Goodbye white gowns and chignons: meet the alternative brides of Instagram

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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In every area of our life, we take pride in being unique and forward-thinking, whether it's impressing friends with a glorious dessert at a dinner party or buying an edgy pair of heels.

But perhaps one area we're less experimental with is weddings. Bridalwear is typically white, dainty, angelic... It's beautiful, but it's become a uniform for The Big Day. Millions of brides have stepped into those ivory satin shoes. 

That's why we decided to delve into the world of Instagram hashtags #alternativebride #unconventionalbride and #offbeatbride, where hundreds of women are sharing photos of how they've said "no" to tired old tradition in favour of something fresh and original for their wedding day.

From coloured dresses to quirky prints and flat shoes, these brides are paving the way for a revolutionary (and gloriously individual) new world of wedding style:

  • Transparent skirt dress

    Faye opted for a see-through, floral maxi skirt and silk camisole for her Stoke Newington Town Hall wedding to Jim. Her brother Reggie walked her down the aisle. 


  • A touch of green

    Forget, ivory or pearl. Becky wore a celadon green dress and fur cape for her London nuptials. 

    @wildenbride and 

  • Blue lashes and locks

    Kimber was the ultimate off-beat bride with her blue lashes, blue-dipped locks and dried flower crown at her lakeside DIY wedding to Kaylee.


  • Flats over heels

    This bride wore brown leather shoe-boots to keep her outdoor wedding fun and casual.


  • Regal bride

    As striking as Hannah's red wedding dress was, the gold leaf crown and delicate leafy wings which tumbled down her shoulders, made her bridal outfit unforgettable. 


  • Fit for a crown

    ...She complemented it with a matching dusty gold veil.


  • Fairy tales

    French fashion and costume designer Clara Cherie married in a pink, unicorn and rainbow print dress at her funfair themed occasion. 


  • Yellow siren

    Faten of fashion blog London Fatcat was a vision in this fitted yellow gown by designer Ami Elisah. 


  • Tattoo inspired

    Forget pastel shades. This bride made her own rules by matching her bouquet with her vibrant tattoos and hair colour. 


  • Polka dot prints

    An ice-cream inspired bouquet and multi-coloured polka dot dress brought a taste of the Yorkshire coast to Kelly and Phil's wedding in Cottingham. 


  • Warrior women

    Instead of matching dresses, this bride donned her closest female friends and family in identical gold pauldrons (metal plates that cover shoulders). “Great warrior faces, ladies. Now go kick some booty!”


  • Designer cocktail dress

    Efuas wore a dusty pink (appears red in pictures) Vivienne Westwood dress with Jimmy Choo heels for her beach wedding in New York.


  • Glasses glory

    You only need to take a quick look at Nicole Freed's Instagram account to know glasses are an intrinsic accessory to her identity. Why lose them on one of her most special days? Her white translucent frames were a perfect fit. 


  • Pink and fluffy

    This bride wore a feathered cocktail dress in pink for her big day.


  • They both wore blue

    Jo and John made sure they both wore something old and blue for their laid back nuptials.


  • ...and spent the night at a bowling alley

    The couple ended their big day with pizza and bowling.


  • Sneakers over heels

    Dannie wanted her wedding to be easy, effortless and natural just like her relationship with Sahit. She settled for none other than an cosy pair of sneakers. 


  • Assymetrical train

    Brittney Summers went for a custom layered chiffon bridal skirt and sleeveless top for her New York nuptials.


  • Blue hues

    Duck egg blue, grey blue, lilac... call it what you will, this bride complemented her partner in a refreshing hue.


  • Dip dye dress

    Maisie opted for a bespoke gown with a blue photographic print dyed along the bottom for her wedding to Dave in Bradford.

    @loriex (photograph by @genevieveweddingphoto)

  • Crimson coloured

    The bride wore crimson for this lake-side wedding set on a camp site.


  • Short and bouncy

    Sweeping long trains aren't the only way. Anna's A-line midi-dress made for a whimsical look with husband Myles and their family. 


  • Techni-colour dream coat

    This bride's dress was a spectacular arrangement of fun, tropical prints and ruffles. 


  • Veil power

    Simple veils are often favoured for more intricate hair but this bride proved the former can be just as delicate and impactful. 


  • Contrast appliqué

    At the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Massachusetts, Sarah walked down the aisle in a gold gown embellished in red roses.


  • Green lace dress

    Billie in Adelaide, South Australia opted for a lace green gown. 


  • Jumpsuit-ed

    This Australian bride's jumpsuit wasn't any less intricately embellished than a wedding gown, but gave her look a modern rock'n'roll edge.


  • Silver grey dress

    Devon defied conventions with her silver-grey bridal gown at her high society wedding to Gavin.


  • Black and bold

    A photographer's same sex wedding styled photoshoot turned into a surprise proposal and elopement. While one bride wore a black waistcoat and shirt the other wore a little black dress.


  • Light and flowy

    This bride kept it casual with an Alice and Olivia wide leg jumpsuit that's cut out at the back.


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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.