Thinking Beyond The Classic White Dress

Words by Keven Amfo

19 June 2020

As weddings evolve and brides modernise, some might wish to turn away from the classic white wedding gown in favour of something a bit different. ‘We find that the more fashion-conscious brides would consider an alternative to the typical wedding dress for their big day,’ Sophie Fleming, Director of Events and Weddings, says. She and her team provide a few recommendations should you wish to think outside the box.



Refined yet modern and stylish, the all-in-one has become increasingly sought-after for brides. ‘Jumpsuits are proving to be particularly popular and often still echo the traditional features of a wedding dress, with white tones, silk, and an elegant silhouette,’ according to Sophie. Typically more comfortable—and ideal for dancing—many nod to the classicism of a dress but with a fresh sensibility.

This version by Emilia Wickstead has a scalloped sweetheart neckline, with pretty square back and wide-leg trousers that flatter and elongate the silhouette. Others come with an attached train, a whisper of a dress shape—this beautiful option from demi-couture label Safiyaa has an asymmetric floor-length overlay, representing a contemporary interpretation of the look, and is embroidered with dazzling florals.

Valentino NEW

Bright colours

A fun choice for a warm-weather wedding, or for someone who simply wants to mix it up, a dress in a vibrant colour is a bold option. This floaty bright pink silk chiffon dress by Valentino epitomises romance, with tiers of silk and a ruffled off-the-shoulder neckline—plus it feels wedding-ready with a layered train.

This shimmering, Tiffany blue pleated gown from Gucci will make a striking statement. Subtle crystal detailing dots the neck and waist, adding glittering elegance to the layered column silhouette.

Jwanderson NEW

The suit

Wearing a tailored suit is a chic, forward option. This wool twill blazer by JW Anderson has crystal embellishing, lending a bit of sumptuous shine to the panelled jacket, while a buttoned back half belt provides shape. Try pairing it with the coordinating belted trousers, which have a high-rise waist for a flattering silhouette.

The suit is also an excellent choice for a rehearsal dinner or engagement party. ‘Those wanting to be more sustainable on their wedding day may consider an outfit that can be worn again, and not reserved for one-day wear,’ Sophie says—separates are perfect for obtaining that sensibility.



Typically reserved for a beach wedding—for which they are perfect—caftans have also become an option for brides who might seek a dose of 1970s glamour. This gorgeous option by Oscar de la Renta, whom some might consider the ‘King of the Caftan,’ has long sleeves to separate it from more beachy counterparts with panelled chantilly lace and radiant silk organza.

For brides seeking comfort, caftans look extra chic when paired with flat shoes.

Bottega veneta

Short dress

‘We find that quite a few brides will have a shorter (and sometimes more sparkly) dress to change into later on in the evening,’ Sophie relays. ‘But those styles don’t have to be relegated to the after-party.’

Should you be seeking something specifically for the reception, this shimmering sequined dress by Bottega Veneta is ideal for shining on the dance floor. Or, if you’d like to wear something shorter for the entire event, this feminine embroidered lace midi dress by Erdem is a sophisticated and thoughtful alternative.

If you need help with planning any aspect of the big day, enlist the award-winning help of Quintessentially Weddings.

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