You are unique with a style all of your own – so why wear the same wedding dress as everyone else? As synonymous with weddings as a tiara and bouquet, the long white wedding dress is now very much a tradition, but what if you don’t want to wear a long, white gown on your big day?
Dresses from left to right: Bride & Proms | Dessy | Eternity Bridal
If you’re the sort of girl who likes to break with tradition then this is just for you – a myriad of short and mid-length, vibrantly coloured gowns have arrived to tempt us away from the ubiquitous strapless white dress.
Figure-flattering 1950s tea-length styles are at their most popular as the long-line romantic 1930s vintage style is replaced by uber-feminine, wasp-waisted, full skirted retro styles, with figure-enhancing corsets to match, 1960s mini-dresses, gowns of every colour and asymmetrical styles. Find the style that says something about you!
Rose dress by Dessy | White dress by Dessy
Dare to be different
An alternative wedding dress makes a statement – it says something about your personal style, be it retro or quirky or simply gloriously Goth! You might even choose to wed in dazzling red, whatever you feel most amazing in! It’s your chance to show everyone just how you like to dress your best.
Where to look
Instead of perusing a hundred white frocks in the bridal section, look instead at high quality prom and adult bridesmaid sections where you’ll find an array of styles hemlines and colours, often at dramatically different prices to the bridal gowns by the same name.
Be classic and alternative
If you’re worried the bright yellow mini dress you’d love to wear would just cause endless family arguments, then there are ways to compromise and have what you want while still doing what’s expected of you. Consider going for a long ivory gown that will flatter your figure and please your elderly relatives for the church ceremony and then change into the daring mini dress for your evening reception dancing – call it a ‘going-away outfit’!
Consider a different version of the long, white dress by choosing either a classic style in a pastel colour, or a classic style in ivory but with a coloured sash or hemline embroidery. For another alternative, go for a gown with unusual sleeves, ruffling, feathers or an asymmetrical style. You can be different without wearing pillar box red!
Shorter wedding dresses have been around since the 1920s and were at their peak, and indeed at their very shortest, in the ‘60s. TV’s Cilla Black wore a daring thigh-skimming bright red mini-dress for her Liverpool Register Office wedding in 1969 and she looked amazing. The 20s flapper styles and 60s minis are now back with plenty of contemporary variations on the theme.
It’s possible to make a statement just through colour and you could wear a crowd-pleasing long A-line bridal gown, but in a colour other than ivory. Subtle pastel shades of blush pink, baby blue or sage green will make a real difference without being shocking. Antique gold or silver grey are stunning alternatives that are fairly neutral just as white or ivory, and can be mixed with colourful bouquets and accessories to great effect.
Whatever you choose to wear on your wedding day, make it something you love and feel good in. And if you can breathe, walk and sit down in it too then that’s just a bonus!
See more great inspiration on Confetti’s fashion pages!
Catering for voluptuous, curvy women, Eternity Bridal's Cara Mia Woman collection offers stunning plus size bridal wear. With gowns from size 14 to 28, they are specifically designed to flatter full figured…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.