Heather Rowland; www.heatherrowland.com

If it’s good enough for a royal wedding…

When it comes to bridal party fashion, we’ve seen all the “rules” flipped upside down recently. Today’s brides have realized hemlines don’t have to match and, instead of having your gals look like carbon copies, there’s some whimsy and charm in loosely coordinated looks. What was once off-limits for the bride’s supporting ladies seems to have fallen into fashion, leaving us (hesitantly) more willing than ever to break a few traditional bridesmaid faux pas.

Enter white bridesmaid dresses. Since Pippa pulled off a graceful white gown at Kate Middleton's wedding, this colorless, subtle statement has spread like wildfire. It’s easy to see why. Not only is an ethereal, white ensemble flattering on nearly every figure, it’s hard to find a venue where a beautiful white frock doesn’t work. Grand church ceremony? Flowy beach wedding? Check and check.

But no matter what’s trending in the wedding world, it’s understandable that Mama might have some concerns. No one wants her little girl falling out of the spotlight on her Big Day. Fear not. There are a few ways to ease Mom’s woes about bridesmaids in white. Bring your all-white bridesmaid vision to life without getting lost in a whiteout by following a few simple guidelines.

1. Establish your bridal look first, and use your wedding gown as the centerpiece.

Keep the bridal look (also known as your gown) at the forefront, and consider small design details for the bridal party that will create contrast.

2. Refocus with fabric.

When it comes to all-white wedding parties, sometimes a simple contrast in fabric can create a significant yet subtle separation. If the bride plans to wear lace or beading, consider a cleaner, simpler look for the bridesmaids, like chiffon or tulle.

3. Play with length. 

Length is one of the most obvious ways to separate white dresses from the bride. Easily keep all eyes on the bride by picking short, white bridesmaid dresses.

4. Separate with silhouettes.

Select shapes that will let the bride’s dress shine. If the bride’s wearing a structured look, consider an airy bridal party outfit to create contrast. The same rule of thumb can be applied to necklines. If her dress has a sweetheart neckline, consider a V-neck or thin strap.

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5. Quietly coordinate with accessories. 

Though they don’t have to completely match, outfitting bridesmaids in similar, delicate accessories is an easy way to make the bridal party look loosely coordinated yet very different from the bride.