I know — because some of you have come right out and said it — that there are brides out there who simply do not feel compelled to dress their ‘maids in matching frocks. In fact, many could not care less what the attendants they have chosen wear to the wedding! It is an unusual choice, but by no means an outlandish one.

What immediately comes to mind when I think of mismatched bridesmaids is a gaggle of gals wearing a selection of pastels with matching sashes…or perhaps matching pastels with a selection of mismatched sashes. But that’s not the only way to grant your bridesmaids their autonomy! Here are five ways you can avoid seeing triple, quadruple, or whatever:


Photo by Minarae

Anything goes:

Photo by duncan

Base it on the blooms:

Photo by willposh

Double up:

Photo by Robwallace

Go Asian:

Photo by paperbackwriter

Mismatching, in my humble opinion, is a great option when like many of us, your best gal pals come in all shapes, sizes, and color palettes. Taking a one-dress-fits-all approach to your attendants can cause one or more of them great heartache, especially when 90% look like supermodels in the dress you like and 10% look like flabby transvestite hookers.

To see more photos from each of these weddings — and how the bride and groom incorporated the many colors into the decor (or not) — click on the pics to be taken to the assocated Flickr page.

15 Responses to “Mismatchy-mismatchy”

  1. met says:

    My friend REALLY wanted all 8 of us to choose the color of our dress for her wedding. She ended up picking 2 colors and we could choose any dress in a line of quite a few that came in those colors.
    It turned out looking really nice and without planning, half the girls chose one color and half chose the other. I realize this is really small, but here’s a shot of all of us http://samsclubus.pnimedia.com/album/prints_preview.aspx?m=1vxMOQcaI2Wdqzv86wnlJkT6KNUSLlYvQHH9lu11Be90-

  2. blablover5 says:

    We did it by letting the girls pick any dress they wanted in any shade of blue. I just love the idea of having a wide spectrum of the hue.

  3. My bridal cartel will all be wearing whatever floor-length matte dress they want in navy. I’m making them matching silvery chiffon wraps and jewelry. The women were so enthusiastic about this news that three of them went out and bought their dresses the week I got engaged! Also, it enables the less, um, financially-endowed among us to source places like thrift shops and eBay.

  4. Michelle says:

    If only I could have sent this post to my bridesbabes 4 months ago….they revolted when I told them to pick a knee-length purple dress! They made me pick a color and a designer. NOW they’re revolting about shoes! I told them to wear whatever color/heel they want (they have to wear flip-flops for the ceremony since it’s on a pebble beach) but one of the girls is being a (nice) bully. I had to go behind her back and tell my other bridesbabes not to listen to her!

    So…what do they call the opposite of Bridezilla?

  5. Evie says:

    Cute! And, furthermore, everyone actually looks comfortable.

    Love your idea, blablover! Were I to have bridesmaids, I would opt for the same concept. I like color coordination, but using only one or two hyper-specific shades for an entire wedding party is bit junior prom for my personal taste 🙂

  6. La BellaDonna says:

    What do they call the opposite of Bridezilla? They call her “Michelle,” obviously.

    Blablover5, I did something very similar. My bridesmaids ranged from 5 feet tall to 6 feet tall, and I said they could wear any shade of blue that they wanted; the only caveat was that it had to be early 17thCentury, and any trimming had to be gold. I was wearing white and gold; my husband-to-be wore white and silver, and his groomsmen were in blue and silver.

    Each made a dress that suited her, they all looked fabulous, and they all got to wear their outfits again!

  7. Colleen says:

    A friend of mine coined a phrase that I totally stole for my own wedding. Her bridesmaids were in “comfortable blue”. As in, “is it comfortable?”, “is it blue?”, “it’s great!”

    So in honor of that, my ‘maids are in “comfortable green”. Like LaBellaDonna my maids range from 5’1″ to 6’ and from less to very well endowed so finding one dress would have been cruel to someone, and probably everyone.

  8. Chelle says:

    I told my bridesmaids to find a matte black cocktail dress that made them look fabulous. ( My dress is deep red). My only caveats were that it should’t be too sparkly ( i hate rhinestones etc on dresses) and is shouldn’t be too lacy. But I told them as long as it was black and they looked awesome, they could pick whatever they wanted.

    I told them whatever shoes they wanted too, in any color. Black can get boring.

  9. Georgie says:

    How about this as an idea… wear your own individual dresses but create a theme around accessories? This could be bridal shrugs like the ones seen here: http://www.fauxplay.co.uk where you can buy animal-firendly faux fur shrugs. Worth checking out the pictures.

  10. Dent says:

    Oh, if only I could have persuaded my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted… Not to mention my mother. They told me I needed to make decisions FOR them. Apparently everybody thought I’d turn into a raging Bridezilla if I didn’t give clear and implicit directions on what to wear. And now I have four lovely bridesmaids who are wearing the exact same dress. Unfortunately I had to pick my battles.

  11. anon says:

    I only had one bridesmaid and I asked her to wear a floor length chocolate brown gown in a style that mirrored mine. She kicked up quite a stink saying she didn’t want to wear brown, couldn’t she wear grey, or this particular black dress with white piping that she had found (and just wanted an excuse to buy, it didn’t suit the simple elegant look of my dress at all).
    I was quite upset because my mum was going to make it and I was only asking her to pay well under $100 for the fabric. Turned out she looked gorgeous in the colour and got compliments all night.
    Well that marriage didn’t last very long at all (the bridesmaid wasn’t the only poor choice I made) and next time around I think I will tell my two likely bridesmaids to go shopping together and find something they both like, a top and skirt combo would be fine, and just giving them a colour range. They are very different body types so I would not impose any kind of style direction on them.
    I saw that done at a wedding where the bridesmaids all wore the same interesting “going-out” style tshirt and matching skirts and they looked absolutely lovely.

  12. babe_r says:

    Wow! Tropical bridesmaid in pink only is actually the BRIDE!

    That’s an even more unconventional decision. I think I like it.

  13. Pencils says:

    My attendants wore three different dresses. It was an odd wedding party: my sister, who is in her early 40s, as matron of honor, then the bridesmaids and flower girl were all my nieces, ages fourteen to seven. They went from teens to little girls, with body types that ranged the spectrum. There was no way they could all wear the same dress and be comfortable. So I picked out a junior bridesmaid dress for the two eldest bridesmaids, in navy with pale yellow trim. I had a hard time finding something that wasn’t too mature or hootchie, but also something that didn’t look to babyish for the young teens. My youngest junior bridesmaid, at age ten, wore the same dress as the flowergirl (age seven), a traditional girl’s formal dress from Pegeen with a sash and full skirt. The bridesmaid’s dress was navy with a pale yellow sash, the flowergirl wore the opposite colors. And I told my sister, the matron of honor, to wear whatever she wanted, hopefully in navy. She bought a gorgeous dress from Martin McCrea, which was hand-dyed–it turned out to be more of a violet than a navy, but that was fine, it looked gorgeous. I got her lavender roses to go with it.

  14. La BellaDonna says:

    Well, props to you both, Monica and Pencils; I had the devil’s own time trying to find something in “navy” for my brother’s wedding, which was in August. Now, if I had wanted “black” or “red” – two colours in which I look fabulous, and would normally buy – those two colours were everywhere. But the theme was not “what would the groom’s sister look great in” but “navy.” Which was really, really hard to find in August, especially when 102% of your time is actually being spent making the bride’s dress.