thought I'd have too many bridesmaids/offend said mutual friend who's hen we were at - maid politics is so complex). She told me she wanted to ask me for her wedding next year. So we decided, probably around the third bottle of cava, let's be each others bridesmaids! There was much hugging, and then there were three.

And it got me thinking about bridesmaids dresses. Having never been a bridesmaid, well except when I was three, I've never been on the receiving designated dressing. All three of my bridesmaids are stylish grown-ups so, maybe it's just me, it feels a little bit strange telling them what to wear. But... the control freak in me wants them to look just so, so I've come up with some self-imposed rules.

1. Set myself a budget - with three girls, three dress and 120 guests to entertain and feed, we ain't going on a shopping spree in Harvey Nichols. However there are plenty of dresses on the high street for around £100 and then they can shoe and accessories themselves.

2. Colour me pretty - since I'm having a quite relaxed and colourful day I have four colours to choose from: a pinky coraly red, bright violet, minty jade and golden yellow. When shown these colours the instant reaction was 'I'm not wearing yellow' which takes me conveniently down to three colours so one each for a modern mix-matched look (and stylishly sidestepping the problem of different heights, sizes and colourings).

3. Now comes the complicated bit - I could just let them loose with a colour each and a budget, but the fear is they come up with something that I, er, don't like. So I'm getting in there first creating a shortlist of dresses in the colours. Fortunately block colour is 'in' this season so the high street is awash with brightness: Coast, French Connection along with bridesmaids classic Dessy have all come up trumps on the colours so far.

4. The last challenge is sending them off to try their respective shortlist - which could prove the final hurdle - what if they don't like them? I think the golden rule should be this: don't let them know the other's shortlists, just in case I have dress-wars on my hands!