Roundup: Risky (White) Wedding Dresses

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

When I think about the wedding industry’s relationship with risk, it always reminds me of this exchange from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days:

LANA JONG: Congratulations. This shows me you’re ready to be unleashed. From now on, feel free to write about anything.

ANDIE: Anything?

LANA JONG: Wherever the wind blows you.

ANDIE: Even politics?

LANA JONG: Well, the wind’s not going to blow you there.

ANDIE: What about religion, poverty, economics?

LANA JONG: This wind is really more of a light breeze.

In short, the wedding industry loves it when we play it safe. Hypocritically, there are hundreds and hundreds of ways we’re asked to spend money so that we can have a “unique” and “personal” wedding, while we’re simultaneously threatened that too much editorializing of the approved status quo will look tacky and outdated and will possibly even offend your guests.

Now, for those of you who prefer classically inspired aesthetics at a wedding, this isn’t so much of an issue. But as someone whose biggest creative outlet is my own form, I found the whole wedding process stifling. Every time I wanted to take a risk and do something ballsy with my hair or dress, I got a hundred messages in my face saying, “DON’T OR YOU WILL REGRET IT.” Or worse, “That’s great, but what if we just tone it down a bit?” Now, four years down the road, the only thing I do regret is not being truer to myself.

So this week we wanted to give you permission step outside the box and into something daring by rounding up some of our favorite risky wedding dresses. But before you accuse me of being a hypocrite, I know these are all (mostly) white. Wearing a colorful wedding dress is a gutsy move in and of itself, so we figured that choice deserves its very own roundup. (If you have a colorful wedding dress you love, leave us a link in the comments. We’d love to create that roundup from a mix of your style and ours.)

And if you’re wearing a risky wedding dress, or wore a risky wedding dress at your wedding, here’s the place where I give you permission to brag about it. Because we’re totally in your corner on this one.

Chiffon Cutout Plunging Neckline Gown from Tadashi Shoji ($668)

Badgley Mischka Sequined Cowl-Back Gown from Neiman Marcus ($620)

Issa Printed Silk Halterneck Gown from Net-A-Porter ($14o0)

A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz Embellished One-Shoulder Evening Gown from Lord & Taylor ($590)

Helena Sleeveless Jumpsuit from BCBG* ($248)

‘La Reina’ Off Shoulder Peplum Gown* from Nordstrom ($690)

Juliet Cowl-Back Exposed Corset Gown from BCBG ($648)

Guipure Lace Shift Dress from Reiss ($360)


“Natalie” Plus-Size Matte Jersey Jumpsuit with Sash Belt from Monif C ($178)

Editor’s Note: I tried my damndest to find a place to buy that rad plus-size wedding dress in the title image to no avail. For those with a little more time and dedication, the dress is from Cymbeline‘s 2012 Bridal Collection. We also tried really hard to find more plus-size wedding dresses for this roundup, but since the wedding industry sucks, our efforts were not rewarded. That said, if you’ve got a good plus-size resource for us, leave it in the comments! We’re always on the lookout for more.

*Asterisks next to a dress description denote dresses that were available when this post was created, but are no longer available from the retailers listed. That said, if they are not re-stocked soon, both are currently available on eBay.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

Staff Picks

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  • Laura C

    Love, love, love Meg’s favorite. Cannot, however, endorse those or any jumpsuits ever.

    Here’s a white dress I kind of like:

    But I’ll be wearing a color. Just not sure yet which.

    • Laura Lee

      Yeah… I have to agree about the jumpsuits. Not my thing.

    • meg


      • I just photographed a local designer’s collection and she added a pants suit to the mix! It is beautiful and sophisticated and I want it! Also – one of my APW brides modeled for the shoot, so you know — just extra happy stuff there. :)

        • meg


      • Flood

        That BCBG jumpsuit is exactly how I pictured my wedding attire in 7th grade, which was probably the last time I thought about it at all until I got engaged. I ended up in a knee-length vintage number, but I am totally pro pantsuit/jumpsuit!


    Ahem, that said, whenever wearing or thinking about wearing sequins, I always remember watching a Whitney Houston performance on TV with my mom, where Whitney was wearing an all-sequin floor-length gown. My mom kept chiding her from the couch because she kept pulling at her (probably tight/heavy/itchy) skirt to move, but it flipped all the sequins she touched upside down, creating large patches of non-sparkle on her otherwise awesome dress, making it look a little weird on camera.

