Relationships

8 Gorgeous Wedding Looks

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

What kind of wedding dress would (or did) you wear? I went for a silk halter dress from J.Crew, which made me feel like a ballerina, and I love how brides these days can find a dress (or overalls!) that suits their personal style. Here are eight brides’ lovely looks…

The bride, above, wore a silk dress and turtleneck sweater to her wedding in Scotland. “I felt like myself, I could breathe,” she said. “The jumper was about keeping me warm. But it also served as a security blanket.”

Leather wedding dress Erica Cerulo

“I wanted a short dress with a sixties vibe, and I loved this leather one by Kaelen,” says Erica Cerulo from Of a Kind, who got hitched at City Hall in New York. “I wore it to our small ceremony in New York, and also to a party we threw for friends in Chicago a year later. The dress felt very me, but not something where my parents would look and say, ‘Wait, what’s happening? You’re doing what now?’ I’m thinking of getting it dyed gray now, which would make it super wearable.”

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

This adorable bride, Nicole, wore glasses to her wedding at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

This couple, Nora and Gerard, got married on a snowy Valentine’s Day in New York. Relatives flew in from Ohio and Ireland for a nine-person ceremony and a steak dinner at Lafayette. “The cold weather felt very Irish,” says Gerard. “People stopped us on the sidewalk to congratulate us,” says Nora. “They were honking and clapping.” Nora’s pink skirt is from Watters, and her top is by Tibi.

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

“We had a traditional Korean Paebaek ceremony at our wedding,” said Jenny, a designer from J.Crew, who changed from her sleek white dress into traditional Korean attire. “Our parents threw chestnuts and dates into my apron, which signifies how many children we will have. It turns out that Tim’s parents both have pretty good throws, so we’ll be having ten children — six boys and four girls! I had to close up the apron to prevent any more from getting in!”

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

“Ana was my neighbor in Brooklyn,” says Amy. “When I first met her, I thought she was sweet and mellow. She casually mentioned she was a musician, and I was like, ‘Uh, huh, sure you are,’ because I tend to be judgmental like that. But then one weekend, I asked her to bring up her guitar from her apartment and play a few songs. I was a goner at that point.” When they got married in New Mexico, Ana wore a white suit with a black button-down shirt, and Amy wore a bridal gown in Champagne satin.

What's Your Wedding Dress Style?

Sophia and Isaac met their families at City Hall, where they did two wedding traditions: the jumping of the broom and the breaking of the glass. Her beautiful orange dress is vintage.

Thoughts? What’s your wedding dress style?

P.S. A casual NYC wedding, and 15 wedding dos and dont’s.

(Thank you for the turtleneck tip, Dienesa! Photo of bride in the turtleneck by Christopher Currie, via Love My Dress. Erica by Jamie Beck. Bride in glasses by Olive Juice Studios, via Style Me Pretty. Pink skirt photo by Sandy SooHoo, via New York. Amy and Ana by Leigh Miller via Stone Fox Bride. Sophia via Style Photo New York.)

  1. Love the last picture of wedding story !

  2. Ashleigh says...

    I wore a $200 red formal dress I bought online. I couldn’t imagine wearing white as I never ever wear white so this felt more me.

  3. Nora says...

    Hi Joanna! It’s Nora, bride #4 featured in this gorgeous story! Hooray, loved seeing this. =) I have long loved Cup of Jo, such a treat to see us here! Thanks! Ger and I are following up our civil ceremony with a wedding celebration this summer in Ireland with family and friends. I’ll be wearing the same skirt and it’s so rich in sentimental value, I can’t wait to wear it again!

  4. Emily says...

    Love those dresses, they are all so unique in their own way. Wish I were that daring on my own wedding, it’s so simple and crazy at the same time!

    xoxo
    – Emily
    http://www.larimar.com

  5. I LOVE the idea of wearing something that’s not typical, but not too far in left field either. I think I like the idea of separates. It just seem more comfortable.

  6. I hung on to the old tradition of a white dress but with a slit! ;) I also had on a red cheongsam for the chinese tea ceremony which I love <3

  7. Carol says...

    I made my dress, cream colored cotton with a little puckery texture to it. It was a Vogue pattern, square neckline and a tiered skirt. I put a rose bud in my hair-I was 19 years old. I married a guitar player and we have been so happy for 40 years!

    • Molly says...

      What a sweet story.

  8. no mention of Erica Cerulo’s shoes? they steal the show! can we get some deets on those, please?

    • Bridget says...

      My thought exactly!!

