by Leslie Lambert & Angela Huang | Photos courtesy of Brands

For centuries, brides have modeled a traditional long white wedding dress down the aisle. This custom still holds true today in most weddings, but wedding dresses are becoming more versatile each year. On your wedding day, it’s important to wear something that is comfortable and that reflects your personality. But, the dress that fits these two qualities may not be a traditional white gown.

1. ALTERNATIVE COLOR – As seen (L-R) Pamella Roland, Jenny Packham, Monique Lhuillier & Austin Sacrlett
SONY DSCJenny Packham_Monroe_2015Monique Lhuillier_Floressa_S2015Austin Sacrlett_Azalea_S2015
For some brides, the traditional white dress is not for them. Instead, they pick an alternative design that stands out—one that is vibrant with color. Depending on the season, brides will choose the appropriate dress. In the winter, dark colors are popular, and in the spring and summer, brides gravitate toward lighter pastels like pink, cream, yellow, and lilac. Colors can be fun for a wedding, especially in particular settings like beaches or outdoors elsewhere.

2. DEEP V-NECKS – As seen (L-R) Naeem Khan, Jenny Packham, Mira Zwillinger & Oscar de la Renta
Deep V Neck_Naeem KHanDeep V_Jenny Packham_Billie_2015Deep V_Mira Zwillinger_Lysha_S2015Deep V_Oscar de la renta
Is the classic sweetheart neckline or the modest boat neck too restricting for you? You’re in luck. The V-neck was everywhere this season. From a demure little dip in the neckline to the plunging V-neck that we’ve all come to know and love, this daring neckline suits brides with bold personalities who aren’t afraid of showing off some skin. It’s the ultimate cut for a bride who is looking to be her man’s dream bombshell.

3. A SHORT DRESS – As seen (L-R) Angel Sanchez, Marchesa, Naeem Khan & Pamella Roland
Lazer Cut_Angel Sanchez_F2015Marchesa 2_S2015BAHIApamella roland bridal_look6
For some women, the favorite fashion item of choice is a pair of shoes. If a bride has a special pair of shoes she is crazy about and wants nothing more than to show them off at her wedding, she may choose to sport a short dress. Short dresses are more casual and usually simple, so as not to clash with the showcased shoes. As weddings are more prevalently becoming smaller events, short
dresses are emerging as the new modern norm.

4. TWO-PIECE OUTFIT – As seen (L-R) Naeem Khan, Rivini & Theia
11-SurenFW15 RIVINI
Another particularly popular design for the bride is the two-piece outfit. This option is great for women who are not the same size head-to-toe. With a fitted bodice or corset and any kind of skirt—whether it is one that drapes elegantly with a long trail or one with a large skirt that resembles that of debutante—this outfit is very versatile. It can be made in the most flattering style for the bride, and many designers are now making matching two-piece sets in their wedding collections.

5. LACE/BEADED SLEEVE – As seen (L-R) Carolina Herrera, Rivini, Pamella Roland & Monique Lhuillier
Sleeve_Carolina Herrera_s2015FW15 RIVINISleeve_pamella rolandSleeve_Monique Lhuillier
When most brides think about a wedding dress with sleeves, they envision the modest dress Julie Andrews wore in The Sound of Music. Sleeves have come a long way since then…
Lace sleeves are now the rage! With intricate beading and different lengths, there’s a sleeve for every bride. And, for those brides who think their arms aren’t the most attractive part of their body, these beautiful sleeves will hide them perfectly—cross off pushups on your to-do wedding list!

6. THIN SPAGHETTI STRAPS – As seen (L-R) Anne Bowen, Johanna Johnson, Rosa Clara & Naeem Khan
Spaghetti Straps_Anne Bowen_AssannaJohanna Johnson SS Bridal ShowSpaghetti Straps_ROSA CLARÁSpaghetti Straps_Naeem Khan
While most wedding gowns have some sort of sleeve or halter top—or are completely strapless—the thin spaghetti strap is slowly carving out a niche for itself as a “sleeveless” sleeve. Having spaghetti straps allows the bride to show décolletage without worrying about keeping her dress up.

7. LEG-BARING – As seen (L-R) Alyne, Pronovias, Jenny Packham & Galia Lahav
Slits_Alyne_LeaSLITS- PronoviasSlITS_JENNY PACKHAM_KELLYSlits_Galia LahavParadicio F2
Remember that black leg-baring number that Angelina Jolie wore? Well, you can make your wedding dress just as memorable. The slinky slit is transitioning from eveningwear into bridal wear—and brides couldn’t be happier. What better way to stand out on your special day than to don a sizzling classic Hollywood-inspired wedding gown!

8. METALLIC DETAILING – As seen (L-R) Naeem Khan, Pamella Roland, Ines Di Santo & Carolina Herrera
NAEEM KHAN BRIDALpamella roland bridal_look8Ines Di Santo_Paris_F2015Metallic Detail_Carolina Herrera_S2015
Sparkle has always been a must-have on the wedding dress checklist, but designers are now adding on a new type of sparkle: metallic. Metallic detailing has been seen almost everywhere, adding an ethereal and out-of-this-world element to the traditional white wedding dress—perfect for the edgy and sophisticated bride.