    In sum, practical note to sequin lovers: don’t be hiking your skirt up all willy-nilly. Make sure those suckers stay smooth. (Unless you are rippin up the dance floor, throwing propriety to the wind. In which case, you go, girl!)

    • I agree to know what your sequins are doing! Though I think that applies to all dresses- if moving or adjusting your dress makes appearance differences, it’s important to know! Lots of sequined dresses will have the sequins completely sewn down so you can’t flip them instead of letting them dangle, so that could be another option.

      Just another heads up to sequin enthusiasts- Over years of show choir (it’s nothing like Glee) and theater, I’ve found that some sequined dresses will irritate your underarms (as your arms rub against the hard surfaces). Just something to be aware of, so try moving around when you try the dress on! If you are having issues- a thin piece of clear packing tape placed directly under the arms will prevent any irritation or cutting.

      Now go SPARKLE!

      • deva

        “Know what your sequins are doing” has to be the best sentence I’ve read today.

  • Trinity

    I’m wearing this dress (in less than two months!).

    It seems like my dress is the first thing people want to know about when they learn I’m engaged. Thankfully, some seem to think it’s rad that I’m wearing a knee length dress, but I get silence from a lot of them…

    • carrie

      SO PRETTY!

    • I love it! I’m obsessed with lace, though I actually wound up choosing a dress dripping in applique and tulle (still shocked by that one, but there it is). I’m sure you will look fantastic!

    • Liz

      This dress is sooooo gorgeous. I do want to wear a long gown for my wedding, but then when I see all of these gorgeous short ones (I love the Watters Encore collection!!) I think about changing my mind…

    • Maria

      I wore a knee-length wedding dress and it was great!
      Every once in a while I wish I had more excuses to wear a big, beautiful, swishy dress and I wish I had chosen something more traditional (long) for the wedding… until I start thinking about how hard it is to move around in one and how it’s dragging on the floor all the time! Being able to move freely and still feel beautiful the whole evening was wonderful, especially at our outdoor venue.

      • Trinity

        Thank you! I really liked that this one has a deep V back, which gives it a subtle sexiness. We’re having a backyard ceremony and an open-house party at our local VFW, so a short dress seemed like a good fit!

    • This is so gorgeous. You’ll look fabulous. Congratulations!

    • Gorgeous! Go you!

    • Ariana

      Knee-length, lace, and sexy back? Check, check, and check: ‪

      My wedding was almost a year ago and I have no regrets about going knee-length. I love my dress so much and got to show off the adorable shoes I was wearing. And dancing was a breeze!

      I think you’re going to look amazing in the dress you picked. Congratulations!

  • Hayley

    This are “risky”?? Holy smokes, then I’m the Evil Kenevil of bridal attire. But seriously, it is really nice to see the stranglehold of strapless white lace loosened just a little bit.

    I opted to go for bold, jewel-tone color. But I’ll confess I was able to make that decision because it’s my second wedding. Knocking on the door of 40, and making an encore run down the aisle, I’m so much more confident of who I am and unwilling to compromise on what I want than I was at 23. The first time around, I made all the “safe” decisions — big white lace dress, big cake, big car — because I was going for “timeless.” Turns out timeless is pretty much a myth… I think I remember reading about that somewhere? APW, maybe? ;) And anyway, “timeless” isn’t me.

    This time I’m wearing jewel tone, a fascinator, not throwing a bouquet or anything else, and hosting a pot luck holiday-themed feast. And it feels sooo RIGHT. I’ve learned that risk likes in not being true to yourself.

    • meg

      Oh, we’re doing color, but that deserved it’s own post. This was all about down to there v-necks and pant suits and such.

  • bellylaugh
  • Alison O

    YES to the Badgley Mischka. I just pinned that the other day. Note – you can rent it from RTR!

    I have pinned many, many, TIME-SUCK TOO MANY somewhat nontraditional dresses. A few recent faves…

    Sweet + glam:

    Middle dress, in the winter especially, YUM:*wp-content*upLoads*2011*11*jennypackhamlongsleeve2011.jpg

    Mod: (Erin Fetherston)


    Be still, my Pacific Northwestern heart:

    For the colored round-up perhaps? Although I’d opt IN to the tradition of NOT showing your nipples at your wedding:

    Also not all white:

    Okay…so maybe more than a “few”. ;-)

    • That first link literally made me gasp.

    • Lauren

      Love all of these! Do you know the designer of the first one?

