Traditional weddings had a row of bridesmaids in matching dresses and shoes, all holding identical bouquets, all smiling identical smiles. These days, however, alternative bridesmaids outfits are the in-thing! Your bridesmaids could rock up at your side in different colours, styles or even some seriously sexy suits!
Here’s how to style your bridesmaids your way.
Image courtesy of thebridelink.com
Yes the old-fashioned ‘one style fits all’ has gone, and in its place is whatever you and your handmaidens will dare to wear!
Why unmatching bridesmaids are best
Alternative bridesmaids outfits don’t have to be that different or way out. If you have your heart set on dressing your bridesmaids identically (or even if you don’t), here are a few reasons why it might be better to be more flexible:
Your bridesmaids have very different heights and figures and may look or feel awkward standing next to each other dressed the same.
You have a mix of child and adult attendants who will look frankly ridiculous all matching exactly!
Your bridesmaids are from different cultural backgrounds and this poses an issue for them.
You simply can’t imagine your choice of attendants being happy dressed identically.
But just because the bridesmaids won’t be dressed in the same dresses it doesn’t mean that they can’t look stylish and formal. There are several ways to create a unifying look, while retaining individuality and flexibility:
Choose the same colour
It’s perfectly acceptable to select a favourite colour and ask the bridesmaids to choose something in that shade. In the US, plain black or a striking monochrome black and white for bridesmaids is a popular option and creates a very sophisticated look for your big day. As long as you’re not superstitious and see black purely as a funeral colour. It’s perfect for a ‘black tie’ do!
A popular option is to choose a fabric and let the bridesmaids get their dresses made from the same material. That way they will be able to choose a style that suits them and still retain the bridesmaid look.
Long and short of it
If your bridesmaids are going to choose different dresses it can look a little odd if some are in full length silk and others in short mini dresses. By agreeing on a length you will create a certain uniformity within which they can find a style that they are happy with.
Separates are becoming very popular among modern bridesmaids. Choosing two‐piece styles gives a wider scope of tops in the same colour and fabric. It also enables a maid of honour to stand out from the other attendants by having a different‐style top from the other bridesmaids.
Same dress, different colours
This creates an interesting look, especially if your bridesmaids have very different colourings and complexions. You may be limited by the choice of colours in high street shops, but most bridesmaid specialists such as Dessy.com have a wide range of swatches for their bridesmaids’ ranges and so you should be able to find just the colours you are after.
Find more alternative bridesmaids outfits and other inspiration in Bridesmaids Dresses in dresses and style.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.