How to Pull Off Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

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mismatched bridesmaid dressesOne of the more interesting wedding trends in recent years is that some brides are opting to allow their bridesmaids to wear mismatched dresses.  This includes same-style dresses that are different colors, as well as dresses with completely different styles and colors.  The bride might choose to allow this if, for example, her bridal party is comprised of women of all different shapes, sizes and ages.  Or, perhaps multiple dress colors are necessary for the wedding theme.  But whatever the reason, there are clearly some dos and don’ts on this one.

First, you should do your homework to understand the current trends.  This means doing some online research, and asking for feedback from the photographer, mother of the bride, etc.  This is important whether you are planning to pick the bridesmaid dresses yourself or whether each bridesmaid will pick their own.  You especially want to identify some parameters around color options, as some colors won’t work well with certain wedding themes or won’t photograph particularly well.

Second, if you plan to allow the bridesmaids to choose their own dresses, you will want to avoid giving them complete freedom on the decision.  It is imperative that you set some ground rules – for example, you might want all the dress lengths to be roughly equal, or you might want all the dresses to be strapless.  The homework you did to understand current trends will help set many of the rules, but others will simply be based on your own personal preferences.  You see, even though the idea of mismatched bridesmaid dresses embraces variety, there should still be some elements of consistency.  Otherwise it’ll look sort of like organized chaos.

Finally, you should make it clear that you will want to approve each dress selection (assuming the bridesmaids will choose their own), and as such keep in mind that it’s ok to say no.  Yes your bridesmaids are helping you have the wedding of your dreams, but they will still understand that at the end of the day it is your wedding and you only get one crack at getting it right.  So forget about that TV show – say ‘no’ to the dress if you must…it’s ok!

The bottom line is that allowing the bridesmaids to wear different colors and/or styles makes for a less formal ambiance, and your bridesmaids will likely appreciate the freedom to find the dress that makes them look as good as possible. 

Just remember that it’s not a free-for-all, so do your homework, set the ground rules, require your approval on any selection, and do not be afraid to say no.  Follow this advice, and you will be good to go!

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