      • Alison O

        Ersa Atelier
        (This dress is under Fashion rather than Wedding.)

        Looks like the only store they stock in the U.S. is in Chicago… (listed on the Contact page).

    • Jen

      *swoon* love all of these!

    • Jo

      Love the 2nd one.

      But I’m SERIOUSLY inspired by the big tulle skirt w the sweater. Where is that from?

      • Alison O

        I followed the links back from the original pic I found on Pinterest, and it traces back to a Vancouver photographer’s blog. So, even sweeter, it is a real couple, not a styled shoot.

    • Laura K

      I’ve been secretly dreaming of a sweater and a tulle skirt for a while now, I love that one!

  • TeaforTwo

    I’m having a dress custom-made, and I have loved everything about the process so far, and love the dress I am going to wear. But that head-to-toe gold glitter dress gives me a bit of a pang of regret about my white lace.

    • I know, right? My wedding dress is sitting in my closet for the upcoming wedding, but the gold sequins have already got me trying to figure out a reason to wear a sequin covered dress.

  • veronica

    Some of my favorite colorful wedding dresses:

    Erdem silk crepe gown

    Flor de Mar Mexican romantic embroidered maxi dress

    Roberto Cavalli floor length gown

    Altuzurra coconut perforated leather dress

    • meg

      GURL. You have some good taste. Those first two particularly <3

    • I should also mention that I’m a plus size girl, and they do custom work and sizing. It also doesn’t look like they charge more for plus.

      When I was the maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding, they charged me SO MUCH MORE for my dress than everyone elses. And the boutique was pretty shame-y about fitting me. Not a pleasant experience at all.

  • Bri

    I LOVE these dresses: and purchased the “Margot” dress when it looked like my traditional gown wasn’t going to come through (it’s the one at the very bottom left, but in red. It FLUTTERS when you walk!). My white gown came through, but I ended up still changing into my red Margot at the end of the night during the reception.

    The dresses range from $250-$700ish, from what I can remember. Shareen also has bridal line and seems to be available for customized stuff. And also they have vintage bridal dresses!

  • In retrospect my dress does not look that wild to me, but leading up to the wedding I was worried about how it would be received. When I went to get it fitted the tailor asked me when my prom was :S

    • I think it’s beautiful. And I’d say it qualifies as wild, especially as someone who recently spent months looking through wedding dresses online. :)

    • Cupcake

      That is beautiful and amazing!!! I would think wedding or Oscars before prom… and it looks wild to me! haha

    • Jo

      love it!

  • InTheBurbs

    That top dress rocks!

  • Emmy

    My dress is backless and hot pink! I got tons of warnings when I chose it, but it’s gorgeous. Like I put it on pretty frequently just for the hell of it. And it feels so totally me. As my best friend said when she saw it, “Oh, it’s Emmy Pink!” It’s the Wtoo 226 in Azalea and I got it from APW sponsor Joielle:

    • Jen

      Gorgeous, and sassy. I wouldn’t want to wait to put it on, either!

  • When it comes time for the color roundup, I’m obsessed with this etsy dress:

    • Amber

      That is gorgeous!

    • That’s so gorgeous! As are the designer’s other two dresses!

    • meg

      Punched in the gut, that’s so good.

  • Dawn

    I’ve opted for a dark plum coloured long v-neck dress. It’s actually a bridesmaid dress…which equates to be a hell of a lot cheaper that a bride’s dress!! The boy will be in a hunter green wallace tartan kilt, best man in the modern red wallace tartan, the rest of the boys in a black-on-black kilt, and the girls in some version of a grey to white dress. I let them have free reign. Since I wasn’t wearing white, they had that option too. White just looked to boring on me! We’ll see how it looks in a week and a half…ah!

    • SamanthaNichole


    • Tiffany

      So glad I’m not the only one opting for plum!! My man will be in a black leather doublet and the family men will be wearing kilts. Thanks for sharing!

  • Stephanie

    For a possible future color round-up, I’m wearing this lapis blue dress in 5 weeks: I can’t wait!

    As far as plus-size resources, is where I found my amazing blue dress, but they also have more traditional white wedding gowns. also has plus-size wedding gowns.

    • Emmy

      Oh. My. God. That dress is soooooo pretty!!!

    • Woah, I love that dress!

    • Karyn

      This looks like something Adele would wear – which is to say, it is GORGEOUS. You’re going to rock that!

