Great Expectations: Wedding Dress Inspiration For the Unconventional Bride

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Janet Sahm Easter
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Ah, the wedding dress. Whether a big princess-y ball gown or a sleek and chic number, we envision the bride in white—and usually a strapless dress at that. But, recently we've noticed—on Pinterest, of course—a few brave and beautiful souls who've stepped outside the bridal box to shake up expectations. They're bringing a modern breath of fresh air to one of the most important days of their lives.

Lace long sleeves, dreamy gray, pretty prints, and glamorous gold are a just a few stunning seeds of inspiration for a one-of-a-kind wedding dress.

Which do you love? Pin away!

LACE SLEEVES//

wedding-lace

This modern trend looks back to a more traditional time. Dresses in head-to-toe lace and long sleeves were more common after Queen Victoria wore them. The long sleeves represented modesty, and the white, rich lace stood for both purity and wealth. We love the recent thick, handmade French guipure lace trend, which is perfect for the coming fall and winter months.

 DREAMY GRAY//

wedding-grey

The recent smattering of  this gauzy gray or other-worldly blue is a soft and feminine take on conventional white. But historically, ethereal white wasn't a tradition until the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburgh in 1840. Before then, ordinary brides wore their "Sunday Best." The Celtics wore red as a sign of fertility, early Christians wore blue or a blue hem in honor of the Virgin Mary, and in some cultures, black was expected if you were marrying a widower. In this light, blue or gray could technically be more traditional!

PRETTY PRINTS//

wedding-floral

Women who love bright and pretty colors may fall for this charming floral print trend. Flowers have always been an essential accent to the bride and ceremony, but who said you can't wear them on your dress? It's fun, playful, sweet, and completely unique. You'll notice the prints remain soft, feminine, and somewhat traditional in floral patterns; the flouncier the better.

 GLAMOROUS GOLD//

wedding-gold

Not for the faint of heart, a golden wedding gown is rich, dramatic, and luxurious. A full-on gold sequin gown in a soft Champagne hue is a nod to old-Hollywood glamour—and a dress no one could forget. A wedding dress with golden accents and patterns is just as opulent, as the gold details pick up light and add depth to the overall look. A sleek and simple silhouette works best to balance the richness.