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Whether it involves a walk down the aisle, a court appearance signing, or an intimate at-home affair, these low-key pieces are the perfect alternatives to your run of the mill wedding dress.

By Lindsay Samson

July 24, 2021

For a long time, weddings have been sold to us as that one special day wherein we’re allowed, or even encouraged, to dress up like princesses. But what about the bride who simply wants to look like herself or the couple who likes to keep things low-key? Maybe you’re glitter or tulle-averse, feel costumey in a circle skirt, or you cringe at the thought of wedding dress shopping altogether. And while there may not have been many options for you in the past, the “rules” of bridal dresses and weddings are changing, with outfits that feel refreshingly free-spirited and ceremonies that aren't so OTT becoming something of the norm. Below, discover six styles that’ll work for your fuss-free wedding—and anywhere else for that matter. 



1.

The Breezy Bride

With the sound of rolling blue waves and white sandy shores, what loved-up couple hasn’t dreamed of a breezy beach wedding at some point in their lives? If your heart is set on saying your ‘I do's’ along the coast, then you’re going to need to ensure your ensemble is able to deliver on both style and comfort. Diarrablu’s Umy Jumpsuit is a slick mix of island glam, ethereal elegance, and casual beach-chic: crafted from a crisp white sustainable silky cupro, it’s a convertible design that easily wraps into a multitude of styles. Play up the free and easy nature of this unconventional choice by walking down that sandy aisle sans shoes—or, stick to minimal, delicate accessory choices and a pair of simple sandals.

White Umy Jumpsuit
White Umy Jumpsuit
White Umy Jumpsuit

Diarrablu

White Umy Jumpsuit

$225
Sea Urchin Spine Earrings with Blue Topaz
Sea Urchin Spine Earrings with Blue Topaz
Sea Urchin Spine Earrings with Blue Topaz

Patrick Mavros

Sea Urchin Spine Earrings with Blue Topaz

$285
Sea Urchin Wire Cuff with Blue Topaz
Sea Urchin Wire Cuff with Blue Topaz
Sea Urchin Wire Cuff with Blue Topaz

Patrick Mavros

Sea Urchin Wire Cuff with Blue Topaz

$390
Hope Slides
Hope Slides
Hope Slides
Hope Slides

Nkwo

Hope Slides

$95



2.

THE NO-FRILLS BRIDE

For some couples, no-frills is their style statement when it comes to both their sartorial and ceremonial choices. And it’s this no-nonsense attitude that guides this bride’s approach with practicality and efficiency proving a winning formula each time. Part of IAMISIGO’s Land of Gods collection, the brand’s Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit is certainly an unfussy and unconventional choice for a court wedding with its cheeky cut-outs and exaggerated tie fastenings. The piece boasts a quiet confidence that it effortlessly lends its wearer, while its soft, ivory-hued cotton form ensures it doesn’t stray too far from tradition. Wear with your favorite strong statement heel and a pair of oversized earrings for a commanding look that holds court.

Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit
Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit

IAMISIGO

Short-Sleeve Tie Detail Jumpsuit

$341
I AM MOUNTAIN Earrings No.1
I AM MOUNTAIN Earrings No.1
I AM MOUNTAIN Earrings No.1
I AM MOUNTAIN Earrings No.1

IAMISIGO

I AM MOUNTAIN Earrings No.1

$298
Periana Black Clutch
Periana Black Clutch
Periana Black Clutch
Periana Black Clutch
Periana Black Clutch
Periana Black Clutch

ZAAF

Periana Black Clutch

$210
Thila Heels
Thila Heels
Thila Heels
Thila Heels

Loza Maleombho

Thila Heels

$275



3.

THE HOMEBODY BRIDE

Whether lockdown orders are still in place in your part of the world or not, an intimate exchange of vows at home may be just the ticket for the more easygoing brides amongst us. And what does being at home call for more than pared-back glamour and complete comfort? Opt for an easy-breezy maxi dress in this case, like Studio 189’s Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress. Crafted from soft white cotton that’s peppered with flecks of black stitching, the piece’s flowing silhouette and neutral color palette are casual to the core yet keep things sleek and chic. However, it remains exciting thanks to unique detailing, including a flattering nipped-in waist, mandarin collar, and artisanal embroidery.

Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress
Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress
Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress
Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress

Studio 189

Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress

$575
Esther Pendant Studs
Esther Pendant Studs
Esther Pendant Studs

Sidai Designs

Esther Pendant Studs

$113
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm
Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm

OKAPI

Black Stonewash Aja Clutch with Black Feather Charm

$670
Adiza Mule
Adiza Mule
Adiza Mule
Adiza Mule
Adiza Mule

Shekudo

Adiza Mule

$220



4.

THE COORDINATED BRIDE

If you're a bride devoted to all things elegant and chic, it's likely your interpretation of laid-back is still pretty darn glam. And what better way to keep things simple but still sophisticated than a candlelit dinner party accompanied by a side of nuptials? Consider putting a little spin on the sophistication by embracing the inherent elegance and formality of a matching set. Emmy Kasbit’s expertly tailored Amaka Skirt and Bustier is a flattering power duo that’s simple and charming, but not too sweet, making it right for outdoor fetes beneath the stars or indoor dinner celebrations. Another plus: buy a set for your wedding and you'll definitely wear it again. There are no one-hit-wonders here.

Amaka Bustier Top
Amaka Bustier Top
Amaka Bustier Top
Amaka Bustier Top
Amaka Bustier Top

Emmy Kasbit

Amaka Bustier Top

$90
Amaka Skirt
Amaka Skirt
Amaka Skirt
Amaka Skirt
Amaka Skirt

Emmy Kasbit

Amaka Skirt

$230
Noor Earrings
Noor Earrings
Noor Earrings
Noor Earrings

Pichulik

Noor Earrings

$60
Salmon Fitini Bag
Salmon Fitini Bag
Salmon Fitini Bag

Tongoro

Salmon Fitini Bag

$150
Afriyie Mule
Afriyie Mule
Afriyie Mule
Afriyie Mule
Afriyie Mule

Shekudo

Afriyie Mule

$250



5.

THE CLASSIC BRIDE

Just because you’re taking the laidback route when it comes to your wedding doesn't mean you want to forgo tradition entirely. In fact, maybe the princess dream is for you, albeit substantially scaled back. Boasting all the elements that one would typically seek out in a traditional wedding gown—including a corset-style structure, soft ivory shade, and a voluminous silhouette—Andrea Iyamah’s Hadasa Dress is a wedding-ready wonder that proves just as fitting for a modern bride as it does the more conventional one. The floor-grazing piece is the ultimate in effortless elegance, pairing equally well with a pair of slinky stilettos and glimmering jewelry selections as it does a casual flatform sandal and ponytail.

Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress
Hadasa Corset Dress

Andrea Iyamah

Hadasa Corset Dress

$254
Tumi Ring
Tumi Ring
Tumi Ring
Tumi Ring

Adele Dejak

Tumi Ring

$80
Taji Earrings
Taji Earrings
Taji Earrings

Adele Dejak

Taji Earrings

$75
Brown Uri Sandals
Brown Uri Sandals
Brown Uri Sandals

Loza Maleombho

Brown Uri Sandals

$170



6.

THE VIBRANT BRIDE

Sure, some brides are drawn to beautiful and forever classic bridal white, but perhaps you’ve always envisioned yourself in something a little different. Completely ready to ditch all semblance of conventionality and do things your way? We suggest turning to the power of color. Daffodil yellow and Peonie pink specifically. From conceptual South African fashion label Viviers, the Utility Dress features pockets (always a welcome element when it comes to dresses), adjustable drawstrings, as well as Judo-inspired topstitching adorning the belt and collar, while its vivid neon hue will ensure all eyes are on you whatever the ceremony type. 

Daffodil Utility Dress
Daffodil Utility Dress
Daffodil Utility Dress
Daffodil Utility Dress
Daffodil Utility Dress
Daffodil Utility Dress
Daffodil Utility Dress

Viviers

Daffodil Utility Dress

$920
Peonie Shirt Dress
Peonie Shirt Dress
Peonie Shirt Dress
Peonie Shirt Dress
Peonie Shirt Dress
Peonie Shirt Dress
Peonie Shirt Dress

Viviers

Peonie Shirt Dress

$820
Samba Earrings
Samba Earrings
Samba Earrings
Samba Earrings

Pichulik

Samba Earrings

$140
Quartz Torque Necklace
Quartz Torque Necklace
Quartz Torque Necklace

Ami Doshi Shah

Quartz Torque Necklace

$375
White Fah Plus Sandals
White Fah Plus Sandals
White Fah Plus Sandals

Loza Maleombho

White Fah Plus Sandals

$150