In Praise of Nontraditional Wedding Dresses

Posted in DIY Fashion, Wedding Fashion

Bold Wedding DressIt’s tempting to think of the traditional white wedding dress as a centuries-old, unassailable tradition. Walk into any bridal shop and you’ll see row upon row of white dresses: some with fussy lace, some with flouncy layers of tulle, some with ridiculously long trains. Everywhere you look, it’s pristine white racks of the same old thing and not a single nontraditional wedding dress to be seen.

The interesting thing is, the whole white wedding dress tradition can be traced back to 1790, when Queen Victoria wore a white dress to her wedding. Talk about starting a trend! Over two hundred years later, most brides don’t even consider a different style of dress. But it’s 2015 now, and you officially have our permission to go against the grain and try something different. A bride in red is just as married as a bride in white, so why not go a little wild? Here are some ways to break out of the ordinary when you pick your dress.

Color: Go Bold!

No one cares if you’re a virgin at a modern wedding, and it’s really nobody’s business even if they did. There’s no need to advertise your sexual history with a white or (gasp) ivory dress. For a spring or summer wedding, consider a yellow or green, in a shade anywhere from pastel to jewel tone. For winter, icy blues and silvers can be far more striking than plain old snow-white

If you’re feeling saucy, go for a sultry red or a deep blue. You’ll have your picture taken more times on your wedding day than the rest of your  entire life–why not choose a color that really flatters you?

Or if you’re feeling like you want a particularly nontraditional wedding dress, try going for a black dress. Especially for an evening wedding, black is striking and chic, a good counterpoint to the groom’s tuxedo. It’s not just for funerals and cocktail parties anymore. Maybe black is the new black!

Style: Beyond the 15-Foot Train

If a floor-length gown with a train doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of nontraditional styles that might fit the bill. Consider a curve-hugging mermaid cut to flatter your figure, or an empire-waisted throwback to the 60’s and 70’s. There’s no reason to squeeze your body into an unflattering dress because it’s traditional.

That long, cumbersome train that has to be bustled before the bride can walk unattended is going the way of the dodo, too. In some new styles, the entire bottom of the dress–you know, the part with all those layers of fabric–slides right off, leaving the bride in a smart sheath dress perfect for dancing the night away.

Getting Playful with Themes

If you’re having a theme wedding, the dress options are even more broad. You’ll want to avoid going outright costumey–you don’t want your wedding pictures to look like you raided the prop department of a high school theater club–but you can draw inspiration from your theme for a truly standout dress. Your dress could hint at Renaissance-era bodice, Victorian-era corsetry, or even roaring 20’s fringe. Combined with your new appreciation for color in a wedding dress, you’ll have lots of freedom to play with the design and come up with something that really nails your theme.

If the traditional bride in white just isn’t for you, you officially have our permission to explore and experiment with some nontraditional wedding dresses to see what you love best. Try some of the suggestions in this article, or strike boldly off in your own direction! If you love the way you look on your wedding day, you’ve done it right.

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