How to Style Your Mixed Gender Wedding Party
Whenever I see a mixed gender wedding party in a real wedding, I always break out into a huge grin, knowing that the couple prioritised friendship over tradition. Because, while it’s nice to have symmetrical wedding photographs, this doesn’t matter half as much as having your favourite people by your side on the big day! The mixed gender wedding party has become increasingly popular in recent years, sparking a whole vocabulary: best woman, groomsmaid, groomswoman, bridesman, man of honour, etc. Whatever you call your nearest and dearest, one thing’s for sure, you want them to look absolutely fabulous on the big day. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide to styling a mixed gender wedding party, beginning with our favourite ideas from real weddings!
Ideas for Styling A Mixed Gender Wedding Party
1. A Palette of Pastels
There’s no rule to state that your gang all have to wear the same colour! This real bride settled on dusty shades of baby blues, blush pinks and cornflower blues for her squad. They may not be dressed alike, but the effect is very polished!
2. Jumpsuits for the Groomswomen
Josie and Warren’s wedding party comprised seven bridesmaids, four groomsmen and two groomswomen, presenting a little bit of a sartorial challenge! I think we can all agree that this gang nailed it, settling on orange and nude dresses across four styles for the bridesmaids, mix and match suits for the groomsmen, and stylish black jumpsuits for the groomswomen!
3. Co-ordinating Accessories
Real groom Michael had three groomsmen and one groomswoman by his side on the big day, and there’s something totally effortless about the way they were styled. The groomsmen wore mix and match suits in grey and blue tones, paired with identical black brogues and a black tie or bow tie. Michael’s groomswoman chose a blue dress with a black belt and black heels to create the same effect, albeit a more feminine version!
4. A Neutral Colour Scheme
Co-ordinating outfits isn’t the only option for tying a wedding party look together! Real brides Jess and Shell’s wedding party comprised three bridesmaids and two bridesmen, who all looked astounding on the day – the bridesmaids wore blush pink outfits in different styles (including a drop-dead gorgeous jumpsuit!), and the bridesmen wore beige slacks and a crisp white shirt. Matching bouquets and boutonnieres helped create a cohesive look.
5. Mix and Match Style
Real groom Ed asked his crew of three groomsmen and one groomswoman to style themselves for the big day and it worked a treat! Working with a rough brief of dark, wintry colours, they wore what they felt most comfortable in, adding one unifying touch – a splash of burgundy or orange via their ties or shoes.
6. One Colour in Common
Each and every member of Jane and Paul’s nine-person wedding party wore pink on the big day – the groomsmen had pale pink bow ties, the bridemaids wore blush pink multiway dresses, and the bridesman almost stole the show in a textured, candy pink suit and floral tie. What a stylish squad!
7. Timeless Black
Sandra and Seán had an all-female wedding party and we are absolutely here for it! There were three bridesmaids and three flower girls, along with Seán’s best woman, who looks so chic in her black dress and heels. Her look ties in effortlessly with Seán’s dark suit and even the black ribbon on Sandra’s bouquet.
8. Stylish Separates
Kate and Brendan’s wedding party consisted of two bridesmaids, two groomsmen and a bridesman, which is a tricky combo to style. Using separates, this team created a lovely, laid-back look – everyone wore a white top or shirt, with Kate’s party donning pink skirts or shorts, and Brendan’s party rocking tweed slacks and suspenders.
9. A Foolproof Colour
There are very few colours that almost everyone on the planet is comfortable with, but navy is definitely among them! In this real wedding, the wedding party all wore navy. Regardless of whether they’re wearing a dress, a jumpsuits or a two-piece suits, these guys look terrific!
10. Wildcard Style
If you’ve chosen an unconventional wedding party line-up, chances are, you’re open to unconventional wedding party outfits, too! We love that Sarah’s bridesman wore floral romper on the big day – it works so well, because the subtle splash of coral in his print tones beautifully with the bridesmaid’s gown!
