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Non-traditional wedding outfit inspiration alternative brides will LOVE

If you're reading this blog, I'm guessing you're not a regular bride, you're a cool bride! (Please get the reference, or else it sounds as though I'm being really rude...)

REGARDLESS, you're not keen on the traditional poofy, lacy white wedding dress thing. And that's awesome! While some people have always fantasised about the big white dress, it won't be everyone's thing, and you shouldn't settle for it just because it's 'tradition'. At the end of the day, it's YOUR wedding day, and you want to feel like you - and the best version of you!

So here are some amazing non-traditional wedding outfit options for you to consider, which my real brides have rocked on their wedding days.

Option one: NO dress

DON'T say yes to the dress - fuck the dress entirely! Just because you're a bride, doesn't mean you have to wear one, if a dress doesn't feel like you. So what could you wear instead?

A snazzy suit

Women look amazing in suits! And these days you have so many options, in all sorts of fabrics and colours, whether you want to buy off the rack, or get something bespoke made. Suits are classy, comfortable, and really easy to make your own! Add a funky waistcoat, a large flamboyant boutonniere, or a statement pair of shoes to jazz things up.

So, where to start when finding your perfect wedding suit? One site I love is Sumissura, where you can design your perfect suit from a huge range of materials and styles. You can customise everything from the colour/pattern of your jacket's lining, to the type of buttons, and even have your suit monogrammed! Not going to lie, I've spent hours on here playing around with their suit builder tool...

If designing your suit yourself isn't your bag, King & Allen's suits are fabulous, bespoke, and they have loads of options to choose from. If you'd rather just buy and wear, check out shops like Ted Baker, Coast, Reiss, and Hobbs, which usually have a good selection of high-quality women's suits in various colours.

Seriously cool separates and one-pieces

Not feeling a suit OR a dress? Separates and jumpsuits are fabulous options for your wedding, and there are a huge variety to choose from.

White bridal jumpsuits are very chic, and with full-length/wide-leg trousers can give you the illusion of a dress with the comfort of trousers! You can also add drama with trains, cloaks, and statement veils, or if you're having a summer wedding, wear a shorter jumpsuit to keep things cool and casual.

Opting for separates gives you so many options for your final look; from being able to swap out your tops to go from day to night, to adding in some colour with a vivid blouse or skirt.

The fabulous Lucy Can't Dance is a great place to start your search for your perfect bridal separates, with a wide range of styles perfect for quirky brides. Catherine Deane also have lots of options, as do House of Ollichon. For jumpsuits, be sure to also have a look at Nadine Merabi!

Option two: a more colourful take on the 'traditional' wedding dress

This is one take on the alternative wedding dress that I LOVE. You kind of get the best of both worlds; still the big, dramatic swishy dress, but something unique which really shows off your personality, or ties into your wedding theme. My own wedding dress was champagne/gold with lots of beautiful flowers, but I always wished I'd pushed it a bit further and gone for a proper pop of colour!

Over the years, I've photographed brides in all sorts of amazing wedding dresses with a little something different, whether they're covered in beautiful embroidery, beads or sequins, dip-dyed, or just really colourful.

Where to look for your non-traditional wedding dress? I'd again take a gander at Lucy Can't Dance, who have some stunning dip-dyed options, amongst other things. Temperley London have a range of amazing embroidered outfits at the time of writing, and Needle and Thread is always a good bet for dresses with beautiful embroidery and embellishments - as well as being very affordable. You could also look at Etsy, for something truly bespoke!

Option three: a dress that's just 'you'

So you still want to wear a dress, but not really something in the style of a typical 'wedding dress'? Go for it! I've had brides wear dresses they love in every colour of the rainbow, and you can have a lot of fun with it and really express yourself. And as you're not buying a 'wedding dress', you can often save a chunk of change too!

Tie your look in with the season - e.g. a warm orange in autumn; go wild with sequins and sparkles; or pick a really bold colour like red to make a statement and ensure you won't fade into the crowd! If you're a maximalist person, go for all the pattern, or add drama with feathers, ruffles, and oversized accessories.

As to where to find your outfit - well, the world is your oyster! You're not tied to bridal boutiques, so you can look in high-end department stores, on the high street, or even have a rummage through vintage and charity shops to see if you can find a hidden gem.

Option four: shorten it!

One easy way to make your wedding outfit look more relaxed is to opt for a shorter-length dress, and if you're getting married in the summer it will have the added bonus of keeping you cooler!

