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.”
Look Fresh in Floral Prints
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.
Make Your Dress Your "Something Blue"
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.
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.”
Ditch the Skirt for a Jumpsuit
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.
Bare Your Midriff in a Crop Top
“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.
Mix It up With Separates
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).
Flirt With the Idea of a Sheer Skirt
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.
Drape Yourself in a Cape
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.
Bring on the Drama With Sleeves
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.
Go All Natural
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.
Shine in Vintage Glam
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.
Choose Black Tie
Have a flair for the dramatic? With feathered cap sleeves and black floral lace, this gown is an alternative bride's dream.
Tip Your Hat to the Wild West
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.
Play With Length
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.
Pick a Tea-Length Gown
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.