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The Best Nontraditional Wedding Dresses & Bridal Alternatives

the-best-nontraditional-wedding-dresses-&-bridal-alternatives

If we’re talking about nuptials in the Western world, “traditional” wedding dresses tend to have a certain silhouettes — the usual shapes being ball gown, A-line, sheath, and mermaid — designed with standard dress materials like tulle, lace, satin, and silk. These traditional wedding dresses might also have a touch of pizzazz like beading, sequins, embroidery, and rhinestones. And, often, these lavish dresses are very expensive. And generally speaking, traditional wedding dresses are always white, maybe ivory.

But, let’s say you’re a different kind of bride. That’s right. You’re a nontraditional bride! And you’re specifically seeking a nontraditional wedding dress. Perhaps a dress that isn’t floor-length and will show off your unique bridal shoes? Or a gown that incorporates fun colors or minimalistic black wedding dresses. Maybe you’d like an under-$100 dress that isn’t going to throw you into financial ruin? Or you’d prefer a comfortable wedding jumpsuit or breezy wide-leg pants instead. There are myriad ways to veer off the traditional wedding dress path — and however many degrees of uniqueness you’d like to take your wedlock look, we’re here to help.

Ahead, shop some of our top picks for the best nontraditional wedding dresses and alternative bridal options under $2K that the internet has to offer. If anything, we promise you’ll stand out among the cookie-cutter Pinterest brides this wedding season. 

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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Sabina Musayev Rosa Jumpsuit

The Best Nontraditional Modern Jumpsuit

Wearing a pantsuit or a jumpsuit in lieu of a wedding dress is a power move. If you’ve always preferred pants, perhaps this tuxedo-ish piece is for you.

Shop Free People

Sabina Musayev Rosa Jumpsuit, $, available at Free People

Morphine Fashion Strapless Tiered Tulle Asymmetric Gown

The Best Nontraditional Mermaidcore Wedding Gown

Bring on the flounce, the drama, and the legs! If you’re planning to make a grand statement with your wedding dress, go ahead and pump up the volume in this gown’s mint, pink, or black options. The mint option is a designated mermaid-core ball gown with its layered tulle.

Shop Anthropologie

Morphine Fashion Strapless Tiered Tulle Asymmetric Gown, $, available at Anthropologie

& Other Stories Babydoll Tied Sleeve Detail Dress

The Best Nontraditional Edgy Babydoll Dress

When people picture nontraditional wedding dresses, many immediately think of black. While you could opt for a black ballgown, you can also opt for a more casual or cropped option for your nuptials.

Shop & Other Stories

& Other Stories Babydoll Tied Sleeve Detail Dress, $, available at & Other Stories

Paco Rabanne Embellished Glittered Stretch-Crepe Maxi Dress

The Best Nontraditional Gold Maxi Wedding Dress

Look like a chic modern Greek goddess in a shimmering gold maxi. The ruching, thigh-high slit, and gold buttons are a showstopper.

Shop Paco Rabanne At Net-A-Porter

Paco Rabanne Embellished Glittered Stretch-Crepe Maxi Dress, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Jonathan Simkhai Jamie Fossil Guipure Dress

The Best Nontraditional Abstract Wedding Dress

Be one with the ocean with a fossil motif maxi. The abstract number comes strapless, but there are removable halter straps for additional comfort.

Shop Simkhai

Jonathan Simkhai Jamie Fossil Guipure Dress, $, available at Simkhai

Confête Penny Dress

The Best Nontraditional Floral Dress

Wedding bouquets are fleeting works of art, but this dainty pressed floral mini-dress will last forever. You can wear it numerous times, and it has all the colorful flowers you’ll need.

Shop Confête

Confête Penny Dress, $, available at Confête

Saylor Toula Dress

The Best Nontraditional Barbiecore Wedding Dress

Sashay down that aisle in a Barbie-core-inspired magenta number. The striking neon hue is a stunner with its marble pattern and tie strap halter.

Shop Saylor At Shopbop

Saylor Toula Dress, $, available at Shopbop

Alexia María Convertible Bow-Embellished Silk Faille Jumpsuit

The Best Nontraditional Convertible Wedding Jumpsuit

Is it a dress, or is it a jumpsuit? It’s both. Behold the most comfortable one-piece that mimics a wedding ball gown with a dramatic bow embellishment on the back and a sweetheart neckline. You might not be able to stay cool with a princess-styled wedding dress, but you’ll definitely stay cool in this wide-leg jumpsuit.

