Soon to be brides know the struggle of making decisions. There are a billion ways to plan a wedding and everyone seems to have advice. And if you are like me, you've had a secret wedding board on Pinterest since 2010 with hundreds of photos and ideas. Depending on the year, I was either having an industrial chic wedding, a quirky backyard BBQ, or a romantic tented wedding with hundreds of candles. Don't get me started on color palettes! There are entire blog sites dedicated to what colors look good together. So many ideas, so many lovely things to look at, how could I make a decision?
So when I did get engaged, I knew it was time to narrow down my options and make a plan. I've never loved things that match. While there is certain appeal to a monochromatic palette, I knew I didn't want my wedding to be all one color. We ended up with the quirky backyard BBQ style of wedding. If we had one hope for our wedding day, it was to make sure it was FUN! To me this meant having a laid back party with our closest friends with lots of details and lots of color. Quickly, I knew that I wanted a mismatch bridal party. The kind where everyone gets to show off their own personal style, get creative, and spend money on things they actually like! A bridesmaid dress you'd wear again....brilliant! Skipping the tuxedo and cummerbund rental...yes please! But how?
I can only speak from my experience. So here is how we nailed the mismatched wedding party attire...
1. Give your wedding party a color palette.
Obviously I have a hard time saying no to color, and I knew I wanted to give a decent amount of options. So this was our color palette that I created with my iPhone. The top row are the main colors I wanted, and the bottom row is basically the darker version of each color or secondary colors that would still look good together. I wanted the wedding party to search for the top row, but they could add details or accessories using the bottom row if needed. **Extra Tip** If you don't want this many options a great place to start is the paint aisle at your local home improvement store. Find a color you love and give the entire swatch to your wedding party. This will give them several shades of the same color that are designed to compliment each other.
2. Consider adding a pattern
I happen to love patterns and textures. I think they are fun and interesting. We felt like polka dots would add an element of fun to our wedding. So we chose to allow our wedding party to incorporate patterns into their outfits...especially if it included dots of some sort. Our wedding party was pretty stylish and adventurous in their daily lives, so we trusted them to have fun with their choices.
3. Create a Pinterest board
Give your wedding party ideas! Don't just tell them your vision, show them your vision. By creating this Pinterest board, our wedding party was able to contribute by pinning things they found or get ideas from each other. It also allowed us to picture how different colors and different patterns would look together. We pinned dresses, necklaces, shoes, sweaters, ties, etc! Use this as your visual story board and your wedding party is sure to get the picture.
4. Stay in communication
Alex and I were in continuous communication with our wedding party. When they went shopping they would text us photos of a dress or a bowtie that they found. Once they start narrowing down what they really want to wear, you can use a mobile app like Diptic to put images together and see how the patterns and colors will look side by side. I remember one of our groomsmen sending us a photo of a shirt he found while shopping and a bowtie he found on etsy. I made a quick collage to see how it would look together and he went out and bought it that day! If I knew that my sister found a dress that was aqua, I'd let the other girls know so that they could find something that was not matchy, but complimentary.
5. Love the end result!
The end result was a perfectly mismatched wedding party. I've also seen them wear these clothes again for different occasions, which I love. Weddings don't have to be serious and stuffy. We all had fun choosing patterns and colors and expressing our personal style! It was a great fit for the overall goal of our wedding which was laid back and FUN.
If you are thinking of having a mismatched wedding party, I hope you find these tips helpful! If you've already done it, we want to hear from you. What did you learn in the process? How did you help your wedding party? What tips do you have for other brides planning their non-matching wedding attire? Let us know in the comments!
[All wedding photos are courtesy of our amazing photographer, Aaron Ottis Photography]