Not every wedding calls for the attendants to be dressed in formal attire. For a wedding on the beach, in a park, or in your own backyard, you might want to consider choosing something informal for your bridesmaids. These are some of the best looks for casual bridesmaid attire for any type of wedding.
Everyone's definition of casual will vary slightly. If you are accustomed to black tie weddings, then any type of short bridesmaid dress is going to be informal by your standards. On the other hand, brides who live a very sporty lifestyle will think that even a knee length strapless dress looks fancy. It is all about choosing the level of informality that makes sense for your own personal style, and especially that complements the bridal gown.
For a beach or waterside wedding, a great informal look for bridesmaid dresses is a dress with a festive pattern. Tropical Hawaiian prints are wonderful for a beach wedding. For a preppy beach wedding, Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses worn with a pearl tin cup necklace will make your bridesmaids picture perfect. New England weddings by the water are the perfect excuse for your bridesmaids to get cute dresses from Vineyard Vines. The classic Nantucket style of their patterns will look great with tin cup necklaces (the perfect bridesmaid jewelry gifts) and the guys in Nantucket red pants.
Another idea for a relaxed bridesmaid look is to have each one wear a top and a skirt instead of a dress. If executed well, this can be a wonderful look, although if it is not properly coordinated, you will lose the cohesiveness that a bridal party should have. Choose one pretty skirt that each attendant will wear, and pair it with a simple top. An example would be a patterned skirt worn with very nice crisp white blouses. An appealing variation on this is to put a simple white blouse with a ball skirt for a relaxed holiday evening wedding. Just resist the urge to have each skirt be a different color of the rainbow; I have seen this done, and frankly it is impossible to pull off well. A better idea would be to put each bridesmaid in a version of the same color, such as shades of pink.
When you have only one or two attendants, your options for informal bridesmaid attire will open up even more. You could just allow each bridesmaid to select a strappy sundress that she really loves. The nice thing about this is that you will know that your friends will love their dresses enough to wear them again. When you have two or fewer attendants, it is not so important that they coordinate with one another or the rest of the wedding party.
You can also make your bridesmaid dresses feel more relaxed by thoughtfully choosing their accessories. A cute strapless dress can be make beach worthy by wearing it with a pair of jeweled flip flops instead of a pair of pumps. Beach wedding jewelry will also add to the casual vibe. Pieces like silver starfish charms and shell necklaces are ideal for a seaside wedding.
Once you have your bridesmaids looking fresh and pretty in an informal way, don't forget about the groomsmen. Khaki pants, patterned shirts, and whimsical ties will all add to the laid-back elegance. Your attendants will be ready to go and have fun at your fun and casual wedding.