Girls in Blue

I know mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses can be construed as something trendy these days, but ever since I was little, it was what I envisioned bridesmaids’ dresses to be. My mom had mismatched bridesmaids for her wedding, and those are the first pictures that formed my vision of what a wedding looks like. The only wedding I attended as a child was my aunt’s, in 1984, and the dresses were pink and poufy—you can imagine the horror! With those two images of what bridesmaids look like juxtaposed in my head, you can clearly see why I was drawn to mismatched, individual styles.

As a bridesmaid (three times thus far—my forth time will be in August), I have always hated wearing the same dress as everyone else. Even if I love the dress, there’s nothing like wearing the exact same dress as girls who are built differently than me (in my case I’ve always been the biggest bridesmaid) and feeling like people are comparing me to the other girls. It’s hard not to when you’re wearing the exact same thing.

With nothing pastel and nothing bright blue being the only requirement I am giving my bridal party for the color of their bridesmaids’ dresses, I am allowing each girl to pick her own dress and style in a shade of blue ranging from slate blue through navy. I do not care if the dresses are short or long, ballgowns, strapless, halter, whatever. Each of my bridesmaids is a beautiful woman and will pick something that looks good on her. I worry that my vision will not look how I have imagined it will, which is something along the lines of this:


Image via Marc Anthony Photography

Or this:


Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Jen Fariello

Or even something like this:


Image via Paige Newton Photography

The colors of this last picture, with the length/formality of the first two, I think accurately capture my vision.

What I love about the first and the last picture is seeing big bridal parties with all different dresses without it looking like a mess. I want each girl to feel comfortable and gorgeous in the dress of her choosing, and ultimately want each girl to choose a dress that she will really love wearing. All the pictures I am drawn to have the girls in the same length dresses, so maybe I should limit my dress choices to just one length.

Has anyone done a mismatched bridal party with different lengths, colors, and styles while still managing to pull off a cohesive look? What do you think of mismatched bridesmaids?


Mrs. Lyre

Wedding Date:
January 2013
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  1. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:20 pm

    I swear we’re twins, yet another thing we have in common! I’m not doing totally mismatched, but I did have my BMs pick out dresses all the same fabric/color/length but each in a completely different style that they picked out themselves to suit their bodies…in blue!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Briana, Guest @ 1:25 pm

    I’m getting married in three weeks, and had all my bridesmaids pick out their own coral dress. My only request was that they all be short dresses, just so it looked semi-uniform. I think that was a great decision, it would look weird if just one girl had picked out a maxi dress or something. I just asked them to text me a picture of the dress before they bought it, just so I could make sure they would all still mesh well together. They all did great, I love all their dresses, and they all will look good together – and best of all, THEY all love their dresses and will definitely wear them again!!!

  3. Member
    priyathescientist 1514 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:28 pm

    I like mismatched, same color spectrum dresses. It increases the probability that a bridesmaid will wear the dress again AND, in my opinion, adds some additional dimensionality to the pictures. :)

  4. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:30 pm

    I love the mismatched look, especially in blue, which always looks great!

  5. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:30 pm

    I created visual unity with my mismatched maids by having them all wear the same shoes… In a pop color no less. That and the fact that they were all standing at the alter really made them look like bridesmaids!

  6. Member
    bhavi 19 posts, Newbee @ 1:37 pm

    Lovely look:)

  7. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:43 pm

    @Mrs. Aardvark: Haha Amen to the altar thing! Even though I’m not personally doing completely mismatched bridal party I hate when people complain about mismatched and say “but how will you know who the bridal party is?” …Um…because they’re standing next to the bride? hehe

  8. Member
    Miss Wrangler 169 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:46 pm

    I have different styles for all my dresses and I belive my MOH will be wearing a “accent” color. personally i dont like the look of my MOHs dress, its some tuxedo looking dress thats two diff colors. But if its what she wants and is going to feel like putting money towards and not feel like shes wasting her money then she can get it. Fabrics can be different as well.

  9. Member
    Miss Wrangler 169 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:47 pm

    AND theyre all tea length but thats because theyre wearing COWBOY BOOTS :)!!!!

  10. Member
    craft darling 84 posts, Worker bee @ 2:00 pm

    Mismatched can look awesome; but you need to set a few more requirements if you want the girls to look cohesive, not chaotic. They should all be wearing the same length, as you have observed in your sample pictures. They should also all be buying the same fabric (can you imagine a satin dress next to a stretch jersey? *shudder*). And should be the same relative formality. I would show the girls your sample pictures and arrange a day to go shopping together. That way everybody is on board with the vision, and you can compare the picks side-by-side before any commitments are made. Good luck!

  11. Member
    anissa.taylor 117 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:47 pm

    I love the look of mismatched but “same look”. Like they are all dupioni silk washed out colors. Or all chiffon fluffy feminine but different shades of shaggy French chic. Or I’ve seen some really cute floral dresses that were super short and frilly with cowboy boots. Adorable! I agree, pick one length. Most girls only have issues up top that they can’t agree on. Hugs! Anissa

  12. Member
    therascalqueen 204 posts, Helper bee @ 2:53 pm

    This is exactly what I did, and it worked out great. Some girls bought a new dress (but got to pick budget and style), some wore one they already had and some even got to rewear a previous bridesmaids’ dress! When does that ever happen! Plus, blue is an easy color to have many shades of without clashing. Your girls will look great. I would recommend more or less solid color bouquets to keep the pictures less “jangly” and tie everyone together.

  13. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:56 pm

    I don’t ever want the mismatched trend to go away…I love it! I had 8 girls in different shades of navy, different lengths and different materials and I LOVED the final look :) It’s going to look so beautiful!

  14. beanstalk Member
    Mrs. Beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 4:18 pm

    I really enjoy the look of mismatched dresses! My girls are in different dresses but same color/material. I would have just let them pick any dress in the chosen color, but I worried how it would look with so few girls.

  15. hyena Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:28 pm

    If I’d had a larger party, I might have done mismatched dresses on purpose. Instead I had mismatched on accident … D’oh!

  16. msfairy Member
    msfairy 976 posts, Busy bee @ 6:36 pm

    I love giving the bridal party an option to find a dress that suits their body type!!

  17. Member
    StacyM 55 posts, Worker bee @ 6:57 pm

    I’m loving everything about all of yours posts! Not only are you local, but we actually have so many of the same ideas that our weddings are so similar! LOVE IT!

  18. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 5:31 am

    I’m going totally mismatched — the only requirement was the colour and that’s gotten looser and looser as we get closer to the wedding.

  19. Member
    stephanieelise 239 posts, Helper bee @ 5:49 am

    I love this idea! And somehow now I think I like this idea better than what I was going to do: give them the color from the same store (Alfred Angelo/David’s Bridal/J.Crew etc.) and they each pick the style of dress they like. But the shades of blue (my favorite color) look so darn pretty!

  20. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:12 am

    I agree with craft darling – to keep things cohesive, they should probably all be similar in length and fabric like your sample pics. I still really dig the mismatched look and I’m a big fan of blue so I’m super excited to see what colors your ladies choose!

  21. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:42 am

    I like the idea of every BM wearing her dress. My BMs have very different complexions and just one style wouldn’t fit all, so we’re going the mismatched route too.

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