Do Bridesmaids Need to Match?

In a word: NO! Admittedly, having all of your “ladies-in-waiting” wear matching dresses was a long-held tradition that was rarely questioned or deviated from for years. But lucky you, that is NO longer the case, so feel free to be creative and allow your ‘maids some freedom to choose their own fab frocks! And maybe (just maybe!) they might actually wear their dresses again! Shocking, I know…

Take a look at some of my favorite examples below.

The most subtle example: choosing classic bridesmaids dresses in different styles, cuts and necklines, but in the same shade of navy blue, similar fabric sheens, and with each lady in similar updo’s that keep them all looking coordinated and super chic! I love that each bridesmaid is also carrying a different all-white bouquet!

The next two examples showcase bridesmaids in dresses of the all same color but in different styles, fabrics, lengths, etc… and yet, they all GO together!

Now we’re moving on to entirely different dresses that are in a range of colors, dusty lilacs and greys. It almost looks like a neutral palette, I love it!

Via Ruffled Blog;  Photo by The Schultzes

Via Ruffled Blog;  Photo by The Schultzes

And if you are really adventurous and love color, a rainbow of bridesmaids dresses, unified by all being long and flowy (big fan of the empire waist!) , and with each bridesmaid carrying the same rustic, gardeny bouquet. I’m not saying that this is my favorite look, but when done right, there is definitely a charm about it!

TIPS to pulling off the mismatched bridesmaids look:

1. If you really love the idea of mismatched bridesmaids dresses, have at least ONE element that ties them all together, whether it be having them all carry the same bouquet, the same stylish clutch, or wear the same shoes, or maybe the same fabulous hair accessory.

2. If you want them to look different, but not TOO different, consider requesting a certain length dress: knee length, tea length, or floor length.

3. No need to stick to bridesmaid dress designers - this is the best time to go off the rack! Send your ladies to Nordstroms, Macy’s, JCrew, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, basically any store that carries cocktail dresses!

4. It may be difficult for all your girls to find dresses in the PERFECT shade so give them a RANGE of colors to choose from. The easiest way to do this? Go to your neighborhood paint or hardware store and head straight for the paint section with the paint chips! Find the strip with your ideal spectrum of colors and send one (or more if you’d like) to each of your ‘maids. Done!

5. These days, bridesmaids don’t need to be matchy-matchy, they just need to GO together :)