How to Create a Cohesive Bridal Party Look

bridal party
Photo: Lisette Gatliff Photography

Start the day off right. “After all the planning that has gone into your big day, keeping your day’s styling cohesive will ensure your day is everything you dreamed of. One of the most memorable moments of your day will be getting ready with your besties in your matching sleepwear or robes. Matching back your morning moment’s styling to the rest of your day is the best way to ensure your photo gallery will flow from your getting ready moments, to walking down the aisle and into dancing through the night.” —Kristy Breed & Helen Semovski, Director & Designer, Le Rose Stories

bridal party getting ready pajamas
Photo: Le Rose Stories

Remember — it’s not your wedding party’s day to shine. “Keep the look simple. For groomsmen, a three-piece suit with tie and pocket square that match the bridesmaid dresses is a perfect option.” —Josh Fink, CEO, The Modern Groom

groom and groomsmen
Photo: Tiffany J Photography via The Modern Groom

Don’t stress too much about matching patterns perfectly. “Once you establish your primary wedding color palette, along with the theme of your wedding day, styling your bridal party will come together gracefully. A big tip is to not stress so much about having matching patterns or textures, because dresses and suits will not all match cohesively. Instead, have fun with mixing up patterns and textures, such as velvet, floral patterns, contrasting light and dark colors. But make sure whatever style dresses are chosen for bridesmaids, makes them feel confident as well, because that will show in the photos.” —Casey Stamouli, Casey & Co. Events

mix and match bridesmaid dresses
Photo: Kati Rosado Photography via Eventlightenment Planning

Get shoes that match. “Men are simple creatures; don’t complicate it making them choose between different shades of brown or Oxford, cap toe or monk strap shoes. At The Modern Groom, you can choose to add a shoe package with your suits so you can all be in the same shoes (and if your budget allows, this makes an excellent groomsman gift!)” —Fink

Give a little flexibility to wedding party members, while still being clear about what you’re envisioning. “Unique wedding attendant fashion has been one of our favorite trends from the 2022 season. Gone are the days of stuffy and simple matching looks, while standout high fashion pieces are hopefully here to stay. Many couples have stressed to their wedding attendants their desire to allow for personalized and comfortable looks that they can wear for years after the wedding. This flexibility and freedom, albeit music to wedding attendant ears, can quickly turn a bit incohesive if the right steps are not taken early on. We recommend putting together a simple one sheet document for VIP wedding attendants which includes an assortment of preferred styles, colors, examples outfits, and links to stores where these looks can be found. Simply telling attendants to purchase something in “Dusty Blue,” for example, can sometimes be a tricky feat, but outlining color shades or purchasing resources will make the buying process a breeze! If that still feels like too much responsibility to take on, consider hiring a wedding stylist. Let a professional do the work for you and help curate each wedding attendant’s personal look and an overall cohesive group. One of our personal favorites: Gabrielle Hurwitz out of LA/NY!” —Ari Busch, Operations Manager and Lead Planner at Bridal Bliss

mix and match bridesmaid dresses
Photo: Alex Lasota Photography via Bridal Bliss

Buy, don’t rent. “We’re all built differently, and rentals have to err on the large side. Big, baggy, ill-fitting suits make for sloppy wedding pictures. For around the same price as a rental, you can buy suits that are sized specifically for the individual, and then they can get them tailored specifically to them. Not only will your guys look awesome for the photos, but they have something they can wear again and again.” —Fink

Make sure there’s a level of cohesiveness throughout the group. “While I am a firm believer that weddings are meant to be a personalized reflection of the couple, there is absolutely a level of ‘cohesiveness’ that needs to be achieved. With members of your bridal party likely having varying heights, body types, and personal styles, feel comfortable with letting them choose attire that highlights their favorite features. So many sources for dresses and other wedding attire offer several styles in a single color or pattern to ensure that even if the dress silhouettes are different, that the color matching is on point. Or, as an alternative, consider providing a palette of colors in the same family (i.e. varying shades of pink/blush) or a complimenting palette of colors, such as a fall palette that welcomes burgundy, gold, and sage green so that it falls within a prescribed look. Another option is to choose a color and then allow a mix of a plain style and a patterned style within that color to give some texture and life to the group when they are photographed together!” —Alexandra Denniston, Owner & Lead Planner, Eventlightenment Planning

mix and match bridesmaid dresses
Photo: Yasmin K Photography via Bridal Bliss

Help your bridal party feel their most comfortable and confident. “One of the best things to do is to give your bridesmaids a color and let them choose a dress that fits their body style and personality. Let them choose from various hairstyles and go for a similar — not identical — makeup look! This ensures that everyone looks and feels their best. The days of identical bridesmaids are long gone, and I don’t see it returning anytime soon.” —Taylor Brione Ballard, CWP, Experiences By Taylor Brione

mix and match bridesmaid dresses
Photo: Hannah Berglund Photography