    • Stephanie

      Thanks, everyone! The story of finding it is kind of funny — I had the idea in the back of my mind that maybe a non-white dress would be nice (this will be FH’s second marriage, and we’re fairly casual, non-traditional people, and are having a small, low-key wedding), but if I found a white dress that made me jump up and say “THIS DRESS!!!”, I would get it.

      I started just browsing online, mostly plus-size retailers. The dress I bought also comes in an amazing shimmery copper color, which is what I saw first. I showed it to FH and said, “This dress is AMAZING, and would be a great color for a September wedding…but I don’t look so good in copper.”

      And so I kept looking, bookmarking a few dresses here and there, but nothing jumped out and said YOU MUST BUY ME!

      A couple of days later, I went back to the copper dress…and realized it came in that gorgeous lapis blue. And then it happened: I stared at it for about 10 seconds and all I could think was “THIS DRESS!!!”

      I asked FH “Do you feel strongly about me wearing white, or would a non-white dress be okay?” His reply was kind of iffy, and I could tell he was thinking more along the lines of a traditional white dress. So I asked him, “Can I show you a dress?”

      I showed it to him, he paused for about 1 nanosecond, and said, “Get that dress. NOW!”

      So, yeah, I bought my wedding dress online, after carefully taking my measurements, crossed all my fingers, and…it fit like it was made for me (except the length, but I expected I’d have to have it shortened). I feel like it’s my Dress Of Destiny, because my wedding dress is ending up being the first dress I gave any serious consideration to, I bought it without trying it on first, and it fit perfectly (and looks KILLER on me). I figured it was a good sign for the start of wedding planning. And now I get to wear it in 5 weeks!

  • Jennifer
    • That is so wonderful! I love the sea mist!

  • I got married in the banquet room above a brewery at 11am, and wore this knee length black and white polka dot dress. Because I got so frustrated with the WIC that I wanted the exact opposite of the white frilly dress.

  • Amber

    I didn’t think my dress was *that* untraditional, but I had a ton of people at our wedding comment on how amazing it was that I didn’t wear a white dress and wore something so blingy–they were all surprised! It was silver, tight and with lots of sparkles! I had it special ordered in silver and did a few alterations on it to make it my own, and I love, love, loved it! I knew that I wanted either bright blue or silver, and didn’t find anything I really liked in blue, and there were surprisingly few silver options that I liked, so I was so happy I found this one! I could have cared less about being ‘traditional’ and didn’t even think about anyone not approving, I just knew what I wanted and didn’t second-guess it. It’s definitely not brightly colored, but it’s not a cookie-cutter wedding dress!

    Not the best view of the dress, but it’s only been three weeks since our wedding and I don’t have many pictures back yet!

    • Damn, girl, that picture is HOTT. I feel like I was peeping or something.

      • Amber

        Haha–thanks! We had amazing photogs who were all about getting some hot photos in between the family shots. I love that we will have some non-traditional wedding photos (non-traditional dress, same-sex wedding, non-traditional ceremony…I guess non-traditional was a recurring theme!). It was great! My wife and I are pretty big goofballs though, so the whole time we were like, ‘you want us to do what???!”

  • Ashley

    I wore a grey Tadashi Shoji gown and rocked it. Note: I am plus size (18) and wore the XL in “standard” sizing and the thing fit me and my F cup boobs like a glove.

    Love.— Ashley Andrews (@cochinealred) August 15, 2013

    • Lauren

      Love it!

  • Lauren

    I am obsessed with a dress that was made by Free People last year… which basically means it is nowhere to be found. We aren’t getting married until 2015, but expressing my personality through my dress is SUPER important to me..
    Dress I’m obsessed with that I have to let go of:

    also obsessed with this Gatsby-ish reception dress:

    • Alison O

      The links didn’t work for me, but in any event, maybe you can find a tailor who can approximate the Free People dress?

      • Laura C

        Or what about searching eBay?

  • Other Katelyn

    I took a risk and went va-va-voom with my dress, hair and makeup. With my very-plus-size figure and bright curly red hair, things got sexy pretty quickly. Red lips, big hair, tons of cleavage, and ripped off the rhinestones on my dress to replace with deep brown druzy stones set in gold. (some pics here on our photographer’s blog: )

    I kept getting steered towards the demure end of the spectrum– my hairdresser STILL didn’t get what I wanted after two trials, one of my best friends had to step in the morning of the wedding. But you know what, fuck demure. It was our wedding day and I wanted to celebrate large!

