The Great Debate: Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses vs. One Style

Wedding trends come and go and determining for yourself exactly which trends (if any) to incorporate into your big day can be a pretty tricky task. Because trust me, none of us want to look back on our wedding photos in 20 years and think, “Why did I do that!?”

Styling your besties in mismatched bridesmaid dresses has been a huge trend for the past few years. And as popular as it still is, we’re slowly starting to see brides revert to having all of their girls dressed in the same style.

So how do you decide what’s best for your own wedding? Here are some points to get you thinking about whether you should go the route of mismatched bridesmaid dresses or styling your girls in all the same look.

The Great Debate: Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses vs. All in One StyleKnee Length Chiffon Dresses in Eggplant | Sarah Libby Photography

Styling Your Bridesmaids in Mismatched Dresses

Allowing your girls to decide which dress they want to wear in your wedding gives them the freedom and the opportunity to choose a style that best suits their personality. And while grandma might think the look is a bit “untraditional”, it’s totally ok to break the tradition of having uniformed bridesmaids, and to go with a look that you and your ‘maids would prefer.

Now, when I say mismatched bridesmaid dresses, I’m not saying that every girl is in totally different colors and lengths, etc. I’m also referring to girls wearing the same color but different styles; or maybe you may have the same style and different colors. That is all upon your decision. 

But before you take the final leap into having a mismatched bridal party, consider the pros & cons of styling all of your girls in something a little different.

Blush Pink Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses with Kennedy BlueLong Chiffon Bridesmaid Dresses in Blush Pink | Katie Lewis Photography

PROS to Mismatched Dresses:

  • It’s a trendy and unique idea: It’s your day so you can style it however you want. Outfit your girls in a fun, mismatched look that is not only picture-perfect, but will be unique from any other bridal party that you’ve seen!
  • It’s great for flattering all of your girls: Every girl has a different body type, so mismatching dresses is a good opportunity for them to explore their silhouette and choose the dress suits them best. Not to mention, each girl has a unique personality, so she can choose a dress that she’ll feel the most confident and comfortable in.
  • There are endless options: This dress, or maybe that one? Get them both! There’s a variety of options out there, so this eliminates the decision of having to choose only one.
  • It gives your girls some flexibility with price: Depending on how much freedom you give them for choosing a style, they can spend an amount that best fits their budget.

CONS to Mismatched Dresses:

  • It can be distracting to have multiple styles in photos: You 100% deserve to be the focal point on your big day, but having your girls dressed in a variety of colors and styles could cause more of a distraction in your pictures than you’d like it to.
  • If not executed well, it can look messy and disjointed: Be careful and take control of your visual idea. It’s totally okay to set some guidelines for your ‘maids and definitely have them send you photos of their ideas before making a final decision.
  • It’s a trend that you could potentially regret: Don’t style your girls in mismatched dresses just because everyone else is doing it. Make sure you are 100% in love with this trend. If you are loyal to your wedding’s style, then you shouldn’t have any regrets down the road.
  • There are endless options: Okay, I know I also said this was a pro, but from a past-bridesmaid who was given the option to “choose any short bridesmaid dress in black”, it was a bit overwhelming to narrow it down to a style that I loved and thought the bride would love too!

4 Tips for Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

At Kennedy Blue, we’re all about mismatched bridesmaid dresses – in fact, that’s basically the idea that our entire line was created from. But based on experience, here are 4 VERY IMPORTANT pieces of advice for you to consider if you’re going for the mix-n-match look.

1. Give your girls SOME direction. Just telling them that you want them to wear a “black dress” can be a bit overwhelming for your ‘maids -- trust me, I’ve been there. Here are some things to think about when giving guidelines:

  • Do you have a specific designer in mind?
  • Do you want all of your girls in the same fabric?
  • Will they all be in the exact same color or multiple colors?
  • Do you prefer knee-length or floor-length?

2. Don’t be afraid to say no. If you don’t like a style or don’t think it goes with the overall feel of your wedding. Remember: it’s YOUR day and they should respect that.

3. Find inspiration. Seeking out inspo will help you narrow down the looks. Giving your ‘maids a visual will make it much easier for them to know what you’re looking for.

