Photo Credit: Traci Hill Photography
For decades in the history of weddings, bridesmaids have typically worn one collective dress. We’re all for tradition, but it’s not difficult to see why mismatching has become so popular over the past five years. When each of your gals gets to express herself and feel like a rockstar in a dress unique to her, while all coming together as a perfectly picturesque bride-crew, it’s a massive wedding win! Finding one dress to work for each of your maids can cause butting of heads, including but not limited to passive aggressive behavior, snippy comments, tears, and hurt feelings. While we can’t promise every wedding will be 100% drama free, having every lady in a dress that she picked to fit her perfectly will seriously eliminate theatrics, resulting in bride crew harmony and major amounts of stylishness! While we totally love the look, we also get that making it happen in real life can be pretty overwhelming. When faced with a million and a half different dresses and possibilities, it’s easy to start wondering, how on earth did all these other brides do it?! Well, take a seat, grab your cup of coffee, and have no fear… Here are our tips to achieving a perfectly mismatched group of maids!
Photo Credit: Docuvitae Photography
Step 1: Talk it Up!
So you’ve decided to make this happen. Hooray! First things first, be sure to keep communication flowing with your maids. Let them know exactly what you have in mind for all the following steps. Not only will that make things less stressful for you, but your girls will have an easier time going into their dress shopping with clear guidelines… as opposed to pulling a dress out of thin air! Then, make sure every frock gets a bride’s stamp of approval. Be collecting photos of each dress and lining them up, and if one just isn’t working with the rest, don’t be afraid to tell your maid (in a kind way). Remember, in the end it’s your vision!
Photo Credit: Macy Marie Photography
Step 2: Color Me Happy
Contrary to what the name suggests, in order for this to work, mismatched bridesmaids must actually match (or as we like to say, they must “go together”). The best place to start is by choosing a color palette you want your girls to follow. This can mean multiple shades of one color, 3 colors with the same tone, or one specific color. Make it clear that you want a rich burgundy, not a pastel pink. If you’re really gutsy and want to take your entourage to the next level, add in a couple patterned frocks. If can you do this well, you will have a jaw dropping bride squad! Make sure each color in the pattern is within the same color family as the others. Another idea is to try to incorporate both loud and quieter patterns. For example, if you’re going to do a floral pattern, compliment it with a polka dot or stripe pattern. When this works, it REALLY works!
Photo Credit: Emily Wren Photography
Step 3: Cut! Cut!
Every body is a beautiful body, and no two are exactly alike! This means that sometimes a particular style is flattering on one maid, but disastrous on another. That might seem like a wedding catastrophe, but in fact, we love it! When it comes to mismatching maids, cohesive diversity is exactly what you’re looking for. Incorporate different cuts and lengths, as it can really add dimension that is oh so appealing to the eye!
Photo Credits: Love Like Weddings Photography
Step 4: Fabrics n’ Things
The style vibe of a wedding is majorly determined by the fabrics present in it. More modern weddings will often go for a crisp, clean taffeta while romantic or bohemian weddings will lean towards flowing chiffons and laces. The key with fabric is to make sure all the dresses have a generally similar vibe. The fabric doesn’t have to be the same, but your maids do need to look like they belong together.
Photo Credit: BHLDN Weddings
Step 5: Have fun with it!
Successfully mismatching your maids is not meant to cause bridal breakdown! You’ve given your girls the lowdown on what you’re looking for, now sit back and relax. Don’t lose sleep about whether or not the dresses will work together exactly, come the big day. If you’ve expressed what you have in mind and the gals have followed your guidelines, seeing them all together will be a magical moment! If you find a color needs to be slightly more present on one of your girls, no worries! Add in some accessories to tie it all together. Although the girls are uniquely represented, they’re all there to stand with you as a group. Simply a flower in the hair or a piece of jewelry can make a world of difference in getting these girls looking unified!
Photo Credit: Acqua Photo
So, let’s put this into practice, shall we?
Let’s say we are having a wedding with 5 bridesmaids who have all different heights and builds. The color palette is burgundy and cream. The style is romantic, taking place in a garden. Love!
Since this wedding is romantic, we’re definitely going to want some flowing fabrics! It’s going to be in a garden, so let’s get some floral designs in there too… and voila!
Why this works:
The great thing about these dresses is there’s something that will flatter everyone! They are all completely different in cut, but all work together because of the color and style. Plus, how awesome do those staggered lengths look?! For colors, we said burgundy and cream. Check out the way none of these are exactly the same color… but the colors in the patterns pull everything together perfectly. Each dress has elements of another one. For style, the mix of fluttering and sophisticated is right on point. Nothing seems to stick out like a sore thumb, and every dress has a complementary sister. Major wedding win!
Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon Photography
There you have it, darlings! Just remember: color, cut, fabric, and have fun! With the help of these tips, putting together a grade-A group of dresses should be a cinch… And this time, your girls really WILL wear it again! Best of luck in your mismatching maid endeavors!
Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian Photography