    • Amber

      You look great! I totally felt the same way–you should be able to do whatever the hell you want for your wedding! When trying on dresses, I was like “more sparkle!”, “I need cleavage!” and “tighter!” the whole time. Then I wanted the biggest, shiniest earrings that I could find, and shiny shoes, and big hair, and bigger, flashier eyelashes…it just kept going on, and people would be questioning me, and I just had to keep telling them that that was how it was going to be, and I am so glad that I stood my ground!

    • moe


    • Oooh, I love that dress a lot!

  • Tiffany

    So, I’m wearing a plum long tulle “tu-tu” skirt with a plum wine corset with copper detailing and a cream chemise to my wedding in October. I had some concerns that it would be considered too dark/gothic, but I think it will look nice . We are having a loosely medieval/celtic themed wedding on the beach and I just couldn’t justify buying an expensive white dress that would get filthy in minutes and I wasn’t finding anything short that I liked. And let’s be honest, I’m more of a DIY bride who learned early on to NEVER buy a bridal magazine as it just perpetuates the wedding industry but not in a way that a regular person who doesn’t want to go into massive debt for a wedding can afford. Thanks for posting this article!!

    • I really hope you can submit some pics to APW after the wedding, I would love to see your dress- sounds incredibly romantic.

  • honeypie

    Ooooh sequins!! My inner magpie has been activated. I want either a blush pink or gold dress. I may have to walk down the street to Neiman’s and check this one out, I love the cowl in the back.

  • Lia

    I bought a fairly traditional dress off the peg, then awesome-ized it with the help of a very cool dressmaker friend; she replaced some of the white beadwork on it with blue beads, we sprayed all the petticoats blue, and she made me a blue veil. Can’t wait to wear it in 3 weeks (however slightly scary it is!)

  • moe

    I was a plus-size big boobied bride. I ultimately had my dress made for me, it was a copy from an Aria Bridal dress. I really liked their modern look.

    I can not stress enough how important it is to have a good bra when you have big boobs. As a veterean bridesmaid who wore a strapless dress at every wedding I’ve ever been in I was determined not to be another strapless bride.

    When I was looking for a dress I was so sick of seeing the same a-line strapless dress for plus size women. So if you want to find a dress that doesn’t look like a traditional wedding dress Stop Looking at Bridal Dresses. Some of the best things I found were evening dresses at retailers like Nordstroms, Saks, Bloomingdales. You got to think outside the bridal box so to speak.

    • Astro A

      Word. I got a fantastic (and expensive) strapless bra for the wedding I was just in, and it changed my life. I had no idea that strapless bras of any kind could hold up big boobs. I just figured I was cursed to ill-fitting, painful, useless things, or just bearing straps. Then I went to a real boutique (not looking at you, VS!) and got really measured and got a great bra in my big-boob size, and I couldn’t be happier. Most I’ve ever paid for a bra, but I’m so glad I did. It made my boobs look great that night, and I never had a problem with things starting to…droop…that night.

    • GCDC

      Yes, yes, yes. Also especially important for my big boob compatriots, do NOT let them (be it sales people, alterations people, or anyone else) convince you not to wear a bra under your wedding dress if you aren’t comfortable with it. I don’t care if the boning would “create seams” or about any other excuse they could give you. If you aren’t comfortable, or even if you think you might not be comfortable at some point, wear the damn bra. I let them sucker me into going braless and I still regret it.

  • Jenny

    I wore
    “risky” I suppose because it’s knee length. I fell in love with many trashy diva dresses in the bridal collection -and others, ( I wore the cage dress in magenta for my rehearsal dinner.

    They come in sizes up to 20 depending on availability and most are under $200

  • V

    For colorful (and plus size!) dresses, I’ve got to put in a plug for Tova at

    While I was searching for dresses that met my impossible requirements (plus size, NOT white, and a design with tons of vintage elements – sleeves, buttons up the back, lace, AND a train), I ran across her “real bride” photos ( and was enamored of the fact that they featured both plus size brides and brides of color. Then I noticed the really stunning woman (she’s now 6th from the bottom on that page) who was wearing this beautiful, classic dress that had lovely white lace but was blue instead of white underneath the lace. I was hooked.

