These days, the bridal world is taking its cues from the fashion industry. And the idea of wearing a bridesmaid dress more than once isn’t a pipe dream that’s met with an eye roll. It’s a realistic request that’s more of a possibility than ever before. Brides can choose to have one coherent look for their Bridesmaid Dresses. Or to mix and match Bridesmaid Dresses for a more varied, multidimensional, layered aesthetic. The latter can be hard to get right, though. And shouldn’t be left to chance. We once heard a story about a bride who simply asked that her bridesmaids “show up in green” that practically gave us hives. Just think of all of the different ways in which “green” can be construed.
Your Bridesmaid Dresses should be the starting point.
“I treat every wedding as if it’s a photo shoot for Vogue,” says Smith. Who once worked as an editor in the magazine’s fashion department. “We would pick out dresses from the collections to show Anna [Wintour] that told ‘the story’ of a certain trend or fashion moment. Similarly, I start with the aesthetic of the bride with her wedding dress as the pinnacle of her story.”
Think outside of the box.
When it comes to picking your bridal party’s outfits. One of the keys is simply to avoid succumbing to a cookie-cutter line of Bridesmaid Dresses. That look like the ones stuffed in Katherine Heigl’s closet in 27 Dresses. You know who they are, says Smith. “Avoid anything in the purple family or tulle or a dusty rose in a slinky jersey that can be tied five ways!”
Make mood boards.
“There are many factors to consider when trying to figure out your wedding’s aesthetic,” says Smith. Leafing through books, scouring Pinterest and wedding blogs for inspiration. And then distilling it all on a mood board—whether IRL or virtually—can help you organize your thoughts and clarify your goal.
Ask yourself: Is my Bridesmaid Dresses a showstopper or does it lean more toward understated elegance?
Does the wedding dress command the attention of the room by way of embroidery, volume, or lace? If so, then your bridesmaids dresses need to be on the simple side yet still elevated and substantial, says Smith. “Perfect example: Plum Sykes and Lauren Santo Domingo’s dresses were showstoppers. To complement these kinds of wedding dresses, you need a more formal bridesmaid dress in a luxurious material. And a beautiful colorway that speaks to the setting. For instance, if you’re getting married in a rose garden in Santa Barbara or at a castle in Ireland, a dove gray faille or a French blue silk would be beautiful.”
Start with a pattern.
“If you’re opting for the mix-and-match method, I suggest beginning with one pattern, usually a subtle floral,” says Smith. And then, you can build on that print with another pattern that complements its color. Then choose a couple solid colors to mix into the batch to create some depth in your pictures.”
The time of year you’re getting married matters.
“For a fall wedding, I love the idea of jewel tones,” says Smith. “For spring and summer weddings, one can be more playful with lighter colors and softer patterns.”(for the Bridesmaid Dresses)
“I’m a big believer in nothing above the knee. Ever!” says Smith. “If your wedding dress is more relaxed—think: a double-faced satin slip dress à la Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Your bridesmaids dresses can be softer and more casual. But an above-the-knee length often looks awkward next to the inevitable gravitas of a wedding dress in photographs.”
Auteur “ALEXANDRA MACON” -Photo “Vlad Lodoaba”