30 Gorgeous Wedding Dresses for the Non-Traditional Bride

From Printed Gowns to Mixed Separates

Bride sitting in a chair laughing

Photo by Jessie Schultz Photography

If your wedding is anything but cookie-cutter, then why should your wedding dress be any different? Dare to break the bridal mold with an ensemble that is true to your personal style and reinforces your one-of-a-kind vision! Modern brides are eschewing classic white and ivory in favor of statement-making hues in every shade of the rainbow. Other unconventional wedding dress alternatives include floral prints, chic pantsuits, separates, and high-low hemlines—the options are endless.

Here, we've rounded up 30 non-traditional dresses for the unconventional bride, including some real brides who rocked fashion-forward outfits for their “I dos.”

01 of 30

Look Fresh in Floral Prints

Bride in a floral print dress kissing her now-husband

Photo by Keepsake Memories Photography

Having worked at a bridal salon helping other brides find their dream wedding dresses, Laura had seen it all. When it was her turn to walk down the aisle in May of 2016, she gravitated towards a graphic floral print from Anna Maier’s eveningwear collection. “I knew I had found a unique gown to call my own,” she says. With the help of Charles, the designer, she was able to customize the original design for her glamorous outdoor celebration in Norwalk, Connecticut.

02 of 30

Make Your Dress Your "Something Blue"

Bride in a blue and white dress making her way down the aisle

Courtesy of Sea Light Studios; Event Design and Coordination by Moana Events

Anjali and Ted tied the knot in a cocktail-style reception at Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens on the island of Kauai. The only thing more spectacular than the Hawaiian setting was the bride’s ruched Monique Lhuillier gown, which featured cobalt and inky shades of blue.

03 of 30

Be Pretty in Pink

Bride in a pink wedding dress

Courtesy of Everbay Co.

With Natalia’s hot pink dip-dyed dress and matching fur jacket, both designed by Agnieszka Maciejak, she was giving off major rock ‘n’ roll goddess vibes à la Gwen Stefani at her 2002 wedding to Gavin Rossdale. Studded Dolce & Gabbana shoes were the cherry on top of the cake.

04 of 30

Incorporate Color-Blocking

Bride wearing white wedding on bottom and black on top, complete with a black bow

Courtesy of Jennifer See Studios; Floral Design by Tanya List Design and Florals & Love by Lynzie

Just when we thought we couldn’t love Amanda’s black-and-white Ferré Sposa ball gown more than we already did, we spotted that breathtaking bow on the back. It’s a fitting choice for a bride who describes her September nuptials at the Guelph Youth Music Center in Ontario as “modern and badass, with a classic touch.”

05 of 30

Ditch the Skirt for a Jumpsuit

A bride in a jumpsuit surrounded by her bridesmaids

Photo by Kelly Tunney Photography

In the past few years, wedding-worthy pants have become a major part of bridal designers’ collections, even those with a more classic aesthetic such as Carolina Herrera and Lela Rose. One of our favorite real wedding looks is Amanda’s to-die-for J’Aton Couture jumpsuit and overskirt. The edgy combo was perfect for her farmhouse celebration in Springrange, Australia.

06 of 30

Bare Your Midriff in a Crop Top

Bride in a cropped wedding dress pretending to throw bouquet to bridesmaids

Photo by Chris J. Evans Photography; Event Design and Coordination by Laurel and Rose; Bouquet by Vaso Bello

“Midriff-baring” and “wedding dress” are phrases that don’t seem to belong together in the same sentence, but Madison proves it can be taken from the runway into real life. She selected YolanCris separates with a sheer lacy front panel for her October desert affair in Palm Springs, California. Printed bridesmaid dresses designed by For Love & Lemons reinforced the boho-chic theme.

07 of 30

Mix It up With Separates

A bride in a mismatched crop bridal top and skirt arm-in-arm with her husband

Photo by Matthew Levi Applegate Photography; Event Design and Coordination by GATHER Events

For another take on the cropped look, mix a top and bottom in different textures for eye-catching contrast, like real bride Sahar. She wore a lace blouse and gold foil print skirt when she married her husband Bob at the 1909 Topanga (a unique California wedding venue tucked away into the hills of Topanga Canyon).

08 of 30

Flirt With the Idea of a Sheer Skirt

A bride in a short wedding dress with an overskirt

Courtesy of Everbay Co.

Can’t decide between a short dress and a long one? A transparent overskirt provides the best of both worlds. Lucie’s hybrid gown by Liběna Rochová stood out in the best possible way in a sea of real wedding submissions. She tied the knot with Jakub at a chateau in the Czech Republic.

09 of 30

Show off With a Sheer Bodice

Bride in a wedding dress that has a sheer top and sleeves

Photo by Jessica Castro Photography; Event Design and Coordination by HoneyFitz Events

Toe the line between modest and sultry with a see-through corset bodice and sleeves. Pinky Lark, the owner of Lark Farnum Floral Design, wore a stunning Rue De Seine dress with leaf and vine appliqués for her garden wedding.

10 of 30

Choose a High-Low Hemline

silk bridal gown with high low hemline

Temperley Bridal

Whimsical and fun, a high-low hemline is the perfect way to show off a petite figure without overwhelming it. If you don’t want to bare any leg, look for a style with a subtle peekaboo effect so that only your shoes are showing.

11 of 30

Drape Yourself in a Cape

A bride wearing a dress and cape

Photo by Ale Marques Fotografia

Marília and Kleber’s romantic November wedding at the Hotel Ranch of Peace in Atibaia, Brazil, was steeped in tradition. The bride wore a beautiful dress and cape that her grandmother originally designed for her mom’s wedding. A headpiece by D.Cantídio added a modern touch.

