For the bride-to-be who’s all about bucking tradition, the great news is that there are myriad wedding dress (and pant!) options that defy the whole tulle-and-lace (ahem, virginal) white look that we’re all so accustomed to in the western world. To be a nontraditional bride means that the wedding dress world becomes your oyster — and without any real boundaries or parameters on what you’re limited to wearing, it can be an overwhelming task to select a non-traditional wedding dress that’s right for you.
Essentially, it all boils down to what works for your budget, style, color preferences, and so on. After all, “alternative wedding dress” can literally mean anything if you think about it. But what we do know is a “traditional” wedding dress when we see one: They’re generally a ballgown or sheath silhouette, they’re swathed in fanciful materials like tulle, silk, beads, and lace, and, of course, they’re white.
So, ahead, we’re serving up alternative wedding dress options that embody one (or more) of the elements that make the whole shebang nontraditional. Perhaps the dress isn’t floor-length. Maybe the dress is a color other than white. What if you wear a jumpsuit or pants instead? Or how about a wedding outfit that’s under $200 that you buy online? Ahead, we share some of our top picks for the best nontraditional and alternative wedding dresses you can shop from the comforts of your computer or phone.
There’s tulle for days but at least the dress is tiered and layered in a nontraditional way. We also love the overall blush hue.
This see-through gown with starfish and mollusks embroidered at the bottom hem would make for a unique alternative wedding dress for beachfront nuptials.
Shop Free People
A free-flowing A-line gown is always a good call if you’re not into the fitted wedding dress look.
Shop Free People
The double-twist construction. The peek-a-boo cutout. The side slit. We love the sexy details of this midi dress that could be a great bridal option.
Eliza J Sequin Wrap Front Long Sleeve Jumpsuit, $198 $108.90
Perfect for the disco bride.
Et Tigre Yang Dress, $294
Wearing black as a wedding dress is a choice — and it’s one we highly approve of.
Shop Lisa Says Gah
A tailored creme jumpsuit is always a power move.
The floral pattern, the sheer overlay, and the puff sleeves will make any bride feel like a fairytale princess.
Dia & Co. Selene Dress, $348
Stay breezy and comfortable in this flowy, asymmetrical white dress.
Shop Dia & Co.
Despite the unconventional color, this darling sea foam dress is still guaranteed to be a show-stopper on your wedding day.
Shop Matches Fashion
A unique wedding dress can still be formal and alternative — take, for instance, this lingerie-inspired gown.
We love this extra poofy babydoll white dress for its playful irreverence.
Anything midi, off-white, and covered in gemstones seems appropriate for saying “I do.”
Lean into a bright and bold color on your big day.
Shop Neiman Marcus
For the casual City Hall-style wedding, this short and sweet mini is a charming option.
This half-tee, half-lace midi looks so comfortable, we’d keep wearing it throughout the summer and fall months too.
This formal A-line gown is readily available at Nordstrom — and, best of all, in comes in an array of colors.
We’re particularly in love with this jumpsuit’s elegance and ease. Perfect for the casual bride-to-be.
Shop Neiman Marcus
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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