Alternative wedding dresses: the best new styles for non-traditional brides

Getting married but don't want to wear a traditional wedding dress? Here are some alternative options for your big day 

For a lot of brides, the traditional wedding dress just isn't their thing.

Some find it too formal, too uptight or just too overwhelming. Most women who have done the deed will say the most important thing to remember about your big day is to stay true to yourself. Whether it's something big like the outfit, or something small like the font on the wedding booklets – the key is to make sure it's your taste.

Numerous well-known brides have made the decision to step away from the norm.


Who can forget Keira Knightley in her Chanel tulle dress and tweed jacket? She may have worn the dress numerous times before her big day but it looked as fresh and as exquisite as ever.

Or stylist Lolita Jacobs who got married wearing an Azzedine Alaïa white shirt with a veil and red pumps?


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Danish actress and model Emma Leth made a statement on her wedding day by wearing the now infamous Jacquemus straw hat and a sheer vintage lace dress.


While singer Solange made wedding jumpsuits a thing in her Stephane Rolland number.

The sustainable bride

The alternative bride isn't a new concept but more and more women are looking at new ways to dress for their big day. Sustainability and bridalwear are slowly coming together with more eco-conscious women looking towards second-hand and vintage options.

Buying second-hand or vintage gowns means you save pennies in the process and do a little bit of good for the planet while still looking like the perfect bride.

Oxfam has two bridal boutiques in Ireland, one on Georges Street in Dublin and one in Bangor, Co Down. Search hard enough and you can find an absolute gem.

Bella Bleu vintage bridal in Cork has a truly stunning range of bridalwear which dates between the 1920s and 1970s. Vintage Bride in Clontarf specialises in preserved and unique wedding dresses with prices starting at €500.


The idea of buying your wedding dress online may give you shivers but the sheer level of options is insurmountable. Websites such as  and are two sterling options for pre-owned dresses. While the bridal resale marketplace Stillwhite has more than 50,000 options online, including dresses from designers such as Jenny Packham and Vivienne Westwood.

The high street bride

In the past few years, the high-street has made waves when it comes to bridalwear with options for both the bride and bridesmaids. Contemporary online store Kitri has created some of the most Instagrammable dresses of recent times and they have now moved their design expertise to the wedding realm.

ASOS was one of the first in the game and continues to create both stylish and classic options which won't break the bank. H&M is also dipping a toe in the water with simplistic styles and Ghost's offering is what bridal dreams are made of.

Degas Rose jacquard midi dress, €245 at Kitri


Knee-length wedding dress, €69.99 at H&M

ASOS Edition curve sequin kimono sleeve wedding dress, €248.85 at ASOS

Needle & Thread bridal embellished bow midi dress in cream, €396.78 at ASOS

Willow dress chalk white, €407 at Ghost


The suit bride

Suits and jumpsuits are a superb sartorial option for brides with an edge. Easy to wear and comfortable while achieving that effortless cool aura without the hard work.

Kahlo ivory lace jumpsuit, €280 at Kitri

ASOS Edition cutaway fitted blazer, €103.69 at ASOS


ASOS Edition wide-leg wedding trouser, €103.69 at ASOS

Halston scarf-detail draped crepe jumpsuit, €535.28 at Net A Porter

The colourful bride

Why not make the move away from winter white and choose dazzling colour? Not only does it make your bridal outfit one of a kind, it is an ideal way to show some personality and vivaciousness.

Wild Rose ruffle gown, €575 at Needle & Thread


RIXO Samantha sequinned crepe mini dress, €340 at Net A Porter

Solace London halter-neck gown, €410.35 at Net A Porter

The Vampire's Wife pussy-bow silk-tail gown, €1510 at Net A Porter


Read more: These are the best dressed stars from the 2020 SAG Awards

Read more: These are 5 of the biggest wedding dress trends for 2020

Read more: Break from tradition: 9 alternative celebrity wedding dresses we loved

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