5 Non-Traditional Outfits for Your Wedding Weekend

It's okay if a long white gown just isn't your style.

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Most brides have a wedding day style point-of-reference (cough, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, cough)—but “with a twist.” A look that is unmistakably bridal but with a dash of something that hasn’t been done before. In one of our favorite examples, Creative Director Lolita Jacobs stepped out on her day in a white cotton shirt-dress and a veil. Talk about individualist goals! While that look is effortlessly chic and fabulous, your mother may have a meltdown. Not that it is her day, but still. If you’re not ready to buck tradition during your ceremony, that’s fine too. Any of the below looks are completely fabulous for the bevy of bridal events during your wedding weekend, from the rehearsal dinner to the after party.

1. A Shorts Set

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Who says shorts are off the table for the big day?! Some facts about shorts: 1) They’re comfortable. 2) They have pockets. 3) They have pockets. There is no shortage of chicness with this leather high-waisted version from Maison Alaia, paired with a poplin one-button top with a triangular cut-out. Sexy, yes, but you’re also in shorts, so the look can't get too carried away. Slide on a simple flat and a long veil for drama and you’re a bride that’s ready for anything. If this feels too casual to say "I do" in, no sweat: Try this for a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower and you're sure to turn heads.

Shop the pieces: 1. Alaia Edition 1990 cotton poplin shirt, $1,480; 2. Alaia leather structured shorts, $3,760; 3. Alex Perry tulle veil, $468; 4. Tabitha Simmons hermione ballerina flats, $695

2. The Polished Pajama

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I’m going to take another liberty here, but a chic bridal pajama set? I can’t see why not. Bridal cool-girl line Lein has the perfect version. The deep neckline of their robe-like jacket makes the look more Bianca Jagger than Hugh Hefner, especially with a stunning lariat necklace. Complete the look with a mid heel strappy sandal with a block heel. You’ll feel totally comfortable and confident for a full-day affair or an after-party look that can easily transition at the night’s end.

Shop the pieces: 1. Lein jacket, $1,250; 2. Lein high waisted pant, $995; 3. Alex and Ani pearl lariat necklace, $88; 4. Schutz block-heel sandals, $165

3. Feathers, But Make It Casual

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About to get even crazier here but...what about a very fancy T-shirt? A fantasy, day-of-my-dreams idea is the marriage of a cotton tee and extravagant feathers. I’m also going to have the audacity to say pair the shirt with white wide-leg jeans for the ultimate City Hall or elopement look. Lock it up with a pair of simple flat sandals and a white bucket bag. (Because I usually live my life by the motto "WWJBD: What Would Jane Birkin Do?"

Shop the pieces: 1. Valentino ostrich feather shirt, $2,790; 2. Citizens of Humanity jeans, $200; 3. Staud mini bissett bag, $295; 4. Dolce Vita shoe, $75

4. Contrasting Separates 

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Take a note from the classic black-and-white tuxedo and try starkly different separates. A swishy satin skirt and black ruffle cami make for a romantic combo that will have you gliding through any room. For extra flair, add a grosgrain ribbon tied as a choker with a flower (real or faux) attached for an injection of color. Black ankle strap sandals tie it all together and work double-time as a great addition to your everyday wardrobe, which makes them impossible to not justify when putting your bridal look together.

Shop the pieces: 1. Nicole Miller silk cami, $195; 2. Galvan satin midi skirt, $725; 3. The Tie Bar silk lapel pin, $12; Shop similar: 4. By Far leather sandals, $405

5. A Shawl and Dress Twinset

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Matches.com recently launched exclusive bridal designs from some of their top-selling designers. We are madly obsessed with London-based newcomer Molly Goddard’s tulle cape-and-dress combo—for the girl who loves to be a little “matchy-matchy.” Adding a baby blue low-heeled pump for a touch of playfulness and tradition, and top with a thin crystal headband since no preppy twin-set look is complete without one.

Shop the pieces: 1. Molly Goddard shirred tulle dress, $2,100; 2. Molly Goddard velvet tie tulle shawl, $630; 3. Kjewels crystal headband, $14; 4. Sophia Webster heels, $395

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Julia Gall

Julia Gall is the former Style Director at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion, as well as styling tips, wardrobe upkeep and sustainability. Check her out at @juliasgall.