A Display Rack of Wedding DressesAlthough some might believe the white wedding dress is a long-standing custom, it has a more recent origin. Time Magazine reported in a February 2015 article that the practice became prevalent after the British Queen Victoria wore a white lace gown in her 1840 nuptials to Prince Albert. However, you might be thinking of ditching the idea of a snowy-hued bridal dress altogether. If you do, consider these possibilities as stunning, unique alternatives on your special day.

Borrow from Your Cultural Heritage

You might have already decided not wear a white bridal dress because of your culture or ethnic background. It’s admittedly more of a Western practice, and it has taken root in some non-Western countries among women in Christian communities. If you reach back into your own heritage for inspiration, you’ll not only find a way to connect with it but to represent this aspect of yourself on your special day.

When looking to your ancestral ties for wedding wear ideas, you might want to do some research. You could find some fascinating information in the process. For example, a December 2016 IrishCentral article revealed that Irish brides used to wear blue dresses before Queen Victoria’s pale apparel became so popular. Also, keep in mind that you can choose attire that’s inspired by your home cultures but is not an exact, historically accurate replica. For example, some African-American brides elect to wear modern-designed couture based on from traditional patterns and colors found in wedding dresses from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and other West African nations.

Walk Down the Aisle in Living Color

If both the idea of following tradition and spending a lot of green on a dress are off-putting, you might go for a semi-formal or formal dress instead. For those trying to save a little money, picking a white semi-formal gown may cut some of the costs that come with a standard wedding dress. If you want to try on some color, a spectacular selection of hues from subtle champagne to bold burgundy are available for your choosing. Knowing what silhouettes and styles you prefer and having a pre-set price range in mind will help guide you as you browse. Formalwear shops, or even mid-range or high-end department stores, are good starting points. However, don’t forget about your alterations. You may wish to find an apparel store that also offers alterations, or hire a tailor on your own to adjust your dress to a perfect fit.

Lose the Dress Altogether

Who says you even have to wear a dress on your big day? Those who aren’t the frock-wearing sort still have an amazing array of possibilities to wear when walking down the aisle. If you still like the idea of white formalwear but hate dresses, consider a jumpsuit or pantsuit in your preferred shade. For those whose tastes run more to menswear, going with a tailored suit or a tuxedo might be optimal. Fashion websites such as DapperQ can provide some useful style ideas, as well as possible apparel vendors.

Wear What You Want on Your Special Day

While the white dress has become a widespread custom, it’s certainly not your only option for bridal apparel. Digging into your ancestral heritage for ideas may yield some surprising discoveries and provide inspiration for your look. You could forgo the standard wedding dress for budgetary and aesthetic reasons, and pick an alternative that’s colorful and just as flattering. Finally, you may decide not to wear a dress at all, and instead go for options such as a jumpsuit, tuxedo or tailored menswear. No matter what you choose, make sure you purchase your clothing from a quality vendor and allow enough time for alternations before your nuptials.

Category: Wedding Planning, Marriage

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