Multi-Styled Bridesmaids

by | Bride, Bridesmaids


Let’s face facts. Your beautiful bridesmaids are probably not going to all be the same size, the same colouring or have the same fashion sense. In fact *shock horror* they may just hate the idea of the perfect strapless lemon yellow gown your picked out for them.

So the idea of letting your gorgeous ladies pick their own gowns, or wear a style of gown that suits their body and their style doesn’t sound so horrible when you think of how comfortable they’ll be!

I’ve stored this entry by Rock ‘N Roll Bride for a while because I loved the wedding so much. The bride had each bridesmaid choose a gown in green. I love the look! (Photos by Josh McCullock . See all of them here)

Then That Bride got all her ladies to pick (or make) their own stylish black gown (photos by Kelli Nicole)

Brooklyn Bride posted Julie and Matt’s wedding here (Photos by Jennifer Causey)

Kathryn of Snippet and Ink posted the wedding of Lisa and Nick (photos by Lisa Lefkowitz)

Then of course, Carrie’s bridesmaids in Sex & The City: The Movie

If you’re still a little uneasy about the wide variety of gowns available and having them work well together, give some basic criteria or guidelines to help the girls pick their gowns.

  • Give each girl a colour swatch  to pick a dress in the colour palette you’re using. Or give some guidance with colours “Light greens” “Anything with blue and brown” or “Just make it black!”
  • Buy a bolt of the fabric you love and give each bridesmaid fabric to make a dress in their own style. Or choose a brand which uses the same fabric across different dresses.
  • Give some guidance on fabric choices- a backyard outdoor wedding might be more suited to frocks in cottons and pretty embroidered fabrics whereas an evening wedding would suit taffeta and silk.
  • Shoes- do you want the girls to wear the same colour? Let them know!
  • Length- is this important to you? Should all gowns be knee length?

Mismatching can look as haphazard or as pulled together as you like. You can easily pull the group together by giving each bridesmaid the same accessory- the bouquet, a hair flower, a coloured sash- and have them style it their way.

Here’s a bridal party look I styled – focusing on a wide range of styles and prices for a wedding using a coral colour.

Nicola Finetti Dress from Frockaholics, Blue Juice dress from Frock You, BCBG Dress from Royal Tag, GF Ferre Dress from Frockaholics

While dressing the bridesmaids the same can look fantastic – it doesn’t always work. So have some fun with it!

  • i do! nyc says:
    December 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    very fun! sometimes not following the ‘rules’ can look better than following

  • Jenna says:
    December 2, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Awww thanks for the shoutout! I love my non-matching bridesmaids as well.

  • blablover5 says:
    December 3, 2008 at 2:32 am

    I let all my bridesmaids wear whatever they wanted. Even the color was sort of left up to them. While I only had three girls I think it turned out great.

  • Abbie says:
    December 3, 2008 at 5:52 am

    I’ve got all three green bm pics in my inspiration folder. I love this idea. We are going a little more traditional with all of the girls in the exact same color but different dresses from JCrew… per the fiance’s request. It’s amazing what they’ll be sticklers about. I personally love the mix of colors and patterns!

  • [email protected] Wedding Shoes says:
    December 3, 2008 at 6:10 am

    I love those green dresses. So different, yet work so well together. Also love the idea of the vintage suitcases in Jenna’s photo.

  • Alex says:
    December 3, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I was just discussing the non-matching BM dresses that I’m having at my wedding with another bride on the weekend. I want all my BM’s to look and feel HOT on the day, so they are wearing a different dresses, but we are sticking to a similar style: fitted dresses, stain fabric in a dark navy.. This is also works well since they are all over the world. We set up a Facebook group and posted all the pics we liked and eventually narrowed it down to the 3 that work best together 🙂

  • Ee says:
    December 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Not only were my BMs have different body shapes and heights, they were multi-racial too. So a couple of them came dressed in their traditional costumes which i thought was fantastic! Take a peek here

  • Sugar and Spice Event Design says:
    December 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I am a fan of the bridesmaid dress that works for you. It allows you to feel comfortable in your attire, all while actuating the color, theme and style of the wedding in one big whoosh! It is the best of both worlds!

  • DCKate says:
    December 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I just love this look. It’s so fresh and natural. I never really got the whole bit about dressing up a bunch of grown women in matching gowns anyway. I’m definitely going to do this, probably with green, so I may just pass this post along to my girls!

  • Madelyn @ Southern Weddings says:
    December 4, 2008 at 6:18 am

    I love the concept of a bridesmaid’s dress that fits each bridesmaid best. That is what I want to do for my wedding as well! I think it is important to let each bridesmaid communicate her personality and style with her choice of dress!

  • Ashley Burt says:
    December 8, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I love the concept!

    I have seen a wedding where all the BMs had to wear a BCBG dress.

    Since they have a pretty significant range of dresses, that did work too.

  • Katey D says:
    December 9, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    My Groom to be actually saw this concept before I did! When he first suggested it, I thought it would look untidy…..but after reviewing a few weddings that incorporated this idea, I thought it looked brilliant and was a great stray away from the norm. Excellent for Brides to be (like me!) who want to be a little different. Reflective of our relaxed approached 🙂

    Given my BMs are in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Brisbane and Perth (and are COMPLETELY different shapes), it was perfect for us. Plus, as many others have commented, my BMs will get to choose their dress- something that suits them and that they can wear again…and as the bride- I won’t be putting pressure on the girls to spend any certain amount.

  • Dynamite Weddings says:
    December 30, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    We LOVE this idea! It makes it all so much more interesting!

  • Mismatched Bridesmaids | Polka Dot Bride says:
    May 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    […] still love seeing bridesmaids in their own individual styles (see last year’s multi-styled bridesmaids post here). Here are a few more snaps of bridesmaids that I’ve been collecting (I seem to do that a […]

  • How To: Style Mismatched Bridesmaids Gowns - Polka Dot Bride says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    […] post request goes way back to our reader survey last year (I haven’t written about it since 2008!) and today I wanted to dive in. Having your bridesmaids wear non identical gowns or mismatched is […]



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