Bridesmaids Throughout the Years: How the Bride’s Leading Ladies Have Evolved Over Time

bridesmaids throughout the years

If you've signed on to be a bridesmaid, you probably know that it comes with more than a few big roles and responsibilities. In addition to helping the bride with all the pre-wedding details, you'll also be expected to fend off evil spirits and bandits that might snatch the bride on her wedding day.

Wait — you didn't hear about that responsibility? Don't worry, this is fortunately no longer a role of bridesmaids today. However, it was one of the many peculiar bridesmaid duties that was expected from the bride's leading ladies back in the day.

Curious at how the role of bridesmaids has changed throughout the years? Here is a fascinating look at what was once expected of the bride's cohort:

Origin of Bridesmaids

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The inclusion of bridesmaids isn't a modern concept. In fact, the origin of bridesmaids can be traced back to the time of the ancient Romans.

Although historians aren't certain of the exact origin of bridesmaids, here are a few points in history where the tradition is believed to have started:

Roman Era

In ancient Rome, brides would often travel long distances to the groom's village with their dowry in tow. This large dowry made the bride a target on the road for bandits who might steal not only the dowry but also the bride.

Bridesmaids would accompany the bride and dress like her in the hopes of confusing any would-be robbers. Thus, the idea of matching bridesmaid dresses may have started in Rome.

Another reason Roman bridesmaids wore matching dresses was to confuse evil spirits and stop them from gripping the bride on her wedding day — also a key function of the bride's veil, which was worn to befuddle the spirits from cursing the couple's marriage. Later, bridesmaids would serve as witnesses when Rome made it a rule that any marriage must have 10 witnesses to be official.

roman era bridesmaids

Chinese Feudal Era

In ancient China, women sent their dowry to the groom's village first and made the trek themselves later. Even so, there was a high probability that the bride would get stolen by bandits while she traveled or captured on the day of her wedding by rival clans.

Just like with the ancient Romans, bridesmaids would dress identically to the bride to confuse kidnappers. When a proper legal system was finally installed, the practice became a symbolic tradition rather than something seen as necessary.

Biblical Roots

Another possible explanation for the origin of bridesmaids comes from the biblical story of Jacob and his two wives, Leah and Rachel. In the Book of Genesis, both Leah and Rachel are accompanied to their wedding by their handmaidens who waited on the two ladies before the ceremony.

Early Bridesmaid Duties

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In addition to fending off kidnappers and evil spirits, early bridesmaids had other duties to perform as well. While some of these duties may sound similar, others have (fortunately) long since died out:

Prepare Decorations and Party Favors

This duty may sound familiar to modern bridesmaids. Early bridesmaids were expected to help decorate the wedding day feast and make party favors for the guests.

Victorian era bridesmaids made party favors out of white ribbons, lace and flowers. The bridesmaids would then pin these pretty decorations to the shoulders of each guest as they left the ceremony.

getting the bride ready

Follow the Bride and Groom to the Bedchamber

It may sound strange to us now, but bridesmaids were expected to accompany the newlyweds to their bedchamber. The bridesmaids would then assist the bride by undoing her dress and letting down her hair.

Others were present in the bedchamber as well, including friends, family and some members of the community. In some cultures, it was common practice for the bride to fling her stocking into the crowd of watchers — aka the beginning of the garter toss tradition. It was believed that whoever caught the bride's stocking would have good luck.

The bedding ritual was a common practice in the medieval period, especially among royals. Fortunately, this ritual began to die out starting in the early 18th century.

Walking the Groom to the Church

In some cultures, it was customary for the bridesmaids to escort the groom to the church while his groomsmen accompanied the bride to protect her from kidnappers or jealous men.

This practice began to wane in popularity after the introduction of long trains, heavy wedding fabrics and frilly clothes in the 18th century. However, evil spirits were still a concern in the Victorian era, and bridesmaids often carried bouquets of garlic and herbs to ward them off.

General Maid Duties

getting bride ready zipping dress

Early bridesmaids helped the bride prepare for her wedding day in many of the same ways they do today. However, they were also of a lower status than the bride and had many duties that were more maid-like.

Bridesmaids today would scoff at the idea of being a bride's personal servant — even though that's what it sometimes feels like. Early bridesmaids were expected to wait on the bride hand and foot, performing various personal duties such as dressing her, drawing her bath and fetching her breakfast in bed.

Throw a Bridal Shower

It's believed that the modern tradition of throwing a bridal shower was born out of the early practice of securing a bride's dowry. If the bride's father could not produce an adequate dowry for the bride, her maids would lend a hand by gathering together and showering the bride with gifts.

By doing so, the bride could marry the man of her choosing. Throwing bridal showers for the bride became common in the upper class during 1890s and later with the masses in the 1930s.

Additional Bridesmaid Requirements

Back in the day, not just anyone could be a bridesmaid. All bridesmaids had to be unmarried virgins who were younger than the bride and of lower status.

However, an exception to this archaic rule was the maid of honor. In Roman times, the maid of honor was chosen for her piety and obedience and was meant to set an example for the bride.

maid of honor roman times

As time went on, the maid of honor simply assisted the bride much like she does today. Before the big day, the maid of honor would help the bride get dressed and procure her bridal flower crown.

In the Victorian era, bridesmaids were expected to wear all white to match the bride. Much like today's custom, these bridesmaid dresses were designed to be simpler to avoid outshining the bride.

Modern Roles and Duties of Bridesmaids

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The role of bridesmaids has significantly evolved over the years — much for the better. Today, it's no longer an act of forced servitude but rather a service freely given out of love for the bride.

While many of today's traditions were born out of superstition, there is no need to worry about evil spirits cursing the entire bridal party. And while you might be protective of the bride, there is also no need to worry about the bride being abducted on her big day.

Still, there are some ways in which the roles and responsibilities of contemporary bridesmaids have deviated from past tradition. Here is a look at some of the modern bridesmaid trends and duties which are a far cry from earlier times:

Bridesmaids of Varying Ages

The rules for who can be a bridesmaid are long gone. Today, bridesmaids can be as old or as young as the bride wants.

Well, sort of. Younger bridesmaids between the ages of 8 and 14 are generally considered junior bridesmaids. Girls who are under the age of eight are often flower girls who scatter flowers down the aisle to herald the bride.

There is no age cap to being a bridesmaid. The oldest bridesmaid on record was Edith Gulliford, who was age 97 when she performed her duties in 2007.

In fact, there is no longer any requirement whatsoever to be a bridesmaid. Not only have men stood in as bridesmaids as the man of honor, but dogs have also been known to be part of the bride's cohort—with adorable results.

dessy navy bridesmaid dresses

Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses

With the worry of evil spirits cursing the bride and her attendants no longer a concern, there is also no need for the bridesmaid dresses to match. Although some brides prefer their maids to look identical, the latest trend has been to mix and match bridesmaid dresses.

