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Bridal Style: Squad Goals

With an emphasis on individuality and fresh takes on coordination, experts weigh in on the top bridesmaid dress trends they’re seeing in 2021.
Sara Hubbard

A bride is only as happy as her bridesmaids – so keeping her best friends in tip-top style should be a priority at any wedding. Gone are the days of horrifying bridesmaids dresses, and instead we’re welcoming in a new era of mixing, matching and, most of all, making sure the bridal party looks and feels as good as the bride herself. Times are changing in the world of bridesmaids, and we’ve talked to experts on their forecasts for the next big trends in dresses, hair, makeup and more. If you’re at a loss for how to have a cohesive bridal party look while still letting your bridesmaids’ individuality shine through, take a scroll down to explore our tips!

Play with color palettes

Whatever hues you choose this season, just know that you can’t go wrong. From bright pops of color to more traditional pastels, the entire rainbow is up for grabs.“Unique palettes that incorporate jewel tones, sunset oranges, and beautiful teal shades will reign supreme this year,” Quinn says. Moriah Block, content manager at A’BULAE, is excited to see new twists on lighter options. “Pastels are in! One color we don't often see is a lilac or light purple. This color is so fun for spring, and a gorgeous color on anyone,” she says.  

Let your bridesmaids’ personal styles shine

“2021 is the year of body positivity! Mix and match different silhouettes, fabrics, and even colors in your bridal party to ensure all your bridesmaids look their best and radiate confidence as they celebrate with you,” says Quinn Mavetz, bridal consultant at Angelique’s Bridal. Give your bridesmaids a set of guidelines – certain colors, fabrics or silhouettes – and then let them have fun picking out numbers that make them feel their best. “I know we personally love to see variations in fabric choices over big color choices. Play around with different textures like silk, chiffon, and even tulle for a whimsical twist on a classic,” says photographer Alexandra Robyn. After all, nothing’s worse than photos in which your bridal party looks miserable and uncomfortable.

Don’t let trends dictate your beauty choices

Hair and makeup are the most personal aspects of anyone’s look. With different colorings, face shapes and hair types, it’s impossible for the newest fads to flatter all of your bridesmaids’ unique forms of beauty. Instead, Jessica Mae, the founder and creative director of WarPaint International, suggests taking a personalized approach. “While it’s fun to be inspired by the current makeup and hair style trends to get ideas, ultimately we find most brides want to look like a more dressed up version themselves on their wedding day. Sometimes brides and parties can get caught up in what the hottest new trend is and unfortunately the trends don’t always align with their personal style,” she says. 

Shake up traditional notions of coordination

There was a time when having every bridesmaid wear the exact same dress was in vogue, but 2021 is not that time. Instead, fashion-forward brides are opting for complementary, but not identical, looks. Not only does this provide more visual depth to your bridal party’s aesthetic, but it also ensures your best friends will feel most like themselves (and not resent you later for forcing them into unsightly dresses). Sarah Trotter, owner of Lasting Impressions Weddings, suggests having fun with patterns. “I am personally loving all of the patterns that are becoming popular,” she says. Having all of your bridesmaids pick out floral dresses in the same color scheme, for example, can be a fun bohemian yet cohesive approach.

Tie in your floral design

If you don’t know where to start with deciding on a look for your bridesmaids, consider turning to your floral design. Coordinating bridal party looks with the flora and fauna of your celebration’s aesthetic can lend itself to a subtle sense of cohesion. “From freshly picked bouquets to open air ceremonies, spring is a very magical time for a lakeside Minnesota wedding. We look forward to seeing the soft color palettes on the bridesmaids, complemented by exciting spring floral arrangements,” says Marc Anderson, the visual media manager at the Lafayette Club.

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