9.03.2014

Coordinating Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

Coordinating Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

I have been a big time slacker in getting this post together. My friend Juliette from The Other Juliette (if you don't already know this girl you better go to her blog NOW- she's hysterical and I absolutely adore her) asked if I would write a post about coordinating different colored bridesmaid dresses. Since this was something I recently did (and apparently did well I assume since she is asking me for advice), I wanted to share how I did it.

mismatched pastel bridesmaid dresses


Now, let me just preface this by saying that I have been in a TON of weddings in the past few years. Three out of my four bridesmaids were married within the last two and a half years, and I was a bridesmaid in all of their weddings. I knew all too well what it was like to go through the experience of being a bridesmaid, and wearing a bridesmaid dress.

For this reason, I knew from the beginning that what was most important to me was that my bridesmaids felt comfortable and happy with what they were wearing (and that it was affordable). I truly believe that the most beautiful bridesmaid dresses are those that your girls feel most confident in, and I wanted that for my ladies. I also knew that I did not necessarily need matching bridesmaid dresses, both in terms of the color and style.

Before I even started talking about what I wanted my bridesmaids to wear, I started exploring wedding colors (as most brides do). Pinterest was my best friend for this, obviously. Once I decided on my colors (neutral white/gray with pastel accents), THEN I worried about bridesmaid dresses. Since my color scheme was a series of colors, I knew that I wanted each girl in a different color. Part of this decision was also due to the fact that my none of my bridesmaids lived in the same state as me (or even each other), so color coordinating any kind of the same color would be a nightmare.

Once this was decided, I had to choose between long or short dresses. I went with short since I knew it would be hot. I also told them I preferred a chiffon material (mostly due to the heat and because it's a common material). Once I had these details nailed down in my head, this is how I went about the rest of the process:

1. I started a group e-mail. In this e-mail, I shared what my idea for their dresses was and warned them that a mess of information would be coming their way soon.

2. I sent my inspiration photos via e-mail to the girls with plenty of information on the colors I wanted including examples and common names the colors were referred to as. This is a literal excerpt from one of my e-mails: "...peachy/nude, light yellow, light green, and light purple/lilac. When I have been trying to find better fabric names for these colors, I'm coming up with: blush/champagne, iris(similar to lilac), pistachio/thistle, and daffodil/maize." This seemed to work really well for the ladies. I also included photos such as these and talked a little bit about what I liked about them:



3. I let the ladies discuss among themselves which color they would prefer. I prefaced that this was first-come, first-served because I knew it could definitely end badly (although my bridesmaids are all pretty reasonable people). One of the girls ended up really not wanting to wear the particular color that she was left with, so she made it known to the group. Thankfully, my maid of honor relinquished her preferred color and went with the one that was remaining. Problem solved.

4. Once everyone had their colors, I sent them searching for their dresses. Most of the girls looked online first, then in stores. Throughout the search, I was constantly kept updated on potential dresses to see if it was the color and style I was looking for.

5. Bridesmaids sent me photos or video-chatted me while trying on their top dresses. I really loved this part of the process since we couldn't all be together physically while choosing their dresses. It gave me a chance to still "be there." Two of my bridesmaids rented their dresses from Little Borrowed Dress and they were darling!! I would highly recommend this as a option for your bridesmaids, however you do not get to try to them on ahead of time so there's always a chance the color won't be exactly what you are looking for. Luckily, they send two sizes of the dress so one is likely bound to fit you for the day of the wedding!

In terms of coordinating flowers, I sent the same inspiration photos and detailed color name variations to my florist and just relinquished any control over it. In coordinating the men's socks, I simply did my best to guess on the colors! ha!

mismatched bridesmaid dresses and color coordinated groomsmen socks


I will be the first to tell you that pulling off mismatched bridesmaid dresses was HARD. I am a visual person, so I was having a very hard time envisioning what all the colors would look like pulled together on the day of. So, instead of stressing, I just let it go. This worked pretty well for me. I also learned that when you pick the right group of people to stand up there with you on your special day, they will do everything to make sure they are getting what you want. You do not need to be bridezilla to achieve something.

I hope this was somewhat helpful for you! If you did mismatched bridesmaid dresses, whether in terms of color, style, or both, what did you do differently to pull it off?

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30 comments :

  1. Well I think your wedding was just adorable! And I think the mismatched bridesmaids dresses went together perfectly. I love the mismatched theme going on these days. Dresses are so expensive! And if you're paying $150 for a dress, I want you to be able to wear it on a fancy night out too.

