If you think you need to spend $2000 on a wedding dress you won’t wear ever again, you’re wrong. Try one of these 20 dresses instead!
As the age of bridezillas seems to finally be dying out, more women are trying to fill their weddings with practical, purposeful ideas rather than extravagant occasions with little to no rhyme or reason. They’re swapping out engagement rings for down payments, huge setups for small ceremonies, and naturally, enormous dresses for ones they can wear after their wedding. While some brides have gone the route of impressive toilet paper dresses (and others have simply gone the route of the lake), many women these days are searching for something a little less one-night-only.
If you’re looking for a fun, casual wedding dress instead of a poofy cupcake couture ball gown that will never work for any other occasion than an actual wedding wherein you’re the bride, then check out one of these more easy-going wedding dresses that serve plenty of purposes beyond a thing to stand in at the alter.
1. Alice by Temperley Fleur Lace and Georgette Mini Dress, Net-A-Porter ($925)
If standing out is your thing, look no further than this beautiful design. Its bell sleeves, lace elements, and pin-tucked skirt are totally unique, but can certainly be worn again with accessories of deep or bright shades to change its tone.
2. Rise Above The Rest Dress, ModCloth ($95)
Many brides don’t wish to wear white but do prefer to keep their colors on the muted and lighter side. If you’re looking for a more casual full-length gown that has a pretty, pale pink palette with lovely beading at the neckline, this could be a great option for you. It’s also under $100, making it a solid choice for brides on tighter budgets.
3. Oleg Cassini Cap Sleeve Wedding Dress, David’s Bridal ($800)
This pretty dress has an illusion neckline and offers tons of room to move, dance, and actually interact with guests without getting exhausted from carrying around a ton of tulle. Add a colorful belt and some bright accessories to make it into a fresh summer look for a white party or other events.
4. Eyelash Lace Jumpsuit, J. Crew ($750)
I know this isn’t a dress, but guys, this is amazing. There are plenty of brides who don’t want to wear a dress to their wedding, so this is a perfect option for them! Plus, you can basically wear it to any event after that–casual, fancy, family. All of ‘em.
5. Notte by Marchesa Embroidered Tulle Gown, Net-A-Porter ($1,195)
I love this gown more than almost anything I have ever seen, and while I think it would be one of the best dresses ever for an evening wedding or something along those lines, I think it would also work wonderfully for any other super special occasion. Or just wearing around the house for no reason, either way.
6. Gilded Grace Dress, ModCloth ($140)
How sweet is this tea-length design from Chi Chi London? The lace neckline and sleeves make it elegant, while the cut is flattering and feminine without being too cutesy. And it goes from a size 2 to a size 32!
7. Aidan Mattox Cap Sleeve Scoop Back Beaded Dress, Bloomingdale’s ($395)
The texture of this dress makes it so much more interesting to look at than a plain ivory one, while the scoop back and neck keep it fun and semi-formal.
8. Kiyonna Lace Confections Wedding Dress, Kiyonna ($248)
This lacy off-white dress is sweet (and therefore so befitting of its name) and certainly wearable more than once, especially if you styled it with bold accessories and statement jewelry. You could even add some DIY elements, such as a contrasting lace trim on the hemline or bust.
9. Enchanted Ivory Lace Dress, Daddyos ($125)
This is a cute open-back white dress that’s fully lined and features a pretty lace overlay. If you wear this at your wedding or to any fun spring or summer party, you can dance and run around to your heart’s delight!
10. French Connection Super Stretch Solid Dress, Bloomingdale’s ($158)
I love this clean, simple solid white dress. There’s nothing that screams “I’M A BRIDE” about it, but if you add a veil and some flowers, voila! You look totally bridal in a semi-traditional manner.
11. Eyelash Lace Skirt ($295) & Collection Dewdrop Feather Cami ($695), J. Crew
This semi-casual look involves two pieces, so you can get twice the mileage out of these items!
12. DB Studio Short Jersey Dress with Lace Keyhole Back, David’s Bridal ($169)
How cute is this? That neckline is to die for, too.
13. Adrianna Papell V-Neck Sequin Bodice Dress, Bloomingdale’s ($260)
This gown is so stunning, and despite its non-white color, it still feels like it would work perfectly as a wedding dress. The three-quarter length sleeves give it an elegant feel that might appeal to a bride who wishes to cover up a bit while still looking sexy.
14. Name of the Dame in Vanilla Swirl, Modcloth ($100)
If you’re looking to show a little peephole of skin at your wedding (plenty of brides like sexy wedding dresses, after all), this is a lovely option that you’ll be able to wear to any garden party or summer evening dinner night at a fancy restaurant long after your wedding.
15. DB Studio Long Mesh Dress with Pearl Necklace Detail, David’s Bridal ($99)
This is a great pick for women who want a long, pretty silhouette without tons of bells and whistles attached–just a simple pearl necklace detail on top!
16. Stop Staring Love Spell Dress, Daddyos ($105)
It’s a common misconception that every woman wants a lacy white wedding dress for her big day. If you’re into a more fiery, sexy look, check out this incredible one from Stop Staring that will make you look like a retro pinup girl or a singer at a 1920s Prohibition-era nightclub.
17. Monique Lhullier Chantilly Lace Open Back Wedding Dress, Nordstrom ($2,860)
While I do not recommend changing this dress yourself unless you’re a trained professional, I do think that taking it from long to short would make this absolutely stunning gown into a perfect dress for any occasion.
18. J. Crew Collection Shimmer Sequin Romper, J. Crew ($750)
If you’re going to take #4 one step further, you could even pick a wedding romper. It may sound like an oxymoron, but for some women, a dress just isn’t their style. Don’t force yourself into wearing something you don’t like on your big day; if this kind of look is more what you’re seeking, definitely go for it!
19. REISS Seville Lace Silk Inset Flow Dress, Bloomingdale’s ($292)
Short, simple, and sweet, this excellent dress is good for a more casual bride who desires an easy-going look she can move around in.
20. Alice + Olivia Jaelyn Cutout Chiffon Maxi Dress, Net-A-Porter ($485)
This elegant and sexy cutout dress is a great choice for women who want long, clean lines but still want to make a bold statement. If you added a colorful belt and a summer hat or headband, this would work for any party you go to this summer.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.