Alternative Wedding Dress – Intimate Ceremonies and Elopements

*Original May 2019, Updated August 2020 for Gown Availability and options

It’s a day that most women dream and plan of from when they were a little girl – having a beautiful wedding! Sure, the ideas you have will morph as get older to fit your personality, but the reality is most people cannot afford THAT wedding (or life altering or unexpected circumstances arise). They either go into debt planning and executing this dream or just don’t have something they truly love.

Wedding planning aside, I want to share with you a few unconventional and alternative bridal styles perfect for a warm weather elopement in the park, destination weddings or a courthouse gig if you don’t have a huge budget or just looking for a less expensive and everyday option — you know, so you can wear it more than once!

Simplistic Gown

You don’t have to be limited to an actual wedding gown on your special day if it’s not in your budget. Carrie (Bradshaw) actually wanted to wear a vintage white suit when she initially married Big before the wedding debacle.

If a gown isn’t in your budget (or an elaborate wedding), IT’S OKAY! Have the dream later and find a beautiful simple gown at a local store. This long dress is actually a from Finders Keepers and is ON SALE for $74. Equally, during homecoming or prom seasons, even Christmas or Valentine’s Day, you can find unembellished, simple and mature gowns for your occasion.


If you’re looking for a dress a little bit less constricting but has personality and tons of detail, try a bohemian style gown. You can wear it at your ceremony, but for a few other occasions as well.

These dresses are at different price points, but are ready to wear, which is most important for quick ceremonies!

Asos, Dress 1 – Great for destination or park weddings plus a summer and vacation dress option

Asos, Dress # 2 – More traditional in style with lace and tulle!

Get Suited

A white pant or jumpsuit is so versatile – you can wear it on your big day, garden party, or as a wedding guest. If you’re choosing this option as the bride, it’s perfect for the quaint ceremony in the middle of the park or head to the courthouse like Carrie and Big.

Other Dress Options

Here are several dress styles, again at various budgets with different silhouettes, styles, materials, etc. Remember, just be creative and think outside of what you would normally wear – you never know what will look great on you until you try it on.

Anthropologie C/Meo Collective Madine Dress

Saks 5th Avenue, Miller Off-The-Shoulder Ruffled Gown

Keepsake, Balance Midi Dress

ELLIATT, Cabaret Dress


Don’t forget your lovely bouquet and simple accessories with any of these looks.

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