How to Choose a Non-Traditional, Alternative Wedding Dress

Nazy Rafaeil
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Last updated 5 months ago.

White sleeveless formal jumpsuit

Weddings are no longer a cookie-cutter style that every woman simply repeats. These days, the type of wedding you pick is completely adaptable to your personality, lifestyle, taste, budget, etc. There is no wrong or right way to say ‘I Do’, only what fits you best!

One of the biggest bridal trends in recent years is a move away from the full-on formal wedding. These are typically expensive, over-fussy and can even lack intimacy. More brides want to design a customized wedding that is more personal, original and memorable.

This means crafting a unique experience for the wedding guest which can extend to the location or destination, type of food, and facilities available. The wedding itself may be scheduled differently to suit the couple or without the traditional timetable.

As well as a change in how weddings are happening, the whole world of bridal fashion is evolving to better cater to these modern brides who want to stand out. Not every woman wants a big puffy white wedding dress and sometimes an alternative non-traditional dress makes much more sense.

For example, if you plan to tie the knot at your local town hall, wearing a formal gown doesn’t quite fit. If you personally never wear dresses, why would you suddenly wear one now? Cater to your dream wedding and your personality, with a look that matches your own plans and ideas surrounding getting married.

To help you figure out how to make that all-important choice, and to open your mind to the possibility of many beautiful alternative options, we’re sharing our tips for selecting alternative wedding dresses. If you do go down this route, you can celebrate the many advantages. It is often cheaper to buy a dress that isn’t specifically designed for a wedding. It also offers you a broad range of choices, colors, and styles to pick from.

Unique Wedding Dresses 2020

For 2020, there are many unique wedding dresses you can select for your big day. Top trends include picking alternative colors and styles from traditional bridal gowns. That means that other colors such as blush, champagne, gold, and silver are now very fashionable for brides to wear down the aisle. As well as different color choices, more brides are opting for dresses that aren’t in the usual wedding dress style. This includes high-low dresses that are short at the front and even bridal jumpsuits. For a truly unique wedding dress, think outside the box and pick something that is special to you.


Choosing an Alternative Wedding Dress

Jovani sheer formal gown

  • Visit a local formal dress store. Stores that typically stock wedding dresses often have a diverse range of semi-formal cocktail and jumpsuit styles, as well as many other types of dresses. Explain your needs to the staff and start trying on a variety of looks to see what best flatters your shape.
  • Consider your new color palette. If you’re not wearing white – try to pick what color you would prefer to wear. Top alternative shades include metallic gold, rose gold and silver, as well as blush, red and champagne. If you’ll still have bridesmaids at your side, you’ll need to come up with a way to make them stand apart in a different color/style.
  • Try on a bridal jumpsuit. A jumpsuit is a great alternative to a wedding dress. It has a powerful, strong and very chic look for your wedding. It’s perfect for any woman who doesn’t want to wear a dress. It can still include soft, feminine details if you prefer such as white lace or floral applique. That being said, it can also have a masculine edge with tailored or suit-like elements. That makes it very adaptable depending on what you want.
  • Play with length. How long your dress is will play a big role in determining how formal its style is. A short or midi length dress can be a great alternative solution and suits many different wedding styles such as beach or destination weddings. It’s also a good option for any type of low key civil ceremony like a courthouse wedding. If you’re having a casual or informal big day, look at cocktail dresses in your favorite colors.
  • Opt for a two-piece or sheer dress. Think outside the box and select a dress with design features that aren’t very typical for a wedding dress. This can include a two-piece look with a separate top/jacket and skirt or pants. It can also be a fully sheer gown with a nude slip or underlay beneath. Don’t be afraid to get creative and piece together your own ideas!


Unique Bridal Hair, Makeup & Accessories

Jovani pink fitted ruffle dress


One of the reasons alternative weddings are growing in popularity is because they allow both the bride and groom to express themselves more. Once you’ve found your perfect alternative wedding outfit, you should make sure to consider how to complete the look in a similar fashion.

One good option is to buy unique wedding jewelry to complete the outfit. If your dress isn’t very bridal, you could opt to juxtapose the vision with delicate chandelier or pearl earrings. If you want to continue the modern vibe, opt for trendy or minimal jewels.

Match up your makeup. If your whole wedding is a gothic vision with a black dress and dark theme, complete the look with the right makeup. Research ideas on Instagram and Pinterest, and enlist a professional if you’re not confident enough to do your own makeup on the big day.

You may even decide not to wear makeup if you usually don’t wear any and don’t feel comfortable wearing it. Make sure your skin looks polished and natural by beginning a good skincare regime at least a month before the big day.

Finally, your accessories! From your shoes, bag and any type of headwear, make sure you’ve completed your alternative wedding outfit with just the right finishing touches. Remember not to over-do it, less is more!

Follow your own fashion instincts and be proud of your original wedding look that is sure to make an unforgettable impression.

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