  9. Mary says...

    I love these different styles! The year was 1986. I wore a white, tea length, long sleeved dress with lace on the bodice by Jessica McClintock, bought off the rack. My “veil” was a hair comb with fabric flowers and pearls. My bridal bouquet was 3 white roses with baby’s breath and ferns sprigs.

  10. Allison says...

    I just referenced the City Hall Overalls wedding the other day, so happy to see it pop up again! It’s my absolute favorite.

  11. i love wedding posts. while i lean towards very traditional details, i love seeing how people really add in their personalities to their special days

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  12. I wore a full-length, sleeveless, Calvin Klein ivory sheath dress with a deep v-neck. After it became clear that a dress that was being custom-made was not going to work out – just three weeks before the wedding – I was in a slight panic. After a marathon web search, I found exactly what I had in mind at Macy’s. I ordered three sizes – just to be sure – one of which fit perfectly, no alterations needed!

  13. Dominika says...

    My husband and I decided to go with a red and white theme to symbolise Polish and English flags and I decided to wear a red strapless dress. It was so difficult to find it then but I managed to find one I really liked. I was going to get changed to a short dress for the evening but loved my gown so much that ended wearing it to both day time and night time.

  14. Maire says...

    I wore a strapless tea length white dress w/ olive/golden stripes from Anthropologie for my ceremony (that I got on clearance!) And then I wore a blush and gold maxi dress from ModCloth for my reception. Wearing a big formal dress sounded uncomfortable to me. Although I did covet a Carrie Bradshaw style tulle skirted ballet backed dress from BHLDN for a time.

  15. i LOVED my wedding dress. after trying a bunch, i decided to have one made and luckily my mom had a friend who could do it. it was long sleeved, fitted (in a comfortable material), and backless. like the white version of hilary swank’s oscar dress. the pictures of people seeing the back as i walked down the aisle are priceless!

  16. Rebecca says...

    Wow, glasses! So unusual!

  17. Amanda says...

    I’m getting married in October and am wearing an ecru jumpsuit with a removable bandeau, for a simple ceremony to reception transition. I never feel comfortable in dresses but live for a jumpsuit. I’m so excited to wear something that feels like me, and a piece I’ll enjoy over and over again.

    The turtleneck look absolutely slays me…so insanely chic.

  18. I had a custom dress made, and it ended up way cheaper than anything I could’ve bought. Six years ago, there were slim pickings when I was looking for a shorter dress. I ended up with exactly what I wanted, and knew nobody else had the same one. I chose plain cotton with a swiss dot detail at the bottom, so I’m sure the inexpensive materials helped the bottom line. You can see it here: http://snippetandink.com/real-wedding-brittany-michael/

  19. I didn’t elope, I had two weddings (to the same man) actually, but unfortunately my family couldn’t be at either one. You see my husband is Chinese and we got married in Northern China which is really far from home (Delaware). Our first wedding was a church wedding in white and our second wedding was a traditional Chinese wedding. In China it’s common practice to have at least two dresses one for the ceremony and one for the reception. So I had a grand total of 4 dresses, one simple white dress I altered myself, a blue one I borrowed and two tailor made in red silk one qipao and another skirt & blouse combo.

    You can see some pictures and a video here http://lorianali.blogspot.com/2016/03/multicultural-wedding.html

  20. I love the rose quarts feather skirt one of my brides eloped in at the Chicago Courthouse paired with a croptop. Sasha, a Russian dancer married her sweet heart, Chris just a few days before Christmas. It was a total dream . They first met on a cruise ship … her dancing and him singing and their elopement feels every bit that moment.

  21. Talia says...

    My husband (then fiancée) found my dress on the clearance rack at Marshall’s. It was a halter top trimmed in black lace. It cost $30 and fit like it was custom made for me and my personality! I love it! :)

  22. That skirt/shirt Combo on Nora is so pretty, I love that it still looks a little classic but super unique! Everything about that picture is perfect. I’m not married yet but definitely want it to be small and the steak dinner after sounds fun.

    • Nora says...

      Thanks!! =)

  23. MB says...

    If I could do it all again, I’d wear something less traditional and more me.. oh, and not tailored within an inch of my life so that I could still fit into it! I love the dresses you highlighted. Coulda shoulda woulda! But I did look good :)

  24. Love the first bride’s dress and knowing herself well enough to wear something that it served as her security blanket too.

