The Sustainable Wedding: Mix & Match Bridesmaids Without Losing Your Mind

^^Romantic barn wedding inspo!

The secret is:: take control. 

I know this because I was a bride once, and I was also a bridal consultant and helped dozens of brides find their dream dress & perfect bridal party outfits.

As the bride, you want to feel like you are letting your friends pick something they like, but the truth is, they just want to make you happy and they’re probably a tiny bit afraid of you. So just take control of the situation.

If you let it, mix and match dresses can become a monthslong process - you’ll discover that one bridesmaid has accidentally gotten the wrong shade, or you end up with three navy and one sky blue instead of a perfect ombré effect you wanted.

So round up all your bridesmaids and bridesmen. Find a day that everyone can be in the same place at the same time. And about 2-3 weeks before this date, go shopping!

Get everyone’s sizes, keeping in mind that a lot of people fluctuate a size in either direction. Check your local thrift store, ThredUp, Christy Dawn, Reformation - any and all of your favorite secondhand and sustainable shops, and order up 2-3 options for each bridesmaid. Keep in mind that one bridesmaid might like the dress you have picked out for someone else. :)

**Wedding hack: if you love Reformation, but think it’s too expensive, try Rent the Runway. RTR rents Ref gowns for about $55-$60.**

If you want help defraying the cost pre-ordering all these options, ask all of your bridesmaid to chip in the estimated cost of their dress in advance. Maybe $100? And then work out the balance when they/you choose the dress.

Have everyone try on dresses together and make a decision. The “together” part is essential - you’ll be able to see your mix and match side by side in one day. YOU (the bride) make the final decision. Seriously. There will be a moment when you realize that every time your friends put on a dress, they look at you before they say anything, because they are trying to anticipate whether you like the dress and how they should react. Just simplify the process and take charge. :)

No straining over a computer screen or drawn out negotiations over text. Try on the dresses, decide who will wear what, square away who is paying for what, and pack the remaining dresses up and send them back!

Do this a couple months before the wedding in case any of your bridesmaids want to have their dresses tailored for the big day! If you have bridesmaids coming from far away, you could combine the bachelorette and the try on session!

So, whether you are renting or buying, here’s the game plan:

  1. Get all the bridesmaids/bridesmen in one place on one day, several months before the wedding.

  2. See the dresses side by side.

  3. Choose the lineup!

  4. Settle up payment.

  5. Done!! 

(A QUICK ASIDE: Another solution is to rent! Either choose a dress from Rent the Runway, or another rental service, or bring your bridal party to the store and have them all try on dresses together! RTR will give you a discount that you can use on a rehearsal outfit, and you can even share it with guests, if you want!)

And because I can’t resist weddings, here’s some inspo to get you started!

Relaxed Beach Wedding in Neutrals


Elegant Black Tie Winter Wedding

If you want to talk about your wedding or are overwhelmed and don’t want to shop for the mix and match looks yourself, contact me or book a Styling Session! We can talk strategy or I can even shop for you. :)