How to Mix ‘n Match Bridesmaid Dresses


Bridesmaid dresses don’t need to match to look great. Get tips on mixing and matching gowns from dress designer Joanna August.

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Bye bye mandatory matchy-matchy bridesmaids’ frock. It’s all about personality and individual style now. Molly Sims, Christina Hendricks, and Miranda Lambert are some of the recent celebs who have outfitted their ladies in mismatched numbers (see photo gallery). So did I!

One shoulder, halter, strapless, blue, yellow, rose, chiffon, silk, lace – the mash up possibilities are endless. Blame Carrie Bradshaw for igniting the trend? We should all genuflect on behalf of I.S.D.B. (International Society of Disgruntled Bridesmaids), instead.

“Mixing and matching the colors of bridesmaids’ dresses is not only an opportunity for the bride to express her personality, but also gives her bridesmaids a feeling of importance and individuality,” says bridal designer Joanna August, who also styled the bridesmaids dresses for my wedding this past May.

I gravitated toward the idea of a palette because I wanted to imbue my wedding with unconventional flair.  In the end, we went with a soft blend of colors hinged on my ivory, gray-blue and blush color scheme (picked by the readers of my Plan My Wedding blog ( It was also important to me to choose shades that flattered the complexions of each individual bridesmaid, and to have my MOH (and twin sister!) stand out in a bold blue.

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

Courtesy of Allison Kornberg Walch

Still feeling leery about mixing and matching? Here are Joanna August’s tips on how to successfully accomplish the look:

1. Make sure there is a unifying thread that holds the color palette together.

2. You want to be able to describe the varying shades with one word; i.e., sherbets, metallics, blues, purples.

3. To add interest, choose a spectrum of light to bright shades so that at least one of the colors pops from the rest.

4. Make sure none of the colors clash. Any two colors should be able to stand next to each other.

5. If you are reticent to take on the mix n’ match trend full throttle, consider starting by putting your maid of honor in a separate color.


Picking a palette and involving your bridesmaids in the process is also wildly fun. I highly suggest it!



Allison Kornberg Walch can be reached via email at

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