For example, the bride can now choose a color and have her crew pick out dresses of varying styles. This allows the bridesmaids to pick dresses that flatter their individual figures while still looking cohesive for the wedding.

Another hot wedding trend is to have your gals wear bridesmaid separates to create a bold combo. For fashion-forward brides, this is a great way to let bridesmaids have fun with their look while instantly adding style to your wedding.

Bridesmaids Buying Their Own Dress

In early times, a bridesmaid was usually a servant who couldn't afford her own dress. It was up to the bride to outfit her bridal party in nice dresses.

Today, a bridesmaid typically pays for her own bridesmaid dress. The good news is that there are plenty of budget-friendly bridesmaid dresses that are both chic and affordable.

Don't know where to look? Check out our collection of bridesmaid dresses under $150 and browse a wide range of different colors and styles.

Planning the Bachelorette Party

One of the key duties of a modern bridesmaid is planning the bride's bachelorette party. Formerly known as a ‘hen party’ in Europe, the raucous parties we throw today wouldn't become common practice until the mid-1980s.

Although bachelorette parties today have a reputation of being wild and crazy, they can be whatever the bride prefers. Modern bachelorette parties now refer to a get-together of the bride's closest friends, whether it's a drunk night on the town or a relaxing vacation in Cabo.

bride and bridesmaid getting ready

Damage Control

You could say that modern bridesmaids have a lot more pressure to ensure that the bride's big day goes off without a hitch. In early times, bridesmaids were not expected to handle any mishaps or misfortunes that struck the bride and groom.

Today, bridesmaids are expected to do everything from running last minute errands to providing the bride with emotional support. Although it's an enormous undertaking, many bridesmaids will gladly do it out of love and friendship for the bride.

Lots of Lace

When Queen Victoria chose a white lace dress, it sparked a fashion craze among brides. But today, lace can be used not only in the bride's dress but also her bridesmaids' dresses.

Lace bridesmaid dresses are not an uncommon sight in weddings today. From lacy dresses in pastel shades to bold lace separates, this romantic fabric is no longer reserved for the bride.

Pre-Wedding Preparation

In medieval times, a wealthy bride might have her maids draw a luxurious bath before the wedding day, complete with scented oils and herbs. Of course, this bath was needed to cover up the foul smell most people couldn't escape in the Dark Ages.

Today, bridesmaids often accompany the bride to spa treatments in the form of manicures and pedicures. While the bride may be generous and pay for her bridesmaids' spa treatments, most bridesmaids will happily pay for their own just to bond with the bride before her big day.

bride and bridesmaid getting ready

Being a Bridesmaid: A Time-Honored and Cherished Tradition

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Bridesmaids have come a long way over the centuries. Once considered a lowly servant, being a bridesmaid is now a huge honor that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Thankfully, the roles and expectations of bridesmaids have changed significantly since the medieval era. Today, being a bridesmaid is more about being part of the bride and groom's special day while helping them pull off one spectacular and unforgettable party.

Five Reasons We Love the After Six Brand

After Six Bridesmaid Dresses Spring 2019

When it comes to choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses and men's formal wear for your bridal party, you can't go wrong with After Six. Elegant, stylish and refined, this legendary brand is always ready to make your whole crew look amazing on your big day.

Whether you’re looking to rent a classic and timeless tuxedo for your groom or searching for fashion-forward bridesmaid dresses for your gals, After Six has you covered. We've listed five reasons why we can't help but love the brand — and why you're sure to fall in love with it too!

1. It's Steeped in Sartorial History

It's crazy to believe, but the After Six brand has been in the formalwear industry since 1903. Founded by Ukrainian immigrant Samuel Rudofker, the company was originally known as S. Rudofker's Sons.

How did Rudofker's Sons eventually become After Six? Legend has it that when the Rudofker's decided to rebrand themselves in the 1930s, Samuel's son Max Rudofker suddenly announced that he had to go home because “it's after six!”

The moniker stuck and was trademarked in 1937. As a maker of formal evening wear, the name was a perfect fit for the company.

2. It Redefined the Tuxedo Industry

At various times, After Six was the leading maker of formal wear in the United States. Known for its innovation, the company dramatically influenced the tuxedo industry throughout its history.

In 1923, the company invented the first ready-to-wear tuxedo, called the “Rudo Tux”. This iconic tuxedo was priced affordably and made dinner jackets accessible to men everywhere.

The concept of a rented tuxedo can also be attributed to After Six. The Rudofkers began selling their formal menswear to dry cleaners and tailors, who turned around and rented them to customers that required temporary tuxedos for the occasional dinner party or black-tie event.

3. Its Elegant Dresses Evolve Over Time

By the 1970s, After Six expanded its offerings to include prom dresses. Although the brand's formal dresses have always been trendy and classic, the After Six bridesmaid dresses you see today are a far cry from their vintage party dresses of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

After Six was forced to evolve its dresses over time or fizzle out. Fortunately, the brand rose to the occasion and has created elegant bridesmaid dresses that are contemporary and en vogue.

Today, After Six by Dessy offers stunning and affordable bridesmaid dresses in a wide range of colors, styles and sizes. Featuring clean lines and flattering silhouettes, it's no surprise that the brand has remained a favorite among brides and bridesmaids alike.

4. It Has a Long-Running History with The Dessy Group

Where does Dessy fit in with After Six? Our love affair began over 15 years ago when we were a licensee of the After Six brand.

Attracted by its rich history and timeless designs, the Dessy Group acquired the After Six trademark in 2011. With big plans to revitalize the brand and expand its offerings, we quickly got to work by debuting the Paragon Tuxedo Jacket the following year. Since then, we've introduced countless After Six styles, including bridesmaid dresses, men’s formal accessories and tuxedos.

5. It Showcases Affordable and Popular Styles

One of the many reasons brides and their bridesmaids love After Six is its chic, yet budget-friendly options. With stylish, contemporary cuts and flattering fits, your bridesmaids will have no trouble finding dresses that suit their personalities and budgets.

One of the more popular bridesmaid dress trends we're loving is the off-the-shoulder look. This stunning, off-the-shoulder bridesmaid dress is the picture of elegant beauty and sophistication:

elegant off-the-shoulder full-length bridesmaid dress

After Six 6800

Looking for something more whimsical for your wedding party? This off-the-shoulder bridesmaid dress in Lux Chiffon fabric evokes a sense of romance and enchantment that will perfectly complement your whimsical wedding:

romantic ruffle off-the-shoulder bridesmaid dress

After Six 6763

For brides who aren’t afraid to add a bit of glam to their wedding party, sequins are the way to go. Outfit your gals in these jaw-dropping sequin dresses by After Six for a look that's guaranteed to pop at your wedding:

glam sequin spaghetti strap bridesmaid dress

After Six 6784

Looking for the perfect After Six bridesmaid dress for daytime ceremonies? Opt for a midi-length dress that transitions effortlessly from daytime to evening wedding ceremonies. These stylish bridesmaid dresses will please every personality and budget:

affordable midi dresses for bridesmaids

After Six 1503 | After Six 1501

After Six Bridesmaid Dresses for Every Style and Personality

From timeless bridesmaid dresses to contemporary styles, After Six has the perfect dress for every bride and her bridesmaids. No matter which style option you choose, we're confident you'll be thrilled with the superb quality and elegance behind each design.

Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses for a Winter Wedding: Seven Things to Keep in Mind

After finding a gorgeous winter wedding dress, it's time to focus on a different type of dress shopping: choosing cold-weather gowns for your bridesmaids. Off-season weddings have their own set of rules, which apply to your bridesmaid dresses as well.

Dessy Real Wedding: Steel Blue Winter Wedding with Fur Wraps

Dessy Real Wedding | Color: Larkspur | Fabric: Rococo Lace | Photographer: Carly Fuller | Shared by Norah: "...everyone looked beautiful in their Dessy dresses, ties and pocket squares. It was the perfect look for our winter wedding by the sea!"

From colors and fabrics to finding the perfect winter coverup, here are seven things you'll want to keep in mind as you shop for winter bridesmaid dresses:

1. Opt for Heavier Fabrics

Although most cold-weather brides have their weddings indoors, there are ways to pull off an outdoor winter ceremony. If you’re serious about getting married amid a snowy landscape, you need to ensure that your bridesmaids stay warm until you say, “I do.”

One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing heavier fabrics, such as faille, silk or satin. These quintessential winter fabrics will add warmth to their dresses while emphasizing your cold-weather style.

Bridesmaid Dresses for Winter Weddings

After Six 6784 | Dessy Collection 2998 | Dessy Collection 3043

2. Turn Up the Glam for the Evening

Before we get into winter bridesmaid dress colors, you first need to consider the time of day you’re getting married. Regardless of the season, most evening weddings require formal or semi-formal attire.

If your winter wedding is in the evening, you can get away with bridesmaid dresses featuring dramatic embellishments and luxe fabrics. Don’t be afraid to have your girls try on luxe, velvet bridesmaid dresses or sequined evening gowns that provide a hint of glamour and drama.

3. Colors Options: Whimsical vs Dramatic

One of the best things about being a winter bride is the endless number of color options you can choose from. While most summer bridesmaids are limited to lighter colors, winter bridesmaid dresses can be bold and dark or light and whimsical.

From light pink and grey to dark green and gold, there are so many ways to have fun with your bridesmaid colors. If you’re having trouble finding the right colors, check out our Wedding Inspiration Styleboard Gallery and browse all the chic winter wedding color palettes.

winter wedding bridesmaid dresses

Dessy Real Wedding | Colors: Hunter Gold & Burgundy Gold | Fabric: Lux Shimmer | "The gold shimmer in these dresses gave my Christmas themed wedding the exact look I was going for!"

4. Choose Flattering Fits for Everyone

Your winter wedding is all about you, but it’s still important to consider what your bridesmaids have to say while you shop for dresses.

One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that each member of your bridal party has a different sense of style. Although you can (and should) be the one to choose the color of their dresses, consider allowing your bridesmaids to choose the style.

Allowing them to pick a dress style that flatters them will ensure they are comfortable during the ceremony. It will also prevent feelings of resentment towards you if someone were to hate the style you chose for them.

5. Keep Your Bridesmaids Warm and Stylish

There are ways you can keep your bridesmaids warm without making them look silly in giant winter coats. For example, a fur coverup is a great way to keep bridesmaids from freezing during your winter ceremony.

Even if the wedding is indoors, your bridesmaids could benefit from wearing thick tights under their dresses. They can always take them off when things get hot on the dance floor.

Also, don’t forget about their footwear. There is something playful and romantic about wearing trendy winter boots underneath a cold-weather gown!

Bride and Bridesmaids in the snow

6. Have Fun with Your Bridesmaid’s Coverups

Bridesmaid coverups in the form of fur coats and elegant shawls are an easy way to add a hint of sophistication to your bridal party. For a gorgeous ensemble, choose bridesmaids’ coverups in a color or pattern that will pop against the color of their dresses.

Some good options are a red tartan coverup against dark blue dresses or a dramatic black fur coverup against burgundy bridesmaid dresses. However, you can also choose to blend the color of the cover-up to your bridesmaid dresses for a sleek and streamlined look.

7. Factor in Bad Weather Delays

Bad winter weather can mean delays. If you’re traveling somewhere to try on bridesmaid dresses with your bridal party, consider scheduling extra time to get there.

Similarly, you may want to order your bridesmaid dresses sooner rather than later. Bad weather can result in delayed deliveries, which can result in panic if you’re already doing things at the last minute.

If you’re ordering bridesmaid dresses from Dessy, we strongly recommend placing your order no later than two weeks before your event date. Factoring in delays and last-minute changes can lower everyone’s stress before your big day.

Find Dresses Fit for a Winter Wonderland

Choosing bridesmaid dresses for your winter wedding doesn’t need to be stressful. With a few considerations and input from your bridal party, you can have a fun and memorable shopping experience that everyone will look back on with fond memories.

Bridal Party on a Budget: Tips for Affordable Bridesmaid Dresses, Shower Ideas & More

Bridal Party on a Budget 

There’s so much more to being a member of Team Bride than dressing up and taking photos. Bridal party members also have to think about the pre-wedding events — there’s the engagement party, the shower and the bachelorette bash — plus gifts, travel, shoes, jewelry and hair and makeup. With all these requirements, it’s no surprise that the average bridesmaid spends nearly $1,700 on her best pal’s nuptials! But if you’re like many, you wouldn’t dream of passing up the chance to stand by her side on her big day, so it’s either dig into the savings or find ways to make it work.

The good news is that there are thousands of ways you can stretch your budget to ensure that you’re an enthusiastically engaged — and not broke — member of the bride’s cohort. Whether you’re a bridesmaid searching for dresses under $150 (totally doable, by the way) or you’re a maid of honor dreaming of ways to cut costs when planning the shower and bachelorette party, you’ll love these incredible money-saving tips for bridesmaids.

Dessy is here to help you stretch every wedding-related dollar as far as it can go this wedding season with zero compromises for you or the bride-to-be.

bride with bridesmaids holding bouquets

PLANNING THE BRIDAL SHOWER ON A BUDGET

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The bridal shower, though optional, is one of the more enjoyable events for members of the bride’s inner circle. It’s typically a relatively laid-back excuse to get together with your closest ladies to sip champagne, open gifts and enjoy each other’s company. But the bridal shower planning can easily get out of hand, so make sure to reign it in with a few of the following cost-saving efforts.

