THE OFFBEAT BRIDE // 8 Great Sites to Shop for Unexpected Wedding Dresses

That movie, The Five-Year Engagement, might as well have been written about me and Zach. We're going into 3 1/2 years, and I have to say, I'm still a little unsure about what we plan to do. I think we're leaning more and more towards a spur-of-the-moment elopement, but one thing is for sure, regardless of what form the nuptials end up taking, this bride-to-be has done her research! One of the reasons I have had such a hard time pinning down plans is that, of all the wedding resources out there, none of it actually feels "right" for us. I guess we are about as non-traditional as it gets. And honestly, non-traditional wedding resources are hard to find. So over the next six months I have given myself two important goals: 1. Figure out a wedding plan, even if it involves matching tuxedo t-shirts at the courthouse (actually, I really dig this idea...) and 2. Share the many, many, many out-of-the-box wedding ideas I have found and considered with you all. So if you know any brides-to-be that march to the beat of their own drum, point them to this series! All my creative, clever, weird little brides, this series is for you!



To kick things off, let's look at one of the most important aspects of the wedding day- what you're going to wear! If you've always envisioned yourself in a traditional ballgown, more power to you! You have a lot of options to choose from. However, if you're more like me and can't picture yourself in a big white gown to save your life, the task is a bit harder, but also really fun! The great news is that you've made a decision to reflect your unique personal style on your big day. Now the job is to simply find the dress (or jumpsuit or separates) that scream "you"! I've put together eight great sites that offer some more "creative" options to help you kick off your search.


1. Reformation


Reformation is a great place to look for clean and classic silhouettes that are also extremely current. They do have several stunning white gowns, but I particularly love the floral prints and bold colors for both the bridal party and the bride! With price tags ranging from about $250-$650, you're also getting a lot of style bang for your buck.


2. Stone Fox Bride


No matter the era, from a colorful flowing bohemian gown to a retro white bustier, everything at Stone Fox Bride gives me Old Hollywood vibes. With a wide range of styles and sizes, you're bound to find an out-of-the-box treasure here. Make sure to check out the crown and veil sections for additional gorgeousness.


3. Mara Hoffman


For fashion-forward brides, Mara Hoffman's bridal line offers some really unique options. From relaxed shirt dress-inspired maxis to elaborately beaded and textured gowns with bold silhouettes, one thing is for sure, you will be making a total style statement in one of these looks!


4. Free People


I'm assuming we all know by now that Free People has a ceremonial collection, FP Ever After, but are we all aware of the fact that it's completely stunning? Keeping in line with the brand, everything has a bohemian quality, ranging from stylish jumpsuits to relaxed crocheted midi dresses to full-on boho-glam sequin gowns. Free People was a leader in the off-the-shoulder revolution and continues to offer wonderful sleeved options and unexpected silhouettes.


5. Viva Aviva


Speaking of unexpected silhouettes, holy sculptural canoli! Viva Aviva offers dramatic ruffles and architectural shapes, mostly in the form of mix and match separates. The collection is small, but if you're looking to make a fashion-forward statement unlike any brides before you, these pieces will do that in spades.


6. Bona Drag


Label-lovers will rejoice in Bona Drag's ceremonial collection. It's a tight selection, but if you've had your eye on, say, last season's ruffled Zimmerman gown at a discounted price (or perhaps a turtleneck swing dress and a shrug made of chains), this site will make you very happy. This one is for the very bold, but even the more tentative will enjoy the vast selection of unique ring options.




I've been looking at the BHLDN site for years- it's always gorgeous. A sister brand to Anthropologie, BHLDN offers that same beautiful, vintage-inspired quality in some truly breath-taking gowns. The real standouts to me, however, are the trendier top and skirt separates and the charming accent pieces, like that capelet above.


8. Daughters of Simone


I'll never forget stumbling upon Daughters of Simone years ago. While I'm unsure of so many aspects of my own wedding, I knew for sure that I wanted an off-the-shoulder dress. A few years ago these were much harder to find than they are now, and seeing the 60s and 70s vintage gowns on Daughters of Simone was like a shining beacon of hope. They've since expanded and now have an expansive collection of dresses and accessories along with their vintage gowns. This site is a boho bride's dream come true.



Now, fellow off-beat brides, let me hear from you! What sites would you add to this list? What areas would you like to see covered in future posts? Let your voice be heard in the comments!