So we all know the myth of the Fairy tale Wedding. The one where every girl wants to get married in a big floooofy white princess gown and glass slippers, and be swept off our feet by Prince Charming. And that’s totally fine. But lets face it. It’s 2019. If we want to, we can make our own damn fairy tale, and if we want to wear a quirky alternative wedding dress and Doc Martens, we bloody well will. That goes for Prince or Princess Charming too. So here’s my guide to alternative wedding dresses for the non-tradtional bride. I’ve listed my absolute fave bridal suppliers- wonderous places where you can buy dresses with sass and style that will help you rock your day, your way. Find all the links at the end of the article!
1) The Couture Company
(Photos by Assassynation)
My ultimate favourite for quirky embroidered gowns, The Couture Company ooze alternative cool. Their quirky designs are colourful and cute, and they even have matching accessories and the most incredible embroidered jackets. Everything is bespoke and made to order, and is just exquisitely beautiful. Plus, Jo, the mastermind behind it all, is also one half of the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza team- you can find me in their directory, the Eclectic Wedding Encyclopaedia here.
2) Lucy Can’t Dance
I absolutely adore Lucy Can’t Dance’s colourful, quirky gowns- they experiment with dip dying, lace and layering to create gorgeous effects. Their collection is boho, vintage and festival inspired, so perfect for boho brides with a bit more spunk. I love the ombre dresses- great if you want an alternative wedding dress with some bold colour! They’re perfect paired with a personalised denim or leather jacket too.
3) Legend Bridal
These incredible ladies were my stand neighbours at the Eclectic Extravaganza in March, and I spent the whole time drooling over how gorgeous their gowns were. I just love the way they describe their awesome alternative wedding dresses- “For the dreamers of dreams and the starry eyed; for the wanderers and adventurous. For the beautiful, mysterious, the wild and free.
We love myth and folklore, and those ancient tales inspire our designs. Our gowns are named after goddesses and deities, celestial beings and immortals as our dream is helping you feel like a Goddess on your wedding day. We are ALL about celebrating who we are and allowing you to embrace your inner heroine – to be your own kind of Legend.
I especially love their dramatic gothic black gowns! Legend are based near Manchester and make all of their dresses bespoke to your exact specifications. Definitely worth a visit!
4) Flamingo Boulevard, Liverpool
In their own brilliant words, Flamingo Boulevard is “an unconventional, little, pink, bridal paradise
in North Liverpool; for the girls wanting less traditional and more ‘them’ for their big day”. Jazmin, who runs the boutique, is always a lovely breath of fresh air in my Instagram stories, and they have a gorgeous selection of quirky dresses and seperates. They also custom make their own veils to your exact specification. Laura, one of my lovely Brides, had a stunning dress with star lace- Flamingo Boulevard custom made a matching veil and it was STUNNING! She even had a matching manicure too! See more of her’s and Rory’s gorgeous One Fine Day wedding here.
5) Bud & Boe Bridal, Norfolk
I had the pleasure of working with Bud & Boe at the amazing Killer Filler Workshop, and got to shoot two of their stunning dresses on stunning models in uber-cool Shoreditch. I mean, just LOOK how gorge!!! They stock “a selection of Wedding gowns and separates that can be styled your own individual way”, in their gorgeous boutique on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border. This Willow By Watters gown is to die for!
You wouldn’t think it, but ASOS is absolute bridal heaven. With its own wedding collection at super affordable prices, it is an absolute dream for a bride on a budget. Not only that, but if you think a little more outside the box, you can create a daring, alternative bridal look using their partywear too, just like Audrey (below) did for her Bury Railway wedding- try searching for sequins, tulle skirts and glitter accessories.
