People like to say that your wedding day is the most important day of your life and that your wedding gown is the most important item you’ll ever wear. No pressure! If those ideas feel a little bit outdated—because surely there are other important days and outfits to come—think of it this way: If you do decide to walk down the aisle, it’s at least going to be one of the most photographed days of your life, so why not wear something truly magical? Something that makes you feel like yourself and that you know you’ll look back on happily when you’re flipping through a photo album (okay, Instagram) in 10 years.
For the fashion-obsessed bride, that probably won’t equate to a white ball gown. For those of us who are more into Khaite than Kleinfeld, or would prefer “something Brock” to “something blue,” the idea of shopping for a wedding dress at all might leave us uninspired. But we could just as easily find “our dress” without setting foot in a bridal store. There were dozens of wedding-worthy looks all over the recent Fall 2019 runways. For the bride with edgier tastes, consider Sarah Burton’s unraveling white frock and studded belt at Alexander McQueen. Maximalist brides might go for Marc Jacobs’s high-low floral gown. The dress-averse will be drawn to Gabriela Hearst’s elegant trousers, and for those who simply want a white dress—just not a mermaid dress!—there were gorgeous options at Narciso Rodriguez and Brandon Maxwell.
We’ve found 40 of the season’s most exciting options for the pro-fashion, anti-bridal bride. They’ll be arriving in stores later this fall—a mere blip compared to the amount of time it usually takes to get a made-to-measure gown finalized. Even better, most of these looks could be re-worn long after your big day.
Corsets, Leather, and Chains for the Alternative Bride
Even if you aren’t into sparkles and tulle, you can still make a striking statement. Rick Owens’s draped jersey dress and Marni’s chain-strapped satin number were beautiful, but subversive.
Cotton Poplin Gets an Aisle-Worthy Upgrade
The woman who lives in button-downs will appreciate the cotton dresses we saw at Simone Rocha, where pleated poplin was spliced with taffeta and crystals, and Rodarte, where breezy eyelets got a couture twist. If you’re getting married outdoors or in the middle of the day, a cotton dress isn’t just charming: it’s a practical alternative to heavy silk and tulle.
Go hands-free with an ivory dress covered in flowers, like Prada’s collared shirtdress exploding with 3-D blooms or Valentino’s airy gown with photo-printed roses. Dries Van Noten’s vivid flower prints were lifted from his own garden.
Major Gowns for Major Fashion Fans
Sometimes, bigger really is better. For the serious fashion lover, your wedding day is your chance to wear something totally OTT, like Tomo Koizumi’s ruffled confection or Oscar de la Renta’s high-low gown covered in white feathers.
And the Bride Wore. . .Pants!
Trousers and jumpsuits no longer qualify as “new” trends in the bridal world, but the options are still pretty limited. Gabriela Hearst’s satin trousers and blazers have earned her a cult following, and Simon Porte Jacquemus’s ivory wide-leg trousers and a sultry halter are worthy of a beach wedding.
Knit Dresses for a Dreamy Winter Wedding
If you’re planning on getting married around the holidays—or just in a colder climate—a sweater dress might be a good idea. Several brands made the case for a cozier look; see Brock Collection’s creamy pointelle cardigan and skirt and Chanel’s fluffy white mini.
Liquid Silk Dresses on Demand
The bride who wants to wear a white dress but can’t abide unnecessary frills should consider Narciso Rodriguez’s draped ivory column or Lorenzo Serafini’s luminous long-sleeved gown trimmed with a touch of lace.