The popularity of mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses continues to rise, with the majority of couples now opting for bridesmaids in different styles, colours or prints. Perhaps influenced by the fact that more and more couples are looking to do away with historically traditional aspects of their big day, with many couples feeling empowered to pick and choose elements which resonate with them most.
Originating from ancient times when it was believed that evil spirits would seek out and ruin a bride’s wedding day – by having bridesmaids dressed in identical gowns, it was thought that this would confuse the evil spirits and protect the bride to ensure the success of the wedding.
Weddings have come a long way since ancient times, and yet matching bridesmaids has evolved to become a longstanding tradition for most.
One of the biggest advantages of mismatched dresses is that bridesmaids (or bridesmen) can look to find a style that suits their personal taste and figure - it allows the bridal party the room to select something which makes them look and feel their best.
Pulling off the mismatched look however, can be a little harder than you might think – by finding the balance between allowing your bridal party to select a style they love, and still looking uniform enough to look like the bridal party (and not just guests) for your ceremony, photos and general wedding day activities.
So, what are some of the basic rules to ensure the right balance for your mismatched look?
SET A COLOUR PALETTE
One easy trick is to choose a colour and having your bridal party choose styles within this palette. With brands such as Shona Joy, Bec & Bridge and many more now offering bridal lines which do just this – it’s as simple as picking your favourite colour and letting your bridal party do the rest!
If you’re wanting something even more mismatched, you can go as far as choosing a hero colour and letting your bridal party move within hues of this. For example, yellow – with bridesmaids choosing anything from lemon through to a marigold. The trick for this is to ensure the hues still talk to each other so that the colours balance. A print, pattern or texture can help to round out the whole look and elevate the photos.
Georgia Fowler opted for mixed styles in deep sage for her stunning bridesmaids
CHOOSE THE FABRICATION
Another option is to choose a fabric and then have your bridal party choose varying colours within this. This technique works best when the fabrication is distinct, such as a luxurious silks, velvet or lace – this ensures the bridal party still has a cohesive look to it but allows your bridesmaids to choose colours which best suit their skin tone, hair or features.
If fabrications aren’t uniform enough, you can streamline this further within similar styles to bring about a more tailored look.
Sophie Cootes bridesmaids wore bold jewel tones in similar fabrications.
If all the above seems a little too hard, the simplest way to achieve a streamlined mismatched look is to pick a hero silhouette that your bridal party all love, and then allow them to opt for a different colour within this style. The trick here is to still ensure the colours talk to each other, whether that be bright & bold, jewel tones, pretty pastels or moody autumnal – or why not opt for something classic (and quickly gaining popularity) with monochromatic. Whether it be all black, all white or shades in between – set against black suited groomsmen your bridal party will be effortlessly chic.
Whichever option you opt for, make sure you involve yourself in the decision process – whether it’s a day out shopping together, or a group chat where everyone splashes their ideas, build the excitement with your bridal party so they too get to enjoy the lead up to your day and don’t feel lugged with a huge decision.
Weddings are a celebration, and by allowing your bridal party to feel confident in what they wear they will add to the electric atmosphere of the day.