You heard it here first: White bridesmaid dresses are definitely trending for 2017. But is having your wedding party outfitted in cream frocks asking to have the spotlight taken away from the bride? Hey, if it's good enough for Kate Middleton! If you have visions of a wedding party covered in white dresses, here's how your bridesmaids can rock the white bridesmaid dress trend without upstaging you!
1. Keep Bridesmaids' Dresses Simple
Renowned designer Anne Barge recommends that a bride select a more ornamental gown for herself and choose streamlined and simple silhouettes for bridesmaids. “I’ve always loved the aesthetic of an all-white bridal party, so reminiscent of the royal weddings at Westminster Abbey,” Barge states. “Pippa Middleton wore a beautiful, modern column gown by Alexander McQueen. Her choice was a stunning contrast to Kate’s traditional lace embellished gown by the same designer.”
2. Add Sweet Accessories to Bridesmaids’ Dresses
Sometimes it’s the simplest accents that separate a bridesmaid’s dress from the bridal gown. “Contrast is essential to mastering an all-white bridal party, and it can be easily achieved by mixing silhouettes, skirt lengths, and accessories,” Barge shares. “I love distinguishing touches like floral wreaths in maids’ hair or subdued accessories, much like those in Kate Moss’s English countryside wedding.” If you prefer a more formal dress code, elegantly beaded headbands or bracelets for the wedding party are equally alluring.
3. Go Long (and Short)
Angelo Lambrou, designer and founder of the New York City–based Angelo Lambrou Atelier, hints that length can be a key distinguisher between the bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. Don’t be afraid to give bridesmaids’ dresses the chop while keeping your own long. This is your wedding day, after all, and all eyes should be on the bride.
4. Focus on the Fabric
Brooklyn-based bridal designer Samantha Sleeper also believes in the power of juxtaposition between the bride and her maids, citing differing fabrics as one manner of refocusing attention on the bride. “Establish a contrast in texture,” the style specialist suggests. “If the bride’s gown is embellished, all lace, or in a print, than the maids' gowns should all be in a solid white fabric, like a silk crepe de-chine, tulle, or even a satin-faced cotton. The contrast will offer a beautiful visual distinction between bride and her support system, while also translating gorgeously in photos.”
5. Look for a Strikingly Different Silhouette and Neckline
Every detail of a bridal gown, from its structure and contours to its neckline, distinguishes it from every other frock on the market. Sleeper encourages every bride to consider all of these differentiating details when selecting her gown and those of her bridesmaids. “Think about how different you feel in a deep V-neck black T-shirt than when wearing a crewneck, even in the same fabric and color,” Sleeper suggests. “It will completely alter the overall look of your ensemble. The same rule applies when dressing a party,” Sleeper says. “Use the bride’s gown as a centerpiece. If her sleeves are long, opt for a thin strap or strapless for the maids; if her gown has a structured, minimal approach, perhaps consider a cowlneck drape for the supporting cast. Contrast in shape and gesture can be highly complementary when working with whites.”
6. Take Tone-on-Tone Styling off the Table
While brides might delight in contrasting colors, Sleeper urges clients to stay away from attempting to fit 50 shades of white into their wedding gowns and bridesmaids’ ensembles. The result, she warns, is an eye-twitching spectacle. “Unlike almost all other colors, which look gorgeous in tonal options, choosing different whites and putting them next to each other quickly highlights the undertone of that white,” Sleeper shares. “A bright white can turn an ivory yellow, while mismatched brights can have some gowns looking ice-blue.” Sleeper’s solution? “Stick to a single shade of White for your maids, and use metallics (gold for ivory, silver for bright white) to complement.”