Ditching the White Dress and Black Suit Non-traditional Wedding Styles

Ditching the White Dress and Black Suit: Non-traditional Wedding Styles

Do you and your fiancé like to think outside of the box? Does your unconventional sense of style keep all of your friends captivated? Just because you are getting married doesn’t mean you and your partner have to grin and bear walking down the aisle in a traditional white dress or black suit. Nontraditional wedding attire is more popular than ever, and with the trends expected for 2012 weddings, unconventional threads are all the rage.

Daring brides and grooms are forgoing the expected and letting their personalities shine through. If you’re interested in boundary-breaking apparel, we’ve listed some of the ways wedding couples are making some nontraditional fashion statements.


Get right in line with the 2012 wedding dress trend by passing on the traditional white or ivory gown and bring in some color. From blushes to black, and any other pigments under the rainbow, modern brides can adorn them all. 

You might want to choose a color with personal significance to infuse that sentimental touch and make for some great storytelling. Be it as simple as matching your wedding colors or wearing the same-colors as the outfit you wore on your first date, color with meaning is so much more fun. Even if it just sets off your eyes, which was what drew your betrothed to you in the first place, wedding dresses range from beige and metallic bronze hues to silvery blues this year.

If the thought of a colored wedding gown doesn’t sit right with you, there is no need to veer that far from the norm. Bring in some color with a sash or trim for a hint of your adventurous spirit.


Rise up the full-length gown to your shins, knees, or thighs. Whatever length suits you best and hints at your personality is one worth considering. 

A hot trend this year is high-low hemlines, with gowns shorter in front and lengthening out toward the back to floor-length and beyond.

Brides are turning heads by opting to wear shorter wedding dresses and the benefits are more than appealing. Abbreviated wedding gowns allow brides to move around much more freely. No worries about the bustle or where you left the detachable train. Plus, by eliminating tons of material, you may reduce your costs and be better assured that you won’t overheat under all that fabric.

Atypical Fabrics

Whoever said tulle, satin, and taffeta are must-haves in a wedding gown? There are many varieties of fabrics available, many of which can be beautifully represented in your wedding dress.

If you’re living a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, play it up in your wedding by wearing a leather and lace wedding dress. If you have a beach or country-chic styled wedding planned, try wearing a cotton eyelet gown to match the more casual outdoor atmosphere.

For those really interested in taking it to the limit, a white bikini and sarong is really all you need for a beach wedding. You don’t even need shoes! You can always save shoe shopping for your honeymoon.

For country lovers, think blue jeans and gingham. These materials can be fashioned into a dynamite wedding dress if the pants thing isn’t quite your cup of tea.

Go Green

Eco-friendly clothing is a growing passion for many. If you want to show your respect for the environment, consider going green by wearing a wedding dress made from organic cotton, silk, or twill. You might even search for apparel made out of recycled-fiber fabric.

Also, think washable fabrics. In this way, your clothes may be washed with biodegradable detergent versus dry cleaning, which can pollute the air with volatile organic compounds.

Other sustainable methods may be just reusing a family member’s wedding gown or opting to go vintage.

Vintage and Other Creative and Cultural Choices

Another eco-friendly alternative is authentic vintage gowns. Vintage stores carry beautiful, well-crafted pieces that are sure to be one of a kind.

You can even take it to the next level by embracing more of a costume look. Become a Renaissance maiden, a Southern belle, or even a princess by indulging in a period-styled piece. Or, you could decide to celebrate your Goth leanings by wearing black. 

Some brides may want to pay homage to their cultural heritage or interests. For instance, a bride may choose a gorgeous red wedding sari to pay tribute to her Indian heritage, or a modern take on the kimono in reference to the traditional Japanese wedding wear.


A classic white pantsuit is a modern and chic alternative to the traditional wedding gown, and can be more economical, too. Bridal pantsuit options range from flared pants, which can actually resemble a skirt, to well-tailored straight-leg suits.

Pantsuits make a powerful impression of any bride. Two other great reasons pantsuits make the aisle: comfort and cost.

For the Groom

Many of the sections listed above can apply to menswear as well. Play with color, fabrics, eco-friendly materials, and vintage clothing to make a strong impact at the front of the altar. Have a proud Scottish heritage? Don’t be afraid to rock that kilt.

There are many styles of nontraditional wedding apparel for grooms and their brides. Suit your unique sense of style and personality and you’ve got a guaranteed hit.


Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.