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!


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.

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.

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). “2021 Spring and Summer brides are loving to 'mix' it up for their bridesmaids.  More brides than ever are letting their ladies wear what they feel best in, while still providing a few parameters.  Brides are doing: same dress/different color, different dress/same color, or different dress/different color,” says Cheryl Thompson, owner of Adorned Bridal.

Give yourself time to plan

“Whatever you're doing, to pull off a cohesive 'mix-n-match' look, there is a lot more planning involved than it may seem- you don't want it to look like a jumbled mess, taking away from you on your big day! If maids are choosing their own styles you can give them free range, or you can be a little more deliberate and start by selecting a few dresses that look good together, then let them choose from those dresses.  Remember, if you want them all in the same color, you'll need to at least stick with the same designer so you achieve the same shade throughout,” Cheryl says.

Keep it organized

It’s important to give your bridesmaids freedom, but remember to enforce some boundaries as well to keep a streamlined look. “If you're selecting a range of shades/colors/textures, you should assign who will wear what.  Start by thinking about the order your maids will stand- you don't want all of one color clustered together, or for it to look like an 'every other' pattern.  This may involve an appointment where you arrange and rearrange dress colors until you get the order that you think looks best!” Cheryl says.