Mismatched bridesmaid dresses are quickly becoming the new normal in weddings.
As modern brides chip away at traditional wedding rules, bridesmaids are finding themselves with a little more wiggle room when it comes to choosing a gown for the big day. Brides are instead providing guidelines for bridesmaids dresses around wedding themes, color families, and even a single unifying dress element. Instead of cookie cutter dresses, bridesmaid may even find a dress they can wear more than once. Imagine the possibilities!
When a bride opts for mismatched bridesmaid dresses, a whole new window of opportunity presents itself. Bridesmaids have a extra freedom for comfort, expression, and even cost (bridesmaids on a budget, we see you) while still honoring the couple and complementing the wedding’s aesthetic.
We’ve put together a list of tips sure to help guide and inspire brides interested in the idea of mismatched bridesmaid dresses. And if you’re looking for a tool to help you organize it all, we’ll show you how Blueprint Registry can help with that, too.
Set Your Wedding Scheme
Before your bridesmaids can begin shopping, your color scheme and wedding theme should be nailed down. It isn’t always so simple to make returns or exchanges on outfits (especially if they’ve been altered) if you later change your mind about aesthetics. You want to do your best to avoid any additional costs to your bridal party, because being a wedding guest and part of a bridal party isn’t cheap either.
Make sure your wedding date is firm, since the season may impact your thoughts on dress style, length, fabric, and color. Once you know the season your wedding will take place in, you’ll be able to narrow down options and relay them back to your bridesmaids.
Prioritize + Communicate
From the very beginning, it’s important to decide what is most important to you when it comes to what your bridesmaids wear. Is it your priority that your bridesmaids match the theme or wedding colors exactly? Or are you more concerned with their comfort?
Set aside a few (but not too many!) non-negotiables about the dresses, if you have any. If you’re firm on a length, color, fabric, or anything else, make it clear to your bridesmaids before they start shopping. If you have a specific vision for the day, make sure your bridesmaids understand and are respectful of it when they go off to shop. The last thing you want is for a bridesmaid to fall in love with a gown they think would work, only to have you shoot it down due to lack of communication.
Agree on Formality
You have the date, venue, and color scheme all worked out. But have you thought about formality and guest attire requirements?
The outfits of your bridal party should be consistent with the overall formality of the wedding, and every bridesmaid should shop according to it. The bridal party’s finished looks may not be cohesive if one of your girls is in a bedazzled fitted gown, while another is in a casual jersey maxi dress.
This Little MOH of Mine, I’m Gonna Let Her Shine
Having your maid of honor stand out from your other bridesmaids can get a little tricky when every bridesmaid has their own, unique look. Find an outfit element that will differentiate your MOH, such as:
- Unique Pattern: If everyone else is dressed in solids, have your MOH in a tasteful pattern.
- Dress Embellishments: Keep the dresses in similar colors and color families, but make sure your MOH’s dress has a little more sparkle than the rest.
- Length: Maybe she’s the only one in a full-length gown, or the only bridesmaid with a shorter gown.
- Shoes + Accessories: Give her a special pair of shoes, have her shoes closely match yours, give her special accessories, or even a unique hairdo.
Offer a Little Direction + Tie It All Together
Do you want your bridesmaids to have the same dress in complementing colors (ombré, for example), or different dress styles in the same color? Whether it’s the dress material, length, pattern, or color, consider having at least one unifying element to tie all the options together. For example, you’re firm on a sweetheart neckline and grey hues, but everything else is up to the individual bridesmaid.
Don’t consider it a done deal at the dresses, however. There’s still hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories to sort out. Will your bridesmaids have similar hairstyles and makeup looks? Perhaps you want varied dresses, but prefer matching shoes. The decision is up to you!
Use Blueprint to Help You Plan + Organize
If you are looking for a tool to help guide dress direction for your bridesmaids, Blueprint Registry is here to help! Create a wedding or celebration registry and add dresses (and shoes and accessories!) you love from any store. Bridesmaids will be able to browse your picks and choose the dress they want from the list. The best part? Bridesmaids can mark their chosen dress as purchased so there’s no repetition.
What if you have a bridesmaid that doesn’t find anything on your list that she loves? Have her shop around, consult you, and add it to the registry. Just remind her to mark it as purchased so no one else buys it.
Check out our sample bridesmaid dress registry for inspiration!
Mismatched bridesmaid dresses can be beautiful and cohesive, while still remaining complementary to your wedding vision. It can also show your bridesmaids that you trust them and want to celebrate their individuality. By allowing a little independence and flexibility to your bridesmaids, you may even be taking a little of the wedding planning pressure off your own shoulders!