Planning Tips

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Mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses are quickly becoming a more popular choice for brides. At first glance, it might look easy, but mixing and matching comes with a lot of open-ended questions and untied loose ends. There are a few things to consider when planning outfits for your bridesmaids that will make this process a lot easier and in the end, everyone will be much happier!

I knew from the start that I wanted mix-and-match bridesmaids, but I had a hard time just going to a store and picking some out (I would not recommend this right off the bat!) Instead, start here:

Mix and match bridesmaid dresses
Photo by Anna Peters Photography

1. Head to Pinterest

This is one of those places where Pinterest comes in SO handy during the planning process. Spend a lot of time browsing Pinterest (did you know we have a board just for bridesmaids?) and pinning anything and everything you like. When you’re ready to narrow it down, head to number 2...

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses
Photo by Liz Robinson Photography

2. Pick one common theme

Even when going for a mismatched look, it’s really important to keep one common theme. Whether it’s color, cut, fabric, style, or length, you’ll need at least one common element that ties all of the dresses together and helps your ‘maids stand out. I realized that for me, the most important aspect of the dresses was the color. So I picked a pretty specific palette for my gals to choose from.

Lots of dress companies offer a line of different styles in common colors, or vice versa. This is by far the easiest way to mix-and-match the dresses because it doesn't leave a whole lot up to chance!

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses
Photo By Ken Henry Photography

3. Set clear guidelines/boundaries (Decide what’s important)

Once you’ve decided on the theme, make sure you understand how much wiggle room there is. If one of your gals already has a dress in the right color palette, will you be okay with them wearing it? Or are you going to give them specific dresses they have to choose from?

I browsed hundreds of pictures until I realized that bottom line - I wanted my girls to be comfortable. I didn’t care if the dresses were long/short, what shoes they wore, or what style it was, as long as it was the right color! It’s okay to have stricter guidelines, just be upfront from the beginning so there’s no awkward confusion down the line.

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses
Photo by Amber Tyler Photographer

4. Offer inspiration and examples

After perusing Pinterest, I pulled my favorite inspiration pictures and made a collage. Of course I included dress pictures, but I also included elements from the flowers and decor so my bridesmaids could get the full vision of the wedding. It will help them see how they fit into the grand scheme of things and will make them more excited to be a part of your big day!

I also sent a long list of dresses I liked from a variety of vendors at a variety of price points. Because my guidelines were quite loose, I wanted to give my bridesmaids something to go off of so they could make an easy decision! Also, be prepared to offer help shopping or choosing dresses. Oftentimes, your bridesmaids just want to make you happy so they are totally willing to wear whatever you choose or recommend.