Written by Paula Jones Last updated: April 27, 2007
Will you have your bridesmaids in the same colour and style or in different colours or style variations of the same dress? Michaela Jedinak from Joy of Colour shares her advice on how to coordinate your bridesmaids dresses.
Before deciding on your bridesmaids outfits, you need to choose your personal white for your wedding dress. Your wedding dress should be colour coordinated with your dominant colour and the personal colouring of your bridesmaids.
In order to choose the right white you need to know what your dominant colour is. Your dominant colour depends on your skin, eye and hair colour. Make sure when you buy your wedding outfit that your hair colour won’t be different on your wedding day because this could affect your dominant colour and ultimately your personal white and the colour for your brides maids outfits.
Once you know your perfect white you can start to colour coordinate your bridesmaids, your mother, the flower girls, your flower bouquet, the table decorations for your reception and so on.
Choosing outfits to suit you all can be tricky if there are alot of bridesmaids or there is a large age range. Adults won’t want to be dressed the same as children, and the bride should bear in mind that the outfit(s) she picks need to flatter people of different ages (and sizes!).
Alternatively, you can ask all your bridesmaids to wear the same style and fabric, but let them choose the colour from the colour palette, which works best with your personal white, wedding theme, wedding season (summer or winter wedding) and with your wedding place (UK or overseas wedding).
While the traditional wedding scene features a row of identically dressed bridesmaids in frilly dresses, the days of “one style fits all” are gone.
If you don’t have your heart set on dressing your bridesmaids identically ‐ here are a few reasons why it might be better to be more flexible:
Just because the bridesmaids aren’t dressed the same doesn’t mean they can’t look stylish and formal. There are several ways to create a unifying look, while retaining individuality and flexibility…
It’s perfectly acceptable to select a favourite colour that expresses your personality as part of your colour palette when choosing a colour or different colour combinations for your bridesmaids outfits.
Keep in mind that almost every colour has positive as well as negative characteristics. By combining colours you can emphasise either the positive or negative aspects. Here are some tips on colour combining your wedding dress with a bridesmaids dress:
Red is the colour of power, love and energy. Combined with your personal white it will underline the love and passion you feel on the day as well as the perfect union and new beginning you are about to enter.
Pink suggests a sense of softness and gentleness. Dressed in pink, you will have an aura of feminity and romance around you. It adds a touch of sweetness to your white wedding dress and brings out the youth in every woman.
Choosing blue creates positiveness and tranquillity around you. Blue induces a sense of calm and, combined with your wedding dress, will make you appear peaceful, trustworthy and perceptive.
Green conveys freshness and reassurance and demonstrates imagination and a sense of living life to the full. Combined with your wedding dress, it symbolises hope, good luck and fertility for your new life ahead.
Orange is a more intense colour to wear than yellow. Picking orange will present you as a fun loving person, comfortable in your own skin, who has a love of exotic things. Orange is a good colour for late summer weddings.
Dressing in purple is a statement of creativity and individuality. It shows confidence in this new chapter in your life.
When choosing a material keep in mind that some material will look more figure hugging and shiny, which might not work for all your bridesmaids who may feel uncomfortable bringing attention to certain parts of their body.
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. The only drawback is you will give up control on the overall look of your wedding theme.
A must is getting agreement on the length of the dress in order to create a uniformity within the wedding theme. 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.
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.
No adult wants to appear at a wedding party dressed like a toddler. Children in identical dresses can look adorable, but if there are to be adult attendants too it is usually best to contrast their outfits with those of the children rather than try to match them!
Find more bridesmaid dresses and accessories in dresses and style.