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7 Unconventional Bridesmaid Dress Alternatives for 2021

Go beyond traditional bridesmaid dresses with our picks for the top alternative bridesmaid outfit trends for the year.

By Maggy Lehmicke

bride with bridesmaids in mismatched dresses
Photo by Gabby Chapin Photography

A new year, a new decade…and loads of new wedding trends. Classic blue, velvet, and architectural elements are just a few statement looks we expect to see more of in 2021. Whether your style is classic and elegant or bohemian and whimsical, it’s important that your bridal crew is rocking a look that feels true to you—particularly if you’re not the most traditional of brides.

Bridesmaids have a lot to look forward to with looks that offer them a lot more freedom and flexibility in years past. Below are some of our favorite alternatives to bridesmaid dresses that we expect to see gracing weddings in the coming seasons.

INLINE LeImage 1080x720 Amber&Jennifer Photo Credit // Le Image


It’s no secret that bridesmaid jumpsuits were a big trend in 2020 and continue into 2021. They’re not only a great alternative for bridal parties who prefer pants to dresses but also come in a wide variety of styles that cater to a range of tastes.

For those wanting a streamlined look, structured jumpsuits in fabrics like canvas and satin (depending on the style of the event, as well as the time of year) are a great fit. If you’re digging more of a comfy, romantic look, then those with a wrap-style-waist and flowy pant legs might be more your style. We’ve even seen rompers with pretty lace overlays for a laid-back, summer wedding.

Mismatched Florals

Channel your inner beatnik with mismatched floral dresses that create a light, ethereal vibe great for backyard weddings and boho brides. If you want to save on real flowers or prefer to opt for lots of greenery, floral dresses are a not-so-subtle way to incorporate the beauty of the great outdoors into your event without feeling tacky.

Feel free to give your bridesmaids a range of colors or guidance on dress length to help you direct the overall look and make sure it fits with your vision.

Two-piece Dresses.

Though this trend has gained some momentum in recent years, two-piece bridesmaid sets are a great alternative for those who like to mix and match. If you’re a bride that prefers some level of coordination but doesn’t want the looks to be overly matchy, this is a great option. They’re also fairly easy to find, as many popular brands (such as BHLDN and Show Me Your Mumu) carry two-piece sets and separates. Slits, lace overlays, and differing necklines are just a few ways to vary the looks.

PYOD: Pick Your Own Dress

If you’re the ultimate laidback bride, give your bridal party the freedom to pick their own dresses with little guidance or direction. One of the most daring of the unconventional bridesmaid trends, this not only gives your wedding party the opportunity to purchase something they’ll actually wear again—and lets their personalities shine on your big day.

Consider giving your bridesmaids at least one restraint such as color scheme or dress length so they don’t get too overwhelmed and have at least one cohesive element throughout.

INLINE EllaKPhotography 1080x720 Cassidy&Jake (1) Photo Credit // Ella K. Photography


A predicted trend for this year, yellow is remaking a bold statement in 2021 weddings. Consider choosing this vivid hue over the usual muted pastels and jewel tones that are common amongst bridesmaids dresses. Try opting for rich mustard, gold, and canary tones instead of pale Easter yellows that can often appear dated. This vibrant look can also be a great complement to Pantone’s color of the year if you’re thoughtful about your shades.

Power Suits

Pantsuits are not only far from traditional but look great in unexpected colors and fabrics such as off-white and flowy silk. Like dresses, suits can be fully customizable to fit the overall theme and mood of the event. Tuxedos work great for black-tie affairs while bow ties and tailored pants are a fun alternative for more easygoing events.

Statement jewelry and sky-high heels are a couple of great ways to femme it up if you want. Bonus points if your suits coordinate with the groomsmen.


Layers on layers on layers. While tiered bridal gowns may have come back in style in the past couple of years, it’s time for bridesmaids to have a shot at this classy (and slightly less fussy) alternative to ruffles.

Tiered dresses look good both short and long, making them a fun alternative for virtually every style and season. Try playing around with textures, fabrics, and necklines to find something that all of your bridesmaids feel comfortable in.

Finding your perfect bridesmaid attire doesn't have to be difficult or go a traditional route. Go beyond the standard bridesmaid dress and try something alternative and modern.

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