Bridesmaid Dresses: How To Make Different Dresses Work Together

Levi & Juliana Powell 041About a month ago, I shared my experience on wedding dress shopping, and now I’m sharing how I decided on my bridesmaids’ dresses. I know from experience that deciding on bridesmaid dresses can be a source of stress, so I am hopeful that my experience will help wade through any issues, confusion, or questions you may have.

I knew from the get go that I did not want all of my girls in the same dress- I simply do not like the look, and I felt it would be doing them a disservice. They are all so uniquely beautiful, and their beauty is complemented differently. Many joke that brides stick their bridesmaids in ugly dresses to make themselves look better, and I’ve never understood why anyone would want to do this. To me, what my bridesmaids wore was  a reflection of my style and taste, and was a large part of the overall look and feel of the wedding itself. It was nearly as important as my own gown!

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While I did not want everyone in the same dress, it was crucial to have a cohesive look. You can have 10 beautiful dresses, but if they’re all over the place from polka dots to stripes to solids, to gray to green, it’s going to look like a hot mess up at the altar. In order to ensure that all 10 dresses (yes I had 10 bridesmaids) were cohesive, I laid out ground rules for my girls when letting choose their own dresses:

  • They must be floor length
  • They must fall under blush, champagne, or taupe color categories
  • They may be embellished, however no prints!

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What I ended up with was a beautiful lineup of different and unique dresses that looked absolutely stunning together. Another way this was accomplished was ensuring that makeup, hair, shoes, and accessories were also streamlined. Again, that does not mean exactly the same, just a few different looks that go well together. When it came to this these were the rules I laid down:

  • Soft romantic curls, or tousled “updos”-no stuffy coifs or rigid french twists, please!
  • Nude/neutral heels, with an ankle strap and simple strap across the toe (also known as “two strap” sandals)
  • No wedges or flats
  • Simple and dainty jewelry-gold tones only
  • Neutral nail colors only (ie: soft pink, beige, etc. and please no neon or dark colors)

The look that I was going for was ethereal, feminine, soft, and flowy to complement the overall aesthetic of my wedding. Each component was necessary to achieving this look, especially when considering multiple people and different styles. Some may see this as demanding, but when it comes to your wedding, what you say goes! Just make sure that you’re graceful in your delivery, and don’t expect your bridesmaids to rush out to buy a bunch of new things, especially if they are pricey. I had one bridesmaid find shoes at Nordstrom, while others found something nearly identical at Target, and they all looked perfect.

Speaking of pricing and spending money, this was another reason I did not want to chose the same style for everyone. Where one friend might be comfortable spending $300 for the perfect dress, another might find a hidden gem for $20 TJ Maxx that allows them to save their hard earned pennies. True story: both these instances happened with my girls!

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Attaining a cohesive look was made possible by having a vision board, and of course Pinterest was my best friend for this. I was then able to share this out with all of my bridesmaids so they had a concrete idea of what I was envisioning. Once a color palette was decided by me, I left it up to them to decide which would be best for themselves, and asked that they not all choose the same color. Again, variation was key!

As noted previously, my ladies found their dresses at various retailers, but among the favorite to shop were Lulus, Show Me Your Mumu, BHLDN, and NordstromEach offers various pricing and styles! 

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I truly hope you find this helpful, and I would love to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out on Instagram @julianadelrey_, or leave a comment! Are you a bride in the process of choosing bridesmaid dresses? Or maybe you’re a bridesmaid! Either way, I would love to hear your stories and where you’re at in the planning process.

Thank you so much for reading!

Xoxo,

Juliana

PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL WALKER PHOTOGRAPHY

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