Bridal Style: Squad Goals

With an emphasis on individuality and fresh takes on coordination, check out advice on the top trends for your bridal party.
Written by
Sara Hubbard

A bride is only as happy as her bridesmaids – so keeping her best friends in tip-top style should be a priority at any wedding. Gone are the days of horrifying bridesmaids dresses, and instead we’re welcoming in a new era of mixing, matching and, most of all, making sure the bridal party looks and feels as good as the bride herself. Times are changing in the world of bridesmaids, and we’ve talked to experts on their forecasts for the next big trends in dresses, hair, makeup and more. If you’re at a loss for how to have a cohesive bridal party look while still letting your bridesmaids’ individuality shine through, take a scroll down to explore our tips!

Emphasize sustainability

“Weddings are going green! Brides are finding sustainable ways to help the environment and save money at the same time. For inexpensive alternatives for shopping bridesmaids dresses, shop a friend's closet or seek out off-the-rack bridal stores, such as Brides for a Cause, that offers a large selection of special occasion sample gowns at deeply discounted prices. Giving your bridal party the freedom to find their own dress allows them to buy attire they will wear again, which helps the wallet and the environment. TIP: shopping off-the-rack can be hit and miss, so budget in extra time, patience and return visits,” says Erin Scharf, founder of Brides for a Cause.

Let individuality shine through

“Give your bridal party the freedom to find their own dress based on your color palette. This will allow your bridal party to choose a dress that matches their own individual style and personality so they feel themselves during your wedding. Consider mixing different patterns, fabrics and textures, or shades of blues and greens for fresh, fashion forward looks,” Erin says.

Have fun with patterns

Mixing and matching patterns gives your wedding a fresh feel. Think of patterns as a neutral and take it from there. The key to making sure your bridal party doesn’t look like one of your grandmother’s quilts is to provide a unifying theme. Give your bridesmaids some guidelines – florals, lace, a certain color palette – and watch as you, the bride, are relieved of the stress of having to pick out dresses that please everyone.

Shake up traditional notions of coordination

There was a time when having every bridesmaid wear the exact same dress was in vogue, but 2021 is not that time. Instead, fashion-forward brides are opting for complementary but not identical looks. Not only does this provide more visual depth to your bridal party’s look, but it also ensures your best friends will feel most like themselves (and not resent you later for forcing them into unsightly dresses). “I'm finding more and more brides are wanting their bridal party to wear whatever they feel comfortable in. In order to execute this look while still looking cohesive, pick either one color or a color palette and assign one person to a color and have them match their dress to that color. You can reach out to dress shops and ask for swatches to hand out to your bridesmaids so they have a real-life example to go off of,” says Genevieve de la Cruz, founder of Infinity Weddings and Events by Gen.

Tie in your floral design

If you don’t know where to start with deciding on a look for your bridesmaids, consider turning to your floral design. Coordinating bridal party looks with the flora and fauna of your celebration’s aesthetic can lend itself to a subtle sense of cohesion and unity. If your arbor and aisle are draped in blush-hued arrangements, try a similar palette for your bridesmaids dresses to bring it all together. And be sure to have their bouquets be in contrasting tones to provide some dimension.