  25. Suzanne says...

    I just got married on 3.12 and wore a gorgeous black sequin gown! He wore a blue suit with sneakers and a custom baseball hat. Our outfits were so US – I wouldn’t have had it any other way…

    I also rented my gown from Rent the Runway – which made it totally affordable. Although I was going under the assumption that I wouldn’t want to wear my wedding dress again, I totally loved it and kind of wish I could put it on and relive the day with my HUSBAND (it never gets old saying that!)!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds amazing!!! (and congratulations:)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love love love love saja and would totally wear one of those dresses if i had to get married again (to the same guy, of course).

  26. My mother’s dress!

    The thought of a big, heavy dress scared the tar out of me so I wanted something light and free flowing (I already get slightly nervous in crowds or in front of others) Secretly I ordered a dress from JCrew. Super simple, I loved it but my mom was a little sad that I hadn’t included anyone in this process. Over Thanksgiving she got her veil down (packed away for the past 30 years) and offered it to me. It looked lovely. Just for fun though I asked if I could try on her dress too! I loved it. I was covered from head to toe-high neck, sleeves, the whole shabang but I saw exactly what it could be in that moment! We had it altered and she bawled like a baby every time I had a fitting. It was perfect for our June wedding a few years back! I’m always so thankful she let me try it on :)

  27. Connie says...

    When my husband and I got married, we kept it pretty traditional. He was in a classic black tux and I was in a bright white halter A-line with a little sweep train and a fingertip veil. My bridal look wasn’t so much “me” as it was the look of a fresh, classic bride (I’m an artist, so I’m a bit more quirky). We were in our early twenties, and it made sense to play it safe. But we’ve talked about renewing our vows sometime soon (we’re approaching our ten year in not too much longer!), and we will definitely be more Avante Garde about our looks then: we’ve grown up (and gotten more fun!) a lot over the years. These different looks are really inspiring for the next time we make our promises to each other!

  28. Lauren E. says...

    Before I got engaged I’d pinned hundreds of non-traditional wedding dresses, so sure I’d be the anti-bride and wear something cool and hip down the aisle instead of a bridal gown. But at my mom’s insistence we went to a bridal salon so I could just “try things on” and I fell head over heels in love with something I wouldn’t have picked off the rack in a million years. It’s got netting, tons of lace, a pale pink colored material underneath so the whole thing looks like pink champagne… I put it on, felt like a total goddess, and when I looked over at my mom, aunt, and sister-in-law they were all bawling. It was the most cliched moment of the entire wedding planning process but also one of the happiest.

  29. i wore a gold metallic cocktail dress that had purple undertones and a dramatic ruffle around the neck. it had been my holiday party dress before that, and since my marriage and “wedding” took me by surprise, it felt just fancy enough!

  30. I absolutely LOVE how brides are choosing their wedding dress to reflect them and not just what the wedding industry is pushing! Love this article Joanna!

  31. Wedding dress #1 was lavender, because the wedding was in Africa and I was sure that I’d get a white dress completely dirty. The ceremony was outside, and the dress turned out to match the jacarandas in full bloom above.
    I wore a beige pantsuit for wedding #2, which was pulled off on short notice so my very elderly grandma could attend. Pantsuit and marriage still going strong after 15 years.

  32. Allison says...

    My dress is a sheer silk embroidered shirt dress over a white slip dress and it is “tea length”. I wanted something that felt wedding-y but that I could also re-wear. I wear my dress for our anniversary date nearly every year (and this year my daughter also had me wear it to the ballet so we could be our “most fancy”). I would love to hear more about traditions where people wear their dresses again or use them for something else. My dress has so many extra special memories added to it now (and admittedly a small tear that needs specialist fixing but I’m trying to have a wabi-sabi mindset about that).

    • Linsey says...

      My wedding dress is short and aside from wearing to my elopement, I am also going to wear it in June when we celebrate with family/friends. I also plan on wearing it for future anniversaries.

    • Allison says...

      Here’s a picture one of our guests snapped of me on the day… Standing beside my shoes because they so uncomfortable (but cute)! That is for sure what I’d change about what I wore. :) https://flic.kr/p/34dPJu

  33. I absolutely love all the personality in these. I wore a flowy white halter neck dress which was beautiful and comfortable. But if I got married again today I’d wear something less wedding-ish and more me.

  34. Kristina says...

    I spied my dress in the window of a shop (not a bridal shop!) in London during my lunch break, a very simple cream silk column dress with two spaghetti straps across the back & a collarless jacket , so perfect ( I loved Caroline Bessette’s simple stylish dress so much, and it was about 20 kg ago…) for a registry office wedding. 18 years on and I still love that dress ( and the bloke I married to, result:)

  35. We had a surprise Christmas Eve wedding with only our immediate families present. I wore an $18 creme jumpsuit from H & M and it was perfect!

