Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Your wedding day is the day you’ve been looking forward to for most of your life. It’s a day of fairytales, and with that comes the wardrobe of a princess! That’s why a wedding dress is one of the few most precious pieces of wearable art that a woman will own in her lifetime.

But what if a traditional white wedding dress just isn’t right for you? Well, if you’re the kind of bride that has a different take on bridal fashion, we’ve got some incredibly fashion forward options to share with you! 

Today, we’re showing you what bridal fashion has to offer… beyond the white dress.

1. Beautiful in beige

Z3wQzZO7gDuR31jZ5lXoI786QxifUT7LE5TP0llHzctCAgTuzomZh8CaVABDn4LfZ4DjWhUzsTiyn15Smm4o1uhconNhg q  crLlY3QEFKdI5nI686eAKy0HLpFrqoOg1UNhEM6A3s um9USg - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

If you’d like to avoid a white wedding gown but still want to show up in a grand dress, why not go with beige? The neutral tones of this dress from the Hellenic Origin Collection by Zolotas Australia Bridal Couture marks a subtle departure from the traditional white wedding dress, while still featuring a thoroughly modern and elegant silhouette that is flattering for many brides. The mix of different textures makes for a memorable fashion moment, and really, could a fashionable bride ask for anything more? 

This dress is perfect for the bride who loves a no-makeup-makeup look at a rustic neutral-toned wedding. If you’re planning on a picturesque outdoor wedding where the awe-inspiring scenery will take center stage, a dress in this style is definitely worth considering!

2. A demure top and maxi skirt combo

HefTW2 je085N0W2ZNTazGzedqVvAJbgwed ZzHT2NYdsHCDE Zihq34AD5r uaHgDxHnZQQHealgkKF36ADQa PE7IvQP25jhllb3bcAe7WjHpnJCxIj1dXQsCogw gJAiYKFBfC0mq6lGiCA - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

While the Carolina gown by With Love by Mallika is still a dress – not a set of separates – it perfectly illustrates how you don’t even have to go with a full dress on your wedding day. More and more brides are opting for a combination of separates to be able to give each piece some post-wedding mileage. Separate tops and bottoms can be incorporated to a savvy bride’s every day wardrobe, bringing a little bit of glitz and glamour to their daily wear.

If you’re a practical bride who wants to be able to wear your wedding attire for many seasons to come, this is definitely the right option for you! Choosing classic silhouettes with evergreen design details will allow your pieces to remain in style for a long time. You can also choose to tailor your pieces to make them more versatile – perhaps a maxi skirt can be hemmed and turned into a knee-length skirt, for example!

3. Keep it cropped

6VCwUR1M mZ9HPikss2kpOAaG9Ex - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

Crop tops have been a hit in high street fashion and couture, and brides have cottoned on that it looks great on them too! The key to making a crop top and skirt combo work is using quality fabrics and classic motifs that still suits the formal vibe of a wedding. This Aria crop top and skirt set by Two Hearts Bridal Studio showcases exactly how crop tops can go bridal! The lace motifs on the skirt is explored in the top as well, which keeps the look contemporary and cohesive. It’s a fresh take on a classic bridal silhouette, and we are so here for it!

If you love the look of crop tops in your regular wardrobe, then why not take this penchant into your bridal wear as well? It’s definitely a modern look, and is well suited to fashion forward brides who want to wear something that’s just a little bit different.

4. Bride in black 

UOm0JnfhQ39HqyhebjFi9XFB47eCobXXLStn3S1aVeP3AUQUiPsNtxcJYFHvfKXd0CZc1 - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

Well you can’t go further from white than this! We all know that every wardrobe requires a little black dress, but we’d argue that some brides require a beautiful black bridal dress too. If you’d like to add a bit of the unexpected into your big day, a black wedding dress is sure to turn heads. This gorgeous black Raven dress by Sophia Tolli is available via Vision In White Bridal Boutique, and features beautiful lace detail and a breathtaking train. 

We can definitely see some brides rocking this down the aisle! Black is a wonderful choice especially if you wear a lot of black every day. Many brides complain of feeling uncomfortable with white dresses because they simply don’t wear white, so if black is your comfort zone, take it up a notch and wear it on your big day!

5. Pretty in a pantsuit

2VBZ9hdV915rbhMsL s7bVz51XnR6DdjDy55C8P6eRzUG67dI1NdhKojk12rHFNL7Mb PUYE CAovR9Y0OvPHJ89oE0jaGI2cvW9KMXpJe7cUlgH tLlqJ7c0CtSbxVdnt4U3Xq  YDMN1eHtQ - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

There are many brides out there that want absolutely nothing to do with wearing a dress on their big day, and we can relate! A favourite amongst many celebrities on the red carpet, the formal pantsuit is a fabulous option for those who don’t want to don a dress.  Much like most menswear inspired looks, crisp tailoring and luxe fabrics are necessary to take this from everyday wear to bridal chic. A look like the Costa pantsuit by Valerio Luna (available via Perfect Day Bridal) can be easily accessorised and dressed up with shoes, jewellery, or even flowers, and of course, a loving partner on your arm!

Whether your significant other is wearing a suit or a dress, make sure you choose a pantsuit that suits their look too. Some things to consider are: texture, sheen, and cut. If your bride or groom is planning on a subtle matte look, try to avoid too much shine in your pantsuit!

6. The caftan of her ship

17dLQnOoVfft sV9g2Uqew1ymMiTj 3VfC0rkSpD1UfdlN0AlGFdFhd9g R  1iBGf5djopK4e8uhS9T9o6dJOLHLLD 4XO0LTCp2HcGr5EtPDV6zHPLaDRvyuDsrr9y6ho8wuPNcIv6sSNmfA - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

If the words ‘dreamy’, ‘ethereal’, and ‘flowy’ perfectly describe your dream wedding dress, then look no further than this bridal caftan! Comfort is key in this loose-fitting dress, which is a bonus when there’s so much delicious food and all-night dancing to indulge in on your big day! 

Perfect for the bohemian bride or beachy wedding, a dress like this V-neck Caftan by Monique Lhuillier brings a dreamy vibe to any bride. Accessorise with glamorous details like a bejewelled headband and a selection of beautiful bangles to really complete the look.

7. Jump(suit) right in! 

ModpAvn8xVG9 lIU1dRRvY5utqAfrjAwXyLgIkOerV1QfYZHr3ATwLOZWNLfmcuWMWPOWUHcU4wR7A7KfTemDxlL - Beyond the white dress: Alternative bridal wear options for the modern bride - The National Wedding Directory

Beloved by street style enthusiasts, the jumpsuit has seen many iterations in fashion over the years. Once seen as simply utilitarian, the jumpsuit is now considered more than acceptable for brunches with your babes, or even cocktail hour. 

But the designers at GWM International have taken the jumpsuit a step further with a stunning collection of bridal jumpsuits that are perfect for modern fashionista on her special day. The Jade jumpsuit features structural design details that scream high fashion!

Go beyond the white dress

Are you after something a little different on your big day? We hope that the suggestions above can help you get started on your search for your perfect non-white-dress wedding attire! Remember, all brides deserve to feel special on their big day, so make sure you take the time to find the perfect bridal wear for you.


The National Wedding Directory is a great place for you to begin your search for your dream wedding wear! On our site, you can find hundreds of vendors from across Australia from various industries including bridal fashion, wedding photographers, and even wedding venues, who are all there to make your dream wedding a reality.