The Case of The Curious Bride, Manchester
A gorgeous quirky bridal shop in Sale, Manchester. They stock and create stunning alternative wedding dresses with a vintage twist, and have a gorgeous quirky boutique to boot! I love the description on their site: “Here at The Case of the Curious Bride, we’ve always aimed to do the wedding dress experience a littttle differently. Friendly, stylish and just a tad quirky, we believe that your buying experience should be a stress-free affair. Striving to prove that budget restrictions don’t have to mean compromise, we lean away from ‘traditional bridal’, stocking a range of original dresses for women who have their own sense of style.”
If you want to shop small for your alternative wedding dress from independent suppliers, Etsy is an absolute goldmine of amazing ideas. I just loved this stunning kooky embroidered slip dress by Emma Dee Bridal- just look at that UNICORN!!! Etsy is also an amazing place to find vintage gowns, such as this stunning 1940s vintage gown from Six Penny Bride, who also make the most AMAZING crowns and headpieces from vintage jewellery. With vintage and handmade gowns, you could even have it perfectly tailored, or altered to create something entirely bespoke- the world is your lobster! (p.s I know it’s oyster, but as a result of a Friends/ Love Actually obsession I have a weird thing for lobsters… odd I know.)
Totally and terrifically incredible, I love the gorgeous tulle, layered, embroidered gowns from Chotronette. They have an ethereal, fairy like quality that I just adore. I love this from their website- “We’re obsessed with Frida Kahlo, retro punk music, Art Nouveau architecture, Wes Anderson’s movies and Victorian glasshouses. Our artistic goal is to make timeless dresses that would have looked great at Gatsby’s parties, but that would still look exquisite 50 years from now. We don’t believe in trends, but we do believe in style.”
10) Temperley London
If you want to push the boat out a little, why not try a high end designer. Temperley London are one of my absolute favourites- I just love this embroidered floral Toledo dress (far left). Combining luxury with colourful quirkiness- what’s not to love?
I absolutely loved Genevieve’s stunning Temperley Bridal lace gown from her Liverpool wedding here… she chose a gown to showcase the best version of her true self that she could feel totally comfortable with which I absolutely love! See more of Genevieve & Matt’s amazing Liverpool wedding, complete with a brass brand procession, here.
11) Needle & Thread
If you fancy a white gown, but a bit less tradional, the stunning embroidery and detailing on Needle and Thread gowns is to die for! They also sell amazing capes and veils too. Their dresses are an amazing cross between elegant and alternative which I love.
12) Crown & Glory
For veils, flower crowns and accessories, Crown and Glory Is a one-stop shop of total amazingness. So quirky, fun and different, some of them are even customisable with your own wording, colours and details to perfectly match your dress and wedding ideas. So cool!
13) Agape Bridal
Agape Bridal in Altrincham stock a range of traditional and quirky dresses and offer a bespoke service to help you create something totally individual to suit your style. I absolutely loved these stunning Agape Bridal and Watters seperates for worn by Emily at her’s and Craig’s St George’s Hall wedding in Liverpool. Emily totally rocked her amazing style and looked STUNNING.
14) Wolf & Rosie
The perfect accessory for all you boho babes! Wolf & Rosie hand paints stunning leather jackets with beautiful bespoke botanical designs. They love to incorporate your favourite flowers into the artwork as well as your chosen wording. What I love about Wolf & Rosie’s jackets is that they’re not just perfect to funk up your alternative wedding dress, they’re also a piece that you’ll want to treasure and wear forever. Imagine it when it’s battered and butter soft with your jeans and docs… just lush.
15) Denim & Bone
Leather not your thing? Try Denim & Bone instead! Their stunning ready to wear and custom bridal denim jackets are the height of relaxed cool, and they even do iron on patch kits so that you can design your own. How cool is that?
Do you know an amazing wedding boutique and want to sing their praises? Found a stunning alternative wedding dress you love elsewhere? Got a recommendation that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments so that I can create the ultimate bridal bible!
Find Your Perfect Alternanative Wedding Dress- Useful Links
The Couture Company
Lucy Can’t Dance
Bud & Boe Bridal
The Case of The Curious Bride
Needle & Thread
Wolf & Rosie
Denim & Bone