Shop Alexia María At Saks Fifth Avenue

Alexia María Convertible Bow-Embellished Silk Faille Jumpsuit, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Karen Millen Deco Crystal Embellished Plunge Midi Dress

The Best Nontraditional Futuristic Wedding Dress

Cue Beyonce’s Alien Superstar. Deck out in a dazzling futuristic midi dress with blue and silver embellished crystals for an otherworldly look.

Shop Karen Millen

Karen Millen Deco Crystal Embellished Plunge Midi Dress, $, available at KAREN MILLEN

Bridal by Eloquii Mini Dress With Puff Sleeve Cape

The Best Nontraditional Caped Wedding Dress

Say goodbye to the traditional tulle veil and say hello to a unique tulle cape instead. This mini dress features a stunning detachable puff-sleeve cape perfect for walking down the aisle. Then, of course, you can whip it off when it’s dancing time.

Shop Eloquii

Bridal By Eloquii Mini Dress With Puff Sleeve Cape, $, available at Eloquii

Superdown Madeline Blazer Dress

The Best Nontraditional Powersuit-Inspired Wedding Dress

If you want a blend of feminine and masculine bridal details, you can have the best of both worlds with a suit dress. And at just $90, this Superdown option is a steal.

Shop Revolve

Superdown Madeline Blazer Dress, $, available at Revolve

Azeeza Lucas High Neck Asymmetrical Dress

The Best Nontraditional Flamboyant Wedding Dress

Don’t you just hate the idea of “sizes” and fitting into such a fixed number? Well, this tent-like gown is available in just one size — that’s how free-flowing it is. The bright pink color, the asymmetric hem, and the halter neck are cherries on top.

Shop Azeeza At Shopbop

Azeeza Lucas High Neck Asymetrical Dress, $, available at Shopbop

Banana Republic Lido Sculpted Italian Wool Blazer & Bermuda Shorts

The Best Nontraditional Casual Wedding Short Set

For the bride who’s skipping the big wedding to-do and opting for City Hall affair instead, a suit set is the perfect option. These classic yet relaxed-fit suit separates can be dressed up or down depending on the top, accessories, and shoes.

Shop Banana Republic

Banana Republic Lido Sculpted Italian Wool Blazer, $, available at Banana Republic

Banana Republic Lido Italian Wool Bermuda Shorts, $, available at Banana Republic

Elliatt Times Dress

The Best Nontraditional “Something Blue” Wedding Dress

Questioning what your “something blue” should be? Why not go all out and wear a blue wedding dress? While the colorway is bold, this midi dress still has traditional lace and floral bridal details.

Shop Elliatt At Revolve

ELLIATT Times Dress, $, available at Revolve

For Love & Lemons Lily Bridal Dress

The Best Nontraditional Sultry Wedding Dress

While going ultra sexy might not work for your wedding (unless you’ve got a very chill family), a tiny, private affair might call for a racier, lingerie-inspired wedding dress like this one with a sheer skirt.

Shop For Love & Lemons

For Love And Lemons Lily Bridal Dress, $, available at For Love And Lemons

Selkie The Fairytale Gown

The Best Nontraditional Fairytale Wedding Dress

Okay, maybe you do want to feel like a princess but don’t want a traditional ballgown. An alternative solution is this whimsical high-low dress.

Shop Selkie At Revolve

Selkie The Fairytale Gown, $, available at Revolve

11 Honoré Collection Alexandra Dress

The Best Nontraditional Black And White Wedding Dress

A color-blocked wedding dress is a fun way to mix things up. Bonus points if your partner opts for a black-and-white look, too, for a matchy moment.

Shop 11 Honoré At Dia & Co.

11 Honoré Collection Alexandra Dress, $, available at Dia and Co

Self-Portrait Belted Bouclé And Crepe Midi Dress

The Best Nontraditional Preppy Wedding Dress

Pastels are a simple way to switch up your bridal look. Tons of texture is also effective. So this sherbet green vintage-inspired dress with tweed, chiffon, and lace is a beautiful conglomeration of that all.

