Let’s face facts. Your beautiful bridesmaids are probably not going to all be the same size, the same colouring or have the same fashion sense. In fact *shock horror* they may just hate the idea of the perfect strapless lemon yellow gown your picked out for them.

So the idea of letting your gorgeous ladies pick their own gowns, or wear a style of gown that suits their body and their style doesn’t sound so horrible when you think of how comfortable they’ll be!

I’ve stored this entry by Rock ‘N Roll Bride for a while because I loved the wedding so much. The bride had each bridesmaid choose a gown in green. I love the look! (Photos by Josh McCullock . See all of them here)

Then That Bride got all her ladies to pick (or make) their own stylish black gown (photos by Kelli Nicole)

Brooklyn Bride posted Julie and Matt’s wedding here (Photos by Jennifer Causey)

Kathryn of Snippet and Ink posted the wedding of Lisa and Nick (photos by Lisa Lefkowitz)

Then of course, Carrie’s bridesmaids in Sex & The City: The Movie

If you’re still a little uneasy about the wide variety of gowns available and having them work well together, give some basic criteria or guidelines to help the girls pick their gowns.

  • Give each girl a colour swatch  to pick a dress in the colour palette you’re using. Or give some guidance with colours “Light greens” “Anything with blue and brown” or “Just make it black!”
  • Buy a bolt of the fabric you love and give each bridesmaid fabric to make a dress in their own style. Or choose a brand which uses the same fabric across different dresses.
  • Give some guidance on fabric choices- a backyard outdoor wedding might be more suited to frocks in cottons and pretty embroidered fabrics whereas an evening wedding would suit taffeta and silk.
  • Shoes- do you want the girls to wear the same colour? Let them know!
  • Length- is this important to you? Should all gowns be knee length?

Mismatching can look as haphazard or as pulled together as you like. You can easily pull the group together by giving each bridesmaid the same accessory- the bouquet, a hair flower, a coloured sash- and have them style it their way.

Here’s a bridal party look I styled – focusing on a wide range of styles and prices for a wedding using a coral colour.

Nicola Finetti Dress from Frockaholics, Blue Juice dress from Frock You, BCBG Dress from Royal Tag, GF Ferre Dress from Frockaholics

While dressing the bridesmaids the same can look fantastic – it doesn’t always work. So have some fun with it!