There is a great new array of more casual wedding dress styles available today - especially during the spring and summer - so you can feel relaxed, comfortable and beautiful on your wedding day. For many women, dressing up in a spectacular wedding gown can be the highlight of their year - for others, the thought of formal bridal wear makes them a little uncomfortable. So if traditional wedding dresses and ball gowns really aren't your style then fear not, there are plenty of other, more casual designs to choose from - either in wedding boutiques or even on the high street.
Some styles to consider include:
Blouson - loose and floaty, blouson styles are gathered at the waist or just below for a flattering and summery look. Usually made from fine or sheer fabric, you will often find blouson styles made from delicate and feminine prints. Go for pastel or muted colours and dress up with sparkling jewellery and a sleek hair do.
Drop Waist - drop waist gowns can lengthen the body by placing the waist at the hip area, with either a fitted or loose bodice above - usually with detailing on the skirt. This kind of wedding dress can suit both classic and casual brides, and is a great modern style. Available in a huge range of styles and fabrics, this kind of wedding dress can look as formal or as traditional as you like.
Grecian - draping and luxurious, Grecian wedding gowns are comfortable and suit most body shapes. Best in silky and smooth fabrics, Grecian dresses are usually floor-length with detailing around the strap/neckline area. For a contemporary look, go for asymmetrical straps and a bold colour. Perfect with flat sandals or bare feet and loose, curled hair.
Mini - show off your legs and make your fiance's jaw hit the floor! A mini dress can be any style you like - skin-tight, loose and flowing or with a bubble hem. Go for classic white or ivory with delicate detailing for a more formal look, or step out of tradition and go for a completely different colour. Because your dress is, well, mini, you can maximise on accessories instead! And because you'll be showing off your shoes, make sure you choose some stunners.
Tea-length - these wedding gowns stop just above the ankle and often hark back to the 50s with wide, full skirts. Bouncy, fun and fashionable, tea-length wedding dresses are very popular at the moment. Beautiful with a sweetheart neckline and lots of retro accessories.
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Vintage - choose your favourite era and play dress up! From elegant lacy 20s style to the glamorous golden era of the 30s and 40s, from the rock and roll 50s to the psychedelic 60s and 70s, or even go all Wedding Singer and go for neon 80s style - it's up to you. But as for me, wedding jumpsuits like this one: http://www.tbdress.com/Wedding-Jumpsuits/ and wedding jackets like this one: http://www.tbdress.com/wedding-jackets/ is the best option when it comes to vintage themed weddings.
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Two-piece - A skirt and top combo can be a lovely alternative to the traditional wedding dress. Mix and match with your favourite colours, fabrics and styles to create your own signature look.
Dress/Trouser Suits - More commonly seen at registry office weddings, a dress or trouser suit is yet another way of stepping away from the traditional wedding gown. There are plenty of styles and colours to choose from, on and off the high street. Though we would advise buying the best you can afford, and consulting a seamstress or tailor to get a perfect fit - not all suits are created equal!
Whatever kind of wedding outfit you choose, make sure it reflects your personality, your style and most of all that you feel absolutely comfortable in it. Beyond that, the specifics are up to you!
Elie Saab images courtesy of eliesaab.com