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Wedding themes and colour schemes

A second article on the trending wedding themes and colour schemes I see as a wedding photographer: this time the “bridesmaids palette” or (as it is often called) the “mismatched bridesmaids” approach.

For generations it was traditional for the bridesmaids to have the same dress in the same colour – the rainbow wedding I looked at last time was a good example, though unusual for having black dresses. More recently I’ve photographed a good few weddings where the dresses have the same material but two or three or more designs, to suit the bridesmaids different shapes and sizes. Perhaps that merits an article in itself – watch this space!

I don’t much like the phrase “mismatched bridesmaids”. It sounds kind of negative and as if this approach doesn’t work, but the term seems to have stuck. I would rather talk about the bridesmaids being given a colour palette within which to find their own dresses. This is a positive way of looking at it, and I can see all kinds of advantages in going the palette way.

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Mismatched bridesmaids: freedom of expression within a palette

I have written portfolio pages about both the weddings I want to feature today. Sophia & Richard and Sam & Ollie‘s weddings were two of the most memorable of a cracking year for me as a wedding photographer. Both weddings showed the benefits of using a colour palette, with a good number and variety of bridesmaids to dress for the day.

Sam’s four maids bought their own dresses with the instruction to go for a soft pink. With the freedom to choose within the palette, each bridesmaid has chosen a dress which works for her – both in terms of her body type and personal style. 

Sophia’s even larger group has a correspondingly broader palette. The three flower girls (nieces of the bride) have matching mustard outfits, with the older bridesmaids and maids of honour in a range of darker autumnal shades. The groom’s striking ochre jacket completes the picture.

The colour-scheme starts with the bride’s own wonderful auburn hair, of course, and everything else takes its cue from there. Richard being blond is no hindrance, and with straw and dried grasses in the buttonholes and bouquets there was a real harvest feel – in glorious June!

Sam’s bouquet, and the flowers in the church, emphasised pinks and whites, making the perfect accessories for white and pink dresses.

Richard’s groomsmen (seen as a block in the centre of this wedding guests photograph) wore matching dark suits but had freedom to choose a tie within the darker tones of the palette

Ollie’s groomsmen had even greater freedom – suits and ties and no rules at all. But they looked great and had a great time!

Mismatched bridesmaids: What are the advantages?

There is a bunch of good things about mismatched bridesmaids – or giving the freedom of the palette!

  • It can look absolutely great – these two weddings prove it! As a wedding photographer, it doesn’t get much better than that autumnal feast in Coventry.
  • It allows for the bridesmaids to choose styles that really suit them and make them really comfortable. Few gaggles of bridesmaids are all the same shape, let alone personality. This way, all can feel at ease.
  • Financially, it helps. Very often, the bridesmaids in a “mismatched” set buy their own dresses, and with a view to being able to use and reuse their garments many times. The days of the dress that screams “bridesmaid” and which is unusable on any other occasion are over. And, perhaps, so are the days of the bride having to buy 6, 7 or 8 dresses!

If you are planning your wedding, feel free to contact me. Let’s talk about wedding themes and how I can capture the big day as your wedding photographer!

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