Ms. Matched

Prior to my experience as a bride, I took on the responsibilities of “dress wrangler” for two weddings. What’s a dress wrangler, you ask? Excellent question!


Photo by Michael Novo Photography

It means putting together this!

For house party gal “M”‘s wedding in 2011, she knew she wanted coordinated, but not matching bridesmaids’ dresses. She decided on a color palette (rust, brown, and gold/copper), and decided to let us pick out our own dresses from there. However, the reality is, in order for this to work there has to be a certain amount of balance of colors. We couldn’t have five of us in brown and one in gold and one in rust! Since it was a bit of a project, the bride asked me to be her “dress wrangler,” helping sort out and suggesting dresses for the group.

Believe it or not, this was before the days of Pinterest! What I did was create a research board and send it to the group:


Created by yours truly with

Then, I got more specific and gave the ladies examples, as well as non-examples:


Images from 2010. Designers include: Eva Franco, Nanette Lepore, Coast, Kay Unger, Maggie London, Badgley MIschka, & Karen Millen

As well as the women’s dresses, I coordinated the groomsmen’s shirts & ties:


Photo by Michael Novo Photography

I think it turned out pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself!

Not too long after, another friend, Bridesmaid K, became engaged and developed a color palette along these lines:


Image via Amy Atlas / Photo by Lee Bird Photography

At first we toyed with having the ladies dress in coral, yellow, and mint, but ultimately realized how hard it was to define “coral.” So we switched the idea to shades of coral, with accents of mint!

This time around it was much easier to coordinate, because Pinterest was around! I created a board, then added any coral dresses I could find to it. Then I just shared it with the rest of the ‘maids. It also turned out gorgeous:


Photo by Ben Newton Photography

The final “mismatched” wedding I was in was my brother’s. I was not a dress wrangler for this, but I did encourage the bride to go this route. Once again, I think it turned out awesome!


Photo by Kate Dougherty

So…the obvious answer for me was to have my ladies wear mismatched dresses. I love the way it looks, it gives the ladies style freedom, and you’re nor forcing anyone within a certain price-point!

I definitely didn’t think I would be straying from the mismatched idea, but we all surprise ourselves sometimes! To be continued…


Miss Llama

Walt Disney World
Wedding Date:
July 2014

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  1. Member
    Miss Clover 271 posts, Helper bee @ 7:17 am

    I should have called you when we were trying to pick bridesmaids dresses–it was drama. I totally would have gone for a dress wrangler :)

  2. Member
    Miss Pyramid 845 posts, Busy bee @ 7:38 am

    I love how all of these turned out!

  3. Member
    Miss Llama 196 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:26 am

    @Miss Clover: Haha – would have gladly!
    @Miss Pyramid: Thanks! Life is so much easier with Pinterest now…whew!

  4. Member
    wkbee 26 posts, Newbee @ 9:47 am

    I am doing mismatched dresses, all in the same general color scheme. This post made me laugh because the detail that you went into with what works/doesn’t work on the rust/gold color scheme is REALLY similar to what I’ve done. ;) I hope the b-maids don’t think I’m nuts!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1324 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:58 am

    I considered mismatched dresses at first, but realized how difficult it would be to define “cobalt blue” for everyone. I think the mismatched look can be very elegant if done correctly, can’t wait to see what you ended up with!

  6. Member
    Miss Llama 196 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:20 am

    @wkbee: Oh–I’m quite certain I come across as nuts! Bottom line is, I love creating these sort of things, so I don’t mind the work. And in the end, I think it makes it easier on the bridesmaids, because they have a very accurate idea of what we’re looking for :) Don’t worry – I’m sure your work will pay off! (Also – yikes – the way this post is sized it makes it look way more intense than it was! On my blog it was done in a slide show, a little less overwhelming, haha!)
    @Mrs. Waterfall: It’s not easy to define a color! We had a lot of trouble with coral. But in the end, it didn’t really matter – they all looked great together, even though they were all different!

  7. Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1080 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:24 am

    You are doing so many different and interesting things, Miss Llama! I’ve never heard of a dress wrangler but I think it’s awesome that you were able to help your friend out like this and your ideas definitely had a great result.

  8. Member
    Miss Goose 91 posts, Worker bee @ 11:36 am

    I’ve never heard of a dress wrangler, but it sounds like it makes perfect sense for mismatched wedding parties!

  9. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:19 pm

    You could charge for this service, everyone looks awesome!

  10. Member
    Mrs. Filly 657 posts, Busy bee @ 3:04 pm

    I think those research boards/examples would be SO helpful in order to pull off the mismatched look! I saw way too many instances where it didn’t work at all for me to try going that route – too bad I didn’t know you back in those days :)

  11. Member
    Mrs. Jet Setter 519 posts, Busy bee @ 4:29 pm

    That top inspiration board is gorgeous! Those dresses would’ve never crossed my mind as going “together”, but they work really well – great job!

  12. Member
    Miss Llama 196 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:56 pm

    Thanks, all! @Miss Filly: Would gladly have wrangled for ya!

  13. Member
    Mrs. Gondola 980 posts, Busy bee @ 4:58 am

    I love these color palettes! They coordinate so well. Can’t wait to see what you do for your bridesmaids!

  14. Member
    daniellekira 548 posts, Busy bee @ 1:59 pm

    You are awesome with bridesmaid dress styling. I can’t wait to see your bridesmaid choices.

  15. Member
    MsGinkgo 5465 posts, Bee Keeper @ 1:06 pm

    that top picture is one of the best bridal party pics I have ever seen! I love it!

  16. Member
    Miss Llama 196 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:44 am

    @MsGinkgo – Thanks so much!

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