11. The Same, But Different
Real groom Simon chose his sister, Liz, to be his Best Woman, and we are huge fans of her slick, suited look! Her outfit had a lot in common with the groomsmen’s suits, but she put her own spin on it, choosing a slightly different suit in a similar colour, and pairing it with a high-collared shirt instead of a more traditional shirt and tie.
12. A Unifying Colour Palette
For her wedding party, bride Aoife chose a colour palette of green which featured floral details, allowing her pals to experiment within that brief. Her bridesmaids chose gorgeous dresses in different shades and styles, while her bridesman looked insanely stylish in a green, two-piece suit with floral tie.
13. Creative Use of Colour
This real wedding proves that you can be really bold with colour, once you’ve settled on a palette that everybody’s happy with. The couple matched the groomswoman’s dress to the groomsmen’s ties, which is easily done when the shade in question – in this case, a rich burgundy – is popular in both menswear and womenswear.
14. A Pop of Colour
As a general rule, the larger the wedding party, the simpler the styling should be! Omar’s 15-person groom’s party all wore black tie occassionwear – tuxedos for the guys, a black formal dress for the girl – while he stood out from the crowd in an incredibly cool shade of electric blue!
15. Going it Alone
There’s no need to be strict when styling a mixed gender wedding party. The groomswoman can match the bridesmaids, in the case of this real wedding, for example, and still look like part of the gang, as long as you make sure to include her in ceremony rituals and photographs!
16. A Little Sparkle!
With artfully mismatched sequin bridesmaid dresses and a creative shimmering blazer option for the man of honour, we love the idea of tying the look together with sparkles!
17. Rulebreaking Style
If someone in your wedding party is a fan of an androgynous or genderbending fashion moment, go with it! Your wedding is about love, not labels, so there’s no reason why a groomswoman can’t wear exactly what the boys are wearing, or a non-binary person can’t team a maxi skirt with a shirt and tie. In fact, we’d love to see more of this in real weddings!
Shopping and Styling Tips For A Mixed Gender Wedding Party
We always emphasise listening to your wedding party members when it comes to styling, but this is especially important when you’re having a mixed gender wedding party. If, for example, you’re having multiple bridesmaids and one bridesman, he might feel a little nervous about standing out. If you’re having an unconventional wedding party, you should aim to be be extra sensitive to everyone’s needs.
In general, your wedding party aesthetic should be a collaboration between you and your wedding party members. After all, your wedding party is a democracy, not a dictatorship!
Your priorities are finding something that your pal is comfortable with, but that also fits in with the general feel and vibe of the day.
Once you’ve popped the question to your wedding party members, and they’ve accepted, it’s time to initiate a chat about clothing. A Whatsapp group is a great way to gather and share ideas – why not start by sending them this feature!?
It’s a good idea to have a separate conversation with any wedding party members who fall outside of the traditional descriptors of female bridesmaid and male groomsman, or people who are trans or non-binary, as they might be feeling particularly nervous about what they’re expected to wear, so try to have this chat as early as possible. Start by asking them, “What would you like to wear? Do you have any ideas?” and work from there.
Bear in mind how incredibly personal fashion is. Many women will be comfortable in a trouser suit, and many won’t. Some men aren’t happy wearing pink, others love it. And some people would never choose to wear a traditional wedding party outfit like a dress or a trouser suit, so it’s not fair to insist they wear one on your big day!
Accessories are your friend when it comes to styling a mixed gender wedding party. For example, the man of honour could wear a tie that matches the bridesmaids dresses, or the best woman could wear a headpiece in the same colour as the groomsmen’s suits.
Flowers are a great way to tie your wedding party look together – if your groomswoman is happy to wear a boutonniere or your bridesman is happy to carry a bouquet, go for it! You can also work with your florist to create one colour scheme for your party, and another for your partner’s. Get some ideas for gender neutral florals here.
With that in mind, don’t get hung up on differentiating which “side” each wedding party member is on. You can always clarify their role in a ceremony ritual, in the booklet, through your wedding photography, or during the speeches.
Looking for more wedding party styling inspiration? You’ll find lots of ideas in our real weddings!