Gorgeous Wedding Dress Inspo for the Non-Traditional Bride

Dare to break the bridal mold!

Updated 03/29/17

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, high-low hemlines — the options are endless. Get inspired by these real brides who rocked fashion-forward outfits for their “I dos.”

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Floral Prints

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.

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Bright Colors

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.

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Bright Colors

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 winter wedding in Warsaw, Poland. Studded Dolce & Gabbana shoes were the cherry on top of the cake.

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Color-Blocking

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.”

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Bridal Jumpsuits

Kelly Tunney Photography

This past year, wedding-worthy pants were 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.

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Crop Tops

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 that this hot runway trend looks even more gorgeous IRL. 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.

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Crop Tops

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

For another take on separates, 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).

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Sheer Bodices and Skirts

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.

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Sheer Bodices and Skirts

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, which took place in May 2016.

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High-Low Hemlines

Courtesy of Studio 2000; Event Design and Coordination by Art of Celebrations

Whimsical and fun, this bride’s high-low Pnina Tornai gown shows off her petite figure without overwhelming it. If you don’t want to bare quite so much leg, look for a style with more of a subtle peekaboo effect so that only your shoes are showing.

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Capes

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.

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Dramatic Sleeves

Jessie Schultz Photography

Amanda’s custom-designed dress from lele Bridal Boutique by Wendy 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.

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Bonus: The Fringe Effect

Love Me Do Photography

OK, so this fringed Rue De Seine dress was featured in a stylized shoot as opposed to a real wedding, but it was too cool not to include. A dress with that much movement makes for amazing photo ops as you whirl around the dance floor!

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