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Slate Blue Bridesmaid Dresses: A New & Cool Wedding Color

You’ve got your ‘something old,’ ‘something new,’ and ‘something borrowed’… Let your bridesmaids handle the ‘something blue’ with slate blue bridesmaid dresses!

Gray, dusty, or French. Call it what you want, but one thing’s for sure: slate blue is the “it” color for bridal party dressing this wedding season. The cool hue is heating up big time, and lucky for you, we’ve got everything you need to know about how to incorporate it into your own special day, beginning with the bridesmaids.


Photos by Brian Bossany Photography

Slate Blue Bridesmaid Dresses Defined

In fashion-nerd speak, it’s closest to the PANTONE shade Serenity, which was recently named one of the top 10 colors for men’s and women’s fashion for spring 2016, according to the latest PANTONE Fashion Color Report.

Widely known as the industry’s color bible, the report describes the shade as follows:

“Weightless and airy, like the expanse of the sky above us, Serenity comforts with a calming effect, bringing a feeling of respite even in turbulent times. A transcendent blue, Serenity provides us with a naturally connected sense of space.”

With all the chaos that comes with wedding planning, plus the endless flitting about on the big day, a little serenity seems like a welcome addition, don’t you think?

After Six 6705 in Cloudy After Six 6709 in Windsor Blue

This year’s chosen PANTONE shades also avoid gender norms, making way instead for a unisex palette. As such, the trendy hue we’ve come to know as slate blue is a great shade for your bridesmaids to be sure, but the top tone is certain to be a hit with groomsmen, too. Color-coordinated pocket squares, anyone?

Which slate blue dress deserves a “yes?”

No, not that dress. When you’re ready to bedeck your bridesmaids, consider this nearly neutral shade that offers just a hint of color. While baby blue, bright aqua, and deep, dark navy are still top picks for big days, fashion-forward brides are opting for the sophisticated grayish hue that pairs seamlessly with a wide variety of broader color schemes.

  Kennedy Blue Addison in Slate Blue Kennedy Blue Anna in Slate Blue

Because the color is more muted than your run-of-the-mill accent shade, it’ll give you some license to play with texture instead of tone. Try a matte chiffon or georgette with clever draping, which – bonus! – tends to flatter nearly any body type.

Personally, I’d steer clear of satin, dupioni or any other fabric with an obvious sheen; the muted tone looks best on an equally muted fabric, like a matte chiffon, but at the end of the day, that’s just one gal’s opinion. To each her own! Anything is worth a try.

Dessy 2894 Dessy 2882

Another bit of detailing to consider is beading. Opt for blue or silver beading, which will blend seamlessly with the color of the fabric but will impart a luxe, hand-sewn feel.

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses offer yet another on-trend option for the bride that wants to mix it up. Throw tradition out the window and opt instead for a spectrum of shades in the same color family. For example, pair your chosen dusty hue with a more saturated blue, like Snorkel Blue, a member of the navy family with a brighter, more energetic feel (and another PANTONE Spring 2016 pick!). Or lean gray instead, mixing your slate hue with shades of pewter and/or silver.

Kennedy Blue Sienna in Slate Blue Kennedy Blue Peyton in Silver

Feeling wild? Let your maid of honor stand out from the pack in a printed dress in similar tones.

And finally, don’t limit the color to just one side of the aisle! Remember, the shade is guy-friendly, too, so slap some slate blue ties, pocket squares or boutonnieres on the groomsmen for a chic, coordinated wedding party.

groom with slate blue tie and pocket square

Ready, Set, Accessorize:

When in doubt, go silver. Equally cool-toned accessories best complement this icy hue, so pack away those jewel-toned stilettos and colorful flower crowns for now.

Copper can also work—a hott metallic right now—but it’s a bit harder to find and coordinate.

When choosing jewelry, try a sparkling pair of chandelier earrings to add some over-the-top glamour to an understated dress style, or opt for a simple pendant necklace or solitaire studded earrings to balance a more intricate design. Remember, color is not your friend here. Keep the accessories neutral to keep focus on the coolness trending shade.

The silver and crystalline tones should extend to hair accessories as well. Top your bridesmaids’ long, flowing locks with sparkling silver headpieces, weave a few white blooms into a bohemian updo or add a shimmering crystal-encrusted comb or two to secure a side-swept style.

Finish accessorizing slate blue bridesmaid dresses with a simple, strappy silver sandal, which offers just a hint of contrasting shine beneath the muted dress tone. Like Carrie Bradshaw and her famously stolen Manolos, a pair of silvery sky-high heels are the perfect finishing touch.

Deciding on the Right Décor:

If you think this cool tone might be tough to incorporate into your décor, think again.

The pared-down hue couples perfectly with a quite a few other members of the ROYGBIV family, and integrates seamlessly into a vast array of wedding palettes.

Read on for a few of our top color schemes…

Winter Whites: Stick with a palette of icy neutrals for a sophisticated winter wedding. A mix of crisp, snowy white, icy silver, and slate blue is the perfect way to add a little oomph to the normally subdued tones of the season.

winter bridal bouquet with white roses and blue accents

Integrate a few bare, white branches and pinecones gently dusted in shimmer into your floral design for a wintry feel, or throw a few steely blue stems into your all-white floral arrangements. A clean white cake with slate blue fondant offers a final flourish; for a bit more pizazz, add silver accents.

Sail Away: For a maritime feel, mix bright, ocean-inspired shades to (metaphorically) sweep guests away to the high seas. Whether your venue is seaside or you’re looking to bring the shore indoors, a thoughtful blend of complementary, cool colors – periwinkle, bright aqua, deep royal, and even navy – will conjure up visions of a beachy paradise.

Fill white wicker baskets with blue-toned flip flops for guests so they can kick off their shoes and keep that beach party going all night long!

Back to Nature: For a rustic fall wedding, slate blue bridesmaid dresses pair seamlessly with nature’s leafy greens and earthy tones. The cool hue helps soften the rich, chocolatey browns and golden wheat hues of the season in an unexpected, modern way.

a winter wedding with dusty blue bridesmaid dresses

Fill decorative bowls with earthy pinecones for a nature-inspired tablescape, or serve fall-inspired desserts like mini apple crumbles in steely blue ramekins.

And for those cool fall nights, set up your very own hot chocolate bar, complete with dusty blue marshmallows.

Springtime Delight: As the weather warms, so does your springtime color palette; liven up the cool color with sweet pastel notes, like dusty rose or delicate peach. White floral arrangements dotted with subtle pinks or peaches convey the lighthearted feel of the season while subtly offsetting the steely hue.

If pink is a bit too Elle Woods for your taste, try a pale yellow. The sunny hue will help bring a bit of sunshine to an otherwise cool palette. Add a few buttery blooms to the bridal bouquet, pin them to the groom’s lapel, or put them on a full display in your floral centerpieces.

Dans le Jardin: Transport wedding guests to a très belle French garden by surrounding accents of slate blue toile with rich floral hues like rich reds, deep purples, and vibrant, leafy greens.

Don’t stop with décor; extend the theme to the dessert course by adding whimsical petits fours and macarons, and offer guests an eye-catching signature cocktail in your chosen garden-inspired tones.

And there you have it. We’ve given you a laundry list of ways to dress your friends in the hottest hue of the season and integrate the steely shade seamlessly into any wedding theme. Now all you have to do is choose your favorite slate blue bridesmaid dresses!

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