(Closed) The Bridal Party Matching Outfit Tradition Explained (?)

posted 5 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: What was decision re: bridal party outfits?
    Matching outfits for everyone. : (36 votes)
    36 %
    Mismatched but fit a general theme/color/look. : (54 votes)
    54 %
    Pick your own outfit in any color/style. : (2 votes)
    2 %
    No bridal party. : (6 votes)
    6 %
    Same dress different colors. : (2 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    8576 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I’m only having 2 bridesmaids so it’s easy for me. I just wanted something pink, that compliments my dress!

    Post # 4
    1548 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I choose 5 dresses, all the same designer, fabric, length and color – but each was a very different cut. I let each of my BMs decide which one they wanted. 

    Post # 5
    2966 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @remijp:  I think you should add the option of Same dress/Different colors as well! 🙂 

    I am still torn on what I’m choosing though. :/

    Post # 6
    2685 posts
    Sugar bee

    We are going with dresses of the same color from Little Borrowed Dress.  The jury is still out on whether they will all be the same or not, but most of my BM’s are leaning towards the same style anyway so I may just do the one style.  I wanted a consistent color scheme for photos and to help people identify who is in the wedding party.

    Post # 7
    747 posts
    Busy bee

    Depends on the theme, venue, general feel of the ceremony/reception…if you’re having a lavish formal wedding then stick with a matching or at least very coordinated look.  If you’re doing a farm wedding, or backyard garden, etc then you can get away with a mismatched look.  In general the trend is away from matching and more toward somewhat coordinating, if at all.

    Our wedding was nearly 9 years ago and back then everyone basically did the matching look.  I only had two girls in my Bridal Party so they just picked the same dress and went with it.  To each their own!  

    Post # 9
    6355 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I find it an unusual “tradition” and I was hoping you had the answer as to how it started, OP! Most other cultures don’t have this concept and I think it saves a lot of unnecessary drama and expense not to do it.

    Personally I decided not to have bridesmaids, although my Fiance may really want a best man, in which case I will have a maid of honor, and she can wear what she likes (within reason of course, but it’s not like she has bad taste so I’m not worried).

    My mom and dad actually had 6 bridesmaids and 2 groomsmen (all relatives, lots of women in our family), and everyone wore something appropriate that they already owned. That ended up being 6 different, lovely, floor-length pastel-colored dressses on the bridesmaids. That seems plenty matchy-matchy enough to me, if you NEED bridesmaids in the first place. I think my mom only had them because she wanted to get closer to my dad’s sisters, who she didn’t really know, and this was an opportunity to involve them.

    Post # 10
    3078 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    My girls all had very different body types and mine wasn’t a super formal event so I just told them colors and they picked out their own style.  I thought we looked pretty darn good

    Post # 11
    3830 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I told them to get a purple dress. 

    Post # 13
    4518 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I think it’s a strange tradition, and I agree that it adds a lot of unnecessary stress. I don’t know where the tradition comes from, but I didn’t follow it.

    Post # 14
    2055 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @remijp:  I’ve read that the history behind the matching BMs was to confuse any evil spirits who might wish to curse the bride and the groom. 

    ETA: I found it! “The tradition of bridesmaids wearing identical dresses dates back to Roman times when it was believed that evil spirits would attend the wedding in an attempt to curse the bride and groom.

    To prevent the spirits from knowing who was getting married, Roman law required that ten wedding guests wear outfits that matched what the bridal couple. It was believed that this would confuse the spirits and bring luck to the marriage.


    Nowadays, unless you believe in cursing evil spirits, you stick with this tradition purely because of custom/personal preference. And I will certainly not be doing so. I think it so often looks dated, juvenile (reminds me of matching school uniforms), and super boring.

    And I completely disagree with the other Bee who said matching is more formal (that’s not fact, it’s just her opinion). I will be having a black tie wedding, and not one of of my BMs will be wearing the same colour or style (and each will be wearing a very formal black tie gown). My coordinating “theme”= black tie wedding. I love fashion far too much to stick them all in the same dress (or even similar gowns).

    Post # 16
    1130 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I said black, knee-length dresses. So, we’ll see who shows up in what, haha.

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