  • Make DIY Favors and Décor — No big shock here, but did you know that you can save a ton when you opt to make things yourself rather than buying them already made? In fact, putting in a little elbow grease and going the DIY route can save a bride thousands in the grand scheme of things. Wherever possible, scour Pinterest for the best DIY options. In the case of the bridal shower, we’re obsessed with DIY candy boxes, potted plants, treat bags, candles and bath bombs, which are all surprisingly easy to fashion yourself.
  • Have it at Someone’s Home Ask the bride’s parents, aunts and uncles or grandparents if they’d mind providing the venue for the big day. It may not be as glamorous as a big, fancy event space, but it’ll be much more intimate and special. Bonus: It’s also usually zero dollars. Having the shower at home also allows you to create a more casual, comfortable event with homemade food, which will save you a ton if you enlist the help of the bride’s family for the job.
  • Or Choose a Free Space  If you don’t have access to someone’s home, know that there are a few places that will probably be happy to accommodate your party for free. In many cases, restaurants that have private rooms will happily host your soiree so long as you reach a certain minimum for food and drinks. If you can’t find free, shoot for next to free. Often, you’ll be able to affordably rent out pavilions, shelters or rooms within your public parks system or city facilities. You might be surprised at how lovely these spaces are despite their affordable price tag!

 

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  • Keep it Just for the Girls and Her Besties  There’s something that feels right about a co-ed bridal shower — the bride’s future spouse and guy friends should be involved too, right? — and it’s fun to bring it to life with nontraditional themes, games and décor. But here’s the downside: Inviting the guys means you double your guest list, which in turn means you double the cost of food, drinks, table and chair rentals and favors. And think of it like this: There are very few events in your life that you get to spend with only your girlfriends. Cherish everyone!
  • Go Digital Wherever Possible Skip the pomp and circumstance of paper invitations — which can be quite costly if you have them custom-designed and professionally printed — in favor of digital ones. Your guests will be more likely to RSVP in a timely fashion if all they have to do is click a button, and you’ll save on the design, printing and postage. Check out some of the most popular invitation platforms for ideas.

 

line of girls blowing confetti

PLANNING THE BACHELORETTE PARTY ON A BUDGET

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The bachelorette night is the one time in the entire wedding process when it’s not only OK but encouraged to totally cut loose. Thus, it’s often one of the most favorite wedding-related traditions among the bridal party. Luckily, there are some amazing cost-cutting tips you can employ to ensure that the bach bash doesn’t cost the crew more than they bargained for.

  • Keep It in Town  As fun as it is to get away with your girlfriends, having a destination bachelorette party really ramps up the cost, especially for the maid of honor who should act as the hostess. When you plan an out-of-town event, you’re also effectively asking some of the attendees to take time off work, leave their families and find child- or pet-care, which could add to the cost. If everyone in the crew is focused on saving dough, keep it in town. You can still create the feeling of a getaway by having a fancy dinner or renting a limo. Why not?
  • Have It at Home Who says you have to plan a fancy spa day to reap all of that rejuvenating self-care sweetness? Not us! Gather your closest girlfriends, don your bridesmaid robes, crank up the Zen-nest Spotify playlist you can find and you’ll instantly feel like you’re at a spa somewhere far, far away. You can hire student massage therapists, manicurists and estheticians to give you pro-level treatments for a low price.

 

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  • When Penny-Pinching, Book Early If you’re committed to having her big bachelorette bash out of town or at an extra-special venue, make sure you book at least six months out. When wedding season gets going, event spaces and other wedding-related services get super busy, so they’re not likely to cut you a deal. However, if you get in there early — preferably before these services are even thinking about wedding season — you can often get yourself a discount. If you and your besties are students or are able to get some time off, consider booking your bash on a Thursday or Sunday when costs are lower.
  • Skip the Frills with the Help of Tech Look to your favorite digital tools to find alternatives to traditionally high-cost services. Rather than staying in a laid-out hotel suite, split the cost of a house or condo with your pals through Airbnb. Instead of the stretch limo, grab your group an Uber XL (or an UberBLACK if you’re feeling extra fancy). Don’t forget to consult Groupon or LivingSocial to get serious discounts on hotels, event spaces or party-worthy concerts and special events in your area.
  • Throw Away Nothing  As a young lady who is (presumably) in the prime of her bridesmaid years, know this: You will have many, many uses for that “bridesmaid” or “maid of honor” sash down the road. Offer to gather and store all the party accoutrements — from the novelty temp tats to the bride’s blinged-out goblet — and bust them out every time someone in your group inches towards the aisle. After all, you should only have to buy a single bridal party tiara in your lifetime. Make it last!

 

girls celebrating with champagne

WEDDING ON A BUDGET: TRAVEL, STYLE AND MORE

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Inevitably, all these soirees lead you to one thing: the wedding! But even though it’s all drawing to a close doesn’t mean that the spending stops. In fact, you’ll need to bust out your wallet (or, who are we kidding, your Venmo app) a few more times before your bestie reaches the altar. Here’s how to make sure your bank account is still well-funded by the time you’ve had your last drink of the night.

  • Vote for Reasonable Bridesmaid Dresses  While the official dress selection will come down to the bride, she will certainly listen to your concerns and understand your budget constraints. To help encourage her to select affordable bridesmaid dresses — like our latest line of gowns under $150! — first get an idea of the style she’s aiming for. Next, find a few budget-friendly options that match her vibe online and send them to her as gentle suggestions. She’ll appreciate that you’re taking the initiative to help lighten her load!
  • Stick to Affordable Accessories  Your wedding accessories might make your look, but they can quickly pile up and weigh down your budget. Rather than blanketing yourself in ice, consider picking one or two statement accessories — a pair of eye-catching shoes or a blinged-out necklace, perhaps — and choose a versatile style that you’ll be able to wear again for your next formal affair. You might also suggest to the bride that she give accessories as her gift to the bridal party so you won’t have to worry about that cost.
  • Bunk Up with Other Members of the Bridal Party If the wedding is out of town, one of the best things you can do early on in the wedding process is get to know all the other bridal party members. When it comes time to plan and attend events, you’ll already have friends and people with whom you can split accommodations, travel and maybe even gifts. Bonus points for the fact that, if you get along well, you may just make a lifelong friend out of the whole affair.
  • Get Creative with Gifts So with all these events, you might ask yourself: Do I have to bring a gift to all of them? Opinions are split about the bridal party’s gifting obligations, but if you err on the side of the bridal party members giving a gift, get creative wherever possible. Consider going in on a group gift with the rest of the bridal party or creating something DIY that the bride will cherish forever. Remember, the couple will be opening tons of checks and items off their registry, so anything different will be a guaranteed hit.
  • Do Your Own Hair, Makeup and Nails  So long as the bride doesn’t have a super specific vision of what she wants you to do for hair, makeup and manicures, this is another avenue where you can take the DIY route. If you don’t feel comfortable doing your own, there’s a good chance there’s someone in the bridal party who is, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just make sure you have a solid plan in place so that you’re not stressed out — or stressing others out — on the day of the wedding.

