We just got our wedding photos back… I am so happy with how my ‘mismatched’ bridesmaids dresses turned out, and wanted to share how my bridesmaids and I approached it.
I had 8 girls, with pretty varying body types, and there was no way I could stuff them all into the same dress or even the same color. An additonal complication was that three of my 8 girls lived in Canada, where they don’t have many of the same stores we do, even if I were to pick the same dress or a certain store’s color(s). Not to mention, my sister got pregnant a few months after I was engaged, so was pregnant at the wedding — another had a baby the month before. I wanted them to be comfortable, and, especially the one who had the baby the month before, I knew her dress was going to be the last thing on her mind until after the baby arrived, which was totally fair!!
So, I figured — these are my best friends in the world, I trust their judgment — they’re going to look beautiful individually and as a group no matter what, so they might as well just pick their own dresses. I have always loved the color green, and it was an early summer wedding. So, I just told them each to pick a green dress they loved and felt beautiful in — the only thing I asked was that it be cocktail, knee, or tea-length. We also kind of jointly decided that each of them would send out a pic of their dress to the rest of us once they found one, so we could shoot to have an array of different greens. I had looked around for information about how other brides had done this, and many suggested asking them to have the same type of fabric — but in the end, I didn’t want to micromanage this too much, so again, just trusted them to do their thing.
One difficult thing was that it turned out this was just NOT a big year for green dresses — at least when they started looking last winter and in the spring. A few of my girls, especially those a bit fuller on top, had particular trouble finding them. But they stuck with it and over the months everyone found something — in the end, dresses came from all over — Nordstrom, boutiques in Canada, Avenue and David’s Bridal (off the top of my head)…
I did get a little nervous toward the end because it seemed like so many of the dresses ended up being in the teal, kelly green-range… But frankly, I knew that everyone picked dresses they felt comfortable in and loved, and that was all that mattered to me– and in the end, in the professional photos especially, you can really see the differences in the greens.
For shoes, I kind of floated the idea of either wearing a neutral or a metallic — I thought that black would be too dark with many greens and brown might look too harsh as well. Everyone was on board with that plan, and as you can see, the shoes turned out fantastic too.
For the flower girls — they were my nieces and then twin girls who are daughters of family friends. The two older girls (my nieces, 5 and 7) wore light green sun dresses, again, picked out by their mom, and then the mom of the twins (who are 3) and I found ivory dresses for them that complimented the older flower girls’ dresses.
I am so glad I did it this way. I look at my pictures now and see my friends around me so unique and beautiful, and I feel so happy. I wanted them to shine that day, too.
Anyway, I hope that this post might help someone else who may be wavering about whether or not to do this… in which case, I say, go for it! BUT, do try not to micromanage it too much — particularly if you are really, truly doing it as a way to reduce your own stress and make sure your bridesmaids are comfortable and shine on their own… because if you are very attached to a particular vision, you genuinely might just be better off picking particular dresses for them, and that’s fine, too!!
In any case, it might not work well with all colors, but could be great with blues or purples or silvers or off-whites, as you can see from photos others have posted above!!
Happy planning! 🙂