Not to knock tradition, but it isn’t for everyone. Some brides love a classic, all-white ball gown, but others are choosing non-traditional wedding dresses to showcase a bit of their own story and style. From jet-black to bohemian rust, any color of the rainbow is up for grabs if you’re in search of a non-traditional wedding dress. Eye-catching embellishments can take a dress from conventional to non-traditional, or you can go big with a Barbiecore bridal look.
“When a bride is looking for a non-traditional wedding dress, I recommend she consider alternatives such as a jumpsuit, matching top and pant set, or trying something a bit bolder like a colorful wedding dress or even a black dress,” says Alicia Lloyd, Styling Supervisor at Stitch Fix. “A traditional white wedding gown is not for everyone, and I always encourage clients to choose something that will make them feel their most confident and showcase who they are on their big day.”
In this curated list, we're looking at vibrant colors, interesting textures, and bold silhouettes that go beyond convention to challenge the status quo.
ASOS LUXE Wedding embellished gemstone mini dress
This budget-friendly dress packs a serious punch. Featuring all over sequin embellishments, a sexy plunge neckline, faux-feather trim, and a high-low silhouette with a train, there’s so much happening on this gemstone dress, and it’s all pretty fabulous.
Price at the time of publish: $78
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: High-low | Material: Polyester
Best for the Vintage Bride
Houghton by Katharine Polk Gwen Gown
This beautiful gown is fit for an empress, thanks to its dramatic, short, ballooned sleeves and crystal-lined, cut-out back. The minimalist silhouette has some serious vintage charm, without being too demure for modern fêtes. It’s also size inclusive, from 00-30, and can be rush ordered for an additional fee.
Price at the time of publish: $3,150
Size Range: 00-30 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Moire
Fame and Partners The Oscar Dress
Wipe out white and pick pink for your big day. This blush matte satin dress has a cut-out back and ruffle sleeves for a vision that's oh so pretty in pink. It features an asymmetrical hem, an invisible zipper, and hook and eye closure. This dress is also made to measure using their easy to use measuring tool, making it a great option for a variety of sizes and body types!
Price at the time of publish: $349
Size Range: Made to measure | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester Satin
Willowby by Watters Galatea Dress
Named after a sweet, summer wine, this blush-colored gown features an oversize Dalia-inspired floral print and dreamy A-line silhouette. Two rows of velvet ribbon wrap around the bodice, cinch at the waist, and come together in a dainty bow. Swoon.
Price at the time of publish: $1,774 – $1,892.35
Size Range: 0-24W | Length: Floor-length | Material: Tulle and floral
Best for the Dreamer
WardrobeByDulcinea Estelle Celestial Wedding Dress
This Etsy Design Awards winner deserves pride of place at the altar. The two-piece wedding dress features a sweetheart-neckline bodysuit with dramatic cape sleeves and an A-line skirt dotted with allover sparkling silver and gold sequin stars.
Price at the time of publish: $998
Size Range: Made to measure | Length: Floor-length | Material: Satin
Lulus I'm All Yours Cream Ruffled Maxi Dress
Available in five hues, this easy-breezy dress is quite sensual in its playful simplicity. The gauzy gown features ruffled short sleeves and a deep V-neck, but its plunging backline is what really sets it apart.
Price at the time of publish: $79
Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester
Best for a Backyard Wedding
Quince 100% Organic Cotton Tiered Maxi Dress
For a backyard affair, this chic maxi strikes a great balance between elevated yet relaxed. It gathers at the waist to add shape, and is made from organic cotton for breathability. It also features a v-neck and short sleeves, a three tiered voluminous skirt, and functional pockets to make your day easier and more convenient.
Price at the time of publish: $70
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Maxi | Material: Organic Cotton
Best Blue Dress
Azazie Rowe Wedding Dress
Looking for that special something blue? This regal gown (it even features a chapel-length train) is what princess dreams are made of. It features a sweetheart neckline with scattered lace embellishments, with a ballgown silhouette that commands attention. It comes in a wide variety of sizes, and is relatively affordable, especially with all the added tule and lace detailing!
Price at the time of publish: $489
Size Range: WD0-WD30 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Tulle and lace
StylishBrideAccs Rose Gold Sequin Bridal Dress
This transparent, sequined dress may not be for the faint of heart, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Shimmy down the aisle in this stunner at golden hour, and we guarantee you'll have everyone under your spell.
Price at the time of publish: $744.10
Size Range: XS-XXXL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester
Danielle Frankel Studio Rosalie Dress
Bridgerton vibes, coming in hot. This beautifully textured, empire-waist gown pairs a square neckline with puffy, crinkled sleeves for a look that's as elegant as it is youthful. Further, this darted and hand twisted organza ballgown features a beautiful and interesting wave lace underlay, and comes in sizes 0-12.