 

excited bridesmaids clapping hands

BEING OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT YOUR BRIDESMAID BUDGET

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One of the biggest mistakes a bridesmaid can make is not speaking up when she feels that her budget is being stretched too thin. Chances are, if she’s a good friend, the bride will do her best to help ensure that her big day doesn’t put you in the poorhouse. And now that there are more cute and affordable bridesmaids dresses than ever before, plus a wide range of cost-cutting apps and services, there’s no reason you can’t be the best bridesmaid ever while saving a little dough along the way. Just remember one thing: Always suggest Dessy to the bride-to-be who wants max style without maxing out her bridesmaids!

Six Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Junior Bridesmaid Dresses

If you’ve decided to ask a mini member of your inner circle to stand beside you on your wedding day, congratulations! You’ve got yourself a junior bridesmaid — aka JB. She’s someone who’s too old to be a flower girl and too young to be an official bridesmaid — perhaps she’s somewhere between the ages of 8 and 14 — but you still want her to feel included when you walk down the aisle. Though she probably won’t have the same duties as her older counterparts, she can still provide plenty of support (and cuteness) while you’re addressing stressful wedding tasks.

wedding photo

Whether she’s your cousin, your sister or your daughter, this pint-sized party-goer deserves as much attention as the rest of the crew. Selecting her dress is a fun part of the JB process, but you can’t treat it in the same way you treat the others. There are a few extra-special considerations that should be at the forefront of your mind, including:

1. Her Age: Let Her Dress Be More Youthful — There’s nothing cuter than a little one dressed up in a grown-up gown but remember that you want her to look and feel her age too. Your best bet is to opt for junior bridesmaid dresses that are specifically made for the juniors. These gowns are designed for girls and tweens, so they won’t cause unnecessary fit issues or feel inappropriate for her age.

2. The Cost: Her Parents Will Probably Pay  More than likely, your JB won’t be shelling out the dough for the gown, so you have to consider who will be. If her parents are also a part of the wedding or have other tasks and costs associated with your special day, try to keep your dress selection relatively reasonable. Be sure to communicate with her parents throughout the dress-selection process.

3. The Length: Consider Her Shoes — Unlike your older bridesmaids, your JB probably won’t be wearing super high heels. Thus, you want to make sure that her gown is the ideal length to go with bridesmaid flats or low-height heels. This is another reason it typically makes much more sense to pick a junior-specific bridesmaid gown rather than a regular dress sized down. The length of your JB’s dress will probably matter much more than that of your adult bridesmaids.

Junior Bridesmaid Dresses

4. Her Comfort Level: Make It ‘Her’ — If you want to ensure that your youngest bridal party member feels completely comfortable while she saunters down the aisle, ensure that she’s wearing a gown that speaks to her personal sense of style. Like grown-up bridesmaid dresses, junior bridesmaid dresses should play to the wearer’s personality as well as the bride’s. To make sure it’s a perfect match, provide a few dress options and let your JB pick.

5. The Coordination: Does it Have to Match? — Do you want your junior bridesmaid to perfectly match the rest of the crew or do you want hers to be slightly different? It’s all up to you but know that you can be creative with the process. Consider dressing your junior in a patterned dress to coordinate with your bridesmaids’ solid colors or put her in a similar gown with a slightly different cut or color.

6. Her Accessories: Tying it All Together  Just because she’s younger doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get the royal treatment with the rest of your girls! Make sure to surprise her with coordinating accessories to go with her gown and invite her to join in on the fun with all the girls when you’re getting ready together. You can make sure she feels totally included with her very own matching bridesmaid robe.

family wedding photo

Make it Fun and Memorable

Remember, your junior bridesmaid wants to be like one of the big bridesmaids, but she’s still a kid. As long as you keep that in mind while you’re selecting her dress, she’ll feel right at home when walking down the aisle and standing next to your besties at the altar. Dessy is here to help you find the prettiest, most age-appropriate junior bridesmaid dresses around. Explore our complete collection for trendy and adorable looks that will make your special miniature feel like a crucial part of your big day.

Brand Spotlight: Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Dresses

When you're flipping or clicking through page after page of bridesmaid dresses, they may start to lose their luster. But occasionally you'll stumble across a dress designer who totally vibes with your unique wedding-day vision, whether it's ultra-glamorous or subtly sophisticated.  In addition to capturing your exact theme, a good bridesmaid dress must also be flattering for all and versatile enough to suit a plethora of bridal themes. For many, the dress designer who meets and often exceeds these expectations is Jenny Packham.

Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Dress

About Jenny Packham

Known for a style Vogue describes as “dazzling feminine glamour,” red carpet designer Jenny Packham is known throughout the fashion world for dressing celebs in bedazzled formal gowns that exude high style. She has dressed all sorts of British style icons, including Kate Winslet, Emily Blunt, Keira Knightley and, yes, the Duchess of Cambridge herself. In fact, Kate Middleton has been known to step onto many a red carpet in Packham's creations, including several from her ready-to-wear collections.

Packham's masterpieces have been seen all over the big screen. You may remember the bespoke gown Packham designed for British Oscar winner Adele back in 2013 or the one designed for Emma Watson to wear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Her gowns have also made appearances in Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Casino Royale, The Devil Wears Prada and Die Another Day. Indeed, they are some of the most photographed gowns in all of Hollywood.

The British-born, London-based designer studied fashion at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London before founding her namesake line in 1988. But it wasn't until 1997 that Packham unveiled her bridal collection, instantly skyrocketing her into the world of bridal style. Her current collections include wedding dresses, ready-to-wear formal dresses, children's occasion wear and, now, bridesmaid dresses. Dessy has teamed up with this beloved designer for the creation of the truly exceptional Jenny Packham bridesmaid dresses.

Styles We Love

In addition to her stylish ready-to-wear women's gowns, we can't help but drool over the Dessy exclusive Jenny Packham dresses. Let's take a look at some of our favorite bridal party styles by this must-wear designer.

 
 
  • Jenny Packham JP1015 — This pretty floor-length bridesmaid dress perfectly captures the dazzling feminine glamour for which Packham is known. Available in dozens of different colors, the JP1015 gown features an elegant, airy lux chiffon material that's glammed up with stacked mirror bead trim along the bateau neckline.
  • Jenny Packham JP1006 — Simplicity meets sophistication with this pretty, ruffly bridesmaid gown by Ms. Packham. It has a totally airy and feminine look thanks to the ruffly V-neckline, delicate spaghetti straps, high-low skirt and open back. Not only does it come in lots of staple solids, but it can also be ordered in a few sweet patterns — including fresh florals — for a fabulously fun feel.
  • Jenny Packham JP1005 — A flattering choice for all your bridesmaids, this pretty and simple empire waist bridesmaid dress offers shirring at the V-neckline with a crisscross midriff for full-body flattery. You'll also love some of this gown's vintage touches — it's ideal for that Old Hollywood glam feel!

