Counter-Couture Wedding Dresses

I recently featured InStyle’s Picks for Most Beautiful Brides of 2009. Among them, was Ivanka Trump, who commissioned designer Vera Wang to create a stunning lace and tulle wedding gown – with sleeves! Several fashion editors took the opportunity to promote the start of a new trend, or rather a departure from the prevailing trend – strapless wedding gowns. I am not here to bash them. I have seen countless brides look absolutely stunning in gowns – sans straps. That said, I present gorgeous alternatives to the popular silhouettes, in the hopes of inspiring just one bride to break away from the masses and become enchanted with something a little different.

Hey Shorty!

Short wedding dresses aren’t a new trend. Coco Chanel introduced a white, knee length dress with a long train in the 1920’s. Now they evoke a fun, retro feel. Though there is certainly no shortage of chic, modern versions perfect for casual affairs or a bride who would feel positively silly in a princess-like ball gown style.

A Dress of a Different Color


Wedding dresses were not traditionally white until Queen Victoria was married to Albert of Saxe-Coburg in a white dress in 1840. It has since become the norm, with the exception of off-white hues. These days, brave brides are breaking away from white and opting to wear their favorite colors or even prints on their big day. Spy a beautiful, yet totally out of your budget designer gown? An upcoming wedding is the perfect excuse to splurge…even if it’s your own.

Sleeves, Glorious Sleeves

With the popularity of strapless dresses, seeing sleeved brides is definitely rare. From cap sleeves, to t-shirt style gowns, they can be incredibly chic and tastefully modest. At the same time, since gowns like the ones seen here have never really been a major trend, they have a timeless feel that many brides seek.

Short: 1, 2, 3- Amsale 4 – Stephanie James Couture 5- Sarah Arnett 6- Stephanie James Couture Color: 1 – Demetrios Bridal 2 -Via StyleMePretty 3- Via 100 Layer Cake 4- Via Green Wedding Shoes Sleeves: 1, 2 – Eliza Blog 3- J. Crew 4- Nicole Miller 5- Eliza Blog 6- Via Stephanie Williams Photography