Informal Wedding Dress Styles
Informal wedding dresses are more popular than ever as many brides forgo heavy traditional styles in favor of more casual dresses, often to match informal venues such as beaches, backyards, parks, or barns.
Thousands of short and long options are available and are no less stunning than formal styles. This particular dress could be used again and again, perhaps even for anniversary dinners. If the thought of spending hundreds or thousands on a dress meant to be worn once gives you pause, something like this may be a better option.
The Tea Length Wedding Dress
A tea length wedding dress is wonderful for casual weddings. Though this length might be considered short by traditional standards, with many contemporary gowns going much shorter, it is actually a quite moderate length. It has a vintage feel and the textured fabric prevents it from being boring. It'll be perfect for morning or afternoon weddings in sophisticated or rustic settings. This one can be dressed up or down for a wedding or, later, a summer wardrobe.
Short Skirt and Traditional Style
Shorter skirt lengths can make a dress more casual. If this is the option you choose, consider splurging on elegant wedding shoes for that very important walk down the aisle. This particular dress mirrors the more extravagant dress styles out there, but it is shockingly short for its traditional lace and tulle details. The fitted bodice and A-line skirt will play up an hourglass figure while the length of the skirt will show off your gorgeous legs and make dancing easier. Wear it in a garden or on a beach, late afternoon or evening.
Casual Long Lace Dress
A pretty white backless gown with simple spaghetti straps takes on a romantic, bohemian feel with a body-skimming style, sheer shrug, and floor-length tiered skirt. This dress will work in almost any informal wedding situation, whether it's in a barn, a field, or a friend's spacious backyard.
Short and Strapless
A gown doesn't have to be heavily embellished or intricately beaded to be elegant and beautiful. As this short white strapless style illustrates with its soft lines and unique shape, simplicity can be key. The sweetheart neckline, ruching, and draped fabric can accentuate curves or give the appearance of a curvier frame. It's perfect for a more informal church wedding or a cocktail party at a historical site or winery.
Long Breezy Beach Dress
A breezy dress made with light, flowy fabric is perfect for a beach wedding. While traditional long gowns with trains will be ruined by the sand and surf, a dress that hits the ankles or tops of the feet is better suited for a beach wedding. An informal 60s vibe makes this dress feel fun and yet elegant, and the lightweight material makes it perfect for a daytime wedding in a sunny locale.
Modern Casual Style
For a casual wedding, a modern white dress can be appropriate. Shown here, embellishments among the strapless bodice and a fuller skirt combine with the shorter length to create something that's one part traditional and one part modern-casual. It's heavier, so it may not be the best bet for a daytime beach wedding, but a sophisticated botanical garden wedding or evening wedding by the ocean could be the perfect setting for a dress like this.
This dress borders on a more formal style thanks to tulle and beading, but the shorter length and red sash make it a good option for an informal wedding. Match the color of the bridesmaids' dresses to the accents on your wedding dress or your shoes to make the photos more interesting. This style would look cute for a retro-inspired wedding in a historical location, an old-fashioned ice cream shop rented just for the occasion, or by the lake at sunset.
Any wedding dress without a train can be classified as informal or casual, but that does not mean it is not elegant. Unique designs, layered skirts, and detailed necklines can make any casual wedding gown beautiful. This one borders on traditional style thanks to lace from neckline to hem, but it still maintains a classic, casual feel that will fit in with any venue, such as this rustic vintage setting.
Whimsical Tiered Dress
If you dreamed of being a woodland fairy as a little girl and a hint of that magic still remains in the back of your mind, a dress like this one, worn to a wedding in a field, on a mountain, or in a forest, can bring those memories to life. The tiered fabric and layers of sheer lace combine in a way that would pair beautifully with loose waves and a flower crown, just before sundown.
Short Feminine Option
Look for details like pleats, full sleeves, a medium-full or layered skirt, and a well-fitted bodice for a look that's casual but still delicate and captivating. Feminine doesn't have to be sexy on your wedding day. This one is perfect for a backyard wedding (perhaps with a barbecue or luau theme) or any other location that means something to you and your spouse-to-be but doesn't necessarily scream "wedding venue."
A simple white party dress can be a very suitable informal wedding gown. Take a look at prom and cocktail dress options if you're looking for something more casual and often less expensive than a traditional wedding dress. Halter necklines with fitted bodices are reminiscent of more elaborate wedding gowns, and a satin finish gives it a nudge in that direction, as well. The shorter length and lack of a train make this perfect for outdoor ceremonies where grass stains and sand might be an issue for more formal styles.
A white sundress is an easy and fun option for a casual wedding dress. This is perfect for a couple who plans to elope or a bride who prefers a dress that can be worn for other parties, special occasions, and events. It's especially appropriate for a wedding in a field, farm, or barn. Simple details, like embroidery, light beading, and even an empire waistline can make a relatively plain dress look special enough for the big day.
Wear White Separates
A bride who wants the ultimate informal outfit may forgo the dress altogether and opt instead for a fun, flirty white skirt that she can dance the night away in not only on her wedding day, but throughout her happily ever after. Choosing separates is the perfect way to show off your personality and have the option to incorporate bridal pieces into your wardrobe for years to come. A sheer, shoulder-baring sweater over a cami, paired with a white skirt and sandals are perfect for an elopement, beach destination wedding, or anything casual in-between.
Seaside Seersucker Style
Light layers and airy fabrics give a perfectly appropriate beachy feel, and strapless, spaghetti strap, or halter styles are great bets for a beautiful beach gown. In this case, the dress seems to have a seersucker bodice, which is popular for everyday spring and summer wardrobes, paired with a lightweight cotton or linen skirt.
Very casual morning or afternoon seaside weddings are best-suited for short dresses, while slightly more formal or evening ceremonies may call for a longer dress.
It doesn't matter whether you're searching for an elopement dress, a beach dress, or something to wear to your backyard garden ceremony; you'll feel your best if you pick the informal style that you love, regardless of length.