Picks from the Jenny Packham 2019 Line

Here at Dessy, we're delighted to share with you some of the greatest selections from this year's Jenny Packham bridesmaid line. These sweet styles will surely help you create a bridal look that's all you. Here's a sneak peek!

 
 
  • Jenny Packham JP1024 — The wide band at the waistline of this calf-length bridesmaid dress makes it totally flattering for many body types. Like the JP1005, this look offers some vintage vibes for the bride who loves mid-century style.
  • Jenny Packham JP1021 — This slightly more formal Jenny Packham bridesmaid dress gets a glamorous finishing touch with the help of its sheer cap sleeves. An elegant, pleated skirt and V-neckline provide the perfect detailing for the bride's crew.
  • Jenny Packham JP1023 — Love a simple look but don’t want to compromise on the glamour? This gorgeous and glammed-out style has two glimmering, beaded bands at the waist plus a unique column neckline for a high-fashion (and subtly sparkly) approach to bridal style.

Finding Your Dream Gown by Jenny Packham

Dessy is here to help you find the perfect Jenny Packham dress for your bridesmaids. We're committed to simplifying the process of buying bridesmaid dresses online, so we offer simple sizing, and effortless customer service to help you get the exact look you're after. Plus, we happily stock our gowns — including our Jenny Packham gowns — in many retail locations throughout the U.S. Try one on today!

Wedding Day Essentials: The Ultimate List of Bridesmaid Duties for the Big Day

bridesmaid duties wedding day ultimate list 

So, you’ve been picked to be a member of the bride’s squad. Congratulations! You’ve weighed in on the bachelorette party plans, ordered your bridesmaid dresses and popped a bottle or two in celebration — what else is there to do?

Being a member of Team Bride is equal parts fun and responsibility, and your bridesmaid duties will begin the minute she pops the big question — “Will you be my bridesmaid?” — and won’t end until the last mimosa at the post-wedding brunch. But the big-day duties are arguably the most important, so you’ve got to make sure you’re ready for anything during the wedding weekend.

Though your list of duties is lengthy, there’s no need to stress. You’re already a good friend, as evidenced by your bridesmaid status, so you’ll be a natural! Here’s everything you’ll need to handle for the bride-to-be on her special day, from supplying the a.m. lattes to gathering her things after last call.

GETTING READY: BE THE RIGHT-HAND GAL

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Throughout the day, but especially in the hours leading up to her big walk down the aisle, your job as the bride’s bestie is to be her go-to gal. Do your best to anticipate everything she might need at every point in the day, whether it’s a handkerchief to dry her tears or assistance fastening her next-level bridal heels.

group of women sitting in gowns 

  • Be on Time If you’re not early, you’re late: No piece of advice is truer on wedding day. It should go without saying, but don’t show up to any wedding-related event late. The thing is, nothing can start without you there, so make sure to be on time with bells on. The bride will probably assign you a timeslot for hair and makeup, with some as early as 9 a.m., so pick one that you know you can reasonably achieve.
  • Bring Coffee — How to be a hero on her wedding day: Start with a cup of good coffee. The key to knocking this duty out of the park is to know her Starbucks order without having to text her to ask because she’s got more important things to think about. Depending on the crowd, you might also want to be in charge of supplying the wedding morning cocktails. Just make sure the bride is down for a little boozing before the start of the ceremony, and don’t make the drinks too strong.
  • Offer Your Assistance — Don’t wait to be assigned a job. Ask the bride, the mother-of-the-bride, the photographer and the other bridesmaids if there’s anything you can do to help the day run smoothly. There are a hundred moving parts to a wedding, and it’s inevitable — a dozen people will be hurling questions her way while she’s getting dolled up. Do what you can to field the inquiries and provide the bride with everything she needs to enjoy her day without extra stress.
  • Help Her Get Dressed — One of the most important jobs for members of the bride’s squad is helping her get into her wedding gown. Let’s face it: Those things are not designed to be tossed on without additional help. You might have to do a whole lot of lacing, buttoning and bustling while you’re getting ready — and you’ll likely be assisting during quick bathroom breaks. Do yourself a favor and watch some YouTube videos on how to bustle a wedding gown. Trust us, you’ll be the wedding day MVP if you show up prepped and practiced in the art of bustling. Don’t forget to make sure the photographer is ready to shoot when you’re all helping her get into her gown.
  • Calm the Bride  Even the most well-prepared brides get butterflies before their first look or walk down the aisle. Do everything you can to help ease the nerves so that she feels confident and ready for her debut. Simply asking her what she needs at any given moment will go a long way in helping the bride avoid panic.

getting ready graphic

SNAPPING PICS: BE UP FOR ANYTHING

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Fair warning to first-time bridesmaids: The picture-taking portion of the day can be boring at best and downright maddening at worst. But know that everyone — even the bride and her spouse-to-be — will be ready for it to be over by the end, so the best thing you can do is to keep a positive attitude, lighten the mood and simply be game for whatever.

  • Prepare for Emergencies — This is the time of day when a wedding day emergency kit will seriously come in handy. Imagine, for example, that someone’s bridesmaid dress — or, gasp, the wedding gown — snags or tears in the photo shoot process. Or that someone’s self-tanner rubbed off onto her dress. Your survival kit should have all the necessities to handle these kinds of snafus, including a sewing kit, some safety pins, a stain-remover pen and extra bobby pins. If there’s rain in the forecast, try to help secure some umbrellas or facilitate indoor shooting locations.
  • Offer to Touch Her Up — Consider adding a few touch-up essentials to your bridesmaid-to-the-rescue kit, including some blotting paper to prevent sweat and moisture from ruining her makeup as well as some travel-sized bottles of her foundation, lip gloss and eyeshadow to provide instant touchups. You could even ask the photographer’s assistant to hang onto a small makeup bag or cosmetics case filled with all these day-of essentials so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re getting your picture taken.
  • Strike a Pose During this part of the wedding activities, the photographer — and no one else — is the boss. Don’t try to advise the pros and know that the photography team is more than likely doing exactly what the couple asked them to do. Typically, the newlyweds-to-be will have conferred with the photographer beforehand to come up with a list of must-have shots and poses. Be prepared to take pics in a hundred poses and combos, with the bride, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen and solo. Don’t complain, even if it seems like the shoot is taking forever.
  • Let the Bride Shine — Make sure that no member of Team Bride is overshadowing the lady in white! The person who will know how to showcase her the best is the person behind the lens, so take direction gracefully as it comes. If you notice that one of the bridesmaids is taking away from the bride, quietly ask her to step out of the frame and allow the bride to be the star.

bridesmaids wearing royal purple dresses

DURING THE CEREMONY: HOLD BOUQUETS AND FIX GOWNSdivider

When we think about quintessential bridesmaid duties, we often think about holding the bouquet and adjusting the train during the “I do” portion of events. Indeed, these responsibilities are crucial to the big day and should not be taken lightly! Making sure the bride looks perfect beneath the arch or at the altar should be your principal consideration when the couple is saying their vows.

