Hello, lovelies! As you all know, last week I was on Huffpost Live to be part of a Q&A with celebrity stylist Gretta Monahan and Robert Verdi. Though brief, it was a lot of fun and I got to chat with other wedding bloggers beforehand, which was awesome! This Q&A came just before the debut of Monahan and Verdi's new series, Brides Gone Styled, that premiered Friday, June 12th, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on TLC. You can watch the video here or clicking on the images below!
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Since I was given this awesome opportunity, I thought I'd ask a burning question that I KNOW is very popular among brides today- including myself. How do you pull off the mix & match bridesmaid dress look? Given the fact that I love my bridesmaids and want them to have a fabulous experience with this wedding, I'd like them to all be comfortable with their dresses. And since they are all different women with different body types, I knew that letting them wear different dresses would be most beneficial. But what are some of the best ways to pull this off? Well, fear not- with the help of these celebrity stylists and some real wedding inspiration, I've got your perfect guide on how to nail the mix & match bridesmaid dress look!
A few starting tips
1. Keep with your theme. In case it needs to be said, I would first start with considering the theme of your wedding and basing your dress guidelines off of that. If you're having a summer boho wedding, steer clear of formal gowns and fabrics- such as Peau de Soie or Dupioni- and stick to lighter fabric, such as chiffon.
2. Choose a color palette. You have several different options when picking your colors, depending on which route you want to take for choosing your dresses. For example, you can choose a color and just have each girl pick a different dress, or you can pick hues from the same color palette and have each girl select different styles of dresses in said hues (such as a monochromatic color scheme). Another option would be for you choose one dress, but have different color options for each girl that best suits her skin tone. Or, you could go for an ombre look and have each girl wear a dress in a different hue, ensuring that each dress is a full shade apart so that they differentiate in photos. Ombre is not the easiest look to pull off, but it is far from impossible!
Robert Verdi suggests committing to either one color or different hues of the same color (monochromatic) to keep the look flowing. Having your girls wear the same or similar colors can help the bride stand out more, rather than disappear in a spectrum of colors.
If you need help starting with a color palette- or understanding them- check out my post here for step-by-step instructions on how to narrow down and develop a palette using the color theory!
3. Use the same designer if... you're going for a more uniformed look. If you want to have all of your bridesmaids be in similar dress styles, sticking with one designer will ensure that you will get the same color hue across the board. Most designers carry a lot of different styles all with a range of color options.
4. Stick with the same or similar fabric if... you're going for a more streamlined look. As Gretta Monahan suggests, sticking with the same fabric will keep the bridesmaids look focused and put together. Similar fabrics are okay to mix and match, but avoid using fabrics such as cotton and satin together. For obvious reasons, they just won't have the same effect, and can make your girls look like they're all attending different events.
5. Accessorize. Remember, if you fear that having your maids in different dresses will look lackluster, remember that you can always reign in the look with matching accessories. A pearl necklace or a nice wrap would be a great touch. But keep in mind that if you are requiring them to wear an extra, matching accessory, etiquette says that you should be the one to buy it.
6. Love your girls. When you get stressed out and feel like you'll NEVER be able to nail down the look with so many different things to consider, remember why you are doing this. Because you love your maids and you want them to be happy, look fabulous, and feel as gorgeous as they are. They are your best friends, after all!
For more inspiration, check out the examples and tips below.
Mix & Match metallics
One popular trend to mix and match bridesmaid dresses is to play around with metallics and patterns. Notice how the colors and tones complement each other? Sticking to a neutral palette will keep this look classic.
different hues of the same color
Again, back to using the rules of the color theory, this look can best be achieved by sticking to a monochromatic color palette. Perfect for brides with a specific color obsession. Remember, achieve variation with either tints, tones, or shades. Shade = mix with black. Tint = mix with white. Tone = mix with grey. I love how this bride also allowed her girls to personalize their look with different styles.
Same Color, Same fabric, different styles
If you want your girls to have the "same dress" look without actually having the same dress, why not opt for letting them choose their own neckline and style? This works especially well if you choose a designer that already has a mix and match line available.
The Dessy Group is a great option for preselected mix and match lines. I have used this site as a bridesmaid before and loved my results!
Split complimentary color palette
If you've read this post, you'll notice this brides genius use of the a split complimentary color palette. A perfect example of how the color theory can perfectly carryout your theme!
Pops of Pattern
Different colors within a palette are beautiful, but why not take it a step further and throw in a pop of pattern? This is a great way to have your MOH stand out! Just make sure the pattern style and colors compliment your other bridesmaid dresses. This group has also stuck with the same fabric family, which adds a streamlined look.
mismatch with intention
If you're going for the mismatched look altogether, you are in good company as this trend is on point. Now, I will say that I feel this is harder to pull of than it looks. The mismatched look can best be achieved by sticking to certain color palette, but throwing in different patterns, fabrics, and cuts. In the above photo, shown on Style Me Pretty, the bride did a stellar job at translating the sophisticated theme of her wedding into her mismatched bridesmaid dresses.
This photo is another example of an elegant mismatched look with playful patterns and fabrics. The bride even threw in some metallics, which don't at all deter from the overall tone of her wedding. This type of style takes a keen eye to pull off, but to the brides who can do it- kudos! It is truly a talent.
For mismatched dresses, ModCloth is a great site for on-trend and wallet-friendly dresses.
As you can see, there are various amounts of ways to carryout the mix & match bridesmaid look. And quite honestly, certain rules can (and should) be broken for a bride to be able to reach her vision. My bridesmaids chose similar dresses of the same color, (slightly) different cut, and different fabrics that compliment each other. I can't wait to share the final product with you guys!
Let me know...is the mix & match bridesmaid look a hit or a miss? Share your opinion in the comments section below or find me on social media @newlynolabride!
Until next time!
-The Newly NOLA Bride