Make Your Bridal Party Shine: 9 Great Options for Bridesmaids

From dresses to shoes to accessories, our favorite ideas from real Pittsburgh brides.

In the 2015 Pittsburgh Magazine Weddings issue, we share the ins and outs of the bridal party: “The days of bridesmaids leading the bride down the aisle draped in identically matching tulle monstrosities are coming to an end.” And we stand by that assertion. To usher in the days of unique, personal dresses, we take inspiration from real Pittsburgh couples who defied the limits with their choices.

Keep It Subtle

Couple: Stephanie Henry and James Stitt.

 Photos by Ann Louise Photography

Small differences in the style of a dress, such as keeping length and color consistent but mixing up each dress’ strap/sleeve, can make a huge difference for your bridal party.

Color Wheel

Couple: Patricia Borowski and Matthew Antram.

 Photos by Nicole Cassano Photography

The classic pastels are still popular, but bridesmaids’ dresses no longer must be the same color. Picking light shades (and incorporating one of a darker color) that complement one another can make for an exciting mix.

Go Natural

Couple: Heather Farmer and Dante Condeluci.

Photos by Emily Jeffries, Willa J Photography

Sometimes it’s best to go with no color at all. Neutral dresses can make just as much of a statement as a bright color, and they complement different styles.

Classic Black

Couple: Ashley Rager and Michael Trautman

Photos by Ann Louise Photography

Turn everyone’s favorite little black dress style into an elegant, sophisticated look with matching, long dresses. The black creates symmetry with the groomsmen and creates a backdrop for flowers and jewelry to stand out.

Honor the Maid

Couple: Amy Simon and RyaCapcara.

 Photos by Heather Krah Photography

Some brides stick to traditional matching dresses for most of their bridal party but designate one bridesmaid to stand out in her own complementing color.

Try Two-Piece

Couple: Lauren Jacobs and Tim Hawk. 


Photos by TJ and Michelle Getz with Getz Creative Photography

Some choose to forgo dresses entirely, creating a more piecey look with a skirt and blouse combo.


Couple: Allison Trombetta and Billy White. 

Photos by Alisa Milnthorp, for Weddings by Alisa

Who says you have to stop at choosing a dress? Some brides use accessories to add a unique pop to a traditional color and style.

Fantastic Footwear

Couple: Lacy Archibeque and Brian Mucha.

 Photos by The Leann Marie Collective

Couple: Lindsay Flinn and Mike Metz.

 Photos by Meaghan Elliot Photography

Play up your personality by picking shoes that go beyond the classic pump. Many bridesmaids don’t ask their attendants to coordinate shoes, but choosing a unique shoe that everyone wears is unexpected and cute — whether it’s for the guys or the gals.

Floral Fun

Couple: Kerri Lynn Durica and Jason Ferko.

 Photos by Meaghan Elliot Photography

Couple: Kelly McDonnell and John Michael Kubera.

 Photos by David Burke Photographers

Bouquets don’t have to be something you carry down the aisle. Incorporating unusual floral arrangements into your plans can add extra excitement to your bridesmaids’ look.


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