  • Fix Her Dress — Typically, the maid of honor will be in charge of adjusting the bride’s train so that it lays properly while she’s saying her vows. However, if it’s a particularly long train or if the dress has special features that need to be taken into consideration, this might be a job for the entire crew of bridesmaids.
  • Hold Her Bouquet — During the ceremony, she’ll need both her hands to exchange rings, hold her partner’s hand and perform any special traditions, like the unity candle or sand ceremony. Thus, you’ll need to step in and hold her bouquet during a big chunk of the ceremony. The details of the fixing of the dress and holding of the bouquet — who should do it and when — can be ironed out during the rehearsal.
  • Hand Her a Hankie — Sadly, a mini pack of tissues doesn’t exactly go with her outfit. If you can, figure out a way to discreetly hold some tissues during the wedding so that you have something on hand in case there are waterworks mid-ceremony.

hand holding wedding bouquet

THE RECEPTION: ENJOY THE PARTY

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After the makeup is done, the photos have been taken and the couple is officially hitched, it’s time to party! But don’t immediately head straight to the bar for shots. There is more pomp and circumstance to be had at the reception, including toasts, dances and the cutting of the cake.

  • Nail Your Grand Entrance Usually, the couple will have the entire bridal party make a grand entrance to the reception. Be sure that you’ve ironed out the details of this portion of the day with the bride. She may want you to enter with the groomsman you walked down the aisle with or with all the girls at once. She may want you to lighten the mood with a dance, a funny prop or an upbeat song, or she may prefer to keep this portion formal. Let the bride guide the vibe.
  • Maid of Honor Only: Give Your Toast — If you’re the maid of honor, the primary responsibility you’ll have that the rest of the bridesmaids will not have is giving a maid of honor toast. As obvious as it sounds, make sure that you’ve spent some quality time planning for this. You should have your speech written, polished and rehearsed at least two weeks before the big day. The emcee will usually invite the maid of honor and best man to give their toasts during dinner, traditionally after the fathers (or mothers, in many cases) give their toasts to the new couple. Tip: if you’re in charge of raising a glass, make sure to wait to drink any alcohol until it’s over.

maid of honor quote 

  • Keep the D.J. on Track — More than likely, the newlyweds had a very clear vision for the music before the wedding commenced. But during the reception, they’ll be bouncing from table to table and mingling with their guests, so they won’t have time to keep tabs on the soundtrack. Ask the couple beforehand what they envision for the music and if there are any songs, artists or genres that are off-limits or must-plays. If you have to step off the dancefloor to keep the DJ on track, do so politely and only to honor the couple’s vision. In other words, don’t request the songs you want to hear just because you’re bored with the DJ’s picks.
  • Gather Her Things — Another important role of the bridesmaid crew during the reception is to make sure that all the bride’s personal belongings are accounted for. Ideally, she’ll have all her items — her phone, some cash and lip gloss — neatly gathered in a pretty bridal clutch — to make your job easier. In the event that she traded in her high heels for some comfy bridal flats, make sure to grab her heels and anything else she may have left behind after dancing the night away.
  • Help Clean Up — Depending on the size, budget and complexity of the wedding, you may be employed to help gather decorations, remove linens and collect gifts after the final dance. Ask the bride beforehand what she plans to do for cleanup — will there be a crew, or does she plan to have her family and friends pitch in to help? Remember, the sooner it’s all cleaned up, the sooner you can head to the after party!

bridesmaids standing with bride

REMEMBER: IT’S HER DAY

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At the end of the day, your role as a bridesmaid is to provide your bestie with whatever she needs to enjoy the day she’s been planning and obsessing over for years, including emotional support. In everything you do, make sure that you put the focus on her and remind everyone that it’s her day and no one else’s. With any luck, she’ll do the same for you when it’s your turn to tie the knot. Dessy is always here to help you be the best bridesmaid you can be!

Deep Hues and Dusty Blues: The Best Bridesmaid Dresses for Fall Weddings

If you’ve decided to tie the knot in the fall, there’s a good chance you’re all about the warm and cozy. And we don’t blame you! Autumn is everybody’s fave season for good reason. Cooler temps are in the air, the leaves are just beginning to change and everybody’s trading their flip-flops for ankle boots.

Plus, a fall wedding is an amazing excuse to integrate cozy throw blankets, hot chocolate and apple cider into everything. It’s also high time for some of the cutest bridesmaid dresses ever! If you’re struggling with how to style your best gals for fall, here’s some inspo for you based on this year’s top fall wedding colors.

dusty blue bridesmaid dresses for a fall wedding

Dusty Blues: A Cool Take on the Fall Wedding

When we think about fall, we often think about warm colors. Reds, oranges and yellows are indeed autumnal essentials, but they’re not the only colors that should be on your radar. This year, it’s all about the dusty blues. Here’s why we love this spectrum of stylish shades: It’s not your typical fall pick, but it still brings the soft, muted feel that you often get with traditional fall schemes. It also pairs perfectly with some of this year’s most popular fall accent colors, including burgundy, emerald and gold. These are this year's must-haves in the dusty blue bridesmaid dresses department:

 dusty blue bridesmaid dresses

  1. After Six 1512 — This gown features a dusty matte tone that’s perfect for a wide range of skin tones and accent colors. Your ladies will love the open back detail with crisscross spaghetti straps and the elegant trumpet skirt. It also comes in several of the most popular dusty bridesmaid dress colors, including dusty pink and dusty purple. Dust a move!
  2. Lela Rose LR243 — If you’re going for a fall romance vibe, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of dusted lace. This pretty, off-the-shoulder gown keeps things sophisticated and classy with its softly draped trumpet skirt and bodice done top to bottom in luscious Marquis lace. It also comes in various dusty hues, including suede rose.
  3. Jenny Packham JP1015 — Bring a little bit of autumnal glitz and glam to the table wth this luxurious chiffon gown available in an assortment of dusty hues. With a sweetheart neckline, a pleated overlay bodice and stacked mirror bead trim, this dusty delight is equal parts trendy and timeless. 

Deep Hues: Classic with a Twist

If you want more of a classic but still updated fall color palette, consider dressing your besties in some deep hues and jewel tones. This year, it’s all about the navy, emerald, burgundy, mauve and ruby. The beauty of these shades is that they play perfectly to your cool-weather vibe, so they’re especially ideal if you’re hosting an autumnal affair somewhere that’s likely to be chilly in October and November and you want to warm things up. From emerald to gold bridesmaid dresses, these looks scream fall. Pair any and all of these hues with soft creams and blushes or dusty accent colors for a perfectly pleasing palette.