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  2. Oh thank you Nina! UGH yes the dresses are ridiculous!!! I also liked that it gave my ladies the option to rent because I know it saved a few of them a lot of money!

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  3. I am doing mismatched maids, all in the same color family though. I can't wait to see how it all turns out because 2 out of 3 live far away and I won't be there to see it in person until the day of.

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  4. I totally had a hard time visualizing how mine would turn out because of that reason! I think mismatching different shades of the same color is probably a lot easier so you should be fine, I am sure it will look FABULOUS! So excited for you!

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  5. I love the dresses and colors! you did such a great job!

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  6. Such a GREAT post!!!! I could never be this brave and pull this off like you did. I remember thinking at the wedding, "WOW! How'd they all find a dress in a different style and different color and pull that off!?!" Seriously, it looked so great!

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  7. I did the same thing! It actually turned out really well for me, too! I think it made for BETTER pics, even.

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  8. THANK YOU for writing this!!!!! I absolutely LOVE the mismatched theme and I can't tell you enough how perfectly you and your bridesmaids pulled it off. It's great that they sent you photos or video chatted you while trying on their dresses... I never thought to video chat during the process! I have a strong feeling I'll be coming back to this in the future.

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  9. Such great tips! Your bridesmaids looked gorgeous!

    Karissa

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  10. We initially ordered matching dresses and then 8 days before the wedding I decided I HATED the dresses with a burning passion. So my mom and best friend and I went to the mall and ran around like mad for two hours until we found them each a dress they loved in the same color, and it turned out amazing!

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  11. I think these look awesome together!
    My bridesmaids were all mismatched too (color was mint...blue..teal)....and I was slightly worried how it would turn out- but I LOVED it so much more than matching ones!
    They all looked amazing and were able to showcase their style through their dress! I loved that part of it!

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  12. Thanks girl- it was definitely a leap of faith. That makes me so happy you thought that!

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  13. TOTALLY! I love how it turned out.

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  14. YOU ARE WELCOME! Hopefully it comes in handy for you soon ;);)

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  15. Oh no! So glad it worked out ok!!!

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  16. YES! I love the trend of the mismatched look!

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  17. You're a good friend. I was in a bunch of friend's weddings and then had them all in mine. It was like payback time...I picked their dresses and shoes. :) Haha...but that was before mismatching was a thing. :)

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  18. Hahaha not going to lie- payback totally crossed my mind...

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  19. I wish you had written this before I got married, Cassie! Yes...I did this too and it was much harder than I thought it would be. I thought it'd be easy and everyone would be happy but sometimes people don't like that much freedom. Once I decided on my color scheme, I gave them each a color and general style and they sent me photos before they purchased them. My sisters were the most difficult..thankfully my friends were easy. Yours turned out beautifully!

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  20. I asked my bridesmaids to pick any dress from any store they wanted, but it had to be green. I wanted everyone to wear a different shade of green. Looking back on it, I think my bridesmaids needed more direction. I thought it would be easier for them to pick something with only one requirement, but I think they ended up sorta lost about what I wanted. What three of them ended up doing is sending me photos of the dresses they liked, and asking me what I liked best. I ended up just picking a dress for my sister Megan to wear because she hates shopping.

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  21. Thank you! Sounds like we had similar processes!

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  22. I can totally see what you're saying. I think bridesmaids (most of them) just want to make the bride happy and lack of direction might make that hard for them!

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  23. Wow, these dresses turned out so well and work amazing together! I wanted to do something like this but didn't trust my ability to make multiple colors work well. I love that you videochatted with your girls too - I wish I had done that since two of mine were states away.

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  24. Thanks Amanda! I was terrified of it during the process! haha

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  25. These are beautiful! I love the different ways brides work with their friends to be comfortable as bridesmaids. I was a bridesmaid for the first time last year for my best friend/college roommate. We had looked at dressed together for YEARS. Plus I have a very similar body type to her sister, and while the groom's sister was much taller than us, she was also curvy. So it was easy for my bestie to find a dress that worked for all of us!
    I'll be a bridesmaid again this December for another best friend. She picked out five styles in the same color and let us pick.
    I think the advice to just let it go is one that brides need to remember with ALL wedding planning. It helps lessen the stress!

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  26. I love the idea to give bridesmaids options! and YES I completely agree- you should read this post: http://www.sagetheblog.com/2014/05/wedding-wednesday-things-you-should.html

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  27. So pretty! I love the way it all came together, absolutely beautiful and AWESOME tips! Thank you Cassie!

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