The Nontraditional Bride

The Nontraditional Bride





Although bridal styling is not among my main services, having recently spoken at a Denver wedding expo as well as designed the office for top wedding and event planner Calluna Events, I’ve got brides on the brain- specifically, how to buck convention and embrace all the style possibilities inherent in the matrimonial occasion. In short, here’s how to be a nontraditional bride.


Style- The starting point for the entire affair, your wedding dress will be (most likely) the most expensive article of clothing you’ll ever buy. The ability to spend a few thousand dollars on a dress, with impunity, provides an amazing opportunity to buy a designer you’ve always loved but could never afford (or justify). Splurging on a gorgeous outfit that you’ll be able to wear again is my top recommendation for the rogue bride . Jolene Peterson of Calluna Events, in a champagne handmade gown from LA’s Les Habitudes, models this look to perfection.

Color- Whether your dress comes from a bridal store or the fashion runway, consider a different color. Cream, champagne, and blush are the closest cousins to ‘wedding white’, but you have an entire rainbow of options. Lilac, pale yellow, seafoam green, and metallics of gold and silver are all beautifully out of the box.

Silhouette- Short wedding dresses are becoming increasingly popular, and here in Colorado (where the majority of ceremonies are outdoors), avoiding hemline contact with grass, dirt and other environmental offerings is ideal. With options ranging from mid-calf to knee-length, mid-thigh to mini, any variation looks modern, fresh and totally stylish.


Color– Traditional bridal footwear is being increasingly eclipsed by color. A pop of red, yellow, royal blue or hot pink under your dress is an irresistible touch.

Style- Depending on the location and venue of your ceremony, you might consider a more casual style. Flip flopsballet flats and sneakers* all demonstrate a non-negotiable individuality.


Hair- If a veil is not quite your thing, consider a vintage (or vintage-looking) barrette. As Great Gatsby fever sweeps the nation (and will surely infiltrate the wedding world), you’ll be seeing many more ornate headpieces evoking 1920s glamour.

Etc- Some final touches include painting your nails a bold color (OPI’s Big Apple Red, You Don’t Know Jacques, or Malaga Wine), wearing a retro-inspired red lipstick (Nars’ Jungle Red or Heat Wave), and sporting a vintage fur stole or short jacket (for a Fall/Winter wedding).

*Thank you to ACImagery for this photo.