  1. After Six 6799 — This flattering floor-length gown is guaranteed to please your entire crew, thanks to the thick shoulders that make it supportive and bra-friendly. It features a stretch crepe feel that drapes just right, plus a cute low V-back for some 360-degree style. This gorgeous jewel-toned bridesmaid dress comes in a variety of fall-perfect shades, including burgundy and hunter green.
  2. Alfred Sung D745 — We love the plunging illusion neckline on this aubergine bridesmaid dress. The elegant chiffon knit construction, center front slit and pretty pleating add extra intrigue without being overdone. If you’re not a huge fan of the eggplant color scheme, this style comes in an assortment of dusty colors and jewel tones. Be sure to explore all our burgundy bridesmaid dresses for more.
  3. Dessy Collection 3027 — Try a little emerald on for size! This lovely fall bridesmaid dress bridges the gap between classic and up-to-date, thanks to the floor-length style and long sleeves coupled with a wrap-style top and side tie. It’s made of a jersey fabric that’s flattering and gives it a not-too-formal vibe.

elegant-bridesmaid-dresses

Tying it All Together

The first step towards planning your perfect day is to pick a color scheme that captures your special vision. Once you’ve got that nailed down, it’s all about the fashion! Pull together your fabulous fall motif with all the fall wedding finishes you can dream of, from cozy plaid throw blankets to dreamy chrysanthemum bouquets. Just remember to be true to yourself and don’t feel like you have to adhere to a traditional fall theme if that’s not your thing.

A Match Made in Heaven: Six Tips for Choosing Mix-and-Match Bridesmaid Dresses

We’ve got good news for the bride-to-be who believes that one size should not fit all! Ultra-trendy mix and match bridesmaid dresses are here to stay. With mismatched styles, the bride’s crew can sport dresses in different colors, styles and textures for a totally unique and one-of-a-kind approach to bridesmaid styling.

Why mix and match? This trend is both high-style and highly practical — because let’s face it, your girlfriends are not carbon copies of one another. It allows them to select gowns that are figure-flattering and complement their personalities. When your girls feel like themselves, they’ll shine like the stars they really are!

Mix and match bridesmaid dresses

Ready to hop on the mix and match bandwagon? Here are some of our best tips for choosing mismatched bridesmaid dresses that please all bridesmaids and still play into your dreamy bridal theme.

  1. Pick a Base Color — If you like the idea of a little bit of matchiness, you can start by choosing one main color and then ask your ladies to pick gowns in different variations of the same theme. For example, if you’ve decided that you want blue bridesmaid dresses, decide on a few specific shades of blue and then allow your ladies to choose the one they like the best. You can mix turquoise, dusty blue, navy blue, berry blue and more to create a cohesive look that doesn’t feel forced.
  2. Pick Complementing Colors — Not keen on going all in one shade? No worries! Think about creating a color palette that includes a wide range of complementary colors and then allow your bridesmaids to choose the hues that speak to them. Popular palettes include soft hues, pastels and jewel tones. You can also pick just two colors, like pink and gold, to create a two-toned look.
  3. Go Convertible — One of the simplest and most popular ways to achieve the mismatched bridal look is through convertible bridesmaid dresses. These dresses are designed so that they can be worn in an assortment of ways, from cap sleeve to halter to one-shoulder to backless. The beauty of going the convertible route is that your crew can match in color and texture (or you can opt to mismatch there too), but everyone gets a totally flattering fit. These are also some of the best bridesmaid dresses for destination weddings because they’re made with packable fabrics.

    Multicolored vibrant bridesmaid dresses

  4. Mix Different Textures — Color isn’t the only thing that you can mix and match! You might also consider pulling together different fabrics to add a the-same-but-different feel to your bridesmaid style. Pair chiffon with velvet, jersey material with satin or mix them all together for a totally multidimensional look that still looks intentional and tailored. You can also mix and match with finishes. Pepper in lace, rhinestones, beaded trim, mesh, pleats and more for a fun take.
  5. Add Some Prints — Who says bridesmaid dresses have to be solid-colors? Not us! In fact, patterned bridesmaid dresses are some of the trendiest options du jour. Dress a few ladies in floral prints, stripes, dots and other fun patterns, then ask the other bridesmaids to sport solid-colored gowns in matching hues. This is the perfect way to bring a little bit of excitement to the bridal party style without the overdone feel of dressing everyone in busy patterns.

    blue and pattern bridesmaid dresses

  6. Think Beyond the Dress — Some bridesmaids won’t feel comfortable wearing a dress, and it doesn’t hurt that nothing is more in-style than the dressy jumpsuit. Allow one or two of your ladies to swap the traditional gown for a bridesmaid jumpsuit that screams chic! You can have the entire crew don the jumpsuit or just include it here and there for a runway-ready feel.

Matching Is for the Birds

When you’re picking out bridesmaid dresses, remember one thing: There’s no formula to fashion. Don’t feel like you have to follow a specific set of rules or prescriptions when you’re tying together your wedding theme. If you’re all about breaking boundaries or if you want your best girlfriends to feel their absolute best on your big day, you can’t go wrong with a little mixin’ and matchin’! 

Bridesmaid Dresses in Steel Blue

Steel Blue Wedding Inspiration

Steel blue bridesmaid dresses are elegant, chic and work beautifully from day to night. What's more, steel blue is an ideal color to choose for your wedding day for all sorts of reasons.

  • It blends beautifully with white flowers or contrasting vibrant shades.
  • It works through spring, summer and looks dazzling in winter

steel blue bridesmaid dresses

Above from left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Dress 1514, Dessy Bridesmaid Dress 3025

What about the style?

Don't feel either that you have to put your girls in the same style dress. Think about who would suit a halter neck, who'd look good in something strapless and who would look best in sleeves. If your girls are curvaceous, Dessy styles are all available in plus sizes. If you have young, pre-teen bridesmaids who are too old to be flowergirls but won't fit an adult style, then check out our Junior Bridesmaid dresses. For more inspiration read our previous advice on necklines to suit your bridesmaids and dresses for different types of girls.

steel blue bridesmaid dresses

Above from left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Dress 6728, Studio Design Bridesmaid Dress 4525

Your color reference for Dessy steel blue shades are Windsor Blue, Larkspur, Cloudy. Use our Pantone color reference tool and fabric swatches to get your exact color match and share with your vendors.

Dessy Real Wedding: Steel Blue Wedding

Dessy Real Wedding | Color: Cloudy | Fabric: Matte Chiffon & Lux Chiffon | Photographer: Sarah Anne Carson

A Final Touch

For your wedding bouquet, you could choose the blue shades that your bridesmaids are wearing. And then get the counter-contrast by having all-white bouquets made for your maids, to tie in with your wedding dress.

Now that would be super-stylish.