This Week on Say Yes to the Dress—Non-Traditional Brides Go Traditional

Each week we'll be chronicling wedding dress shopping trials and tribulations on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress. From family feuds to consultant faux pas to falling in (and out) of love with a gown, we're taking notes from the best of what "Brideday" has to offer.

Last night's Say Yes to the Dress tackled a wedding dress dilemma many edgy brides face: Finding an out-of-the-box gown that still reads bridal.

For the modern soon-to-be Mrs., this conflict is all too common. Non-traditional wedding dresses are becoming so popular that they've practically become traditional. After all, Vera Wang showed bold coral wedding dresses on the runway just yesterday, and Rachel McAdams gets married in a candy apple red gown in her upcoming movie.

Another case in point: One of this episode's alternative brides, Emily Ellis, wants something overtly classic. This lawyer-by-day, rocker-by-night envisions herself in a Victorian-inspired gown.

What do we mean by this? We're talking a super high neckline and long sleeves to completely contrast her "black" personal style. The first dress she slips into, a long-sleeved lace A-line gown with a high illusion neckline, is perfect. So perfect that she says she pictures her grandmother wearing that dress on her wedding day.

For her second round of try-ons, Emily tries on a ruched tulle and lace mermaid gown with a deep V-neck and three-quarter-length sleeves. To put it simply, the dress looks stunning on the alternative, raven-haired bride. Looking at this modern, sexy, and stylish option, Emily realizes that the first gown was perfect—but maybe too predictable. The second gown gives her exactly what she needed, and is more unexpected. As she says to her girls, "I look like a dead bride and I love it." After getting jacked up in a veil and headpiece, the bohemian bride says yes to the $6,400 Monique Lhuillier dress.

The takeaway? Sometimes what you think you want isn't what you need—even if you rock an alternative style, let your dress surprise you.

The episode's second bride, Brittany Smith, rocks about 14 tattoos across her body (she told her consultant Diane that she has so many she's lost count). Rather than try to hide them like many brides opt to do, Smith elects to show them off. The first dress, a slinky lace sheath with an open back displays her wing tattoo perfectly. While she adores this unconventional option, her entourage wants to see her in something more bridal.

After trying on a ruffled A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline, Brittany settles on a happy medium: A lace sweetheart Eugenia mermaid dress that hugs her curves. The complete opposite of Emily, Brittany came in looking for something out-of-the-box but ended up finding a dress that was a bit more classic than she anticipated.

Lesson learned? Work with what you've got rather than try to fit the mold of "a bride." And don't be afraid to surprise yourself!

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