I had a couple questions in my inbox about how I was able to mix and match their dresses so well, and the answer to that is sort of two-fold.
The short answer is: my bridesmaids are awesome.
But the long answer is: it takes some planning on your end. And by that, I mean that you can't just tell your ladies "pick whatever you want but make sure to look fabulous!" and expect a coherent, cohesive look. (Really, that's just sort of terrifying and gives me like a full blown anxiety attack thinking about having to pick out a dress for someone's wedding and being responsible for the entire look of the day.)
While I wanted my girlfriends to have something they loved, I put some parameters on it to help them find a dress that both fit my vision and also made them feel beautiful. Some really important things to consider when giving guidelines for a mix-and-match bridesmaid dress:
Color. Probably the most crucial specifications you can give your friends is the color or theme they should look for. Make it easy for them -- I went to Home Depot and picked out paint chips in colors that I thought would coordinate. I think I gave them about 8 colors on the blush/coral spectrum, and then noted that I would love if at least one of them was in a gold dress. This way, they could literally take the paint chips out shopping with them to make sure the dress would match. Trust me: just saying "navy!" could result in about 20 different, clashing shades of navy.
Length/style. I kept this one relatively simple, saying I wanted them in short dress, because Texas. (I got married in October but you bet your ass it was still hot outside.) I also requested they avoid anything with sleeves, and outlined my vision of the ensemble -- romantic, flowy, and glamorous.
Materials. I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of satin in any form. Maybe it stems from the forever-regret I had after wearing it to a homecoming dance and subsequently being haunted by picture after picture of my massive wrinkles, but still. Not a fan. So I let my girlfriends know that I wasn't into having it in my wedding, and they easily acted accordingly! And I didn't have forever-regret about my wedding pictures. It's also certainly easier to list the fabrics you don't want, rather than telling them all they have to be in taffeta.
While it may be easy to give these instructions and sort of teeter on bridezilla territory, you don't have to be that bride. I included this information in my bridesmaid-ask boxes, along with an introduction of all my bridesmaids, info about our day, the paint chips, nail polish to match the theme, and of course, champagne.
What other tips do you think would be helpful when going for a mix-and-match bridesmaids theme?