Price at the time of publish: $9,890
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Silk
Hilandel Custom Bridal
If you want something truly unique, make it one of a kind. The CEO and designer of Hilandel, Hillary Anne O’Dell, along with her team, are experts at creating personalized, special, and non-traditional wedding dresses that feel the most “authentically you.” Each dress is 100 percent designed and made in New York City, but they work with brides all over the country. The process begins with a consultation and a concept, and then the team shares a sketch and a price quote. Choose your own fabrics, design, cut outs, colors, and length within a budget that works for you. You’ll have about three in-person fittings, and then take home your one of a kind, truly original wedding dress.
Price at time of publish: from $2,500
Size Range: Made to measure | Length: Custom | Material: Custom
Best Lace Number
Narces Viola Lace Jumpsuit
This open back, delicate lace jumpsuit is sure to speak to the lace lover’s heart. The open back adds a touch of sexy sophistication, and the dramatic ruffle shoulders and high neck bring a playful elegance. We also love the flared pant legs with lace pockets detailing.
Price at the time of publish: $3,050
Size Range: 2-14 | Length: Floor | Material: Polyester
For the Fairytale
Selkie The Fairytale Gown
It’s all in the name. The Fairytale Gown from Selkie definitely looks like something out of a modern fairytale, with a twist. It features a square neckline, puff sleeves with cinched cuffs, and a flowy silhouette that comes to two distinct hemlines; it’s essentially a mini meets a maxi. The ruffle hems and floral print complete the dreamy aesthetic. It comes in sizes XXS-6XL for a size inclusive fit.
Price at the time of publish: $399
Size Range: XXS-6XL | Length: High-low; Floor | Material: Polyester
Fleur Du Mal Tuxedo Pants
For an androgynous wedding look, we love these tailored tuxedo pants from Fleur Du Mal. Made from 100 percent silk, these ivory dress pants feature a side button closure with satin cuffed hems. Pair with the Hamptons Bustier with structured cups for a cinched in waist that gives off a sexy, monochromatic look.
Price at the time of publish: $375
Size Range: 0-10 | Length: Ankle | Material: Silk
Batsheva May Dress in Ballerina Pink
Toast to your future in this futuristic holographic dress by Batsheva. It features puff-sleeves, a midi length, and a ballerina pink holographic fabric that has just enough stretch for comfort. With a V-shaped ruffle in front for added detailing, the full skirt with ruffle at bottom hem completes the look. It comes in sizes 0-20.
Price at the time of publish: $475
Size Range: 0-20 | Length: Midi | Material: Polyester
Best for a Tropical Vibe
Johanna Ortiz Era Of Palms Maxi Dress
Locally made and ethically manufactured, this silk hammered charmeuse dress features a relaxed silhouette that’s inspired by multi generations of fabulous style. It features a low back, floor length hem, and a tropical print that’s refined, elegant, and luxurious.
Price at the time of publish: $1,750
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Maxi | Material: Silk, Silk Hammered Charmeuse
Best for An Artistic Flair
Mara Hoffman Luisa Dress
This form-fitting column dress is fit for the bride with an artistic eye. It features a contrast cord applique that looks hand drawn, statement flared and rounded sleeves, a center front slit, and a strong v-neckline. It’s made from breathable cotton and linen materials, perfect for a warm weather wedding.
Price at the time of publish: $1,100
Size Range: 00-20 | Length: Midi | Material: Linen, Organic Cotton
Best Satin Blazer
Dissh Aisle Pearl Satin Blazer
This pearl cream, satin blazer is for the androgynous bride who adores a more masculine-inspired wedding look. With a long sleeve, collared v neckline, stitched pockets at front and padded shoulders to balance it out, this buttoned blazer is chic, classic, and polished while still breaking away from the norm.
Price at the time of publish: $170
Size Range: 2-12 | Length: Hip | Material: Viscose, Rayon
For a Disco Theme
Nadine Merabi Celina Gold Dress
Throwing a wedding disco? This sequined mini dress is the perfect show stopping piece to get the party started. It features a structured one-shoulder design with an asymmetric floor-sweeping drape, with shoulder pads to balance out the silhouette. It comes in black and pink, if you’re feeling even more daring.
Price at the time of publish: $440
Size Range: XS-XXL | Length: Mini | Material: Sequins
Best for a Barbie-Theme
Bronx and Banco Maraya Mini Dress
“Brides are tuning into trending colors such as hot pink to emulate Barbiecore,” says stylist Alicia Lloyd. For a Barbie-inspired option, this hot pink number features a mini length, back lace-up and zipper closure, and boning at the bust for added structure. The pleated fabric and tonal sequin details throughout complete the look for a playful and bright take on a wedding look.
Price at the time of publish: $850
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Mini | Material: Polyester
Mac Duggal Hand Embellished Scallop Detailed High Low Hem Gown
For a roaring ‘20s style event with a modern twist, this gorgeous high-low dress from Mac Duggal is an excellent pick. It’s fully lined through the body with a scoop neckline and criss-cross back detailing. The all over intricate beading brings out that ‘20s style glitz and glamor, accented by jewel encrusted embellishments for even more pazazz.