  36. ammie says...

    We got married on St. Patrick’s Day – so I knew I was going to wear a green dress. (my favorite color). I only ever tried on Green dresses – never once tried on a regular wedding dress. My only request that day was everyone had to wear green of some kind. My cousin loved me cause I let her pick her maid of honor dress – it could be any style she wanted, it just had to be green :)

  37. this is such a lovely collection of brides. I love seeing these insights and hearing what people wore. I wore a lace dress with a gorgeous train that I had made. The train could be bustled but in the end I decided it was just too gorgeous to tie up. :)

    http://theroyalpost.com

  38. Juliana says...

    For our city hall wedding I wore a high neck, knee length white dress from ASOS, with blush colored heels and jasmine wound in my hair. I loved it :)

  39. Pearl says...

    So fitting! (ahh puns) Getting married in two weeks and had my final dress fitting today. Won’t spill the beans just yet as my fiance knows I love your blog and might take a sneaky peak in the comments. gotta protect a great surprise at all costs :) Great to hear what others wore!

  40. This is such a beautiful post! I simply can not wait for my wedding day, all those dresses are gorgeous. xx

    thetearoomsblog.wordpress.com

  41. Alix says...

    I ordered my dress online from my phone one day. It was Elizabeth and James’ Anita dress in ivory–it was floor length, wrap dress, and kimono style. Definitely not a wedding dress in the traditional sense, but it paid homage to my Japanese heritage. I wore it with grey suede flats from Belle by Sigerson Morrison.

  42. Sarah says...

    I found my dress at TJ Maxx on the clearance rack. It was a Calvin Klein cream evening gown with a silk top – and lace bottom. Very reminiscent of a 50’s screen siren style. It was completely see-thru from my rib cage down! I paid $50 and I had a seamstress take it in a tad and add a light layer of fabric underneath. I loved it (and still do). It was perfect for our outdoor wedding in an open air chapel on the coast of Maine. By the end of the evening I had dried seaweed and twigs wrapped in the lace on the bottom of the dress – perfect!

  43. I’ve been married twice (this is it, though!) and the first time we were on a VERY tight budget, so I found a $40 or so dress from a local vintage shop in Madison, WI to wear. It was perfect, and beautiful, and it felt so unique. The second time, J Crew had a really beautiful and simple wedding dress on clearance in my size, and for $100 I lucked out and had a perfect dress. It was really lovely! I also appreciate that I didn’t spend thousands of dollars on a dress, since it meant better honeymoons and cakes!

  44. I’m getting married this August — just over four months to go, eeee! — and I’m wearing a champagne and silver sequin and beaded gown. I knew from the start that I wanted a sparkly, ethereal gown a la Jenny Packham having been exposed to her creations via Cup Of Jo, however our budget just wasn’t stretching to that. I braved bridal shops, all in all a horrendous experience, before trying on a random Phase Eight dress in David Jones (department store in Australia). Even though I wasn’t sure, because I didn’t have the ‘it’s The One’ feeling, it matched up to what my heart wanted. My (almost) husband has seen the dress and that’s what sold it for me, too. At the end of the day, I want it to be for both of us. It’s our fairytale, not just mine, and him liking it made me realise it’s The One. Also, it’s the most magical, gorgeous and sexy dress in the world xx
    Ps, don’t dismiss a dress because it doesn’t immediately look like you on the rack! My dress is meant to be ankle-length, however at 5’4″, it’s a floor length, slightly swishy figure-hugging dream.. Kind of like when you find a dress that’s sort of ok, then you add a belt, et voila! Perfection! Haha! xx

  45. I married with a pink floral cotton dress and grey flat shoes, my husbund was in a navy suit and coverse, it was a ceremony of fifteen persons and my most humble and at the same time grandious moment in my life.

  46. jeannie says...

    Love this post!

  47. Aga says...

    LOVE the blue shoes that Erica Cerulo wore! They are stunning!!

  48. Before what was to be our super-casual-wild-flowers-and-old-house-and-oysters-and-beer wedding, I had narrowed down my dress to a lovely vintage creation. It was comprised of tea stained lace and hit at a weird calf-length but was a surprisingly perfect fit for my rather curvy frame. Well, I never got to wear it because I never ending up buying it! Oops! Our wedding venue burned down right before the big day so my husband and I decided to head directly to the courthouse and get married on the spot. Just us. Me in my comfortable brown boots, leggings, tunic and denim jacket. Him in jeans, a plaid button down and Vans. 5 years later I still have that entire outfit and wear it from time-to-time. We were comfy and just our everyday selves and that suited us fine. My Mom still bemoans not seeing the ceremony or me in a dress but we promised that at our 10 year anniversary we’d have a big party and I’d get gussied up! :)

  49. My favorite are the bride who wore glasses and the couple where the groom is wearing bright read shoes and the bride is wearing that floral orange dress–I die!