    I ended up getting my dress in silver with lace and sleeves and buttons and a train. I’m a size 22 and it fit very well for clothing purchased via internet (well, it fit well until I took it in to an alterations place to shorten the straps a couple inches. They managed to make it weirdly loose up top AND bust the zipper a day and a half before the wedding. That’s why there are all those pictures of my bridesmaids sewing me into the dress – best part of the wedding). It was also reasonably priced for a dress of that type. This is me in the dress: and for people who are scared of what someone will think if they wear a non-white dress – my fairly conservative aunt loved it so much she actually asked me to bring it next time I visited so she could see how it was made to try to copy it for an opera dress.

  • Bip

    I wore yellow when we eloped last fall:

  • I looooove this Oscar de la Renta dress this bride wore!

    I wore a dress with color too (bought at the Glamour Closet in SF).

  • Kater

    “Every time I wanted to take a risk and do something ballsy with my hair or dress, I got a hundred messages in my face saying, “DON’T OR YOU WILL REGRET IT.” Or worse, “That’s great, but what if we just tone it down a bit?” Now, four years down the road, the only thing I do regret is not being truer to myself.” <—samesies!!

    Being a "bride" is so weird; there's the whole facade of "this is YOUR day, you can do whatever you want!" but then sometimes the script gets flipped and all of a sudden it becomes "it's YOUR day! now pick WHATEVER YOU WANT from this narrow selection of 'appropriate' choices!" Confusing.

    I ran into this with dress shopping. I mean, I was looking for a long white dress (thought that was pretty traditional!) I knew I didn't want a full on gown: no boning, no strapless, I was looking for something comfortable but pretty, that I could wear a regular bra with. A dress you could do a pull up in. I let myself get bullied (by my well meaning loved ones) into spending a day at bridal shops trying on dresses I knew I would never wear. Which culminated in a near panic attack at David's Bridal & a literal dash for the door :)

    I just let myself get talked into getting my hair done professionally ("you HAVE to!") … planning a wedding can be a weird ride for sure!

    p.s. I'm wearing a wrap dress from Coralie Beatrix (comfortable, beautiful, affordable – the trifecta!):

  • Jade

    I want this dress. Well, any of her dresses, but I want this dress SO BAD:

    Currently the plan is to have my future aunt-in-law make my dress out of antique lace. She has already asked what color(s) I want the under dress to be! (she suggested green)

    • Jade

      OMG I hadn’t seen this one! NEW FAVORITE!

      • Yes! I love Wai Ching. I wanted to get married in, like, all of her dresses (although ultimately, I didn’t get any of them). They’re so gorgeous though – especially for people looking for some color in their dress!

        • Chrissy is amazing. She was able to take my ramblings over Skype and email and somehow transform them into exactly what I’d had in my head. I’m almost glad I don’t live on the West Coast, as I’d likely bankrupt myself making trips to her studio!

  • Anna M

    I will be wearing a burgundy and black corset dress for my wedding in less then a month. I know I will not be liked by everyone but my fiance and I like it so I’m taking a risk.

  • I really love Sue Wong’s dresses:

    I think a lot of her styles are different while still having a touch of the more traditional look, and she has both bright colors and whites/off-whites/peaches/grey tones. And because they’re not bridal dresses, they’re *somewhat* more reasonable.

  • Jessica

    I’m wearing this, next summer. I went through a HUGE debate, but I just love it so much!

  • KW

    Love all the dresses, and the model on the banner photo is rockin’ it!

    I wore a blue maxi dress that I got off the rack from JC Penny for $60. I had originally gotten an ivory short dress with some bling on the empire waist but while I thought it would do, I didn’t love it. I loved my dress. I look better in blue than white/cream/ivory anyway.

  • Emily

    I got married in a rainbow dress, it was perfect!

  • The notion of not being true to myself in order to prevent future maybe-sort of-could be regret associated with not choosing a more traditional dress was what gave me the push to wear what I’d dreamed of: a short, ombre blue creation by Miss Chrissy Wai-Ching!

  • Gomushin Girl

    I’m sorry, can someone explain to me what is risky about the first gown? (to be clear, I mean the one with the yellow title over it) – because the only thing I can see about it that might cause people to find it not in line with tradition is the size of the bride wearing it, and it’s kind of bugging me.

    • Emmers

      to me, it’s the headpiece, and the two fabrics being so different.

  • pumpkinpicker

    Argh Tadashi Shoji!!!!!! HOLY CRAP THANK YOU!!!!

    *jumps up and down*

    Not that top dress (though it is gorg) but I may have just found my dress!!!!!

  • Emma2772

    I got married in this last summer and loved it. I also wore a little top hat . I got some interesting comments, including one from my husbands grandma who couldn’t figure out how I kept the hat on the whole day (a gazillion bobby pins!). I was comfortable, and totally me.

