What white wedding? The best alternative bridal outfits at Fenwick

While most of us envision a white wedding, this wasn't always the way.

Queen Victoria is often cited as a key player in establishing white as the wedding dress colour of choice, but while this statement was copied by many it was only during the post wartime boom of the 1950s that weddings became a huge industry and magazines helped to standardise the "White Wedding Dress" tradition that we hold on to today. During the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance period a bride's choice of fabric and colour even carried symbolic meaning and wedding attire was used to display her place in fashionable society.

Fancy making a statement on your big day? Feast your eyes on the best alternatives to the traditional white gown...


Tadashi Shoji, £795; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross

Whether you can wear black as a wedding guest is a hot topic for debate, and with this thinking, what could be more dramatic for a bride than to take a walk on the dark side as she glides up the aisle? Alternatively, changing from a traditional wedding dress into a black dress for the reception is a great way to keep the guests guessing and to mark the transition into the evening’s revelries. 

And here’s the real thing no one wants to admit; a black wedding dress allows you to eat, drink and be married without fear of spillage – hurrah! 

pale and pretty

Phase Eight Rosita Dress, £95, Kate Moon Clutch, £45, Antwerp Print Thekia Dress, £95 and Bow Bag Clutch, £35; Available at Fenwick Kingston and Bracknell

If you’re still wedded to the idea of a pale and lovely look but don’t want to wear white or ivory, why not opt for candy hues?

These picks are perfect for a city wedding, the more mature bride - or anyone with a cracking set of pins! Keep it chic in a sixties-style shift dress to avoid drawing comparison to the sugared almond wedding favours. If you’re a pattern addict, floral prints are perfect wedding fodder. By wearing flowers you can also opt to go bouquet free, which means freedom in the budget and freedom in your hands to treat yourself to a new clutch. 

New vintage

Tadashi Shoji, £435; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross

Something gold? Something blue? Nothing borrowed; very you.

If you like the sound of a vintage style gown with a subtle hint of indie rock, an antique style, off the shoulder lace dress in gold or blue is a beautiful choice that will see you channelling Florence Welch and avoiding even the slightest glimmer of ‘themed wedding’ fancy dress.

Plus, you'll get a vintage-style gown without having to trawl through second-hand markets or fork out for dry cleaning and alterations. 

The boogie nights bride

Chantal Temam Jumpsuit, £499, Available at Fenwick Brent Cross; Phase Eight Charlie Sequin Dress, £350, available at Fenwick Kingston

Ever since Bianca Jagger married a Rolling Stone in her white YSL Le Smoking jacket, rocking 70s alternative bride has become a true modern classic.

If you’re looking for bridal style that’s more Studio 54 than Village hall bore, a white jumpsuit will take you from ‘I DO’ to D-I-S-C-O. And just because it’s your wedding day, it doesn't mean you should shun sequins: a floor length sequinned dress will ensure you have a day (and night) to remember.  


For more guidance on planning your big day, head over to Fenwick's Wedding Guide...

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By Lucy Cox