  50. jess says...

    I wore a blue dress from Lulu’s that had a high collar and a big split down the front (it was $60) and then I changed into a flowery Ted Baker dress I found on eBay. Shoes and dresses cost less than $400. I knew I didn’t want to wear white and I’m so glad I didn’t.

  51. I wore a very casual, cotton v-neck maxi dress from ModCloth. There was a little lace at the bottom and flowy elbow-length sleeves. It was so simple. My best friend knitted me a deep, teal shawl to wear with long fringe. The wedding was outside in May and it rained buckets. It was so wet and beautiful and I was so grateful that I didn’t have a thousand dollar dress.
    When we got to the hotel that night, I hung up my dress and saw mud stains all over the bottom. I still haven’t washed it because I want to keep those memories. :)

    • Love!

  52. Kimberly says...

    This is so beautiful.

  53. Annie F says...

    I saw my dress online and the second I saw it I knew. Went to try it on with my dad, mom, and two older sisters in tow – I tried on 6 dresses from the same designer (Amsale), and I put on “my” dress as #3. The moment I came around the corner my entire family went “well, this is it!” Swiss dot, vintage silhouette, sweetheart neckline – it was the One, just like my husband :) Five years later, the dress (and my husband and daughter) still make me grin.

  54. Literally anything with pockets. :)

  55. Jen says...

    Iove them all especially the two piece outfit the glasses wearing bride and the last one is a fav. Ik I will well we will both be wearing glasses. Also I’m loving the two piece thing. Now I have to find a top. I have it all semi planned. I want to get married in my home bourough but that’s not happening like where in the Bronx can I find a place lol Harlem will be nice or wherever as long as it’s in the city. I’m so full of ideas it’s going to be something that hasn’t been done before lol

  56. Shannon says...

    I went pretty non-traditional: a beautiful full gold high wasted skirt with pockets and ivory boat neck blouse (both from jibironline) and a birdcage veil with a pair of clear, cat eye glasses. I felt totally me for our wedding in the community theatre my husband helped build.

    • That sounds GORGEOUS!!

    • Nikki says...

      Pictures!

  57. Quinn says...

    My husband and I eloped exactly one month ago! I wore a sleeveless pale orange ombré gown from Halston Heritage that flowed in the wind and made me look and feel “like a beautiful sunset” – his words!

  58. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Joanna! I love her grin throughout the photos too =) I’m hoping for a wedding dress with a loose and casual feel when the day comes.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you had such great finds, dienesa!

  59. lisa says...

    I’m not sure I understand why wearing glasses at a ceremony was pointed out?.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Just because most people seem to wear contacts on their wedding day, so it’s so cute that she went for it and wore her regular glasses. They’re so lovely on her!

    • Yeah, I worked for an optometrist and a LOT of women wanted contact lenses for their wedding day.
      I, on the other hand, bought glasses SPECIFICALLY FOR my wedding day. I love my glasses! They’re a part of me.

    • Trish O says...

      I wondered the same because if you wear glasses…don’t you wear them on your wedding day? You know, to see? Because not everyone wears contacts., ever. While she is very cute, I just thought this was odd to point out.

  60. Rebecca says...

    My fiance and I have finally decided to ‘do it’ (we’ve been together for 12 years) and make our grandma’s (91 and 88) thrilled, hehe, this Fall. We currently live in the Canadian Rockies and are your typical outdoorsy couple – rock/ice climbing, hiking, canoeing etc. – so we’re having, what we’ve dubbed, an “organized elopement” in the mountains with just our intimate families. While I’m an old soul and will forever romanticize the 20s, 30s and 40s styles and culture (art/history gal), I’m also a practical-pig and just can’t spend a month or two’s rent on a dress I’ll likely only wear for a single day. Also, I’m simply not attracted to the vast majority of dresses and styles currently marketed as wedding dresses (personal taste, all other gals, you do you!). Let’s all celebrate how far bridesmaid gowns have come from decades past! Due to their classic styles and waaay more reasonable prices, I’ve been predominately looking at them and have fallen in love with Joanna August’s Newbury Long Lace dress (http://www.joannaaugust.com/all-styles/newbury-long-lace-champagne), which should make me [one of] the most beautiful hiker[s] en route to our meadow ceremony in the mountains. Hurray for “wear whatever the hell makes you feel like you and beautiful” culture.

