Traditionally, bridesmaids have long been forced to suit up in their mandatory matching uniforms, without consideration given to their personal styles, body shapes or skin tones.
But today, brides are beginning to embrace variation within their bridal party, which has seen the trend of mismatching bridesmaid dresses increase.
Rebecca Lau Marsh, founder and general manager of Australian formal and bridal wear destination White Runway, has helped brides across the globe nail the mismatching bridesmaid trend by personally sourcing over 100,000 dress options for her online occasion wear boutique.
“This trend makes for great wedding photos, adds originality to the bridal party and allows the bridesmaids to express their individuality,” says Rebecca.
“It is great for large bridal parties as it makes the bridesmaids look less uniform and more unique.”
Of course, opting for the mismatched look does come with a new set of challenges – if it’s not done carefully, you could end up with one very disjointed-looking bridal party.
Here then are Rebecca’s top five tips for ensuring the big day goes off without a hitch.
1. Keep the dress length of the bridal party the same
Keeping the dresses the same length is an easy way to ensure the bridal party looks cohesive, without all of the girls wearing the exact same dress. It doesn’t always have to be the length, but it is important to ensure that there is one element of consistency and the length is an easy option.
2. Ensure the dresses are the same colour, or have elements of the same material
A safe option that brides can do is to select a dress that comes in a full maxi length and also a cocktail length. The Sequinned Cap Sleeve Dress from White Runway comes in both lengths, which is great for bridesmaid parties who all stand at different heights. A long maxi bridesmaid gown may look frumpy on a girl who is short, so selecting a dress that comes in both options is a great solution for everyone to feel comfortable and look amazing.
3. Use bouquets and the same colour of shoes to tie the bridesmaid looks together
A great way to tie in mismatched bridesmaid gowns is by ensuring elements of the bouquet are the same within the bridal party and that they reflect and compliment the tones on the dresses. Ensuring the bridesmaids are all wearing the same shoe, is a great way to tie in the different styled dresses and add a cohesive touch.
4. Ensure there is a common link between the dresses
There are some rules that say to vary no more than two elements such as fabric, colour and neckline, however, mismatched dresses can still work if there is one link that ties the whole look together. Different textures can still flow if there is some tone or shape consistency. We’ve styled bridal parties in 10 different dresses and the photos look stunning. Styling your bridal party in 10 different dresses can be successful if the bride has stuck to a particular colour theme or colour set. A great example is when the bride selects a neutral coloured theme, such as pink or champagne. The whole party can look ethereal and really beautiful when it all comes together.
5. Let the bride set the guidelines and the bridesmaid select the dress
A great way for a bride to decide on what she wants is by creating a college and a mood board of different textures, fabrics and colours. The whole process is collaboratively as the bride may pick the colours, styles and textures that she wants and then let the bridesmaid select their dresses based around the guidelines that she has set. The bride may even select the three specific dress styles that she wants and let her bridal party make the decision on what they want to wear based on what they feel comfortable in.