You can add a pop of colour to shorter wedding dresses with coloured petticoats that will look great when you're twirling, or take the opportunity to wear some statement shoes as everyone will be able to see them. You could also push the boundaries and go for something really modern with a wedding mini-dress, and accessorise with large bows or veils.

Rixo do great shorter wedding dresses, including some cool sparkly numbers! You should also check out Charlotte Mills' selection of 'hen' dresses, which are perfect modern shorter wedding dresses - and be sure to look at their wedding shoes while you're there. Most bridal boutiques and designers will do some shorter styles, so you should have no problem finding some to try on in person.

Bonus round: alternative wedding shoes

If you think about 'wedding shoes' you may picture something white and heeled - and probably rather uncomfortable. And if you're anything like me, you might look like a baby giraffe trying to walk in high heels. Or you just want to be COMFORTABLE on what is a long, full-on day where you will be standing, walking, and dancing for hours on end.

Fear not! Just like you are not tied to a big white wedding gown, you are also not tied to tottery white heels if that's not your thing. Why not keep it casual and consider cute personalised wedding trainers, colourful comfy Vans, or even Crocs?! And don't forget, if you are wearing a floor-length dress, your shoes will hardly ever be seen anyway, so it doesn't really matter what you've got on.

Wearing non-traditional wedding shoes also has the added benefit that they don't have to go back in their box at the end of the day - you can wear them again, whether you break out your glittery platform sandals for parties, or pull on your pink Dr. Martens for a trip to Tesco.


*This was meant to be a top five, but then I couldn't narrow it down any further!

At the time of writing, I've shot over 200 weddings so I've seen aaalll the outfits. So many have been absolutely STUNNING, but these are the ones that have stuck in my head over the years. Do I sometimes regret not grabbing them and making a run for it...? Maybe.

No 6: Deni's dip-dyed dress - with interchangeable tops!

This dress was PERFECT for Deni and Mike's celestial-themed wedding at Norwich Arts Centre, with the indigo dip-dye at the bottom complementing the groom's suit and the bridesmaids' dark purple dresses, as well as the decorations. The dress itself was strapless, but the bride added a white embroidered top for the day, switching to a black net top with silver and gold stars for party time!

No 5: Lucy's bold rose gold sequin dress

I love a bit of rose gold, as well as anything sparkly, so this dress was a huge YES in my book! Lucy and John's wedding at Colehayes Park in Devon was held in February, so the dress brought a great bit of winter sparkle, as well as complementing the colourful theme.

No 4: Emily's boho crocheted wedding dress

I LOVED this dress and how unique it was. Ashley and Emily's wedding at quirky Sparkford Hall was a lot of fun, and literally five minutes down the road from where I grew up! The whole day had a relaxed, boho vibe, with the bridesmaids in rust-coloured linen jumpsuits, so the crochet dress was a perfect fit. It had the bonus of the flowing off-the-shoulder sleeves unfastening, making it easy to dance the night away in.

No 3: Kat's seriously funky bright pink gown

Kat and Rosie had to downsize their wedding plans thanks to the pandemic, but there was no compromising on the beautiful outfits when they got married in a smaller ceremony at Chelsea Old Town Hall! Years on, I still adore this wedding dress, with its neon pink flowing skirt and colourful embroidered bodice. Stunning!

No 2: Mimi's dreamy, unique 70s-inspired dress

Mimi and Jim's relaxed, 70s-inspired day in the Devon countryside will always be in my top ten favourite weddings. They thought of everything; from the setting, to the décor, to the delicious food - but one of the highlights was this absolutely dreamy wedding dress. I've never seen another like it, and the bride looked stunning in it, accessorising with pampas grass in her hair and platform heels.

No 1: Hannah's tropical-embroidered WONDER of a dress

In at number one is this GORGEOUS dress, which knocked my socks off when I first saw it at Hannah and Mark's wedding at The Victorian Barn in Dorset. Their wedding was full of colour, fun, and joy, with bridesmaids and groomsmen in an array of vivid shades, cocktail-making stations at every table, and a big customised neon sign over the altar. This embroidered gown covered in colourful flowers was the perfect fit for the day, and just such a stunner.


I hope this blog has inspired you to create your own unique bridal look, and stay true to your own style! And if you're a fan of these pics, why not hit the button below and send me a message to see if I'm free to photograph your wedding?

Non-traditional wedding outfit


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