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Outfitting your pals has the potential for drama—friends don’t let friends wear taffeta! Instead, turn to these modern riffs on getting your besties ready for the big day. They’ll thank you for it.
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Dare to Be Different
Despite what Aunt Suzy insists, your pals don’t have to sport all one cut or color. Let each bridesmaid exude her own personal style: after all, you hand-picked each and every girl for a reason!
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Let ’Em Shine
Who says your entourage has to be understated? Sequins, beads, and studs can add sparkle and texture to your ceremony without being too flashy, as long as you keep dress shapes simple and necklines demure. Bonus: No major jewelry required.
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Go to Any Length
Mixing hemline heights lets everyone choose what works best on her body. Plus, it makes the gang look more interesting as a whole. Change it up within the group, or keep the ’maids in short frocks and let your MOH stand out in a longer number—or vice versa.
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Yes, lace has traditionally been reserved for the bride, but we love the way it adds romantic texture to your girls’ gowns, too (or just your MOH, as shown here). Make it fun—and not so bridal—by incorporating color: Bold tones get noticed at an outdoor fête, and subtler shades fit a formal affair.
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Offer Up Options
Even if assigning one gown to all of your closest friends isn’t your thing, you’ll still want to limit their choices. (Let them run free and your ceremony look becomes a crapshoot.) Have attendants pick from a selection of gowns. Post them on a Pinterest board, e-mail the link, and have each pal claim a style by writing “mine!” in the comments to avoid any who-wore-it-best mishaps.
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Mix Your Fabrics
No need to be a one-material girl. A range of textures, from flowing tulle and sleek silk to boho chiffon, mingle nicely together if they’re in the same shade.
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Make Some White Noise
Thank you, Pippa Middleton. Bridesmaids can now wear white—and appear insanely chic. Add personality with accessories in bright colors or gleaming gold.
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Coordinate the Details
If you’re having a variety of dresses meet up at the altar, hair and makeup can tie the looks together. Give your girls the same ruby-colored lipstick, as shown here, or ask that they all wear a relaxed chignon or other style.
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Put Them in Prints
Once upon a time, bridesmaids wore only a single, solid head-to-toe hue. Not anymore. For a fresh feel, play with pattern. If you’re not ready to commit to a parade of prints walking down your aisle, try one on just your MOH.
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Play With Prints in the Palette
Though only two are patterned, all these dresses look stunning together because they’re in the same color scheme. Stick to a palette of no more than three shades to keep your lineup charming, not chaotic. It’s also fun to gather similarly themed patterns.
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Gift Your Girls Early
Ruin the surprise—please! Tell your posse now what you’ll be giving them later, whether it’s a pair of pumps, a necklace, a cute clutch, or the dress itself. That way, they can plan ahead and budget for the rest of their ensemble.