Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue—there are so many traditions and customs folded into weddings. But one thing remains the same: the white wedding dress. Right?
Well, not quite. First of all, the white wedding gown is more of a recent phenomenon, relatively speaking. (We know, mind blown.) The trend apparently really kicked into high gear when Queen Victoria wore white on her wedding day back in 1840. Before that, most people just wore the nicest garment they owned, even if it was black! But in many cultures, a white wedding has never really been part of any tradition. In India and China, for example, brides wear red or other colors that signify good luck, happiness and prosperity. In many African cultures, brides often wear patterns and colors that represent their roots.
So, while we love the stark beauty of a gorgeous white gown, we’re happy to see more and more “non-wedding-dress wedding dresses” popping up at fêtes and making photo ops a little more interesting.
Wait, how is there such a thing as a “non-wedding-dress wedding dress?”
This may seem like the most difficult riddle in the world to solve, but there’s a really simple answer: It’s any dress that a person decides to wear on their wedding day, whether or not it was specifically designed with “bridal” in mind.
Why would someone not want to wear white?
For a plethora of reasons—maybe they think they don’t think they look good in white. Or maybe they’re not sure how they feel about the whole “virginal white” implications. Or maybe they weren’t feeling the price markups on anything associated with weddings. Or maybe, they just found a really beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime dress that they would much rather wear down the aisle.
How do you pick a non-wedding wedding dress?
Truly the only place to avoid is a wedding dress shop. Otherwise, the world is your oyster. Go to your favorite department store—or if you have a roomy budget to play with, hit up that fancy boutique you usually never step foot in. Scout the sale racks at designer shops. Search your go-to online stores. There are no rules when it comes to finding a non-wedding dress wedding dress. Well, actually, there’s just one: You should love it.