The Rise of the Mismatched Bridal Party

We Are Origami

Photo by We Are Origami Photography

When you are planning your wedding and choosing your bridesmaids to stand beside you, chances are your friends and family don’t look alike. They will all be different body types, different hair colour and skin tones, and have different aspects that they like to accentuate and also hide.

Because of the fact that human’s aren’t all carbon copies, having mismatched bridesmaids dresses have become increasingly popular. Having your bridesmaids wear dresses that they can chose themselves and not necessarily match in every way means that they will be more comfortable on the day, more focused on the celebration at hand, and happier with the way they look. They will be able to choose a dress that they don’t have to spend an exurbanite amount of money on and will be able to wear again, and overall they can chose a dress that is going to suit their different aspects that make them an individual.

Isn’t that something you would want for your most trusted and loved friends and family members?

Before you let them run off in all different directions to the stores though, here are some helpful tips when letting your bridesmaids choose their own dresses.

Nora Devai

Photo by Nora Devai Photography

Pick a colour theme, but expect that each dress colour will be different

Your wedding has a colour theme, and in your mind you knew what colour dresses you wanted your bridesmaids to wear, so put the colours to them. If you would like them all in sea foam green you need to specify this to them before they buy their dresses, and don’t be horrified if one store’s version of a sea foam green is different to another’s. Expect that the dress colours are going to be different based on the different preferences to stores that your bridesmaids have, and accept it for what it is. Besides, different tones of sea foam green are still all going to match and look great together, so don’t worry about it!

If you do want to have more leniency with the colours, put your bridesmaids to a spectrum instead of one singular colour and let them choose what dress they want to wear out of a palette of three to four colours. This way, they will all end up in different dresses and will vary from sea foam green to forest green, but will all look great. It also avoids running the risk of having one bridesmaid in a different colour if the other dresses match better.

Set restrictions, but don’t demand them

Setting restrictions on the dress code for the bridesmaids will ensure that you don’t have bridesmaid show up in a skin tight, revealing backless gown while the other bares absolutely no flesh at all. Setting the restrictions means that you get to keep a balance that you would prefer for your wedding to ensure a great bunch of bridesmaids in your wedding photos, but you need to not give too many restrictions.

We all read the article about the bridezilla who gave each bridesmaid a list of demands that included not changing their hairstyles, all of them having to get matching fake tans, and have the same outfits. Don’t be that bride. Set a basic restriction such as you would prefer the hem length to be just below the knee, or that you don’t want any strapless dresses. Keep it basic, and let them do the rest.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 2.13.40 pm

Photo by Aimee Claire Photography

Do request to see the dresses

It’s still your wedding day, so you have that right after all to have a say in a bridesmaid’s dress, but you still need to let them choose. A great way is for the bridesmaids to send over a photo of the dress they are planning on getting and you can get an idea of where they should stand compared to the others on the big day. It also means that you can ensure they are sticking to your restrictions, but also looking at the dresses are so much fun, why wouldn’t you want to get a peak?

Mismatch the accessories and the hairstyles

If your bridesmaids all have different dresses, it only seems fitting that they have different accessories and even hairstyles as well. After all, the same necklace isn’t going to look the best with four different dresses! Choose an overall theme for the accessories, such as pearl, gold, silver or nothing at all, and get the girls to get something that will match.

For my best friend’s wedding we had different dresses, and she gave us all a necklace, earring set and bracelet with pearl details as the bridesmaid gift. They were all different, and matched our outfits perfectly, while still matching each other in a different dress. She also gave us a mix of hairstyles to choose from that suited our general style and worked really well together!

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 2.16.14 pm

Photo by Aimee Claire Photography

Get the guys in on the action

The same ideal behind different body types, colouring and skin tone can be said for the groomsmen as well as the bridesmaid, so why not keep the mismatching paired in the men too? For my brother in-law’s wedding, he had a variety of men who looked all completely different from one another in his grooms party, so he allowed them to choose their own suits. The suits chosen ranged from grey and charcoal to pure black, and he provided them with shirt colours that matched the bridesmaids dresses, but he brought all of them in together with the same coloured ties. It was a great way to provide solidarity, while also adhering to the different guys in the group!

So there you have it, a few simple tips to making sure that your mismatched bridal party both stand out and work well together. If you had mismatched outfits at your wedding, I would love to see them! Post the photos in the comments section below, or email me at

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