How to Style Your Bridesmaids and Show Their Personal Style
Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. – Rachel Zoe
In our experience as destination wedding photographers all around Europe, we’ve come to the conclusion that being a bridesmaid is both an honor and a hassle. It’s great to know that your friend wants you by her side on one of the most important days of her life, but there is also an enormous amount of responsibility for everyone involved. Perhaps the most notorious part of being a bridesmaid is the dress. More and more brides want to make being in the wedding party a more pleasant experience for their closest ladies – perhaps based on negative experiences brides have had when serving in others’ weddings. In turn, brides and their crews—once restrained by rigid rules—now have more opportunities than ever to enjoy planning the attendants’ attire. So, what are the latest guidelines? This is what we’re here to explain. If you’re looking to allow your bridesmaids to showcase their personal style while still maintaining a cohesive appearance for your ceremony and photos, that is for you!
We’re here to explain how to style your bridal party to reveal their individuality. Nowadays, and especially the great pandemic, it’s all about embracing individuality. That means letting the bride choose bridesmaid dresses and accessories that speak to her, but also letting the bridesmaids express their own style and personality while sticking to a plan. The advice we’re about to provide will explain exactly what we mean. Also, if you’re in the wedding dress hunt take a look at our wedding dress guide and get inspired!
These are some of our favorite ways for bridesmaids to express their individuality. Before we dive too deep into modern bridesmaid outfit rules, we’ll give you a sneak peek at what’s to come. We will be talking about:
- Why different is good
- Letting your bridesmaids choose their jewelry
- Consider shine
- Letting your girls choose their hairstyle
- Choosing different lengths on the dresses
- Considering lace
- Thinking about prints
Ready? Let’s go!
Different is good
Though many bridesmaids have loved – and some hated – their matching ensembles selected by the bride, we have seen an increase of mismatched gowns for the bridal party, resulting in such a beautiful picture-perfect selection of dresses. Many fashion-forward brides have elected to select a few flattering styles for their favorite ladies, giving them the freedom to select what speaks most to them from the bunch. Others have allowed their ‘maids to select their favorite style on their own, as long as they stick to the selected hue and overall styling. Whatever you decide to do keep in mind that different is indeed good and leads to unexpected fashion-forward choices!
Let bridesmaids pick their own jewelry.
If your bridesmaids know enough about fashion to be able to accessorize themselves, this is something you should be fine letting them have free reign with. If it’s important to the look of your wedding, you can always specify a metal color and see your girls sparkle with excitement! Wondering how to make sure you pick the right accessories? Take a look at our 8 + 1 Tips on Choosing your Wedding Accessories!
Who says your bridesmaids’ dresses should be understated? Sequins, beads, and studs can add sparkle and texture to your ceremony without being too flashy, as long as you keep dress shapes simple and necklines demure. Bonus: No major jewelry required and bridesmaids can even keep their dress for a wild night out or a wedding!
Let bridesmaids choose their hairstyles.
Let your girls feel comfortable and confident! Unless you’re insisting on a completely uniformed look for your bridal party, allowing your girls to choose how they will style their hair is a simple way for your bridesmaids to have a semblance of control in how they look. As with gowns, there are not many hairstyles that flatter every person, and bridesmaids may feel they will look their best if they have a choice in the matter, thus feeling more relaxed and confident on your wedding day! Don’t forget that you can always Coordinate the Details. If you’re having a variety of dresses meet up at the altar, hair and makeup can tie the looks together!
Go to Any Length
It doesn’t have to look the same. Mixing hemline heights lets everyone choose what works best on her body. Plus, different skirt lengths make the gang look more interesting as a whole in the pictures and in real life. Even if assigning one gown to all your closest friends isn’t your thing, you’ll still want to limit their choices. (Let them run free and your ceremony look becomes a guessing game.) Have attendants pick from a selection of gowns. Post them on a Pinterest board, e-mail the link, and have each pal claim a style by writing “mine!” in the comments to avoid any who-wore-it-best mishaps.
Food for thought: Here’s How to choose a photogenic wedding dress!
Let bridesmaids wear their own shoes.
Or buy new ones, as long as it’s up to them! If the bridesmaids are wearing long dresses, then it really shouldn’t matter what shoes they choose. It’s understandable to be more hesitant if they’ll be wearing shorter frocks, if you have a few requirements like color or style should help keep the looks cohesive while allowing everyone to be comfortable and confident while they walk down the aisle.
Even though lace has traditionally been reserved for the bride, we love the way it adds romantic texture to your girls’ gowns, too. Make it fun—and not so bridal—by incorporating color: Bold tones get noticed at an outdoor fête, and subtler shades fit a formal affair. In any case, lace is a lovely material to bring out your best girls’ personalities. And for the brides that don’t want to stick to one fabric, there is no need to be a one-material girl. A range of textures, from flowing tulle and sleek silk to boho chiffon, mingle nicely together if they’re in the same shade(s).
Put Them in Prints
Boring no more – if you’re up for the fun of it. Once upon a time, bridesmaids wore only a single, solid head-to-toe shade. Not anymore. For a fresh feel, play with pattern. If you’re not ready to commit to a parade of prints walking down your aisle, try one on just your maid of honor. Though only some are patterned, all these dresses look stunning together because they’re in the same color scheme. Stick to a palette of no more than three shades to keep your lineup charming, not chaotic.
Once more and most importantly make sure your bridesmaids’ styling reflects your personality! Whether you are choosing mismatched dresses or color-coordinated ones, make sure they reflect your wedding’s aesthetics. Now that you have the tips you need to style your bridesmaids, there’s only one thing to do: get shopping. Just remember, you can choose to keep it simple — or not — because this is your day! Taking the time to fully explore your options and staying true to your personal style will help you find bridesmaids’ dresses and details that are tailored just for your wedding while letting your girls shine. Trust your intuition and love the process!