Your wedding is a special day—that’s why you’re paying attention to so many details, like napkin colors and seating charts. It may be easy to choose the color scheme you want, or the favors that match your vision. But how do you blend what you want with what will make your bridesmaids comfortable — especially when it comes to bridesmaid dresses?

Traditionally the bridal party is told exactly what dress to wear, but recent trends have been more accommodating. Bridesmaids have wiggle room, so they feel more comfortable on the day of. With this trend-turned-norm, how do you ensure that your entourage stands out? Consider one of these alternatives to give your special day a unique twist.

Maxi Skirts

Maxi-skirt bridesmaid dress

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The skirt/shirt combo has been growing in popularity—it allows bridesmaids to choose the shirt that matches their personal style the most. But put a spin on it with maxi skirts. This will keep the formal tone of a more traditional floor-length dress, while still allowing flexibility for those in your party. The added bonus of a maxi skirt? It’s so long that you can be less picky about the shoes—which are often the hardest part of the ensemble.

Vary Skirt Length

Different length bridesmaid dresses

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Want the best of old world and new world? Give the bridesmaids a color palette, and let them choose the skirt. This way, you end up with a variety of skirt lengths that all tie together by color.

Bonus Tip: Choose a single fabric for the skirts to be made with, like chiffon. Even the exact same color looks mismatched on different materials, so avoid that by choosing a single fabric option.

Add Flair

Bridesmaid dresses

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Your dress doesn’t have to be the only one with a little pizzazz! Choose a dress that has ruffles, sequins, or lace on it, so your bridesmaids feel more important. Of course, it’s your day, so don’t choose a dress that will compete with yours. But don’t be afraid to have fun with it! Darker colors—like navy blues—will help your white dress stand out, so you don’t have to worry about the frills of the bridal party.

Bridesmaid’s Choice

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses

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Let your crew choose their own color! Tell them to pick whichever makes them feel the most confident in photos. If you’re worried that someone will choose pink for your yellow-and-navy theme, give them a single color (e.g. shades of blue) or a few colors to choose from (e.g. navy, gray, or blush).

Black & Gray

Black and gray bridesmaid dresses

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All this talk of complementary colors and fabrics too much? Keep it elegant and simple with shades of black and gray for your big day. Those colors will match almost any color scheme, and there’s a good chance your bridal party will re-wear a black cocktail dress (instead of the yellow one with the ruffles!). This will also allow any bouquets to really pop in photos.

Pants

Bridesmaid pants

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If skirts aren’t your thing, or you’re having some (or all) men in you bridal party, keep it super easy with black pants with a colored shirt—in any style, shade, or material! This option is especially ideal for outdoor weddings (so no one is preoccupied with troublesome wind) or a late fall/winter wedding (giving everyone a little more warmth). For an even bolder look, ask that the shoes match the color of the shirts.

6 Ideas for Bridesmaid Dresses

Conclusion

Create a statement on your wedding day with more than centerpieces or the venue—have the bridesmaid dresses be part of your overall scheme. With so many options, you’re sure to find one that combines comfort and cohesion.

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