33 Non-Traditional Wedding Dresses (Because Brides Don’t *Have* to Wear White)

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You’d be hard pressed to find any wedding during the pandemic that could be deemed “traditional.” Ceremonies are taking place over Zoom, guestlists have been slashed down to the bare minimum, backyard weddings are on the rise and lavish honeymoons have been postponed indefinitely. With so much change in the air, why not think beyond a white ballgown and opt for a non-traditional wedding dress, instead. After all, how often do you get to steal the spotlight in a feather-adorned frock…or even a tuxedo? This is your day, so you might as well live it up in the dress (or suit) of your dreams. Here, 33 non-traditional wedding dresses to wear for your unconventional fête.

The Knot Just Launched a Hotline to Answer All Your Wedding Questions in the Age of Social Distancing

ted baker non traditional wedding dresses

1. Vintage Rose

Ted Baker London Erla Bouquet Midi Dress

Fluttering sleees and cascading rose vines give this vintage-looking midi a majorly romantic vibe. And isn’t that what every wedding day should be about?

Available in sizes 0 to 14

rene ruiz non traditional wedding dress
Saks Fifth Avenue

2. Moody Metallics

Rene Ruiz Collection Metallic Off-the-Shoulder Gown

If you’re drawn to the shape of more classic bridal attire but want something with a bit more punch, look no further than this ombre silver and purple dress from Rene Ruiz. Gold thread throughout the dress adds even more depth to the fabric and will look absolutely gorgeous while you’re spinning on the dance floor.

Available in sizes 2 to 18

mac duggal black lace dress

3. Black Lace

Mac Duggal Lace Illusion Tulle Gown

You just known Morticia Addams would be all over this dramatic tulle number.

Available in sizes 14 to 24

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4. Subtle Stripes

Bronx and Banco Mademoiselle Bridal Midi Dress

Let’s be honest, a wedding reception is really just a big party, so why not sport a flirty party dress in place of a restrictive ballgown? All the better to twirl the night away, my dear.

Available in sizes XS to XL

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My Theresa

22. Mermaid Sequins

Rixo Venus Sequined Chiffon Midi Dress

Heads up to anyone planning a beach wedding: Tea-length or slightly cropped gowns won’t be damaged nearly as much as a floor-length frock when walking through the sand. That, plus the mix of sea green and Pacific blue sequins reminiscent of a shimmering ocean scene, makes this an obvious choice for the mermaid-inspired brides.

Available in sizes XXS to XL

julia jordan non traditional wedding dresses

5. A Halter Jumpsuit

Julia Jordan Halter-Neck Jumpsuit

For the bride who prefers something more casual than a tux, but more comfortable than a ballgown.

Available in sizes 2 to 16

teri jon by rickie freeman brocade shirt gown
Saks Fifth Avenue

6. A Formal Shirtdress

Teri Jon by Rickie Freeman Brocade Shirt Gown

We love a bridal gown that doesn’t require any special undergarments (T-shirt bras and granny panties will totally work with this modest style) and this shirtdress certainly fits the bill. If you do want to show a little extra skin, simply unbutton from the top, to put your décolletage on display or from the bottom, to give your gams some time in the spotlight.

Available in sizes 2 to 16

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Adrianna Papell

7. Fireworks-inspired Sequins

Adrianna Papell One-Shoulder Beaded Gown

This latte-hued fabric looks gorgeous on all skin tones (especially those that might otherwise be totally washed out in white), while the gathered waist and draped shoulder help create the illusion of an hourglass figure. And that beading? Yeah, you can’t go wrong with this Adrianna Papell number.

Available in sizes 0 to 24

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8. Shimmerings Navy And Gold Roses

Monique Lhuillier Strapless Glittered Tulle Gown

This tea-length strapless stunner is covered in an intricate floral pattern speckled with navy and gold glitter. In fact, the overall pattern mimics the look of lace, minus the super delicate fabric.