Price at the time of publish: $1,198
Size Range: 2-14 | Length: High-low | Material: Hand-embellished mesh overlay; 100 percent Polyester Lining
Best Bold Print
Agua Bendita Clare Dress
“Something blue” goes tropical, this maxi dress is for the bold bride who’s not afraid of a vibrant pattern. Featuring short balloon sleeves, a square back, and a midriff-baring front knot, this dress is perfect for a tropical destination wedding.
Price at the time of publish: $300
Size Range: S-L | Length: Maxi | Material: Polyester, Elastane
Best Black Dress
Amsale Strapless Satin Gown
“Last year we saw a surge in black wedding dresses,” says LLoyd. For a striking black dress option, we love playing with a classic, traditional bridal silhouette in a non-traditional colorway. This sculptural dress features a strapless neckline that comes to a point, functional pockets, and a voluminous skirt featuring a high-low hem. Note that it runs small, so size up for a comfortable fit!
Price at the time of publish: $795
Size Range: 2-12 | Length: High-low | Material: Polyester
Khanum’s Kmora Jumpsuit
The Kmora jumpsuit is daring, sexy, and cool, with a hint of ‘70s nostalgia. Made from glossy stretch-lycra, it features cutouts at the bodice to show a little skin, with gold tone buckle ring embellishments and flared sleeves.
Price at the time of publish: $335
Size Range: XXS-XXL | Length: Full | Material: Lycra - Polyamide 80 percent, Elastane 20 percent
Stella McCartney Sequined Midi Dress
This high neck, form-fitting dress features an elevated animal print that’s perfect for a non-traditional wedding venue. It has a bold cut out at the bodie, midi length, and allover sequins throughout for added flair.
Price at the time of publish: $1,650
Size Range: 0-10 | Length: Midi | Material: Silk, Detail: 80 percent cotton, 20 percent polyamide
Meet the Expert
As a Styling Supervisor at Stitch Fix, Alicia Lloyd brings her retail, people management, fashion, and tech background to supporting a team of Styling Leaders and their teams to deliver the best possible Client Experience. Alicia has worked in retail for the past 20 years and is inspired by making personal connections with her Leaders, Stylists, and Clients to drive results and to continuously improve the styling experience.
What to Look for in a Non-Traditional Wedding Dress
“When finding the perfect non-traditional wedding dress, the most important aspect to focus on is the fit & size,” says Lloyd. “No matter how non-traditional a bride’s wedding look is, making sure it’s appropriately tailored is key.”
There are a few key touchstones to think about when deciding on a dress:
“I encourage brides to embrace a wedding day look that speaks to their individuality and reflects their personal style – don’t shy away from features like intricate patterns, bright colors, or unconventional silhouettes if it makes you feel like you,” says Lloyd. A few elements that you can incorporate into your wedding day style are cultural backgrounds, favorite colors, unique accessories, wedding themes, or family heirlooms that feel personal and special to you.
No matter how non-traditional you want to go with your wedding day look, the season and weather will undoubtedly play a key role in your overall look. Sure, you can rock a long sleeve in July if you’d like, but in that case you might want to go for a lightweight, breathable fabric so you’re not ungodly uncomfortable, as an example.
The venue plays into the overall aesthetic and tone your wedding creates, and an outfit that embodies that atmosphere will help the wedding feel cohesive and intentional. If you’re having a wedding at a non-traditional location, like an art gallery, museum, warehouse, or zoo, try to incorporate some design elements into your wedding look to tie it all together. Go for a zebra print at a zoo, or a sequin number for a disco-themed warehouse party, for instance.
Do I have to wear white on my wedding day?
No. Although white is the traditional choice for bridal fashion it is absolutely not a requirement. “There are no rules that white is the only option; have fun with it,” says Lloyd. “Some brides prefer to wear white to keep with tradition, but we’re seeing more brides increasingly opt for their own take on bridal wear. It's a day to stand out in a way that is uniquely you, so don’t feel pressure to do what you think you should do. Do what you want to do,” she encourages.
What are the most popular colors to wear as a bride other than white?
Some of the most popular alternatives to white are champagne, blush, red, blue, and black—but you can wear any color you desire. We also love when brides choose to wear patterns down the aisle.
“If a bride chooses to wear a different color other than white, I suggest they consider neutral colors or pale shades such as pink, blue, or champagne,” says Lloyd. “Brides can even consider a dress change to bring a fun pop of color into the end of the evening.”
What can I wear to my wedding besides a dress?
If gowns just aren't your thing, there are a plethora of other silhouettes to choose from. Opt for a stylish jumpsuit, a chic bridal suit, or a two-piece set. “I recommend brides try jumpsuits, evening suits, skirt sets, or a less formal dress if a wedding gown is not their style,” says Lloyd. “Have fun with the fit, color, and length to suit what feels most comfortable for you. The most important thing to remember is that it’s their wedding day, so whatever they feel most beautiful in is the best outfit for walking down the aisle.”
Why Trust Brides
Chelsea Frank has been a comedy and lifestyle writer for nearly 10 years. She’s contributed to dozens of online publications, researching and writing on a number of topics from clean beauty and fashion to travel and wellness. She’s also an anxious soon-to-be bride, and on the hunt for the perfect dress.