Not long after you choose your bridal party, you’ll hear the question: “What do you want us to wear?” Maybe you’ve already picked out a dress you want everyone to wear — that’s great and can work especially for formal and traditional weddings. However, many brides are opting for mismatched looks that lets the whole bridal party alter their looks to suit themselves. Here is some advice to do this in a way that looks intentional, rather than disorganized.

Color

Color can be a great way to provide some variety in your bridesmaids’ looks and also a great way to make sure that everyone is wearing something that flatters their skin tone. There are lots of options when it comes to playing with different colors for your girls. A popular trend is to dress your bridesmaids in a gradient: if your wedding colors are blue and yellow, maybe each of your bridesmaids could wear a different shade of blue? Be careful if you go this route and make sure that the dresses all have the same undertone. Someone may stick out if everyone else went for a true-blue shade but their dress is more of a teal.

You can also give color options in your wedding colors and let each of your attendants pick a color from your wedding’s overall palette. An entire rainbow of dresses in a similar style is a cheery way to bring color to your wedding. If you have your bridesmaids wear lots of different colors, you may wish to have them wear dresses that are all the same style so they still look put together.

Hemlines and Necklines

Letting your bridesmaids wear different styles of similar dresses is a great way to make sure that everyone feels comfortable while also keeping things cohesive. This can allow one girl to show off her curves while another can dress more conservatively — making them both feel more confident. You might pick a specific color offered by one designer and letting bridesmaids pick dresses in the same color and fabric. The variety in hemline, neckline, and silhouette adds variety but the similar texture and color makes it all flow. This is also an option if you have junior bridesmaids mixed into your bridal party as they can wear an age appropriate dress while still looking like a part of the overall group.

Texture

The texture of bridesmaids dresses is important to keep in mind and can be the difference between successfully mixing and matching dresses and not looking like anyone belongs at the same wedding. It can be tempting to just advise your bridesmaids to just get get a knee length dress in the same color, but you’re likely to end up with six different dresses all with different, clashing aesthetics. On the other hand, if you ask your bridesmaids to pick a jewel toned silk gown, you can be more confident in the overall cohesiveness. If everyone’s dress has the same lace overlay or are all made of shimmering metallic-jeweled fabric, everyone can be dressed quite differently but still go together.

Something In Common

Maybe everyone’s dress has a special feature in common? Mid-century-inspired bridesmaids might all be wearing dresses that feature polka dots and full skirts. Or maybe the bridesmaids can wear different dresses with the same shoes and hairpiece for consistency. Keep flowers in mind, as well: maybe you can ask your bridesmaids to choose a color from their flower bouquet.

Communication Is Key

The most important factor while trying to mix and match your bridesmaids is to communicate. If you want to make sure that half of your girls choose a yellow dress while the others choose blue — check in so that you know if you need to ask anyone to switch. A group chat is a great option that many brides are utilizing. This is where you all can discuss what you want together and figure out what needs to be the same for everyone across the board. And if your bridesmaids are coming in from all over, a group chat can also coordinate travel schedules and help the girls to get to know each other.

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