Bridesmaids do not all have to match! Your girls will look and feel much better if they are in a style that suits their body type and personality.
It is normal to want some level of control over what your attendants wear, however with the help of a good tailor you can individualise their outfits for a relatively small expense. My girls changed up their tops a bit to allow for more (or less) cleavage as they each preferred. They had their skirts tailored to the length that suited them best. Allowing your girls to choose their hair and makeup also helps keep them relaxed and, provided you inform your make up artist not to make them too different (an English rose and a black lipped vamp look probably won’t complement each other!), it is not necessary to have each bridesmaid a clone of the other.
Originally we were going to hem my pregnant bridesmaid’s dress so it was the same length as the other girls’ skirts. However once she put on the dress, in all her glowing pregnant glory, it just looked so beautiful as-is we just could not bring ourselves to change it. She felt more comfortable and I loved the look of each girl being slightly different. Keeping the shoes the same helped to bring the whole look together.
Choose your bridesmaids based on who you want standing next to you on one of the most important days of your life, not whether they are large or small, pregnant, buff, short or tall. Again a good tailor can help you here. Fabric from a dress or skirt can be used as a wrap, belt or bolero if you find that a previously slim bridesmaid is pregnant by the time you have the wedding. Find a block colour dress (that flatters the bump) in one of the colours or tones used in your bridesmaids’ outfits and use the fabric from the original skirt or dress to fashion another item that can bring the girls together without having to desperately purchase new outfits for everyone.
Keep your attendants happy (and warm) by considering cool weather options and flat shoes for later. I had little “care packages” gifted to the girls the night before. They consisted of a tonal wrap to keep them warm during photos, a warm long cardigan to wrap on later in the evening, flat silver ballet flats to change into when the dancing started up and little necessities for the night – a mini fragrance, band-aids, lip balm and mints.
Don’t forget that your groom may want to feel fashionable too! Net-a-Porter’s brother site, Mr Porter has fabulous cufflinks, bow ties and other accessories that will make your man, and his best men, feel special.
While you will want the boys in the bridal party to complement the girls, putting the boys in a tie that matches the colour of the bridesmaids dresses is just one way to do it (and often not a super successful way depending on your colour choice). Instead introduce the colour theme to the male side of the bridal party using ribbon to hold together the flowers in the buttonhole, colorful socks for a bit of fun or a muted version of the colour in the pocket-chief.