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Who says the bride has to be dressed in white or even in a dress for that matter? Weddings are never cookie-cutter affairs—and neither are brides! So let's take a stand for originality and show some solidarity in unconventional ensemble choices. Non-traditional wedding dresses, sky-high minis, and palazzo jumpsuits where you can't tell the difference still scream "bridal gown," and we say "I do" to that.
Are you considering wearing a non-traditional look down the aisle? Let this be your sign to be bold and break the rules. Color, sparkle, separates, floral prints, feathers, organza, and tulle are all fashion-forward options to consider for your big day—and none of your guests will expect it! Rock a saturated hue for an all-white wedding to add some visual oomph. Juxtapose clean lines and minimalist florals with a sumptuously textured dress. Or, up the ante on a classic fête with a leggy mini dress or unforgettable print. Modern brides everywhere are ditching classic white wedding dresses, and choosing more unconventional styles for their wedding day looks.
We’ve rounded up our 12 favorite non-traditional wedding dresses for the bride who wants to make a statement at their nuptials.
Best Details: Valentine Avoh Sunset Boulevard Rita Dress
Size Range: Made to measure | Length: Floor-length | Material: Silk crepe | Shipping: 1-6 months | Return policy: Final sale
Like a cascade of confetti, this vivacious gown delivers on its promise to turn heads. While the restrained silhouette is an absolute classic, the all-over fringe ups the fun factor by coming to life with each movement.
For the Vintage Bride: Houghton by Katharine Polk Gwen Gown
Size Range: 00-30 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Moire | Shipping: 1-6 weeks | Return policy: Final sale
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.
Best Pink Dress: Fame and Partners The Oscar Dress
Size Range: 0-22 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Satin | Shipping: 8-10 weeks | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of purchase
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.
Best Blush Dress: Willowby by Watters Galatea Dress
Size Range: 0-24W | Length: Floor-length | Material: Tulle and floral appliqué | Shipping: 14-15 weeks | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of delivery
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.
For the Dreamer: WardrobeByDulcinea Estelle Celestial Wedding Dress
Size Range: Made to measure | Length: Floor-length | Material: Satin and tulle | Shipping: 4 months | Return policy: Final sale
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.
Most Playful: I'm All Yours Cream Ruffled Maxi Dress
Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester | Shipping: Standard delivery | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of purchase
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.
Most Fashion Forward: Odylyne the Ceremony Mini Caspian Dress
Size Range: 2-20 (larger sizes available upon request) | Length: Mini | Material: Silk | Shipping: 5 months | Return policy: Final sale
This design is sheer poetry in motion. The overall look is quite angelic, but the ruffle high-neck collar, dramatic puff sleeves, and unexpected mini length kick things up a notch. Bonus: It's available in petite, standard, and tall lengths, too.
For a Backyard Wedding: Free People Beatrice Maxi Dress
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester | Shipping: Standard delivery | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of purchase
Channel your inner silver screen siren with this vintage-inspired silk maxi dress. The plunging V-neckline and flutter sleeves are beautifully balanced by the body-skimming silhouette for a glamorous yet carefree vibe.
Best Blue Dress: Azazie Rowe BG Dress
Size Range: WD0-WD30 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Tulle and lace | Shipping: Standard delivery | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of purchase
Looking for that special something blue? This regal gown (it even features a chapel-length train) is what princess dreams are made of.
For a Garden Wedding: LoveShackFancy Shoshana Dress
Size Range: 00-10 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Silk and nylon mesh | Shipping: Standard delivery | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 30 days of purchase
Ideal for a summer outdoor wedding, this antique mesh and intricate floral thread work offers a sweet take on cottagecore styling. Exaggerated strappy ribbons amplify the youthfulness of the design.
Most Sparkly: StylishBrideAccs Rose Gold Sequin Bridal Dress
Size Range: XS-XXXL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester | Shipping: 3-5 weeks | Return policy: Final sale
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.
Best Texture: Danielle Frankel Studio Rosalie Dress
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Silk | Shipping: 12-18 weeks | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 5 days of purchase
What To Look For in a Non-Traditional Wedding Dress
Rocking an unconventional bridal look is all about breaking the rules, so we won't bog you down with too many of them. These options are all about skirting tradition to amplify your unique personality, so make sure that you are the one that's shining on the big day—not the dress. Comfort is king here as you'll want to show up in full confidence to serve the look. Opt for silhouettes that feel natural to your style—that way you won't be fidgeting or reconsidering the decision all night. Also, keep the weather and environment in mind. A black, long-sleeved ball gown will certainly be a bold and unforgettable choice, but you might end up regretting it when you're sweating under the hot summer sun. (Some rules do have value.) Balance is also important. Be intentional about which expectations to buck and which to embrace. Perhaps you prefer a classic silhouette in a graphic print or an avant-garde design in a traditional hue.
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About the Author
Contributing writer Christine Coppa has been a lifestyle journalist and reporter within the fashion space for 17 years. Her memoirRattled! was named a Target Breakout Book. In addition, her work has been published in a variety of publications including Byrdie, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan, in addition to Brides.