Shop Self-Portrait At Matches

Self-Portrait Belted Bouclé and Crepe Midi Dress, $, available at Matches

Reformation Zenni Dress Es

The Best Nontraditional Mini Wedding Dress

We love a mini wedding dress moment, and this ivory Reformation piece available in plus sizes is absolutely stunning.

Shop Reformation

Reformation Zenni Dress Es, $, available at Reformation

BCBG Maxazria Corset Tulle Gown

The Best Nontraditional Corset Wedding Dress

This best-selling gown at Revolve could absolutely work as a nontraditional wedding dress. The corset detail, the sheer tulle skirt, and the unexpected hue — it’s a vision.

Shop BCBG Maxazria At Revolve

BCBG MAXAZRIA Corset Tulle Gown, $, available at Revolve

Zhivago An Angel Is Love Beaded Playsuit Romper

The Best Nontraditional Wedding Romper

For the dress averse, you may have considered a bridal jumpsuit, but what about a bridal romper? A leggy option is perfect for showing some skin and dancing the night away.

Shop Zhivago At Neiman Marcus

ZHIVAGO An Angel Is Love Beaded Playsuit Romper, $, available at Neiman Marcus

Dress The Population Sidney Dress

The Best Nontraditional Sheer Wedding Dress

This dress stands out because, well, it’s completely sheer (save for a slip). The real draw is the appliqué detail of the flowers — it’s classic lace taken to a whole new level.

Shop Dress The Population At Verishop

Dress The Population Sidney Dress, $, available at Verishop

Sau Lee Blair Off-Shoulder Mini Dress

The Best Nontraditional Off-The-Shoulder Wedding Dress

While bows are typically placed on the backs of wedding dresses, this dress offers a fresh take on an oversized bow.

Shop Sau Lee At Neiman Marcus

Sau Lee Blair Off-Shoulder Mini Dress, $, available at Neiman Marcus

Chiara Boni La Petite Robe Kincso Ruffled Peplum Jumpsuit

The Best Nontraditional Jumpsuit

It takes a special person to ditch the sweeping, full wedding skirt for a more functional yet chic jumpsuit. Go on and rock this Bianca Jagger-inspired look instead.

Shop Chiara Boni La Petite Robe At Saks Fifth Avenue

Chiara Boni La Petite Robe Kincso One-Shoulder Peplum Jumpsuit, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Victoria Beckham Sleeveless Flared Dress

The Best Nontraditional Flared Wedding Dress

There’s something quite elegant and simple about this dress, which would suit a nontraditional bride. We also have much love for the slight sleeves, the midi-length, and the flared skirt.

Shop Victoria Beckham At Shopbop

Victoria Beckham Sleeveless Flared Dress, $, available at Shopbop

Badgley Mischka Sequin Bow-Front Gown

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t “do” white, we think wearing a color that better suits your soul and spirit is in order. Wearing black as a nontraditional wedding dress? How Wednesday Addams of you.

Shop Neiman Marcus

Badgley Mischka Sequin Bow-Front Gown, $, available at Neiman Marcus

Asos Edition Sequin & Pearl Kimono Sleeve Midi Dress

These kimono sleeves upgrade what a long-sleeve wedding dress usually looks like. Plus, the draped fabric perfectly compliments the straighter column silhouette.

Shop Asos

ASOS EDITION Sequin & Pearl Kimono Sleeve Midi Dress, $, available at ASOS

Rococo Sand Low Long Dress

This fluttery boho dress is designed with a train in the back, which will allow for an extravagant entrance as you’re heading down the aisle. It’s both casual and chic.

Shop Free People

ROCOCO SAND Low Long Dress, $, available at Free People

Hutch Strapless High-Low Bubble Dress

Red! Not only is it a fiery way to rebel against traditional white, but it’s a hue that also signifies good luck in some cultures.

Shop Anthropologie

Hutch Strapless High-Low Bubble Dress, $, available at Anthropologie

Reformation Sabine Silk Two Piece

If the phrase “simple elegance” were in the dictionary, it’d probably look like this minimal two-piece. We think it’d be perfect for the easy, breezy, unfussy bride getting hitched in the summertime.

Shop Reformation

Reformation Sabine Silk Two Piece, $, available at Reformation

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