  • Bethany

    If you’re rounding up dresses with color, I highly recommend including Wai Ching:

    I wore one of her creations and loved it!

  • Rowany

    My DREAM dress was this one by Luly Yang. If you feature colorful dresses on APW you should definitely include something by her! Maybe not $40k dress but still…I tried on their evening dresses even after I bought my dress (a yellow limited edition dress from Free People – got really lucky on that one) and it was amazing. Probably as close to a “Say Yes to the Dress” experience as I’ll ever get.

  • Michelle

    This adorable little yellow number is actually advertised as a bridesmaid’s dress, but I’m planning to wear it next summer when I get married! Non-traditional colors for wedding dresses are so fun, and props to all the other commenters who wore colors too!

  • Julia Canuck

    I looked at hundreds of wedding dresses online, hoping to come up with an idea of what I wanted before I went out shopping. Eventually I realized that I didn’t really like ANY of them, at least not for me- and ended up with an emerald green Tadashi Shoji. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and ME!

    • Jaime

      that’s absolutely gorgeous!

  • Jaime

    i loved my green dress! it was made by Starkers!, so it’s actually a corset and skirt and it was absolutely perfect. i didn’t exactly plan for the rather steampunk effect of my outfit but it was more me than any of the beautiful white gowns i tried on to appease my mother.

    • Julia Canuck

      That’s fabulous, and such a flattering colour. I plan on wearing a white shrug with my green dress as well, nice to see it works nicely.

  • Betsy’s Wedding.

    A must watch movie. It’s Molly Ringwald as Betsy and Alan Alda as her father (he wrote the film). It’s zany and fun, but the best part is that Betsy is a free spirit and an fashion student and she keeps being forced into traditions that stifle her until she rips up her dress and recreates it into the ballsiest wedding dress ever!

  • Rachel

    I wore a “risky” wedding dress made by Sue Wong. I highly recommend her designs. I can’t seem to find the dress I wore only 3 months ago anywhere online though, but all of her designs are amazing and different if you just aren’t into a typical looking bridal gown, and they are a lot cheaper than traditional bridal gowns as well. I tried on a ton of Sue Wong dresses and then found one in Saks that was the most perfect combination of my favorite parts of each- it was like a dream!

    • Emmers

      Love Sue Wong! I ended up not going with one of hers, but was sooooo tempted because they’re so ornate and lovely, and not super pricey. They often have her on ideeli (a daily deals type site).

  • merryf

    At my June 2010 wedding I wore a version of this dress by the Brooklyn dress shop Kimera: . Mine has the low V in the back, and she made me a matching bolero so I would be modest under the chuppah. And the skirt was straight, no tulip with a train for me.

    The best part was that it is PURPLE SILK. OK, it’s a dusky lavender, and the obi sash is silver tapestry. It rocked so much that after the wedding I had her cut it down to a cocktail dress, and she made a huge pillow for my sofa from the material she cut off.

    I don’t look good in white and I decided that on my wedding day I should wear a color I like. And so purple it was.

    Several things I love about Kimera — it’s locally made, so I was giving work to Brooklyn women, the shop is owned by a woman, and the dress and bolero and obi sash totaled about $500. I seem to remember I found out about Kimera from

    • Clur

      I’m wearing purple silk too, i can’t wait!

  • My sister convinced me to wear white or I’d regret it… but I’ll tell you, I regret not wearing a color so that I could wear it again. I loved it so much – It was a simple Watters two bridesmaid dress ( — under $200 btw. I thought about getting it in slate grey and then cutting it off at the knees and being able to wear it to other people’s weddings. My sister convinced me to order it in white, but I wish I had been daring enough to go with grey!

    • Suz

      Could you get it dyed? I have no idea if that costs an arm and a leg…

  • Suz

    I know this is a conversation about dresses, but has anyone done/seen/heard anything about really casual wedding attire? I’m part of a lesbian couple and the only photos I really see online are of 2 brides in gorgeous dresses or 1 bride in a suit & the other in a dress. Neither of us is really a dress kinda girl, but we’re also not suit wearers.

    We’re more “hike in the woods, have a beer on the porch, I’m hoping there will be a lake nearby that we can jump into” kind of people. I’m beginning to think we’re the only girls in the world that fall into the middle of the road category of butch/femme!

