Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Mismatched Coral Bridesmaid Dresses

You know how some people just have a color?  Mine is "Bonnie Pink"!

The night we got engaged, I was wearing a Bonnie Pink dress.  My mother-in-law asked me mere hours after the proposal if I knew what my colors would be, and I just held out my dress and said YEP! 

"Bonnie Pink" doesn't translate for most people though, so in real life, it's a pinky shade of coral.  And of course it was one of my wedding colors!  I couldn't leave Tommy out though, so I threw in Navy as a nod to him.

My bridesmaids were at crazy different stages in their lives - high school, college, grad student, young professional, and ranged from 15-27 years old.  I wasn't comfortable pushing a pricey dress on them, and I was 100% certain that a dress a 27 year old young professional would like would be pure torture for the younger bunch.

Besides, I loved that whimsical look of mismatched bridesmaids dresses.

I've seen a number of blogs on the wedding sites lamenting the challenge of a perfectly mismatched bridal party, so I have a few tips!

First up, I looked for ideas and pinned about 500 of them to my Coral Bridesmaids Dresses Pinterest board.  I added prices and links to where they could be purchased, so that the girls could go with any of these they might like.  (Note: Nobody ordered anything off my Pinterest page, but it was fun to make!)

Then I put a few of the best examples in a document with some easy rules:

1. Pinky-coral in color
2. Knee length
3. Sleeveless or strapless
4. Not jersey knit
5. Not slutty
6. Something you feel comfortable and pretty in!

I emailed the doc to the girls, and let them choose from there!  Style, fit, price, ... all up to them.

Easy, right?  Wrong!

Everyone was really concerned that the color wouldn't be right, or that I wouldn't like it.  At the same time, it was early spring and coral dresses weren't on the racks yet.  Slowly but surely everyone found awesome options (especially after introducing them to online shopping!), but it took a while.

To everyone's surprise, they looked amazing together!  They suited everyone's personality, body type, and budget.

The dresses were from Macy's, Banana Republic, TJ Maxx, Ideeli, and more, and ranged from $20 - $120.  My Mom did the alterations, saving the girls a few extra bucks along the way.  In some photos, the mismatched bridesmaids dresses kind of look like ombre bridesmaid dresses.  Still fun!

For shoes, I asked them to do a nude to medium brown leather - patent or natural.  I just wanted them to be comfortable in whatever shoes they chose!  I figured these wouldn't stand out too much, and they'd be able to wear them again.

Do you like the mismatched dress trend?  Have you seen it turn out disastrously?  Share your stories in the comments!


  1. I love the last photo, I call it your "Vanity Fair" type photo shoot. You all look like professional models!

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I currently want to have mismatched coral dresses for my bridesmaids! I thought it would be an easy process - they can choose whatever they want to wear and in their price range. However, my wedding is in June and it may be too late to shop for dresses in store (coral isn't in season any more). Would you recommend just ordering dresses instead?

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! That's a tough one - coral dresses may not be as available through the winter, but they should be back in the spring. If May comes around, they could always head to David's Bridal - they keep a LOT of coral dresses in stock. I bet you won't have too much trouble though :)

  3. Hey Bonnie, thanks for sharing this post. I got a good idea from this post. I have planned to buy Vera Wang bridesmaid dresses but I was confused about color. I think pink is the best color to choose for my bridesmaid dresses. Thanks once again.

  4. Hi Ive been searching for a dress just like one you have pictured and was hoping you could help me out by telling me where it is from. It is in the manaquin picture, bottom row, second from the left (has a symetrical ruffels). Thanks!!

  5. fantastic tips for color bridesmaid dresses.


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