12 of 30

Bring on the Drama With Sleeves

A bride in an off-the-shoulder wedding dress

Photo by Jessie Schultz Photography

Amanda’s custom-designed dress from Lele's Boutique showcases two major bridal trends: off-the-shoulder necklines and flared sleeves. Her design inspiration was a “Coachella-meets-beach vibe” for her September nuptials at Casa Romantica in San Clemente.

13 of 30

Flow in Fringe

A bride in a fringed wedding dress

Photo by Love Me Do Photography

This fringed Rue De Seine dress was featured in a stylized shoot. A dress with that much movement makes for amazing photo ops as you whirl around the dance floor!

14 of 30

Go All Natural

malaika dress by The Cotton Bride

The Cotton Bride 

Show off your eco-conscious values by opting for a sustainably made wedding gown. This handmade Malaika dress by The Cotton Bride features french stripe cotton lace over tulles.

15 of 30

Opt for Ombré

Oscar de la Renta Ombre Tulle Strapless Gown

Bergdorf Goodman

If you aren't keen on an all-white wedding dress, this ombre gown from Oscar de la Renta is a perfect compromise with cool-toned blues fading to white.

16 of 30

Be a Free Spirit in Boho Chic

Anna Sui Silver Maxi Dress

Free People 

Go with the flow in an easy, boho-chic dress like this one from Anna Sui. The center slit and bell sleeves create interesting details.

17 of 30

Give 'Em the Cold Shoulder

Alexandra Grecco Siren Gown

 Lovely Bride

Make a statement with a one-sleeve gown like this one from Alexandra Grecco. The metallic fil coupé sleeve pops on the sleek silhouette.

18 of 30

Shine in Vintage Glam

Vicky Rowe Primrose dress

 Vicky Rowe

This Vicky Rowe dress screams 1920s vintage with its gold beaded overlay and drop waist style. Opt for a beaded Flapper-style headband or jeweled hair comb to complete this look.

19 of 30

Choose Black Tie

Mac Duggal Feather Embellished Cap-Sleeve Dress

Neiman Marcus

Have a flair for the dramatic? With feathered cap sleeves and black floral lace, this gown is an alternative bride's dream.

20 of 30

Tip Your Hat to the Wild West

RUE DE SEINE Tucson Gown

Lovely Bride

Billowing sleeves and rust colored accents evoke the beauty of a western sunset. This dress is perfect for a ranch wedding. Pair this dress with cowboy boots for an authentic look.

21 of 30

Combine Elements

Rue de Seine Aegean Gown in Indigo

Rue de Seine

The dip-dye tassels, blue gradient embroidery, and open-slit sleeves on this one-of-a-kind dress by Rue de Seine will make a bold statement on your special day.

22 of 30

Skirt Tradition With a Pantsuit

Alexander Mcqueen Classic Double-Breasted Suiting Blazer

Bergdorf Goodman

Gowns seem to get all the attention when it comes to bridal shopping. But we're all for this slim-cut pantsuit with a double-breasted blazer from Alexander McQueen.

23 of 30

Go Nude

Rue de Seine Vita Gown

Rue de Seine

Graphic motifs embroidered on a sheer overlay create a bold statement. This gown is paired with a nude slip underneath for a seamless look.

24 of 30

Make It Red Hot

Faviana Couture Chiffon Plunging Sweetheart Gown

Bloomingdale's

 

Symbolize love and passion on your wedding day in a red gown like this chiffon plunging sweetheart gown by Faviana Couture. Eastern cultures such as China typically opt for red dresses, which represent good luck.

25 of 30

Play With Length

White by Vera Wang Wrap Sequin Mini Dress

David's Bridal

Short gowns often get the short end of the stick but there are a lot of great options out there. We're loving this sequin mini dress by White by Vera Wang.

Don't let your dress gather dust in your closet after the wedding. Short gowns are easy to repurpose and wear again. You can also opt to rent or donate it.

26 of 30

Pick a Tea-Length Gown

By Watters Lynette Gown

BHLDN

This flirty full-skirted tulle gown hits above the ankle. The tea-length hem evokes a vintage feel while the fitted bustier bodice tows a modern line.

27 of 30

Spread Your Wings

BHLDN Odalis Gown

BHLDN

Flutter sleeves with delicate trim add a whimsical touch to this BHLDN gown. The plunging V-neck and dramatic train add an additional wow factor.

28 of 30

Wear a Shirt Dress

Alexis Mabille Bow-Detailed Embellished Satin-Twill Gown

Net-A-Porter

 

This gown by Alexis Mabille takes the meaning of "shirt dress" to a whole new level. It's fitted with an internal boned corset with two shirt sleeves tied into a bow at the front. Buttons run from top to bottom.

29 of 30

Be the Star of the Night

Willowby 50601 Orion Star-Spangled Bridal Dress

Madame Bridal

This star-spangled tulle gown with plunging V-neckline and sides by Willowby is sure to be a head-turner. A nude bodysuit lining creates a semi-sheer skirt.

30 of 30

Back It up With a Bow

Alexia Maria Bow Butterfly Gown

Alexia Maria

Make a statement from behind with a giant bow. This Bow Butterfly Gown from Alexia Maria comes in nine different colors, so alternative brides can customize their look. Looking for a tangerine or mint colored gown? No problem, Alexia Maria has you covered.

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