Available in sizes 0 to 14

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Moda Operandi

9. Minty Fresh Cap Sleeves

Safiyaa Abigail Crystal-Embellished Stretch-Crepe Gown

While we love the idea of adding an embellished belt to an otherwise minimalist gown, it can be a total headache to find just the right accoutrement. This sleek pistachio-hued frock, however, has a gorgeous silver waist detail sewn right in. Now all you need to do is find silver heels to match.

Available in sizes 2 to 12

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Bergdorf Goodman

10. Casual Elegance

Talbot Runhof Bouvier Two-Tone Draped Crepe Gown

So, you’re the type who prefers an easy white T-shirt and tailored trousers over anything else, eh? Then you’ll feel right at home in this two-tone gown. It’s simple but elegant, incredibly comfortable and the stark contrast between the black and white right at your waist works wonders for whittling your middle.

Buy it ($2,695)

Available in sizes 2 to 14

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11. A Non-traditional Train

Reem Acra Draped Mikado Mini Dress

A simple strapless minidress might not scream “wedding” (despite any artful draping). But once you add a modern quasi-train to the side, you’ve got yourself a very special dress indeed.

Available in sizes 2 to 14

eloquii sequin jumpsuit non traditional wedding dresses

12. Sheer Sleeves

Eloquii Organza-Sleeve Sequin Jumpsuit

The combination of pink sequins, exaggerated organza sleeves and an easy wide-leg silhouette make this fabulous jumpsuit as fresh and modern as it is fun and festive.

Available in sizes 14 to 28

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Adrianna Papell

13. A Mini Cape

Adrianna Papell Short Cape Dress with Beaded Detail

You already feel like Superwoman, so why not dress the part? Even better, the embellished neckline on this Adrianna Papell frock means you can skip searching for a coordinating necklace and stick to a pair of simple sparkling studs, instead.

Buy it ($199)

Available in sizes 0 to 24

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Moda Operandi

14. Golden Grecian Lace

Costarellos Bessa Belted Lace-Detailed Gown

We love this golden-hued, lightweight gown for late summer or early fall nuptials. Even more so if you add a bouquet of autumnal red, orange and yellow buds.

Available in sizes 2 to 12

basix black label non traditional wedding dress
Saks Fifth Avenue

15. 3-d Blooms

Basix Black Label Floral Appliqué Gown

Many brides describe their wedding as a Cinderella moment, but few choose to actually dress like the Disney princess. Lean into those fairytale vibes, but modernize your look with a flattering illusion sleeve in place of the retro puff.

Available in sizes 2 to 16

davids bridal tuxedo non traditional wedding dresses
David's Bridal

216. Easy Tuxedo

David’s Bridal Fitted Satin Shawl-Lapel Suit Jacket and Relaxed-Leg Suit Pants with Satin Waistband

Suits are every bit as formal as a traditional gown but infinitely easier to for a quick bathroom trip. It doesn’t matter whether go for matching white sneakers or some sparkly stilettos, this bridal tuxedo will have you feeling (and looking) fine all day long.

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Moda Operandi

17. Falling Petals

La DoubleJ Floral Cloqué Dress

The combination of a subtle metallic shine and textured rose petals is what makes this tiered number feel oh-so special. It also has pockets for hiding tissues, your vows or maybe even a nip of vodka (there’s no shame in a little liquid courage) to get you through the day.

Available in sizes XS to XL

katie may non traditional wedding dresses

18. Belted Tulle

Katie May Elle Mini Dress

It really doesn’t get much more fun than this, folks. Embrace the frivolity with a plethora of crystal jewelry, embellished headpieces or some wild sparkly shoes.

Available in sizes XS to L

semsemnon traditional wedding dresses1

19. An Unexpected Metallic

SemSem One-Sleeve Draped Silk-Blend Lamé Gown

While other brides reach for the silver, gold or copper, you’ve got your eye on a more out-of-the-box metallic shade: electric blue. That deep, shimmering hue is perfect for a winter affair and the draped silhouette will flow and move with every step you take.

