Mismatched bridesmaid dresses are an up-and-coming trend, but will you say “I do” to contrasting bridesmaid dresses on your big day? Keep reading to find out how you can style your mismatched bridesmaid dresses to perfection!

Getting started with bridesmaid styling

We’ve been taught that bridesmaids should look ‘uniformed’ for the bridal party to look aesthetically pleasing. However, there are many benefits to going for mismatching colours and different dress styles in addition to them looking fabulous!

Bridesmaid dresses: a long-upheld tradition

Wedding traditions have evolved throughout the years, but bridesmaids were wearing matching dresses as far back as the 1800s. In fact, the bridal party wore the same dress as the bride up until the 1880s, in a bid to ward off evil spirits interfering with the wedding day. And while, nowadays, it’s thought to be disrespectful for anyone to dress up like the bride, the ritual of wearing matching bridesmaid dresses has stayed with us into the twenty-first century.

But there’s a lot to be said about a non-uniformed look on your wedding day, not to mention breaking away from a centuries-old tradition that has little significance to a modern-day wedding.

How to coordinate mismatched bridesmaid dresses to your scheme

The biggest draw to having mismatched bridesmaid dresses is the freedom it offers. That said, you still want to retain some sense of order… so how do you enable mismatched dresses to coordinate with your overall scheme?

Contrasting colours

You can choose to stick with one colour as your focus by selecting different shades that work in harmony with one another. You still have a colour theme, but you can introduce more depth and interest than if you were trying to match everything to a single tone. This also applies to sets of colours, so you could set your sights on pastel-toned dresses, earthy-toned, and so on…

Same colour, different shape for your bridal party

Alternatively, you could look at bridesmaid dresses that are the same shade in colour yet are cut into slightly different shapes. This is a great option if you have bridesmaids with different body types such as bust sizes, for example, they all may not suit the same neckline.

Same bridesmaids’ dresses, different colour

What’s more, buying identical dresses in the same fabric but in different colours keeps some continuity but can be visually effective. Another great way to incorporate different bridesmaid dresses that everyone will absolutely adore into your big day.

Top Tips for making mismatched dresses look harmonious

Ironically, there is a skill to being carefully uncoordinated! So how do you make sure that your mix and match bridesmaid dresses aren’t too ‘out there’?

Match colours wisely

Look up pictures from weddings where they have selected a range of tones of the same hue. Also, take paint swatches or the dresses themselves with you when bridesmaid dress shopping so that you can see how well the colours compliment each other.

The key to nailing different bridesmaid dresses is to visualise the bigger picture and how everything will come together at the end.

Only change one or two things in your bridesmaid dresses

Remember that your bridesmaids still need to stand out in a crowd. As such, you want to keep some level of uniformity; try not to change more than just a couple of aspects from one dress to the next. This will ensure that all your girls still look and feel like part of your bridal squad and not a wedding guests.

Keep sleeve and dress lengths the same

Even though we’re all for mismatching, we do advise against a total clash of dresses!

While subtle colour shifts and shapes can work in your favour to create a beautiful cohesive look, mixing short bridesmaid dresses with midi or floor-length gowns is perhaps a step too far… and combining long with short sleeves is much the same.

The general rule of thumb when looking for bridesmaid dresses is to mirror the bride’s dress style, so we suggest staying along those lines as far as possible but enabling some minor dress style modifications.

Keep identical accessories

A great tip for keeping your bridesmaids’ dresses coordinated despite having colour or style is to keep accessories (like shoes and jewellery) matching throughout your wedding party.

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses – why they make so much sense

Aside from the fact that you get the chance to buy a wider selection of beautiful designs when opting for mismatched bridesmaid dresses, keeping your options open makes so much sense when you think about the individual members of your bride tribe. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses also let your girls pick different styles they feel most comfortable.

Would you and your best mate show up in identical outfits for a night out? No, because you both express yourselves differently and likely have your own style. So why would you want to deny your bridesmaids’ from being themselves at your wedding? Or worse, force them to look a way that makes them feel uneasy?

Skin tone, hair colour, body shape, comfort… all are factors that can affect our personal fashion choices, so tailoring your bridesmaid dress choices to the wonderful ladies who will proudly wear them is a really good way to show them how valued they are.