Years ago, if you were asked to be a bridesmaid, you’d be filled with mixed feelings. On the one hand, you’d be thrilled to celebrate and stand next to one of your closest friends as she tied the knot. On the other hand, you’d be standing next to her in a hideous dress that was doing your figure zero favors.
Despite the various bridesmaid dress ideas and styles available, they all seemed to have one thing in common – they were just plain ugly.
Bridesmaid Dress Ideas and Inspiration
Fast forward to today, bridesmaids have so many options to choose from when it comes to wedding outfits! From a rainbow of colors and patterns to a handful of materials, there’s a flattering style for every maid.
The mismatched dress look is all the rage, and for good reason. Here are a few perks of letting your girls choose their dresses:
- It will be flattering for their body type
- There is a better chance they can wear it again
- They can pick a dress that reflects their personality
- Different colors and textures can help enhance the photos
If you do decide to go the mix-and-match route, remember that you can still have a huge say in the dress each girl ends up with!
Before they buy their dresses, have them each share their unique bridesmaids dress ideas with you. This way, you can ensure that their outfit will fit in with the overall theme of the wedding day.
There’s something about the light, muted color tones that I love! Spring weddings are perfect for flowy, pastel dresses, but don’t feel like you can’t go pastel during other seasons. What’s great about pastel colors is they are perfect accents to wedding day details without being overpowering.
While I love a deep burgundy or cerulean dress, you need to be intentional when picking out these bolder colors to ensure they don’t clash with other colors in your wedding. Pastels tend to blend in a bit more easily.
Highlight the Maid of Honor
If you don’t want every bridesmaid to have a mismatched dress, another option to consider is having the maid of honor wear a different dress. This is a classy way to highlight her within your bridal party. Have her pick out a dress with a different neckline or a slightly darker shade dress than the bridesmaids.
Tip: If you decide to do this, make sure your MOH’s dress is the same length as the other girls! It can look unbalanced if she is the only one with a short dress (or a long if everyone else if wearing a short one).
Who says you have to stick to solid colors for bridesmaid dresses? Printed, floral dresses are perfect for a springtime wedding, and they add an extra detail to the overall look and feel of the day.
Another perk of having your girls get floral dresses is that they can likely wear them on other occasions. After being a bridesmaid myself for several weddings, I can confidently say that my solid colored dresses are collecting quite a bit of dust in the back of my closet. ;)
Sparkles or Metallics
If you choose neutral or soft colors for bridesmaids dresses, one way to glam them up is by letting your bridesmaids pick dresses with sequins or sparkles on them.
Metallics such as gold, silver, or bronze are also great options to take their outfits up a notch. Personally, this is one of my favorite looks for winter weddings (especially around Christmas and New Year’s!).
An additional perk of having a dress with some added sparkle? You can go minimal on the jewelry!
For bridesmaid dress ideas with a soft and delicate appeal to them, go for lace detailing! Lace can look beautiful on your bridesmaids, especially if your wedding dress is a different material. While lace was traditionally reserved for brides, it can now be seen on bridesmaids and even guests!
For that shabby chic look, boho outfits are the way to go! Boho dresses are perfect for weddings with a more relaxed vibe – think, afternoon wedding in the forest or evening ceremony as the sun sets in the desert. Floral dresses can fall into the boho category, along with ruffles and ruched detailing.
Planning a black tie wedding? Have your bridesmaids dress to the nines with floor-length, black dresses. While black may not be the most common bridesmaid color, it adds a sophisticated element to the wedding details. You can even take it up a notch by picking a satin material for an added glam look.
White or Ivory
In case you haven’t heard, white is no longer exclusively reserved for the bride. While I don’t recommend guests just showing up in white dresses, brides are now intentionally having their girls wear white (of off-white) dresses. And you know what? It actually looks amazing! It gives off the ultimate romantic and ethereal vibes, and it’s a total showstopper!
If your wedding has modern vibes to it, why not have your bridesmaids wear classy jumpsuits? It’s a refreshing twist from the standard flowy dress, plus, they can look just as formal as dresses do!
Another perk of pants jumpsuits is that your girls can likely wear the outfit again, so they won’t end up in a 27 Dresses type of situation.
Skirts with Crop Tops
Another way to break out of the standard dress trend is with skirts and tops. There are some insanely beautiful flowy skirts that you can pair with a delicate lace top for a unique look. What’s great about this outfit is your maids can mix and match each piece with other clothes in their wardrobes. This allows them to wear the pieces on other occasions, which is always a win for a bridesmaid!
Whatever you end up choosing, here’s a quick list of what the dresses should encompass:
- Flattering silhouettes
- Consistent lengths
- Reflective of the wedding theme
- Affordable for all of your bridesmaids
Happy dress hunting!