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Dresses for the non-traditional bride

I’m about to go rogue. I have sold designer wedding dresses to brides for 10 years, and today I am writing a post that is embracing dresses not specifically “bridal.” Here’s why: But in those 10 years of working with brides and helping them choose their perfect dress, I have encountered several whose idea of a wedding dress doesn’t fit into the mold of the “average” American bride. I was always left wondering what that bride ended up choosing for her wedding day. I knew that the shop I worked in had nearly every style a bride could ask for, so I was never sure what that ‘x factor’ was for the brides who left empty-handed.

Personally, I sympathize with this frustrating shopping experience. When I was a bride, what I wanted was more of a feeling for me than a dress. So even though I had access to purchasing a designer gown, I chose to have my dress made by a seamstress. This is not a path that I recommend for everyone, but it’s what I did. In hindsight, I think I would have fit more into a dress that wasn’t traditionally bridal. Something more couture, more whimsical and less fussy. I was the bride who didn’t fit the mold.

Here are a few styles I have found that just might work if you are struggling to find the dress for you.

Jenny Packham \ net-a-porter.com
Jenny Packham \ net-a-porter.com

First, is this gorgeous dress by Jenny Packham. I love this because of the intricate beading mixed with a simple silhouette.

Why a bride can wear it: This dress is glamorous and elegant and evokes a bit of a Great Gatsby feel. An elegant up-do with a simple birdcage veil would suit this perfectly and you will look every bit the blushing bride as you walk down the aisle.

Temperley London \ www.net-a-porter.com
Temperley London \ net-a-porter.com

Next is this bohemian-inspired dress by Temperley London.

Why a bride can wear it: I love this dress because it reminds me of my Mother’s wedding dress. It is simple, but the embroidery is exquisite and it would be lovely for a late-morning or early afternoon wedding.

Roland Mouret \ net-a-porter.com
Roland Mouret \ net-a-porter.com

I love a dress with structured details and this dress doesn’t disappoint. It features an interesting and slightly futuristic bodice that blends into a flowing skirt.

Why a bride can wear it: This dress is modern and simple and can be accessorized with a bold necklace and bracelet. You would want to keep your hair and hair accents simple so as not to take away from the unique sleeve of the dress.

Roland Mouret \ net-a-porter.com
Roland Mouret \ net-a-porter.com

The last dress is another by Roland Mouret, and I love this one because it is cocktail length and sassy.

Why a bride can wear it: If you add a birdcage veil and a bouquet to this simple dress, you will be the epitome of chic on your wedding day.

For all my fellow brides who feel lost in the thousands of traditional dresses that are available, maybe one of these styles will suit you. They aren’t as conventional, but when styled correctly, can be the perfect compliment to you on your wedding day.

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