Different Bridesmaid Dresses Can Work, But You Have to Keep a Few Things in Mind

In order to avoid a Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses situation, and to prove to your bridal party you are, in fact, a (somewhat) laid-back bride, why not suggest mismatched bridesmaid dresses? It's not exactly edgy, but it is fun, it's cheeky, and when well-executed, it's so much more interesting than making your bridesmaids wear the same thing. (And they may hate you less for it.) To ensure the process of mismatching is a seamless one — read: untrainwrecky —, take pointers and inspiration from these five guidelines.

WORK WITH A COLOR PALETTE

Whatever the marquee color is (whether it be midnight blue or blush pink or whole lot of neutrals), take that color and offer up a range of coordinating tones to choose from. Not one for getting the colors just right? Visit your local hardware store, or go here, to look at paint chip gradations for guidance.

PICK ONE DETAIL TO MATCH, THEN GO CRAZY

Provide one "matching" detail — like dress length — and it can make all the difference in bringing the varying prints, textures, and colors into focus. You could also pick one designer, or one type of fabric, as the core matching detail, and let your bridesmaids run with that.

MAKE AN INSPIRATION BOARD

Get your ideas out on "paper," or better yet, just use good ol' Pinterest to create and illustrate your vision. Not only is it visually helpful, it's also the easiest way to share it with all your bridesmaids, near and far.

YOUR FRIENDS KNOW BEST

No one knows your body — and what silhouettes look best on it — more than you do. The same rule applies to your bridesmaids. Letting them pick the style and shade that flatters them most makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? No need to be the micro-manager on this one.

DON'T FORGET THE ACCESSORIES

The dress isn't the only thing to take into consideration. If you're not ready to go full-on mismatched with the dresses, you should consider changing up the accessories. Play with the bouquets, diversify the footwear, or ask each of your bridesmaids to wear a bold piece of statement jewelry.

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