Tips for Choosing Mismatched Bridal Party Dresses
Have a vision & stick to it
Just because you're choosing to have mismatched dresses, definitely does not mean that you need to let your girls choose whatever they want! We think it's a good idea for you to have some sort of vision and stick to it. Sure, you may not have too many preferences... but do you really want your bridesmaids showing up with all different colors of the rainbow, varying dress lengths and more? Probably not.
Try to think about the theme of your wedding, as well as the color scheme that you may be going for. This will also help your girls narrow down the dress/color they choose — having too many options can be overwhelming!
Don't mix too many features
While you may want your girls to pick their own dress, it's not a great idea to mix too many different features between dresses. If you have too many varying looks, you risk your pictures looking a little out of place.
We suggest sticking to one or two central themes, whether that be the color, the silhouette, or a neckline. For example, maybe you want your girls to choose their own dress in your chosen color scheme. You could choose a neckline for them to choose from, or a specific silhouette or fabric. This way, you have some cohesiveness to your bridal party dresses!
Talk to your bridesmaids
While the choice is ultimately yours (it's your wedding day, after all!), you might want to ask your bridesmaids for their input. It's very likely that you have some diversity within your bridal party, so there may be certain things that each girl does not feel comfortable wearing. We highly recommend asking them if there is anything that they're not comfortable wearing! While you might have a specific vision for your bridal party, it won't be fun for anyone if you have girls that feel uncomfortable on your wedding day with what they're wearing. Take their opinions into account!
Choose one designer
You really shouldn't let your girls buy from wherever they want for their dresses. You'll really want to narrow it down to one designer for them to purchase from. This way, even if you're doing mismatched colors, the dresses will have similar styles to be more cohesive. Plus, if you have any girls wearing the same color, this will ensure that they have the exact same shade when they order.
Have a styling appointment
We highly recommend having a styling appointment before your girls start choosing their specific dresses. This could be by yourself, or you can have your maid of honor come with you!
During this appointment, you can pre-select some options that you like. This could be specific dresses, necklines, and/or colors. From there, when they shop for their individual dresses, they will be able to choose from your favorites. This could save a lot of confusion when all of the girls are ordering!
Style with accessories
When you are having your bridesmaids wear different styles, colors, silhouettes, or all of the above, it becomes important to have one component that ties everything together. Maybe this would be a hairpiece, belt, earrings, or necklace. If you choose one of these, that could also be a bridesmaid gift from you!
Another option could be their bouquet. We recommend having each girl hold a neutral bouquet to tie everything together. Or, see if your florist can incorporate each dress color to the bouquets!
Keep hemlines in mind
While it is okay to have varying hemlines for a mismatched bridal party, you want to keep an eye on them. It will look awkward if everyone has a long gown except one girl, and vice-versa. You'll likely want to ask each girl to choose the same hemline, or make sure that you have some sort of balance. Trust us, your photographer will thank you if you do this!
Check the sample dresses for color
Are you choosing to mix-and-match colors? When you're choosing colors, make sure that you look at the sample dresses rather than just the swatches. There can be slight variations in color, and you want to be sure that the colors you're choosing go well together!
Examples of Mismatched Bridal Party Dresses
Choose the same color with different dresses
One option is to have each girl wear the same color dress in different styles. This is perfect for brides who want that tradition of having each girl wear the same color, but also wants each girl to feel totally comfortable in her dress!
Choose the same dress with different colors
Another option is to have each girl wear the exact same dress in different colors. If you go this route, we suggest choosing a silhouette for the dress that will be flattering for everyone.
Try not to choose more than 3 color variations to keep everything complementing each other and looking cohesive. Here are some of our suggestions for color options!
- Calming blue shades (think steel blue, dusty blue, and navy blue)
- Floral dresses (match a floral print dress with shades that are within the floral print — for example, a floral print gown could pair with blush pink and dusty blue gowns)
- Jewel tones (deep red, mustard yellow, emerald, navy)
- Pink shades (blush, mauve, rose)
- Cool tones (ex: dusty blue, sage, gray)
- Warm tones (ex: blush, rose, taupe)
Choose different colors and different dresses
If you're really feeling adventurous, you could have your bridal party wear varying shades and different dress silhouettes.
Going this route can allow you to stick within the same color family and play around with different tones, while allowing your girls to feel comfortable in the dress they chose. Again, we recommend sticking with a specific vision & color family if you go this route!
Featured image photo by Alysia & Jayson