Let’s just say, there’s a reason the movie wasn’t called “Sisterhood of the Traveling Bridesmaid Dress.”
Unless you’ve befriended 6-foot-tall quadruplets who share modelesque features and mannequin legs, we’re pretty sure your dearest friends are of all shapes and sizes. They’ve likely got entirely different personalities, too (and we bet that’s what you love about them).
That’s why modern brides are eschewing the matchy-matchy schemes of weddings past for the chance to let each of their friends stand out.
Introducing the bridal trend that doesn’t ignore or just tolerate the unique qualities of your friends, but celebrates them. It’s the ingenious idea to clothe your bridesmaids in different dresses in a way that doesn’t part from tradition so much as enhance it. And it’s been making waves everywhere from high-class affairs to bohemian backyard nuptials to our own Pinterest boards.
For one thing, your maids are going to feel more comfortable now that they have a say in the matter. But it also allows you, the bride, to stop stressing about finding that magic one-fits-all number.
Here are some ideas on how to make it work for you:
If you’re a fan of tradition…
If you get a headache just thinking about mismatched dresses or would rather not unravel an age-old wedding tradition, this trend can still work for you. There are tons of designers who’ve created collections with the mismatched theme in mind. That means the work’s already been done for you. Choose one of these thoughtful companies and allow your maids to pick which dress in the same hue that suits them best.
We’ve selected four stunning — yet unique! — dresses from J. Crew’s latest bridesmaid collection, all in Misty Rose.
Oh, and word to the wise: To avoid ending up with three of the same dresses, we suggest eliminating styles as they’re claimed.
If you’re willing to be bolder…
Once again, this designer made things easy for us. Their collection is meant to be mixed and matched, but we’re thinking this could work with any group of dresses that share that one magical quality that makes all their differences acceptable. Go with your gut in this situation. Here, each dress shares a floral motif, fabric, length, and boho-chic feel even though the colors are different. In fact, they’re not even in the same family. But if you crave an artistic change from the classic, this just might be your favorite.
If you dare to be totally different…
Ladies, we have faith in you. You’ve been reading wedding blogs for months now. You can do this. If you trust your intuition, you’ll be able to pull together a group of dresses that feel cohesive, regardless of fabric, designer name, price or, yes, even color. These dresses, all from different designers but all available at Nordstrom, are in just-matching-enough colors with a similar flowy, romantic feel in common. So, we went for it! And you can, too.
If you’re tapping into your wilder side…
There’s just one thing in common here: an ethereal, boho-chic feel. Oh, and the colors are similar, but they’re not quite the same.
So, how does a bride go about pairing Indian handwork, London class, and New York flair — plus, a paradoxical combination of floor-length and knee-length dresses, no less? By making sure there’s something cohesive to hold it all together and, above all, being confident in her choices.
This is your chance to let down that bridezilla facade and win some major brownie points with your girlfriends. Let them have their way — just make sure you’re firm about your vision.
If you’re the bravest of them all…
If your personal motto is “you only live once,” we have the style for you. Sparkles and sequins would be daring enough if all the dresses were the same, but in the “go big or go home” spirit, we went all out.
Still, the get-ups aren’t rebellious enough to cause a riot from your grandparents. With silver and navy to tie things together, hardly anyone would bat an eye at mismatched sequins — especially if it was a Roaring ’20s-themed bash — and the sophisticated, high-fashion allure would be acceptable even to die-hard traditionalists at a black-tie wedding.