    • Renae says...

      That dress is stunning and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location than the Rockies!

  61. Liz says...

    I’m getting married in Fort Greene in Sept. and settled on the coolest Alexandra Grecco outfit. Silk camisole crop top with a beautiful lace skirt with a high low hem. Comfortable, ~Brooklyn~, and much more me than traditional bridal garb. Couldn’t be more excited!

  62. Someone told me, after getting engaged, to plan the wedding for who you are now, not for the little girl who used to play (pretend weddings), which seems like very good advice! So instead of a long gown, I went with a tea-length dress. My (now) husband and I were part of a ballroom dancing club, so the dress had to be good for dancing, and since all dancing is about the feet, I wanted to show off the footwork a little and got red heels. The dress ended up influencing the whole look of the day, which went a little bit retro.

    • Lorna says...

      I love this so much! Great advice – and sounds like you had a wonderful wedding that was a true reflection of yourself, right now :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s great advice.

  63. Linsey says...

    I am eloping at San Francisco City Hall in exactly TEN DAYS! I fell for a short number by Pronovias with a beautiful lace neckline and hidden pockets. I am so excited to wear it in SF and again when we party with friends and family in June back in Philly.

    • Krissy says...

      I was married there last summer. You will absolutely love the experience! We eloped with our family, but I swear it was every bit as magical as a big planned wedding. The building is just WOAH. Best wishes!!!

  64. allie says...

    I never even tried on any wedding dresses! I had recently bought a very 70’s mini dress from Maggy Frances in NYC and asked her to recreate it for me in white or cream. She and her team did an amazing job and I never looked back. I also bought a veil for $15 on amazon, just in case I felt like it on the day. All the reviews said things like “this was perfect for my bride of frankenstein costume” I guess because it was cheap!? But I did end up wearing it and absolutely adored it, it made me feel like a glamorous pony!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/rf-paKFcwU/

    • Lorna says...

      Ahhh I love this so much! You are a gorgeous glamorous pony – the heels and flowers tied it altogether so beautifully too – thanks for sharing! :)

    • allie says...

      Thanks Lorna :)

  65. Melissa says...

    I adore that sweater over the silk dress!!

  66. Sarah K says...

    I love unconventional colors, but for me personally, I think “you have your whole life to wear sweaters and casual dresses. You have this opportunity to wear a super fancy dress–take it!!” Of course all these brides look beautiful and happy and that’s what matters!
    I got married 13 years ago, and because it was just after Christmas in Illinois, I chose a simple long white strapless sheath with a little embroidery and sheer embroidered overdress with long trailing sleeves and a small train. And a waist-length veil because I dreamed all my life of walking down the aisle in a veil that covered my face and then having my husband push it back. It was the 3rd dress I tried on at the first store I went to, and the salespeople scared me into buying it right away bc my wedding was in 3 months. I have always wished I had tried on more, just for fun–but I do like the fact that my dress was different from the strapless plain satin full-skirted gowns most of my friends were wearing at the time.

  67. Ellen says...

    My dress was a flowy chiffon dress from Etsy. It had a boat neck and had 3/4 sleeves, but was totally backless. I got married at the end of November and wanted a dark dress with a large, bold floral print. I loved every minute of wearing it! I asked the dressmaker to send me scraps of the fabric, which I then mailed to all my bridesmaids. I told them they could wear whatever they want, just to use the fabric swatch as a color palette guide. They all showed up looking beautiful in different colors and my dress tied us all together!

  68. Whitney says...

    My husband and I were married in my parents’ garden in Northern California six years ago this fall. I remember trying on several typical white dresses (per my mom’s request), but nothing was “me”. On my way out of the dress shop I spotted what was actually a bridesmaid dress. Long, but no train; blush, not white; with one shoulder strap lined with crepe flowers. It was so different and not like anything I would have imagined but suited me perfectly. I felt like a glam version of me!

    • Lauren says...

      I got married 10 years ago in my parents garden on New Years Eve. I wasn’t a fan of any of the wedding dresses either, so I went with a pale lemon dress which was intended for bridesmaids. 10 years later, I still love that dress and our small, pricate garden wedding.

  69. Love this…I’m not sure what my style will be. I’m choosing not to overthink it before it’s time! I trust I’ll find the right thing at that time. Funny you posted this today, and featured Erica – her and Claire’s podcast this week covered the topic of wedding dresses. Fun to hear the story behind the leather dress!

