Non-traditional wedding dresses…

When Martha e-mailed us with her AOP, not only was I blown away by the venue, the smiling, the love, the general beauty and fabulousness, I was also knocked for six by that BEAUTIFUL black wedding dress. Back when Ines from Source Images paired a black Agent Provocateur corset with a fabulous, huge black tulle skirt I thought I’d died and gone to bridal fashion heaven…that happened all over again with Martha’s dress.

What did strike me though, when I pestered asked Martha for all the details about her stunning dress, was how she too had to ‘create’ her dress herself. I couldn’t believe the way her wedding was pegged as ‘alternative’ by dress shop owners simply because she didn’t want a white dress! I think Martha won in the end-and got to enjoy the creative process and build a solid friendship in the process!

‘My dress was found by pure chance and was only the second dress I looked at in my search! When you are only looking for black dresses, the wedding dress hunt narrows down somewhat! After being sneered at by several snooty wedding dress shop owners (“what? A black dress? No dear, we don’t do alternative weddings here…”) I met my wedding dress angel, Fiona Brown from Accent Originals in Newcastle. I felt we hit it off straight away and I spent many a happy afternoon popping in to see her and playing around with fabrics and beads. Often I forgot what I was there for and we spent much time gossiping about non-wedding things, but eventually we got down to business. Fiona is without doubt the most amazing sales assistant I have ever met! She recently graduated from my employer, Northumbria University’s School of Design, after studying fashion marketing, and so she immediately put her sewing skills to good use. I was lucky enough to have been given by Fiona the bolero jacket she submitted for her Fashion degree, which she accessorised with some black beading and lace petals. She also helped me mix and match accessories, making the big belt flower and altering the hairband (£4 from New Look!) So, all in all, it was a one-off dress and the fact that it was “home grown” and unique made it all the more special to wear!’

Whilst white/ivory/eggshell/bright white/diamond white is the most popular and probably the most accepted choice of colour for a wedding dress, the demand for other colours is growing. It doesn’t need to be the whole dress either! I had a little hunt around and found some GORGEOUS options- if Bella hadn’t found the designer of her dreams in the luscious Sue Wong I was going to put all my efforts into convincing her to go green with this beauty…

I’ve seen many shades of pink recently, there was the angelic Reese Witherspoon in her pale pink gown, looking nothing less than perfect. I think in terms of pink, princess is best. Big skirts, loads of tulle and a nipped in waist-why not go for it?

If I did it again, I think I might wear blue… specifically this shade of blue. And specifically this dress…(in a parallel universe where I have a decolletage as amazing as hers…)

A coloured wedding dress needn’t mean you look like your bridesmaids either…the recent favourite ‘short, sweet and light’ would work well if you were rocking a coloured dress…

French Connection’s long-sleeved ‘Nix’, the oh-so elegant Oasis Sunray dress, the too-cute Ballet from Warehouse and the flirty pleated Kipp from Monsoon.

Of course, as much as we’ve embraced the ‘nothing-can-possibly-match-EVER’ trend (erm, I plead ‘Guilty’, Your Honour!) there is still so much to be said for co-ordination and *shock horror* matching…How about one of these to go with the bridal frocks above?

Gorgeous green, Pearl Lowe for Peacocks. Purdy in pink from ASOS. Edgy blue from Oasis and sophisticated black from FCUK.
So…what do you think? Is anyone going for a splash of colour with their wedding dress? If not, why? Is it that ‘one day to wear the big/slinky/short/ amazing white dress of your dreams’ thing? Did you consider colour, or was light and bright always the way forward? And whilst I’m abusing the question mark key on my keyboard….HOW AMAZING IS THAT PEARL LOWE FOR PEACOCKS DRESS? Want.
Have a wonderful almost-Friday,

Categories: Wedding Planning, Wedding Pretty
17 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    That Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress is reduced to £25 and in my size. That's fate, no?

    But I have NO reason to buy it. I'm agonising…

    K x

  2. Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I'm with you on the green Jenny Packham, it's AMAZING.