Available in sizes 0 to 14

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David’s Bridal

20. Easy A-line

Blondie Nites Metallic Jacquard Gown

Gold and silver embroidery isn’t exactly new for a wedding dress, but it’s the simple spaghetti straps and subtle blue tint of those jacquard flowers that makes this A-line gown stand out from the rest.

Available in sizes 17 to 23

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21. Modest Blush

Andrew Gn Embellished Crepe Gown

The key to making a simple modest gown work for you is all in making sure it fits like a glove—especially around the hips and the bust. If you’re in between sizes, opt for the larger one and take it to a tailor to ensure the fit is impeccable.

Available in sizes 2 to 14

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23. Elongating Lace

JS Collections Scallop-Embroidered Blouson Evening Dress

Non-traditional doesn’t necessarily require going for something over the top. Opting for a beautiful dusty-rose hue in place of classic white might be the special touch you need for your walk down the aisle.

Available in sizes 2 to 14

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24. Swirling Sequins

Mac Duggal Sequin Cape-Sleeve Evening Gown

This elegant column also comes in a more classically bridal silver and gold combo, but we’re partial to midnight blue for the unconventional bride.

Available in sizes 14 to 24

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Karen Walker

25. A Tiered Mini

Karen Walker Kiss Dress

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Case in point: This flouncy satin frock that forgoes intricating beading or lace for a sleek ‘50s-inspired bodice and a three-tiered skirt that hits just above the knee.

Sizing upon request

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26. Rainbow Shimmer

Needle & Thread + Jasmin Hemsley Chakra Sequin-Embellished Tulle Gown

Perfect for the bride who wants to make a subtle nod to the LQBTQ+ Pride flag with their wedding look.

Available in sizes 0 to 12

pisarro nightsnon traditional wedding dresses1
David’s Bridal

27. Mismatched Beading

Pisarro Nights Beaded Cold-Shoulder Ankle-Length Dress

The vertical lines of beads work to slim and elongate your frame while the draped sleeve adds some welcome movement to the top.

Available in sizes 14 to 24

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Neiman Marcus

28. A Ruffled Leg Slit

Rene Ruiz Strapless Metallic Draped Gown

Yes, your neck, shoulders and collarbone will look beautiful in this strapless number, but it’s that flowy skirt slit that will give your leg the opportunity to steal the show.

Available in sizes 2 to 20

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29. Flirty Feathers

16Arlington Fujiko Feather-Trimmed Knotted Crepe Midi Dress

It was just last year that Chrissy Teigen was spotted wearing an emerald gem-patterned version of this exact dress. Since then, 16Arlington has become a favorite of countless celebs, including Alexa Chung, Rita Ora, Lizzo and Ashley Graham.

Available in sizes 0 to 10

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30. Three-quarter Bell Sleeves

Reem Acra Satin-Piqué Gown

While the minimalist bride would prefer to adorn this sleek gown with nothing more than a dainty lariat and some diamond studs, those on the opposite end of the spectrum can use it as a blank canvas on which to display the most intricate, bold, beautiful jewelry pieces they own.

Available in sizes XS to XL

in the style x dani dyer non traditional wedding dresses

31. Blazer Inspired

In The Style x Dani Dyer Plunge-Front Blazer Dress

Combine the masculine lines of a tuxedo blazer with a feminine pleated mini skirt to form one gorgeous and festive frock.

Available in sizes 2 to 12

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32. Embroidered Buds

Needle & Thread Precious Rose Sequin-Embellished Lace-Trimmed Embrodiered Tulle Gown

Wear your heart wedding venue on your sleeve—play up that overgrown English garden in a romantic dress with delicate embroidered roses and a Victorian lace neckline.

Available in sizes 0 to 10

alice mccall non traditional wedding dresses

33. Flower-embroidered Tulle

Alice McCall Moon Lover Mini Dress

Go all in on the retro ‘60s vibes with a poufy ‘do and exaggerated eyelashes, or give this mini a modern refresh with delicate beach waves, a matching glittery barrette and some square-toe flats.

Buy it ($425)

Available in sizes 0 to 10



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...