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Five Reasons It's a Great Time to Be An Alt-Bride

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Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman

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Mothers of the bride, buckle up: Your daughter with the art school undergrad degree and the cold brew entrepreneur fiancé(e) has a whole host of new wedding gown options to suit her, uh, non-traditional taste. A handful of certified cool non-bridal brands—designers and retailers alike—have expanded into the notoriously cupcake category in the last year or so, ramping up options for the alt-brides of the world. Bohemian babes can go barefoot in a white Mara Hoffman dress (or bustier and skirt combo), while minimalists with a sexy slant can do a thigh-high slit on their wedding day courtesy of The Reformation. Brides fashion director Rachel Leonard explains: "Everyone is looking for their own look—they want to be themselves on their wedding day, and not just defect to the traditional ball gown."

The latest spawn joins the contemporary bridal boom that's been bubbling for the last few years, but heads in a distinctly non-traditional direction across the board (nary a fishtail column in the bunch). After the jump, five big reasons it's a great moment to be an alt-bride.

1.) Designer Mara Hoffman test drove bridal via her buddy Pamela Love at the latter's Montauk wedding in June 2012. Mara's "devotional collection" launched for the public in October 2013, offering styles that somehow hit the mark between dreamy and badass. Of her target customer, the designer explained, "My bride probably isn't someone who will spend a year and a half planning what she's going to wear. I imagine her running off to Tulum, to the desert, or getting married under a canopy." The small collection ranges from $300 for a bridal bustier to $1,666 for a silk chiffon gown not unlike Pamela's.

2.) Clearly on a roll with the whole wedding dress thing, Mara did an exclusive gown for e-shop Bona Drag as part of their second Ceremonial Collection. Their edit is basically an alt-bride how-to, with white dresses by Candela and Lindsey Thornburg, bodychains from Bliss Lau, and even an ecru Yestadt Millinery topper.

3.) The super sexy, eco-friendly, growth-mode Reformation launched their Wedding Collection late March, doing gowns for $288 to $588 and bridesmaids (in their words: babesmaids) dresses starting at $198. They dedicate the backless Noelle Dress to "all our girls out there who want to look angelic, hot, elegant, dreamy, and cool on their wedding day."

4.) Topshop rebooted their collab with Kate Moss for the summer season. Hidden quietly within the massive delivery were two white, crocheted dresses, one short and one long. At $360 and with Kate Moss' seal of approval, a bride could do worse.

5.) And not to be outdone in the budget department, online boutique Ruche dove into bridal in a big way with not one but five big day-appropriate gowns for under $150. Styles here go down the vintage aisle without looking back, with no shortage lace, crochet, or floaty layers.
· All Weddings Week posts [Racked]
· 8 Bridal Collections to Bookmark Now, Courtesy of Your Favorite High Street Brands [Racked]