20 ‘Non-Wedding’ Wedding Dresses for Every Type of Bride

There’s a new trend in wedding dresses and, funny enough, it does not involve a white frock. Yep, the latest development in bridal style is…anything that’s not a wedding dress. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons. For one, not everyone wants to wear white (white isn’t the traditional wedding dress color for many cultures around the world). Also, for some reason bridal garments are quadruple the price of regular eveningwear, even if the designs are basically the same.

Inspired by this trend, we’ve rounded 20 drop-dead gorgeous dresses that we seriously hope some bride wears down the aisle.

This New Wedding Dress Trend Will Probably Confuse Your Stubborn Aunt, but We Love It

1. Jersey Capelet Gown By Eloquii

We kid you not, this dress is not part of a bridal collection—and if it were, it would probably cost four times as much as it does. That said, we can totally see this minimalist silhouette and graceful cape floating down the aisle.

2. Aurora Sequin-embroidered Tulle Gown By Needle & Thread

This dress has everything an ethereal bride could want: tulle, a romantic A-line skirt and a generous dusting of shimmer and shine, thanks to plenty of sequin embellishments.

3. Satin Tie-neck Maxi By Rotate Birger Christensen

We call this one the “Katharine Hepburn Gets Married.” The vintage-inspired maxi may cover you head to toe, but the satin reads 100 percent sexy.

mara hoffman white gown with button detail
mara hoffman

4. Drop-waist Cotton Dress By Mara Hoffman

Nothing says “Renaissance nymph” quite like this button-front dress in white floral jacquard. It’s definitely more on the casual side, but the fitted bodice and full skirt make this non-wedding wedding dress ideal for outdoor nuptuals. Bring on the fairy lights and flower crowns.

Buy it ($525)

5. Bow Gown By Johanna Ortiz

Don the silk bow belt for your stroll down the aisle and remove it later—but only if it’s holding you back on the dance floor.

6. Feather-embellished Georgette Gown By Rachel Gilbert

There’s a 1920s flapper in all of us, and your wedding day is a great day to bring her out. This scoop neck sequin- and feather-embellished dress is not only eye-catching, but you could probably wear a normal bra with it. (Score.)

7. Dusk Maxi Dress By Temperley London

You’re either winning an Oscar in this dress or getting married. For whatever comes first, the metallic sequin details and breezy flutter sleeves will be jaw-dropping to onlookers.

8. Embellished Cape Maxi Dress By Maya Plus

This dress has it all. It brings the high drama with its floor-sweeping skirt and sequined cape, but there’s absolutely no theatrics when it comes to comfort.

9. Open Neck Silver Maxi Dress By Jonathan Simkhai

This silver plissé lame dress has all the “look at me” elements we love—a plunging neck, ruffles, a thigh-high slit and metallics—but it balances them so well we don’t have to pick just one.

10. Wrap Sequin Dress By Asos

City Hall, but make it sparkle. While the wrap dress is typically casual, the all-over sequin embellishment and sexy V-neck make this midi-length formal enough to say “I do” in.

11. Draped Metallic Silk-blend Gown By Roland Mouret

Let’s be honest, you’d be stealing the show if you wore this gown to someone else’s wedding. But at yours, you’d be a Grecian dream dripping in shimmering and radiant rose-gold lamé. Tell your guests to bring sunglasses if they want to look at you directly.

12. Off-the-shoulder Pleated Pink Gown By Reem Acra

The fitted bodice, shoulder-baring neckline and full, pleated skirt feels like the epitome of femininity. But it’s the color that really takes this dress to a Grace Kelly status.

13. Love Me Knot Dress By Maggie Marilyn

This satin twill maxi gown spins the idea of femininity on its head. The knot detail at the shoulders and the no-fuss silhouette make us think of designs from the 1940s. (Plus, eco-chic brides will love that this designer is known for her sustainable creations.)

14. Velvet-trimmed Tulle Gown By Marchesa Notte

It’s the real-life Cinderella ballgown, crafted from layers of frothy light-blue tulle and delicate flowers. But don’t worry, nothing’s turning into a pumpkin on your wedding night.

15. Valentina Lamé Dress By Raquel Diniz

Colorblocking, floral and metallic stripes, a plunging V-neckline and allover pleating make this silk lamé dress a total standout for a boho bride. Sometimes more is more.

16. Twisted Colorblocked Gown By Prabal Gurung

Speaking of colorblocking, this pink and red silk satin gown is like a walking Valentine. Bold, festive and romantic, we love the seductive twisted bodice and the front hem buttons.

17. Silk Embroidered Chiffon Dress By Costarellos

We can just imagine the moody wedding photos. Splashed with a floral embroidered illusion, this drapy chiffon gown brings the atmosphere to the party. Simply pair it with a bountiful bouquet of wildflowers.

18. Off-the-shoulder Ombre Tulle Gown By Marchesa

The ruffled trim, delicate crystal embellishments and curve-enhancing silhouette makes this gown a true showstopper.

19. Silk-crepe Kaftan Gown By Oscar De Le Renta

Channel Elizabeth Taylor in this oversize tunic gown that’s also bringing the oversize glamor. The red is absolutely striking and we bow down to that illusion collar.

20. Elina Dress By Maria Lucia Hohan

Xena the Warrior Bride? Or maybe Joan of Arc gets married? Whatever your internal narrative, this striking gown is the definition of fiercely in love.  


Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

Dara Katz is PureWow's Executive Editor, focusing on relationships, sex, horoscopes, travel and pets. Dara joined PureWow in 2016 and now dresses so much better. A lifestyle...