    I’m trying to convince my girl that we can wear shorts or something and still be recognized as bride&bride. Am I wrong on this? I’d love some crowd sourcing help on this! (maybe a post on super casual weddings?)

    • Julia Canuck

      I think if you make the venue and the general feeling of your wedding casual (picnic? campground? backyard barbecue?) and make sure your guests know to dress casual, this would totally work. And presumably everyone will know you’re the bride and bride, because you’ll be the people up there getting married, right? : )

    • starryeyedspryte

      Hey Suz — what did you end up doing? We are going through this now!

  • savychacha

    I was just blog browsing the other day, and ran across this designers website. They carry regular and plus sizes, and oh my goodness….I immediately fell in love with so many of them. Here is their site Those are the plus size dresses. The teal and red dresses, and the flowy fabric and lace. I die. I wish I had a reason to have a closet full of them.

  • Beca

    Custom-made for my size 12-14 body, based on a 50s pattern. Husbeast’s coat is also custom, from a Belgian military chef’s coat pattern he found. HELL YEAH:

    • Lada

      You both looked superb!

  • Laura

    Oh gosh, please please do a colourful wedding dress roundup! I don’t know if I could go full colour, but think I’d need a splash of fun.

    Look at this hotness from Temperley London:

    Fairy-like (again from Temperley London):

    Navy on white by Lela Rose:

    Number-one fantasy dress by Valentino:

    Number-one fantasy dress by Elie Saab (yes, I have two number-ones):

  • Ilora

    I know I’m late to the party but I love this dress so much it hurts

  • april

    Well, I didn’t *think* my hip-hugging, halter neckline, cleavage-showing dress was risky per se – more vava voom vintage, but my mother in law saw me and blurted out: “WOW – you won’t even have to change into your wedding night negligee – you can just get in bed!” =/ UNCOMFORTABLE MUCH!?!?! EEEEKKKK!

    On a good note, my bodacious boobs and curves rendered my husband speechless and all he could mumble when we had our first look was, “GAAAAAHHHHHHD-DAMMMM.” Mission accomplished, thankuverymuch.

  • This was my dress:

    Photo w/ 3 of the 4 bridesmaids (4th was in blue):

    I had a few people make that obnoxious “but how will people know who the bride is if you don’t wear white?” comment. The wedding was on the USS Constellation, so my usual comment was “If they don’t know who the bride is, they need to get off the d**n boat.”

    My favorite moment of shopping: We walked into a store and I told the sales girl (I know, I know, usually, I would say “woman” or “lady”, but seriously, she was about 16) I wanted a dress with some color to it. She tilted her head to the side and, looking confused, asked, “You mean like ivory?”

    I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they really loved my dress, though. And I’m so, so glad I went with something colorful!

    • Angie

      love the dress, and love the paper flower bouquets!

  • Jade

    Oh! I just had a thought: For those of us that want a slightly unusual gown, what about using Rent the Runway?

    They have some beautiful dresses.

    I haven’t used the service yet but I’m considering it for a friend’s upscale wedding instead of buying a gown.

  • Hi. I’m a stylist at a bridal salon that specializes in curvy girls. Our samples start at a size 12 so curvy brides can actually try on several dresses. We carry all silhouettes and styles, not just your traditional a-lines, although we do have a few of those, too. In addition to specializing in “plus” sizes, we love working with nontraditional brides. If you have a vision, we try to figure out how to match it. Finding your wedding dress should not be traumatic. If it has been, you should come check us out in Phoenix, Arizona. The only rule we follow is that brides to get wear whatever they want, whether it’s lace, sequins, feathers, or a dress that isn’t white or ivory. We actually really like unique brides.

    The best part of my job is that I get to help brides figure out just how beautiful they are.

    Our website is

  • Ake

    Ian Stuart does some awesome riskier white wedding dresses. But also they are expensive, so there is that.

  • sarahwhyle

    You certainly got a fantastic collection of wedding dresses. But the website which I have seen yesterday got amazing and a charming range of wedding dresses, formal dresses and even the bridesmaid dresses. Seeing those dresses for the first time, you will surely be in love with them. Must visit this link once to check out those beautiful and preety dresses. The dresses available with those wedding dress shop Gold Coast is truly following me since that day.

  • faishionoftheyear

    wow all dresses are beautiful but i like 1st one its coll
    Women Wedding Dress

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  • DFletcher A little late to this post, but this is my wedding dress. Pairing it with a printed cardigan, and some cute sneakers. So excited! :)