    My dress was a kind of creamy champagne colour (it doesn't really come through in the photos, but it was much darker in real life) and I had many a sleepless night over the fact that it wasn't ivory and maybe I should have gone for ivory and is it too late to change it to ivory – I DON'T EVEN SUIT IVORY. Crazy. That's the power of the wedding industry for you.

    Oh and if we're talking black dresses, this wedding dress will knock your socks off. Stunning.

  3. Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    And oh my God, THIS!

  4. Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Speaking of black wedding dresses what about that Suzanne Neville gown?

    Oh that French Connection dress is so elegant and pretty!

    Wish I'd gone for a full skirted nipped in waist tea length dress – of the almost but not quite ankle skimming variety… Sigh…

  5. Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Speaking of black wedding dresses what about that Suzanne Neville gown?

    Oh that French Connection dress is so elegant and pretty!

    Wish I'd gone for a full skirted nipped in waist tea length dress – of the almost but not quite ankle skimming variety… Sigh…

  6. Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Oh I LOVE that I happened to go to AOW at exactly 1pm on the dot, not realising it was Two Post Tuesday. Yay! My fav fav fav dress on this page is….the Monsoon Kipp bridal dress. Oh just look at the back! Look at the floaty pleating detail! And with a gorgeous pair of heels it looks brilliant. I'd have loved to wear something like that on my wedding day and would also love to as a bridesmaid xxx

  7. Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I want a coloured dress! Ideally I'd like a very pale silvery bluey type colour. I did have a debate with my mum in monsoon the other day though because she insisted silver doesn't suit me but ivory does – I believe the opposite to be true but it has made me wonder who's right.

  8. Esme
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Ooh love that Peacocks dress.

    I'm not surprised that Martha got the 'alternative' comments. I seem to remember that one dress shop I went into thought that I was looking for something 'a bit different' when I said that I wanted straps!!

    Ask me in a year what I would wear were I to do it again (not that I *ever* would!)… It would probably still be white-ish though.


  9. Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Love this post!!! The black is amazing, I was considering a jumpsuit (Stephanie Allin's one!) and can only imagine that the comments about being 'alternative' might be quite similar!

    As those of you on Twitter will know, Aisling just outed my 'if I could afford it/and they still made it' dress! x

  10. Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Duh, apologies. I mentioned it too. What a moron. Luckily Betrothed forgets to check this!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I was dead set on getting a non-traditional colour(my ideal was a seafoam greeny blue colour) until I found my my champagne coloured fluffy dress. I was surprised at how conventional my colour choice was in the end!


  12. Posted January 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I had a silvery/bluey dress… there's a couple of photos here:

    {third photo in on the slideshow}

    I loved my dress on the day but I have to admit that sometimes I see wedding photos on blogs etc and WISH I'd had a white dress.

  13. Posted January 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I did actually buy that Pearl Lowe dress and it doesn't fit across my chest. I am beyond gutted! Its So Damn Pretty!

    I haven't bought an 'alternative' dress, but if I did it'd be that fluffy pink delicious dress. I want to put it on and prance.

    K x

  14. Anni
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink
  15. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh goodness me, now that I have seen the amazing green dress (Anni's link) and the black dress in Lucy's Janet Mckeef photos…I want another 2 wedding days, and some! I chose my black dress partly beacuse I was intimidated by the rows and rows of traditional white / cream ones to the extent I felt a little angry! Why must we be forced to have such very little choice when purchasing the most expensive item of clothing we are ever likely to in our lives?! I think I had imagined dress-finding would be like going backstage at London fashion week and instead, I felt like I was being forced to follow other people's trends and succomb to someone else's wedding fashion agenda! Having said that, it is, OF COURSE, each to their own, and had I looked even remotely half OK in cream, I might have changed my mind. :-) Martha

  16. Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I love the look of the traditional wedding dress but I must say that these dresses are not so bad. Makes me want to get married again.

    winter fashion

  17. Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    OMG just got the ping from this lovely post! Thank you so much for the mentioning and gosh I remember reding your comment on rmw, now ages ago. I am so glad that more brides are opting for the colours and Martas dress is amazing too, xxx

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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