Alternative bridesmaid style ideas that go beyond the dress

Unique bridesmaid style in sequined dresses and white blouses

Blush by B

 Although a majority of brides choose to have the women in their bridal party wear dresses on the big day, some brides are choosing to get more creative with alternative bridesmaid style ideas. Especially during the warmer months, a dress can feel too heavy, formal or out-of-place depending on the location and/or theme of the wedding.

By foregoing a traditional dress and instead choosing an outfit that consists of, for example, a blouse and a skirt, you’re adding a unique touch to your wedding day and giving your bridesmaids and yourself more options to choose from – not to mention, the girls might actually be able to wear the outfit long after the wedding day has come and gone. You also open up the realm of possibilities as far as each individual girl’s body type – you can choose to mix and match outfits that flatter everybody and make your bridesmaids feel like a million bucks, and you also can introduce more of your wedding colors and palette into their ensembles.

If you are contemplating going down this route or already have chosen nontraditional and unique bridesmaid outfits, keep these “con” factors in mind. Just like anything – even if you were having all the girls wear a dress – you simply won’t please everybody. And, that’s okay! Do your best to accommodate your bridesmaids’ wants and needs, but at the end of the day, it’s your wedding and vision, so the girl’s need to be respectful and wear what you ask them to. Also, try to be mindful of cost – while paying for a dress up front can at times be expensive, separate pieces also can add up quickly.

Now, onto the fun part – inspiration!

TOP AND SKIRT SEPARATES

Because of the various styles of tops and skirts available, the options are pretty much endless if you choose to have your bridesmaids in separates. Here are just a few of my favorite ideas and looks.

1. Coordinating Outfits

If you still want to keep things rather traditional, opt to have your girls in all matching tops and skirts for a cohesive look.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Christine Pobke via Green Wedding Shoes

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Vera Hogenson Photography

2. Mix & Match

Would you rather allow your girls to pick their outfit based on your wedding palette and any guidelines you set forth? This can lead to a fun-looking bridal party – encourage your girls to mix and match who wears what and to coordinate what girls should wear a certain color, skirt style, etc.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Elisa Bricker

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Mark Brooke Photography via Wedding Chicks

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Ryan Ray via Green Wedding Shoes

3. Pattern & Texture

Don’t be afraid of pattern and texture – if done correctly, it can look chic and sophisticated. You rarely can go wrong with stripes, sequins or florals.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

A.J. Dunlap Photography via Wedding Chicks

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Green Apple Photography via Style Me Pretty

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Stripes and Polka Dots

4. Maxi Skirts

Especially during the warmer months, maxi skirts are a favorite for any girl. They also are flattering on pretty much any body type and come in a variety of fabrics and colors.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Chantel Lauren Designs

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

John Benavente Photography

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Josh Gruetzmacher via Green Wedding Shoes

5. Tulle Skirts

Let your bridal party members channel their inner Carrie Bradshaw by dressing them up in tulle skirts! This current fashion-forward trend will look stylish and whimsical in photos. Etsy and Shabby Apple are great resources for finding these skirts at affordable prices.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Katie Kett Photography via Style Me Pretty

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Tutus Chic Originals via Etsy

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Dawn Alexandra Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

6. Crop Tops

Nothing screams summer more than a crop top, and when paired with the right bottom, they can lend an authentic bohemian vibe. Just a word of caution: if this is what you’re leaning toward, be sure to discuss it with all your bridesmaids first – not everybody is comfortable with baring their midsection.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

via Ok Bridal

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Levi Stolove Photography via The Lane

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Desiree Marie Designs via Etsy

ROMPERS & JUMPSUITS

It doesn’t get more comfortable or summery than a romper or jumpsuit. Opt for one-pieces in chiffon or light, billowy fabric to keep the outfits from looking too casual. Bold accessories and the right shoe pairings also are critical in keeping a romper or jumpsuit looking refined.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Kelsey Combe Photography via The Knot

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Mandilynn Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Fiona Claire Photography via Want That Wedding

SHORTS

If you’re having a rather laid-back and casual wedding, why not consider allowing your bridesmaids to rock a pair of shorts? Shorts these days come in all different lengths, so it’s pretty easy to find a cut and length that will flatter everybody’s body type.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Birds of a Feather Photo via Kate Loves Photography

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Audra’s Photography

JACKETS & CARDIGANS

While bridesmaids typically pack a light jacket or cardigan to throw on over their ensemble later in the day as the temperatures cool, consider incorporating it into their all-day outfit! This is an opportunity to incorporate more colors from your wedding palette, and it’s also a practical option for brides that want to dress their bridal party more modestly.

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Jessica Lorren via Southern Weddings

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Stacy Kokes Photography

Alternative bridesmaid outfits for summer

Black & Hue Photography via Bridal Detective

What do you think, inspired yet? If you choose to dress your bridal party in separates or a nontraditional outfit, be sure to shop both in store and online – online retailers such as ModCloth, LuLu’s and Chicwish offer unique pieces at competitive price points.

What are your thoughts on nontraditional bridesmaid outfits? Are you a fan, or will you stick to dresses? Tell us in the comments below!

 

karlyandersonbioKarly Anderson is a born and raised Midwest girl currently residing outside Milwaukee, Wis. Her blog, Miss in the Midwest, chronicles her take on beauty, life and style in the Heartland. Catch up with Karly on InstagramFacebook and Twitter