One thing we know: matching wedding parties is SO not required anymore. I'd say about half of the weddings we receive as submissions stray from the matchy-matchy tradition in favor of mismatched bridesmaids and wedding parties. They range from mildly varied fashion to wildly different looks, and we love them all.
Let's travel down memory lane to revisit some of our very favorite mismatched bridesmaids and wedding parties, starting with this A very Wes Anderson wedding with bridesmaids in berets and Fantastic Mr. Fox-inspired groomsmen.
The front-facing view of these 1960s bridesmaid vixens and below, the other half of the crew including a groomsgirl!
Matching clutches by Red Ruby Rose!
And when it comes to wedding party fashion, these guys know not to take it too seriously…
Are you having a wedding party? Will they match?
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Comments on 25 of our favorite mismatched bridesmaids
I think one of the best things about non-matching bridal parties is that (usually) the outfits seem like something they can wear again. My mother has several bridesmaids dresses that she spent a lot of money on and only wore once because they just weren’t flattering on her. It’s hard to choose a style that works on various body types and I think that’s a huge advantage of non-matching bridal parties.
That’s exactly why I’m having my bridesmaids wear knee length floral dresses. They can pick any style, any type of floral pattern, sleeves/no sleeves, etc. My bridesmaids are my guests of honor, and I want them to wear something they like that looks good on them. That just wouldn’t work if they all had to wear the same dress.
When I get married, I’m inclined to say to my bride’s people (sister and two male friends) and to my boyfriend’s groom’s siblings (sister and two brothers) to wear something in the neighborhood of purple for me and something in the neighborhood of green for him.
Aw yay! we’re doing purple and green for our wedding colours!
we’re wondering a bit whether it’ll be unintentionally willy-wonka-ish, but hopefully it’ll work on the day. we’re doing mismatched dresses in purple or green – any style/length/shade and mismatched groomsmen, with some gold accessories to pull it together.
My maids will be rocking mismatched 50s style swing dresses in assorted florals to compliment my ivory swing-style wedding dress! Different necklines, different colors, but all the same general vibe – that way everyone could pick something out that they loved that worked for them (I have bridesmaids from 5’1 to 6’3) – plus, TWIRLY DRESSES FOREVER! 😀
Great article! My bridesmaids will be mismatched at my wedding this September, so thank you for sharing these ideas from other weddings!
I love the different degrees of mismatching here! Some of these look like the bride gave no instructions at all, but others are clearly planned or coordinated.
For a minute I was like “but some of these match- they’re all in green/yellow/flower prints!” because I was using my normal logic. Then I remembered that “matching” when you talk about bridesmaids and weddings usually means everyone wears the exact same dress in the exact same shade of color, ideally from the same dye lot… Oh, right, forgot about that. And looking at all of these they look great whether they were coordinated or free-form, so yay! It just looks so much more natural to me this way, personally. If only everyone applied their everyday-life logic to weddings all the time! Then we wouldn’t need to keep reminding people to chill out about it- at least not so much. I can dream, right? It’s so hard to just plan the thing without being consciously for or against tradition.
I love the idea of mismatched dresses not necessarily for the aesthetic but really because hey, everyone involved are grown adults and should pick what they want to wear.
The problem I’ve encountered is I asked that my bridal party (2 guys, 3 ladies) choose something with blue in it. Guys – no problem. Ladies – but what style of dress? Any length? But what shade of blue? Are you sure? There’s a lot of blue shades? As in….aquamarine or more navy? But what about sleeves?
….so please be prepared that sometimes, out of love (and maybe a bit of misplaced “shoulds”), no matter how offbeat your friends are normally, they may like some additional guidelines.
In my case, I turned the task over to my maids of honor and let them run herd since they care more than I do. Too terrible? 😀
Hi, Ellen from the Wes Anderson wedding here. I had that wonderful “problem” with some of my bridesmaids. I love your solution of the maid of honor which would have worked if I had one… >.< My bridesmaid was just so eager to please and to be sure that I was getting the day that I wanted! In that case, I gave the bridesmaid three different options of dresses that she liked that I thought looked good on her that fit with the theme. She even ended up customizing the dress she wore with a cute peter pan collar!
Also, I can tell you that for a fact not one dress was going to fit everyone, as I had girls of all sizes and shapes up there with me. So the mismatch-y thing was almost a necessity!
I’m a little late replying, but I’m going with choosing a length and then letting them pick whatever style they want. And for colors, I was going to give them paint swatches from the hardware store for guidance. That way I could say, “Yes to these ones and definitely no to these.” I’m probably gonna end up going with red and dusty rose (or something along those lines) and just want to avoid anyone getting crazy with pinks.
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