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Cultural traditions have a funny way of becoming widely adopted without being understood from a historical perspective. And what tradition carries as much visual significance in the western world as a pretty, white wedding gown? (We could have just said "wedding," but the popularity of Say Yes to the Dress convinces us otherwise.)
But the tradition of that snowy gown has only been around for 160-odd years. We can thank Queen Victoria and her taste for cream lace in her 1840 wedding for the pristine white (or ivory) gowns we so closely associate with nuptials now. Before the queen's walk down the aisle, brides wore dresses that spanned across the entire color spectrum, mostly choosing the best thing they could find in their closet. Modern women, on the other hand, are feeling more empowered by their individuality. The biggest bridal trends lean toward indie designers, unique non-diamond engagement rings, and Pinterest posts dedicated to novel ceremony setups.
If you want to walk a different path on your big day — or just spend less money — we're with you. So, we’ve found stunning “I do” outfits you can buy ASAP. From colorful gowns to the ecru pantsuit your heart has been searching for, here are 20 outfits for the non-traditional bride.