Who says your bridal party has to be a parade of pink tulle gowns? Mismatched dresses are the latest in nontraditional wedding trends, but it doesn’t exactly happen organically. We've come up with six scenarios (and what to say in each) for giving your ladies some options but not relinquishing total stylistic control.

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brand   style white runway

Pick the Brand and Let Them Choose the Style

Your maid of honor looks gorgeous in a sweetheart neckline, but your other maids vetoed strapless bras. A better idea: Choose one brand and color and let the style be up to them. This way, it streamlines the options but allows your friends to choose whatever they think works best for their body type. And when everyone is comfortable, everyone is happy.

florals mismatched bridesmaid dresses

Give a Specific Theme

Mini florals, glittery sequins, pastel lace. Find a motif that’s easy to explain (and to understand). You can even send photos to further define your idea before letting your girls loose to discover their own version of garden-party chic.

shades of gray mismatched bridesmaid dresses

Decide on a Color Palette

Tell your girls the dress should be two things: long and [insert color of your choice here]. Of course, you’ll have to accept that gray or blue can mean very different things to each and every person. But the result will be a variety of shades that perfectly complement one another—making for even better photos.

blue options mismatched bridesmaid dresses

Offer a Limited Selection

If you’re uncomfortable relinquishing total control over your bridal party’s sartorial choices (we get it), choose three or four styles for your bridesmaids and then let them pick from your edited collection. This way you can guarantee a mix-and-match look without any far-out surprises.

skirts mismatched bridesmaid dresses

Go Halvesies With a Skirt or Top

Bridal-party separates aren’t just for the guys anymore. Pick one half of the equation, like a pretty statement skirt, then let your bridesmaids decide what to pair it with.

RELATED: Bridesmaids Separates Will Change the Way You Think About Wedding Attire Forever

general vibe mismatched bridesmaid dresses

Really Let Loose With a General Vibe

Give your bridesmaids free range (almost) by telling them just to stick to the theme of the wedding with no silhouette, length, print, pattern or color requirements at all. Curate a Pinterest board so they can get a sense of your style, then let them find the bridesmaid dress that speaks to them. This option is best left to super-chill brides who really just want their bridal party to be relaxed and ready to dance.

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