Our Editor-at-Large is giving her best tips for dressing a nontraditional group of attendants.
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Meeting brides is one of the best parts of my job. Wherever I go, I get asked so many great wedding-planning questions, and I thought I'd share some of them here with you. Starting with fashion and accessories-because who doesn't want to look good? Recently, a bride asked me for tips to help her dress her coed bridal party. If you're having both men and women stand on your side of the aisle and want them to coordinate in some way, read on. But as you decide on their attire, remember this: However they dress, having coed attendants is a terrific thing. You'll be surrounded by the people you love the most, and, looking back, that's what you'll really remember.

Forget tradition.

This is one area where brides are really throwing out the rule book (in a good way!). Don't worry about what tradition dictates. Whether you want to have your entire group wear whatever they'd like or ask them to coordinate in some way, the choice is entirely yours.

Remember they don't have to match.

The first thing to remember is that coordination doesn't have to mean matching. There are ways to use color or style elements throughout so that the group looks cohesive. Men can wear socks, bow ties, or pocket squares that match the women's dresses-or that pull touches of color from the bride's bouquet. Think about having your party wear complementary hues, or different shades of the same color in an ombré effect, from light to dark.

Pick a color palette.

If you don't want to assign outfits, pick a palette and let your bridesmaids (or "groomsmaids") choose their dresses, and your groomsmen (or "bridesmen") their accessories. Everyone will arrive in an outfit they feel comfortable in, and you won't have to take on the challenging task of selecting a look everyone agrees on.


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