12 Styling Tips For The Alternative Bride

No gimmicks, no games — your approach to love has served you pretty well throughout your life, if you say so yourself (just take a look at who you're going to be tying the knot with — score, right?). If being real has worked for you so far, why would you want to switch gears on the day you make everything official? It's always been "no tricks" for you, so maybe the notion of "no taffeta-covered, tulle-draped, wedding dress confections" applies here, too.
Your wedding should be a celebration between you and the lovely soul you're marrying, and not about how many people it took to keep your train from blanketing the entire audience. Brides who'd rather not? These styling tips are for you.

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Photo: Courtesy of Mara Hoffman.
Think About Separates — In mix-and-match pieces, a wedding "dress" built by a top and a skirt is tons more versatile and comfortable than a regular gown. Plus, you'll be able to find more ways to fit a white tank and a white maxi-skirt into your life long after the "I do."
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Photo: Courtesy of Stone Fox Bride.
Wear Your Everyday Jewelry — If there's a piece of jewelry you always rely on, whether it's a spiked cuff, a nose ring, or an heirloom pendant you hate to take off, your wedding day isn't the occasion to leave things at home. Not only does this soften up a wedding dress, but it makes your bridal ensemble all the more personal.
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Bring In Your Favorite Elements — Do you have little styling quirks in your day-to-day that you're known for (for instance, do you rely on a little collar every day?). Try and incorporate them into your wedding look, too. Whether it's a smattering of colorful embellishments or a miniskirt silhouette, do you on your big day.

Delpozo Gown, $9,990, available at Net-a-Porter.
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Classic Roman numerals get the gorgeous treatment in gleaming rose gold accentuated by three brilliant diamonds. Yep, the Atlas ring has "timeless" written all over it.

Tiffany & Co. Atlas® ring in 28k rose gold with diamonds, $1,600, available at Tiffany & Co.
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Photo: MCV/Firstview.
Bring The Bouquet Onto The Dress — You don't see many prints on wedding dresses, which is why we're so drawn toward one when we see it! A smattering of florals gives you an excuse to forgo the bouquet.

Elie Saab spring '14.
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Go Bold If You're Doing Color — A wedding dress in a soft, pastel color may have been unexpected a decade ago, but today it's about as edgy as Mason jars as glassware. Want to really shock 'em? A neon dress in a traditional shape is stunning. Belt a longer length dress to break up the silhouette.
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Photo: Courtesy of BHLDN.
Do Your Everyday Hair And Makeup — It's always a little weird to see a bride look stunning but totally not like herself. To avoid that "Was that really you?" moment, wear your hair and makeup like you usually do, but dial up the drama by a couple notches.
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Don't Be Weird About Cover-Ups — You'd never wear a fur stole or a satin wrap any other day of your life, so why cover up for colder weather in a weird topper? Grab a go-to topper that's structured but flattering — motorcycle jackets are our favorite — and just throw it on if you get chilly.

Gotham Moto Jacket, $84, available at Shop Lovely.
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Photo: MCV/Firstview.
Carry Your Real Purse — Delicate beaded pouches might look nice, but they're really never going to fit your real wedding-day essentials (iPhone, Chapstick, breath mints, Kleenex, adhesive mustaches for photo ops after the reception...). Carry around a scaled-down version of a bag you typically rely on, and stash it on the back of your chair for when you show off on the dance floor.

Valentino spring '14.
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Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew.
Skip All The Jewelry — Especially if you're wearing a veil, it's sometimes more striking to totally pass on all the jewelry (except for that ring, of course). In cases like this, subtly undone hair and soft makeup will make your minimalism look deliberate.
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Photo: Courtesy of Vera Wang,
Go For A Sporty Silhouette — Halter necklines, racer backs, Lycra materials, piping, and other sporty touches all help modernize a wedding dress. Go easy on the jewelry, too, so your overall vibe is cool, not trendy.
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Photo: Courtesy of Nina Ricci.
Consider A Jumpsuit (Really!) — When you're standing still, a jumpsuit's got the exact same silhouette as a gown. But, move a step, and you're really mixing things up. It's a dramatic, brave sartorial decision with huge payoffs. Even if you don't go for it, at least try one on!
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Photo: MCV/Firstview.
Just Say "No" To Ivory Accessories — There's nothing more old-world than dying your satin shoes the exact same shade of ivory as your dress. A slightly clashing pair in a bright color or a metallic neutral might feel much more your speed.

Marchesa spring '14.