To Match or Not to Match Bridesmaid Dresses – That Is the Question

The tradition of bridesmaids all wearing the same dress is now being replaced by dresses that are mismatched in style, color, and patterns. This recent trend results in a unique ensemble of beautiful dresses that showcase each individual bridesmaid’s shape and personality. Successfully pulling off a mismatched dresses-wearing bridal party can be a difficult feat to accomplish, though. Perhaps you are a bride who wants to maintain the tradition of all bridesmaids wearing the same dress, but if you are unsure, then you’ve come to the right place. The expert wedding professionals at Rose Hill Flowers can help you decide which style is best for you and your wedding. Keep reading for pros/cons, tips, and traditions of matching or not matching bridesmaid dresses to help you decide what’s best for your wedding style. 

The Tradition of All-Matching Bridesmaid Dresses

The tradition of bridesmaids wearing the same dress originated in Ancient Rome. Roman women believed evil spirits would ruin their wedding day, so to confuse them, the bridesmaids and the bride all dressed the same so the actual woman getting married could not be identified. This worked well for jealous ex-suitors who might interfere with the wedding. The “hidden” bride was then able to sneak off and make her escape to her wedding and get married. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria made the ivory white wedding dress the standard color of bridal gowns. Meanwhile, the matching colors of bridesmaid dresses remained a tradition. 

The New Trend of Non-Matching Bridesmaid Dresses

Recently, brides have been choosing to use a color palette for their bridesmaid’s dresses which allows the women to select a style of dress that flatters them and is in a color that either closely resembles or is exactly the same as the others. This trend not only lets a bridesmaid’s personality shine but also puts a variety of dress options out there that fit within her budget. Also, allowing the bridal party to select their own outfit opens up the option of having men included as well. Many brides have males as best friends and this is a great way to include them in the wedding.   

Top Mix & Match Styles for Bridesmaid Dresses

Having mix and match dresses creates variety and fun. There are three variations to choose from: ree fun way to do mix and matching include:

  • Same dress, different colors (keeping the dresses within the same palette present a nice, gradient-like cohesiveness).
  • Same color, different dresses (this option creates an interesting play of patterns, textures, and skirt length). 
  • Different dress colors and styles (this option creates a stunning look of a variety of different dresses and colors typically all within the same color scheme).

Pros & Cons of Matching or Non-Matching Dresses

Matching Dresses Pros: This option creates a certain symmetry many brides love, and it makes for great photos. There is a simplicity to this style that brings an uncomplicated yet cohesive look to the bridal party. Finally, matching bridesmaid’s dresses are still considered traditional and there are brides who want a wedding that resembles their mother’s and grandmother’s wedding.  

Matching Dresses Cons: A single-style dress in the same color may make the bridesmaids look like they are wearing uniforms rather than dresses, and may appear as just props for you to look good in your photo album. Women have different body types and styles, and with several women wearing the same dress, some of them may end up with hurt feelings due to being forced to wear an unflattering dress.  

Non-Matching Dresses Pros: Opening up the style of dress to vary allows individual bridesmaids to select more flattering styles for their body type as well as allows them to express their personality. Instead of feeling like a prop in your wedding, they will feel like a true friend partaking in an important event in your life. Plus, the variety of different necklines, color hues, hem lengths, and patterns add an exciting and modern look to the wedding.  

Non-Matching Dresses Cons: Family members may not approve of such a non-traditional look. Plus, making sure a variety of different dress styles still ends up looking put together and cohesive is tricky and may not succeed. With all-matching dresses, this is one problem brides won’t’ have to deal with.  

Tips for the Bride

If you think you want to have non-matching dresses for your bridesmaids, make sure you give them guidance regarding the color palette you prefer, hem lengths, and acceptable patterns. Also, a great way to tie everything together to create a cohesive unit is by having your bridesmaids wear the same pieces of jewelry, shoes, and florals. 

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