Photo by SugarLove Weddings from Ilana and Benjamin’s Vintage Glamour Wedding

This post request goes way back to our reader survey last year (I haven’t written about it since 2008!) and today I wanted to dive in. Having your bridesmaids wear non identical gowns or mismatched is one of my favourite looks and can be a beautiful way to show off each bridesmaid’s individual style. For me, there is one key thing to remember when pulling your maid’s looks together.

Keep one element consistent throughout each bridesmaid’s look, whether that be a floral arrangement, the colour of their gowns, a special accessory or their dress length. You might choose different colours with the same length, different lengths but same fabrics with the same hairstyle, the same designer with different styles, different patterns and textures of the same colour – the possibilities are endless! Also make sure the formality is the same- a bridesmaid in a sequin clad ball gown might not work as well as you’d like if standing next to one in a shorter cotton sundress.

Let’s explore!


mismatched bridesmaid ideas

1. Fleur Wood 50s Slip Frock 2. Alannah Hill My beautiful life clip Royalty Riot Dress 3. Jigsaw Ballet Panel Dress 4. Fleur Wood Sweet Sultan Dress

You might have a green colour running throughout your wedding. You could give each bridesmaid a swatch of fabric and find a dress that suits them in that colour. Don’t limit yourself to solid coloured gowns though, think about patterns with the colour in them too. Above, I’ve chosen a group of dresses in soft pinks and blush. You could choose all pastel hues, brights and bolds or completely mix and match. Above is one of my favourite combinations – a group of pale pinks.

Below, the bridesmaids wear bright shades of green- from emerald, to apple and teal.

mismatched bridesmaid gowns heather-p.-moore

Photo by Heather P. Moore via Inspired By This

Colour Palette

Palette _ Bridal Veil __ COLOURlovers

“Bridal Veil” from Colour Lovers

guide t mismatched bridesmaids

1. Alannah Hill My beautiful life clip I’m Taking Over Dress 2.  Band Of Outsiders Plisse Dress 3. Modcloth Arts & Class Dress 4. NF By Nicola Finetti Gold Trapeze Dress

Instead of going for “green” or “black” you might choose a group of colours that influence your decisions across the wedding- you might incorporate them into your floral arrangements, your table linens and your own accessories. So they’re a great kicking off point for your bridesmaids.  If you have a huge group of bridesmaids, selecting two gowns in your colour palette gives a traditional but mismatched look.

Above I chose a colour palette and found gowns within that palette, one which draws in the other colours for a bit of cohesion. Accessories work really well into looks here too – the bridesmaid in cream might wear a mint hair flower. The one in mint might have a browney bronze belt added to her gown.

Below the bridesmaids all wear gowns in shades of inky blues and purples. They keep their dress length similar, with the same hairstyle and nude shoes.

mismatched bridesmaid inspiration

 Photo by Taylor Lord Photography via Style Me Pretty


mismatched black bridesmaids

1. Review Clothing Sabina Dress 2. Alannah Hill My beautiful life clip My Naughty Bride Dress 3. Gorman Out Of This World Dress 4. NF By Nicola Finetti Black Trapeze Dress

This look allows you to go nuts with every element of the style – from crazy patterns, to bold colours. Keeping the length consistent across your bridesmaid’s gowns can tie it all together.

Below, the bridesmaids all wore gowns in shades of watermelon and coral, but each gown is knee length, so paired with bouquets there is no mistaking the bridesmaids.


Photo by Kelly Hornberger via Southern Weddings

Designer or Fabricmismatched bridesmaid dress ideas

Gowns by Alfred Sung

Many bridesmaid gown designers will use the same fabrics across their ranges, allowing you to pick different gowns in the same fabric while still giving each bridesmaid an individual look while still keeping a more traditional feel. Also check out designer’s seasonal collections – a designer you love may use a beautiful fabric consistently across a few pieces. Thirdly, it may be the most convenient option if you have a brilliant dressmaker – buy the same fabric for each bridesmaid, leaving the design up to them! The gowns above are all from the one designer (who offers a huge variety of colours in each gown).

Below, the bridesmaids all wear a gown made out of the same yellow chiffon. All completely different – ruffled necklines to tiered skirts.

mismatched bridemsaid gowns jill thomas 2

Image by  Jill Thomas Photography via The Brides Cafe

Other elements you might choose to keep consistent are shoes, hairstyles and accessories (think belts, hair flowers and even cocktail rings!)

Are you dressing your bridesmaids differently? How are you making it work for you?