In the planning of a wedding, one of the things a bride must decide on is whether she wants her wedding to be poster material. By poster material we’re talking five beautiful bridesmaids in a row in matching dresses, five handsome groomsmen in a row, all distinguished in that too-good-for-real-life kind of way. We’re talking perfect wedding shots that appear to be out of a magazine but are in fact real, perfectly groomed hair and makeup and white, shiny teeth that gleam from everyone’s smiles like laser beams of health and wellbeing. Basically, a whole lot of perfect. These kinds of weddings take months of orquestrating and preferably some decent looking people to make up your bridal party. While these weddings may appear effortless, there is usually a fair amount of planning that goes into them. Then there is the other type of weddings, where things are little more relaxed, a little looser around the edges. These weddings will most likely still contain a bridal party, but things like matching dresses and suits and following a colour theme may not take precedence. Which approach should you choose? How much should you care? This article will discuss the pros and cons of both approaches to help you make these key decisions.
The first thing to remember is that there is varying degrees of both of the above scenarios. Most of the time you’ll be faced with a mixture of the two, and neither one will make or break the success of your wedding. If you do decide you want to go with the poster version, try not to fall into the trap of creating a picture in your mind of how it must be. The only thing that will achieve is causing your heart to fail when one of your bridesmaid’s rocks up in a pair of sparkly silver shoes instead of the arranged navy blue or your hair doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. Yes, you may want to create a bridal party that has a polished appearance, but this will only be achieved if the people in your bridal party are happy on the day and genuinely want to be there for you. For this reason, although it may seem obvious, it is only a good idea to ask friends, family or someone with a close personal connection to join your bridal party, and to make sure they are happy to keep within your personal plan. If you do make the mistake of coercing someone into it, they will just end up resenting forking out the money for the dress and stand in your photos like a child being told what to do.
A definite advantage of giving the people in your bridal party more space to experiment with their outfits is that you end up allowing them freedom of expression. Clothing is a very personal decision and a huge form of self-expression that serves as an outlet to us without even realizing. By giving your bridesmaids a little room to make their dress unique and special to them, you will be enabling them to come up with a style they feel comfortable in. You may not end up having a bridal party that is completely matching, but if you’re the type of person who revels in being eclectic, this might just be the route to take. A good idea, if you decide to go this route, is to decide on something specific to tie all the dresses in together. For example, you might choose the fabric, then allow each of your bridesmaids to create their own dress, or you might just decide on a certain shade or colour and ask each of your bridesmaids to wear something in that range of shades. By selecting one specific aspect and keeping it consistent across the board, even if there are other variations, your bridal party will not end up looking like a hodge-podge of mismatched randomness.
So, to match or not to match, that is the question? And the answer, simply enough, is match if you care to match but not if you don’t. Match if you want to create a unified, singular look and choose not to if you simply don’t care about creating a picture of perfection. Remember that essentially the overall success of your wedding will not depend on a matching or clashing bridal party. And one last thing to keep in mind: everyone’s notion of what the poster wedding looks like is different. There are no right’s or wrong’s. And perfect is probably the world’s most subjective word.