  70. I rented a bright yellow cocktail dress from Rent the Runway for our outdoor, backyard wedding in Palm Springs. It was so perfect (for me) and incredibly affordable!

  71. Unfortunately (for fashion purposes), I live in a rather religious in the sense of traditions place, so (almost) everyone gets married at a church, and brides have to wear white (or you know, beige), so this versatility is not really an option. However, my cousin in the UK has a white dress made from a mix of white fabric pieces, which she later dyed blue and wore on casual and not only events, on summer vacations when she came here to Cyprus, and many other occasions. I was a kid back then but it made an impression on me, I remember thinking that it’s amazing how she can wear her wedding dress and spend relaxed time with her husband and family on so many occasions!

  72. Maggie says...

    I got married at my friend’s log cabin in upstate NY 16 years ago! We were living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at the time and I had my dress made at a tiny shop in the East Village. Beautiful misty sage green fabric with an empire waist and cap sleeves. I absolutely loved it – still do!!

  73. Beth says...

    I had a strapless dress with a subtle rhinestone band around the middle. Nothing fancy and I don’t even remember the brand. I saw it on a mannequin in the first bridal shop I went to after getting engaged, made an appointment to try it on, and bought it within a week. My mom made me try on two other dresses, so I did just to make her happy but knew right off the bat that I was going with my original choice. I’m not one for deliberation :)

    What I do (and will always) remember is how it had pockets. It was great to not carry a purse but still have my phone and chapstick on me!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      pockets! that is amazing.

  74. Helga Thomsen says...

    I got married 27 years ago. I wanted a traditional gown but because I am tall there would have been an extra charge for a long gown. I thought ‘screw this, I’m not paying their tall tax’. I had it shortened for free and it became a tea length gown. Now people see my wedding pictures and think that it was sort of edgy. I can’t imagine why I ever wanted a floor length gown.

    • Trish O says...

      I am 5’10” and your tall tax is making me laugh. I feel like that when I get the long torso bathing suit that is more $, too. Great idea. I have been married almost 19 years and you are right, back in the day tea length would have been edgy. It sounds beautiful. What a wonderful idea.

  75. I’m getting married on June 10th—just a few short months away. Being a young, hip Brooklyn gal I thought I’d go for something unexpected and uniquely “me.” But I ended up falling in love with the most bridal ball gown imaginable! Turns out I feel most comfortable and most like myself under layer upon layer of fluffy white tulle :) I can’t wait to wear it xo Erin

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds gorgeous, erin!

  76. It’s so lovely seeing all of these beautiful and unique wedding styles :)

    Since my husband-to-be was moving over here from the UK, we had a small city hall wedding the year before our big day at my family’s village in Greece. For the former, I wore a knee-length light cotton broderie anglaise dress. I ended up loving it even more than my formal gown for our big day!

  77. Lena says...

    That sweater is brilliant. Gorgeous.

    I wore a gold bridesmaids dress. This was many years ago before blogs or Pinterest so I didn’t have any planning pressure. My mom freaked but I was like well a wedding dress is a dress you wear to your wedding… Who says it has to be white? I loved it and it saved me so much money.

    • Leah says...

      I, too, wore a bridesmaid dress! Also back before Pinterest, etc. Mine was an ivory off the shoulder and had the tiniest bit of train and tiny buttons running down the back. The alterations cost more than the dress – haha! It was brilliant to save so much money on the dress and it fit my vision of a classic, simple style.

  78. I wore the ($260!) Annabelle dress from BHLDN, with the straps styled into a halter and a few custom details added by a seamstress friend. It was light and airy, and so affordable and yet still very “bridal.” (I’d highly recommend it for other budget-minded brides!) I also had my sister-in-law (a jewelry designer) craft a rose-gold headpiece similar to the gorgeous pieces by BHLDN.

    My only criteria was that the dress support me as I jumped in the bouncy castle we rented for our wedding. (It did, and it was amazing!).

  79. Samantha says...

    I got engaged recently and started wedding dress shopping pretty soon after because my best friend happened to be in town and I wanted her there with me. I feel pretty secure in my everyday style and thought finding a wedding dress would be super quick and easy, like normal shopping is for me. I could not have been more wrong! I found I was struggling to reconcile my desire for something simple + “me” with my competing desire for something that made me feel like a bride. It was a tricky balance until I realized that I would be a bride no matter what I wore. I ended up buying a dress that wasn’t even sold as a “wedding dress” (and for a small fraction of the cost of most dresses!) that I randomly tried on while shopping alone one day. It’s perfect and I can’t wait to wear it!

