The “something old” wedding tradition should never apply to a bridal party’s style, and the notion of identical bridesmaids with dyed-to-match shoes has become outdated.
Many brides sole concern in styling their wedding is that they remain the center of attention for the entire day. Some brides go so far as to stick their bridesmaids into hideously-hued dresses that they themselves would not be caught dead wearing.
However, unless the bride chooses to put her attendants in white gowns and veils, this notion is ridiculous; humiliating one’s closest friends and female relatives in order to keep all eyes on the bride sets a negative tone for the wedding and can make for unfortunate photos and sulky bridesmaids. Yes, it is the bride’s big day, but there’s no need to make the people who’ve pledged to support one’s nuptials suffer in unflattering dresses.
No Two Bridesmaids are Exactly Alike
No two women’s bodies are exactly alike. Even if all of the women in a bridal party have similar builds, their height, bust size, hips, skin tone, and hair color and length set them apart. Rather than force each woman to wear the same shade and style, allow for flexibility.
In President Bush’s daughter Jenna’s May 2008 wedding to Henry Hager, the bride put her 14 bridal attendants in knee-length Lela Rose gowns, each with a different neckline in different colors inspired by Texas wildflowers, to complement the outdoor ranch setting of the event. Her twin, Barbara Bush, wore a longer gown that allowed her to stand out slightly from the rest of the party.
“The color choice for the attendants’ dresses is really taken from native Texas wildflowers,” Texas designer Lela Rose told ABC News.”So you can really see the influence of what growing up in Texas and having those wildflowers every spring has done for the wedding.”
Each dress varied in waistline in neckline, allowing Jenna’s attendants to wear dresses they were comfortable in. Many bridesmaid dress designers now offer the option to choose various necklines, waistlines, and even skirts (A-line, column, shirred, etc.), and more still offer the option of adding or removing straps to suit each bridesmaid’s best bust.
Some bridesmaid designers offering customizable options are:
- Aria Bridesmaids
- Coren Moore
- Impression Bridal
- Lela Rose
A Palette of Colors
If the idea of introducing multiple colors into a palette as Jenna Bush did is intimidating, various shades of the same color can work to complement a bride’s wedding color scheme without appearing too busy. Adding sashes or colored waistbands is an easy way to do this.
Some ideas include:
- Shades of blue (for instance, cornflower blue for the maid of honor, pale blue bridesmaid dresses with cornflower sashes for the rest of the party)
- Shades of gray (a great idea if the groom and groomsmen are wearing gray tuxedos)
- Yellows (buttermilk and daisy dresses with white sashes or bows)
Bridesmaids know what colors suit them best, and allowing them to select their own shade (with your approval) of a color will help them pick the dress that is the most flattering. A happy bridesmaid is the best kind of bridesmaid.