4. Head to the hardware store. Yup, you read that right. If you’re styling ‘maids in different colors, grab some paint swatches from the hardware store in your wedding color palette so they can reference those shades when dress shopping.

    Outfitting Your Bridesmaids All in One Style

    Having your bridesmaid dressed all in the same color or style is the traditional way to set your wedding. It makes all the elements look coordinated and coherent with one-another, and also it adds a touch of elegance to your big day. But for some, outfitting their ‘maids in a look that’s been done over and over isn’t as appealing. That being said, here are the pros and cons to styling all of your ‘maids in the same dress.

    Navy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses from Kennedy BlueOlivia Bridesmaid Dress in Navy | Nyk and Cali Wedding Photographers

    PROS to the Same Style Dress: 

    • Equitable costs: Everyone pays the same price for their dress so there are no arguments/discussions over someone paying more or less. Sounds like a win to me!
    • It’s a traditional option: if you are thinking of having a classic, vintage or ceremonial wedding, then you may consider having your girls wearing the same style as it’s a clean, classic, and super elegant look.
    • The bride is the focus: By styling all of your ‘maids in the same dress, it really allows you to be the main focus as your standing at the alter, as well as in all of your photographs.

    CONS to the Same Style Dress:  

    • It may cause disagreement: Each person has different likes and preferences when deciding how they want to look. Getting all of your girls to agree on one dress style could potentially turn into World War 3.
    • One dress style does not fit all: You may face the situation that the dress you decided on, doesn’t suit perfect with their body types, skin color, or height. Oops. 

    4 Tips for Choosing One Dress Style

    If you’re planning to have all of your ‘maids styled in the same look, here are some pieces of advice to make sure all goes over smoothly: 

    1. Pick a universally flattering silhouette. Choose a dress that will flatter multiple body shapes such as a strapped A-line dress. Strapless doesn’t always bode will with some shapes and anything too fitted could cause for a ton of alterations.

    2. Be reasonable with the price. It’s a bit impractical to expect all of your ‘maids to purchase a $300 dress so try and stay $200 or less and keep an eye out for deals!

    3. Ask for opinions. Ask them what they’d like to wear, have them send you pictures, and most of all, be open to their ideas.

    4. Don’t be a pushover. As much as I want you to be open to their ideas, you still have the final decision in the end. Make sure that you’re choosing a style YOU love just as much as they do. 

      See Your Vision in Person

      Slate Blue Bridesmaid Dresses from Kennedy Blue Anna Bridesmaid Dress in Slate Blue | Whims & Joy Photography

      If you’re debating between styles and not sure how they’ll look in person, consider the Kennedy Blue At Home Try On service that allows you to try before you buy! How, you as? Simple.

      Add the sample styles you love the most to your cart in the colors and sizes available and we’ll ship them to your home to have a try-on party with your girls. It’s the perfect way to assist your decision whether you’re choosing just one style or multiple styles.

      Kennedy Blue At Home Try On

      Let's Chat!

      So now that we've given you some serious advice to consider, it's time to make a decision! Do you prefer mismatched dresses or all the same style? Leave us a comment with your reasoning below. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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      Leave a comment

      June 21, 2017 11:51

      I love the mismatched trend but completely agree with this article. It can look messy if it’s not done right. As long as there is a color scheme that’s followed by all bridesmaids, it looks perfect!

      Kiersten Baker
      June 20, 2017 20:27

      I’m going to try letting each of my girls do their own style I was scared to do it until I saw your try at home option. It completely removed my fears I am so excited for our try on party!

      June 03, 2017 18:44

      Great article that’s keeping up with the trends

      May 10, 2017 22:17

      The same dress style idea is still timeless.

      Kelly M.
      May 08, 2017 19:13

      I like the mismatched look!

      May 05, 2017 22:57

      Love this!

      April 15, 2017 07:55

      I love the option of multiple styles! There are very few dresses that are flattering on every body type. I know I wanted my bridal party to feel comfortable and confident in what they were wearing. I’m now in a wedding where we’re able to choose any style, it just needs to be short with some or all lace, using Kennedy Blue. I can’t wait to see what we all choose, there are so many great options!

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