  80. Kendra says...

    I wore a grey, one shoulder bridesmaid dress from J.Crew. My husband and I eloped, so I wanted something simple, something that I loved. Grey is my favorite color, and the dress just made me feel good. Paired with baby blue Tory Burch flats (we were married on a farm in NC in springtime…no heels!) and all white flowers, I felt that everything about it screamed me.

    • Erin says...

      That sounds simply gorgeous!

  81. Kristen says...

    When I was a child my dream was to be Miss America, however being a pageant kid wasn’t really something my parents were too supportive of (I only squeezed one out of them). Growing up I always said “I’m going to get married in a pageant gown”….and I did! I found the most stunning gown in a “pageant store” and paid FAR less than I would have paid for a wedding gown. While I wasn’t necessarily trying to save money with this approach- I did, as well as fulfilled my dream of feeling like Miss America (or Mrs. America I should say!). It was a stunner. A friend of a friend even asked “is her dad rich cause that dress must have cost $50,000!”

    • Cooper says...

      What a sweet story!

  82. Alli says...

    I actually feel like I should thank you—I saw a post on this blog a while ago, well before I was planning a wedding, that featured a bridal photoshoot with a bright orange dress, and it was the first time anyone suggested to me that wedding dresses didn’t have to be white!

    However many years later, I’m getting married next spring and bought a gown in a beautiful shade of pink! I love how simple and structured it is, and how it both feels “bridal” while also having a funky, untraditional vibe. Couldn’t be more excited to get married in it (and I suspect I’ll have it shortened into a more versatile cocktail dress after)!

  83. Jenn says...

    I wore a beautiful strapless gown that I was totally upsold to buy, and am so glad it did. I also sold it for 40% of what I paid and am so glad I did. No cleansing fee and it went out in the world to be enjoyed again. I also wore my glasses and actually had people comment on it. I wear them every day – why not that day?

  84. Capucine says...

    There is a great Vera Wang quote I remember from the wedding phase of my life:

    “What you must understand is that it is not just any dress, it is The Dress, the divine obsession.”

    My mother designed wedding dresses. We had to marry on short notice two months before our planned wedding, so I wore a white macrame dress to the beach for the first and let her have free reign on the second, as long as there were no big bows on the butt. It was fun wearing the huge trailing silk concoction she created.

  85. lindsay says...

    My dress was fluffy and beaded all over with sparkly beads. I loved it so much!

  86. S says...

    So many beautiful dresses! I couldn’t face spending an arm and a leg on a dress that I’d wear once so I ordered three online (from ModCloth) and shipped two back. A few alterations later, I had a beautiful dress. I knew what cut I wanted but surprised myself by going for one with a lacy overlay. I’m not usually a lace person but I loved it- just like me but a little fancy. I open my closet and look at the dress and wish I had an excuse to wear it again all the time!

    • Danielle says...

      Thanks for sharing this! I was recently engaged and I plan on doing the very same thing!

    • I live in Sweden but my parents brought over 4 j crew gowns from the US for my wedding. I wore one and they returned the other three. I wasn’t too caught up in the dress, but went all out with my shoes – blue Manolos that I LOVE and will wear again a million times.

  87. rupa says...

    i wore an iridescent green and gold sari which was not traditional (red is) but it was lovely to have a bit of my indian-ness at our teeny tiny town hall wedding!

  88. Amy says...

    Ahhhh Sophia’s dress forever! <3 <3<3

  89. Samantha says...

    I wore a long strapless dress for the ceremony but changed in to a tea-length dress for our garden reception. Much better for dancing!

  90. Tyler says...

    ummmm…. i’m gonna need details on Erica’s shoes! They’re amazing. All so beautiful. My dress was from BHLDN.. it was flowy textured silk, which had this almost linen look, and it was blush. it was the first I dress I saw. my best friend told me to try it on but I was like oh, no, its too springy for a fall wedding. 3 days later I called her and asked if shed go with me to try it on. I could hear her rolling her eyes through the phone… I told you that was the one!! i wound up getting married in the spring anyway so it was perfect.

    • Natalie says...

      Ditto to the request for shoe details! Those are lovely. I got married in a gorgeous Tadashi Shoji gown that I bought online from Nordstrom. I saw it on a blog and knew after just one shot of the shoulder/upper back that it was the one. Luckily, it came in well within my budget. There was one gorgeous Reem Acra gown that I wanted before that, but it was too expensive. I loved my TD one, though! Wish I had an excuse to wear it again, because I’m way too sentimental to get rid of it.