One of the hardest things about planning my own wedding has been choosing the bridesmaid dresses. Ask me to select the venue and I’ve chosen it on the first visit. Judging cakey styles and flavours was seriously no sweat (ok I had some help from the boy here – cakes are his forté). Lighting upon the wedding theme and floral decor was child’s play, no actually it was a joy, but ask me which dresses I’ll be wrapping my bridesmaids in and I come unstuck.
It’s not like there’s nothing out there, there is a wealth of frocks in different materials, styles, colours and lengths. In fact we’re spoilt for choice with the ranges that specialised bridesmaid boutiques as well as high street retailers like Coast offer us. Ladies we’ve got it the best that we’ve ever had it!
So what exactly is the problem then?
I want my bridesmaids to look hot. Like seriously HOT. None of this I’m a bridesmaid and therefore I can’t look as good as the bride malarky. I want my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing, to WANT to wear it. As a bride, ultimately you’re deciding the sartorial fate of your nearest and dearest on one of the biggest days of your life and with that comes a whole heap of responsibility.
Maybe I’m reading WAY too much into this.
Perhaps some of you gorgeous lot feel the same way…
Whatever you’re thinking I hope that the bridesmaid fashion round-up below is useful. Perhaps it will give some of you some inspiration or even confirm what you already know. If there’s one defining thing about all of the images it’s that all of these pretty ladies are rocking it. They’re OWNING their outfits and don’t they look fabulous!
Something (Navy) Blue
Over the last few months the RMW team have noticed that quite a few of our brides have selected blue as colour of choice for their sidekicks. Strong, elegant and classic, blue hues are the preferred option of those who don’t want to dress their bridesmaids in black but want the sophistication that a darker colour palette brings.
Blues – particularly towards the navy end of the spectrum – are aristocratic and flatter all skin tones and hair colours. It’s not surprising therefore that it is one of the most popular colour trends of 2012.
This concoction of photographs is proof that a darker colourway doesn’t have to be uninteresting – the red lippy and top knots of the bride and her maids in Helen Cawte’s photo show how blue can be brought bang up to date whilst uniting a bridal look at the same time.
Flowers also ‘pop’ against darker hues and I particularly adore brightly coloured shoes paired with a more sedate dress for a bit of subtle drama. On a more practical note, bluish tones look fantastic regardless of the time of year which given the state of our ‘summer’ can only be a good thing.
This is one trend that just isn’t going away and why on earth should it? It’s fun, eye-catching and incredibly freeing. I LOVE it and I’m not the only one. The essence of this theme is that can be interpreted in so many different ways.
Want the same dress but in all the colours of the rainbow? Go for it!
What about different cuts but the same colour? Sounds good to me.
Hang and blast it…you want a free-for-all? Girl I’m right behind you.
Like blue hues, this trend caters for all skin tones, body shapes, hair colours and fashion tastes because you can wear literally anything you want. Choosing an eclectic theme also lifts the pressure off bridesmaids and brides alike. You can guarantee that everyone will feel comfortable on the day because they’ve retained their individuality without compromising the wider bridal style.
The key to guaranteeing a successful ‘mismatched’ look is to make sure that you resemble a ‘team’. Shoes, bouquets and accessories are all easy and fantastic ways of bringing different looks together again. A gaggle of bridesmaids sporting contrasting frocks but with the same heels makes my heart sing as does a bridal party where each maid has her own personalised bouquet.
Bagsy the peony one!
A sister trend to ‘mismatched’, ombré dress colour palettes have been in vogue since last year and still there seems to be no sign that the popularity of this trend is abating. Literally meaning shaded (in French) we’ve seen this colour phenomenon applied to everything from nail varnish to nuptial stationery even through to wedding furniture and cakes.
If I were to describe ombré, then I’d say that it’s like a Dulux paint chart but in a totally good way. Perfect for those brides that don’t want anything too ‘matchy matchy’ but who are determined to stick to a colour theme – ombré dishes out flexibility to the bridal party by the bucketload.
For me, weddings using this type of colour theme just ooze an effortlessness, a natural quality that I can only hope to imitate. Perhaps it’s because each bridesmaid feels totally at ease in her dress. Trials and tribulations such as ‘that shade of coral just doesn’t quite work with my skin tone’ or ‘I like that dress but it’s not quite the right shade of green’ just melt away because it doesn’t have to be just so.
I also love the possibilities that ‘ombré’ provides modern day brides. Using identical dresses but in different materials in similar hues – like the gradiated metallics shown above – adds a depth to photos and is pleasing to the eye. Repeating the colour variations of the frocks in the flowers too is incredibly expressive and adds flair without unnecessary cost.
It’s clear that the influences of last year’s celebrity weddings run rampant in current bridal themes and styles. The white tones of P.Middy’s infamous frock and the gypsy glamour feel of Kate Moss’ and Jamie Hince’s nuptials is perceptibly evident in recent bridesmaid trends.
The watchwords here are ‘ethereal charm’ and ‘modern romance’ with floaty, natural chiffons, silks and cottons being the fabrics of choice. With their tousled locks and flower crowns, I want to call these bridesmaids, sprites or woodland fairies because they look so incredibly dreamlike.
But don’t let their whimsical appearances fool you – both Kates knew a good thing when they saw it, for this style and colour spectrum can be adapted to suit younger bridesmaids without compromising the fashion statement of older beauties.
Using neutral shades is not only incredibly flattering but is a surefire way to imbue your day with a distinctly modern edge too. And dressing your maidens in creams, oatmeals, fawns and off-whites actually gives the bridal party a more unified front than any other colour. They don’t call them style queens for nothing, you know.
Sexy and Flirty
Gone are the days of the dowdy bridesmaid who filed behind the bride wearing misshapen sacks. Instead sexy, sassy maidens have arrived on the scene…hello ladies.
These are the kind of dresses that you are totally wearing again on a night out. Mostly glitzy, the majority short, these dresses scream glamour with a capital G. It’s not about upstaging the bride, it’s about being a team of glamour amazons and injecting a large dose of gorgeousness into the day.
Perhaps my favourite image here is the row of city-shorted clad bridesmaids complete with pretty camisoles. It’s young, fresh and modern and utterly different. Plus this outfit brings a whole new level of meaning to the word wearability. You just know that these girls will be shaking up the dance floor later without any worries about revealing too much…
Sexy doesn’t have to mean eye-raising hemlines either – the long metallic dresses at the bottom here are divine. Actually I’m really lusting after these for my own wardrobe, not for any special occasion but you know… just because.
So what do you think girls? Which of the above themes will you be embracing for your big day – if any?
Does bohemian princess rock your boat or has it been done to death? Does ‘mismatched’ send shivers up your spine or do you love the intrigue of an eclectic look?
And what are your thoughts on choosing made to measure bridesmaid dresses rather than off the peg? I’m toying with the idea and I’m keen to hear your experiences.
If anything I’ve now confused myself even more about which direction I’m going to take and I think I need a lie down.
Love Lauren xx