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How to Coordinate Bridesmaid Dresses

There used to be an unspoken rule that bridesmaid dresses were carbon copies of one another, no matter how many bridesmaids there were. The bride often chose the dress style and the color, with little or no input from those her bridesmaids.

Those old-school etiquette rules no longer apply to today’s modern bride. While there are still plenty of etiquette rules for just about every aspect of a wedding, trends for the best bridesmaid dresses and the way you shop for them have changed tremendously. And while bridal parties have a lot more choices available to them, the variety of options can be just as overwhelming to coordinate.

Photo Credit: Giving Tree Photography 

The Shopping Experience: Brideside Makes It Easy

Finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses that make you and your bridesmaids happy can be tricky! That’s why we created Brideside to make the shopping experience super easy. Our dedicated style consultants can help with everything from styling to sizing. They are up on the latest bridesmaid dress trends across color, style, lengths, and fabrics. They’ll also work directly with each our bridesmaids to bring the bride’s vision to life seamlessly. In addition to our online shop and digital tools, our unique showroom experience creates a fun and memorable event for the bridal party to celebrate while you shop. Bridesmaids all over the country? No problem! Bridesmaids who can’t make it to the showroom can take advantage of our Try at Home program.

Choices Galore! We Can Help

With so many bridesmaid dress styles and colors available, how is a bride to choose?What if the bridesmaids aren’t as excited about the bride’s vision as she is? The goal is for the entire bridal party to be just as excited about the dresses and for each bridesmaid to feel beautiful in a style, color, and fabric that suits her body type and skin tone. No two bodies are exactly alike, and not everyone looks gorgeous in the same colors. Plan a get-together with your bridesmaids and research the different types of designer bridesmaid dresses available, then narrow your choices down to a few favorites. The bridesmaids are most likely paying for their own dresses, so be open-minded and respect their input and their budgets. Our style consultants have styled thousands of bridal parties and can offer our tips for ensuring brides and bridesmaids are both happy.

Colors and Shades

There are so many options to choose from when choosing your bridesmaid dress colors. Start with a color family that complements your venue and the season. Rich colors work best in the cooler months of fall and winter, while lighter colors are generally better for summer and spring weddings. You may even want to choose a basic color and ask your bridesmaids to choose their favorite shade. Mismatched colors are unique and interesting. Here are some of the color combinations trending for 2018:

  • Hues of blues, from sky blue to indigo
  • Champagne, bronze and gold metallics
  • Blush and burgundy tones
  • Rich red and wine tones
  • Lavender and lilac
  • Midnight and navy
  • Jewel tones
  • All white

If you choose to go with a specific color family, view individual colors on the actual dress in the daylight. A small swatch under indoor lighting can look different from the actual color. Fabrics and colors can vary significantly, so it’s a good idea to choose from the same designer’s color palette for all of your dresses. Instructing your bridesmaids to purchase a “blue” dress on their own, with no other specifications, could result in a different shade of the chosen color for each of your bridesmaids, and is sometimes even more stressful for the bridal party than providing more structured guidance.

Choosing a variety of colors, with each bridesmaid selecting her favorite within the same color family or complementary colors from the same designer, is an interesting, unique, and trendy option. The optimal way to envision each color is to see your bridesmaids in their chosen dresses, side-by-side.

Dress Length

There’s no rule that all the dresses have to be the same style or the same length, but generally, the type of event has some bearing on the length of dress you choose. If your bridesmaids are short in stature, long dresses may not work well. However, if they’re all close to the same height, choose a mixture of hemlines to create an even more unique and personalized appearance for your bridesmaids. It’s important that each of them feels comfortable in the length chosen.

Most bridesmaid dresses are either cocktail or floor-length, but there are in-between lengths as well, such as tea-length, that falls about 3 to 4 inches below the knee. Shorter dresses work better if they don’t cling to the body and have a more flowy appearance. If you choose knee-length dresses, the hemlines should be the same for each bridesmaid. Longer dresses shouldn’t drag the floor or be too short.

Dress Styles

Bridesmaid dresses should complement each other, but also complement your wedding dress. That doesn’t mean they can’t be different styles, however. Ultimately, choosing styles that complement your bridesmaids’ shapes and body types will make them feel beautiful. Curvy figures look better with belted dresses or dresses with a defined waist. Empire dresses fit bodies that are fuller around the middle. Broad shoulders look amazing in an A-line dress. For those with very athletic builds, draped dresses will create more symmetry to curves. And bridesmaids that are more triangular-shaped, with a smaller top and wider lower body, will love the way they look in a fit-and-flare dress. Vary the necklines to create individualized versions of the dress for each of your bridesmaids.

Textures and Fabrics

Whether you prefer soft drapes and flowery patterns, or metallics in dramatic colors, you can mix and match a variety of textures and fabrics, and still create a cohesive look for your bridesmaids. Choose similar-style dresses in sparkling fabrics in an array of deep, rich colors. Mixing floral-patterned and solid-colored dresses is a popular trend for brides and bridal parties that want to showcase a little more personality. Embellishments such as lace and sequins create texture and add yet another unique touch to your bridesmaids’ dresses. For additional ideas, connect with a Brideside style consultant. We’d love to help!

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