We’ve recently had several of our brides mix and match bridesmaids dresses in completely unexpected and super fashion forward ways. It helps of course, that they are in the Bridal design business… So, we asked the ladies of Dee Hutton (both recent brides and business partners, whose weddings were featured in the current issue of Brides Magazine) for their top tips on how to pull a mix and match bridal party off successfully. All the images are Corbin Gurkin.
We’ve always disliked the word “bridesmaid dress” or “maid of honor dress”. If you think about it, in any other context, if you went up to someone and said “wow, what a beautiful bridesmaid dress” or “you make such a beautiful bridesmaid”, it’s almost an insult…We think that bridesmaid lines should be about making the most important girls in your life look & feel their best. In our opinion, the goal is to have them get the compliment “wow, you look beautiful” not “wow, you’re a beautiful bridesmaid”.
To be honest, control is key to pull off a high fashion different bridesmaid line. Being comfortable saying yes or no and giving hard guidelines is important to achieve a flawless high fashion bridesmaid line. Traditional bridesmaid dresses and the ease that goes around that process is there for a reason, so with all the moving parts that go into a wedding, make sure you really care about spending the time and effort to have your bridesmaid line make a splash because it does take a bit more work.
Pinterest can be your best friend in wedding planning but especially in this department. Finding an image of a bridal party that you love & want to re-create is super helpful because then you’ll have an image to pass along to your bridesmaids so they know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and it will be even easier to assign colors/fabrics etc and achieve the look you’re going for when everyone’s on the same page.
The bridesmaid line that I designed for my wedding is very different from the one I designed for Steph’s wedding. For mine, I basically wanted to take the traditional idea of a bridesmaid line and turn it on its head. I really wanted it to feel like an incredible runway show, with each piece being a surprise and different from the one before & after. Because I mixed fabrics and put everyone in a different color, making sure that all the different shades of colors went together beautifully was incredibly important. I focused on making each bridesmaid look incredible independently and as a group. To pull this off, assigning each bridesmaid a color would be my suggestion and then as each girl finalizes their dress, create a mock version of your bridesmaid line using pictures of their dresses to make sure that it’s all coming together ok. Not only will that incentivize ladies to get moving on choosing their dresses, but it also allows them to find a dress that they are obsessed with and would wear again to a black tie party. For me, the bridesmaids and their gowns were the wow factor of my wedding and stood out because there was no other color worked in to the decor.
Steph’s wedding was more traditional as Steph is very traditional in nature. Her wedding was based around the idea of pastels, so I took the idea of a traditional pastel hued all chiffon bridesmaid line and blew it up to feel like a collection of gowns that a designer was showing together. Each style was different and all the bridesmaids walked down in a line starting with a bright mint, to ice mint, to blues, to periwinkles to lavenders and then finally to pinks (it was a beautiful gradation of colors). To re-create this, I would again assign colors but also pick one fabric that all the dresses are in (i.e. silk chiffon etc). I wanted Steph’s bridesmaids to fit seamlessly with the decor of her wedding/reception tent and just be an extension of the pastel wonderland aesthetic that she was going for.