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Written by Abdiel Gonzalez  /  Photography by Dan Austin  /  Makeup by Alicia Harris  /  Hair by Molly Osthus & Peyton Ahern of Venue Salon

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Models |  Modern Muse: Kino Picoli, Teslyn Leverington, Jered Youngblood, Dominique  Wells  /  BMG: Chris Anderson  /  Stephanie Sisk

It was a quiet Thursday afternoon in October. Mom, Dad, grandparents, and siblings sat anxiously in a simple, small wedding chapel, happy that I finally made it to the altar after a five-year engagement. I always thought I’d have an over-the-top wedding in a huge church filled with a couple hundred guests, but my family always knew it would be exactly like this: simple and unconventional. I pictured myself wearing a custom Prince Charming-like ensemble waiting for my bride to float down the floral-lined aisle wearing a giant cinematic ball gown. Instead, I stood at the altar in a stylish off-the-rack suit and opting for an ascot tie in place of a bow tie. My bride wore a white vintage Betsey Johnson cocktail dress, and although unorthodox, she stopped my heart and started my tears in that dress.

Ask any bride or groom what was the most memorable moment on their special day and they’ll say the feeling they got when they locked eyes on each other across the aisle for the first time. That’s where my bride and I wanted to take some risks and make it as memorable and true to our personal style as possible.

As many wedding ceremonies continue to take place in atypical venues, brides and grooms are also going against the grain and making their wedding day looks more individualized. Let’s explore a few examples of couples who threw the wedding-attire rules to the wind and used their ensembles to express themselves while complementing their overall wedding theme.

.01 / bohemian chic

For the gypsy bride and beatnik groom, your wedding is the perfect opportunity to let your free spirits fly. As the bohemian style culture becomes a little more mainstream and accessible, the inner flower child now has more options. The boho style is where light and airy fabrication is king, while minimal, earthy accessories complement the neutral color palette of decor and florals. Finish off the look with natural, tousled hair and nude-inspired makeup. This is the perfect opportunity to play one statement piece of jewelry, like an ornate necklace or whimsical headpiece. Proceed with caution as this has potential to “go too far,” so approach this look with a refined eye, and edit.

His Look: suit, shirt, and tie: Zara, boutonniere: Taylormade Floral & Event Design, watch: Munchel’s Fine Jewelery, ring: Wilson Diamond Brokers

No one says you have to wear a tuxedo at the altar. Take a chance and wear a well-fitting suit with modern trimmings. Colorful suits are having a moment in fashion right now, so don’t be afraid to play with a modern hue instead of black.

.02 / black- tie timeless 

A formal wedding look is simple and elegant, and still leaves plenty of room for an extravagant wardrobe moment in the gown and tuxedo fabrication, silhouette, and, of course, the jewelry. Classic shouldn’t be boring, so take a risk or two as I did here with the bride and groom both in head-to-toe white. A timeless look should be loaded with drama and a little sex appeal, but should stick to the traditional black-and-white color palette. If you love a good pattern, the way to do it while respecting the time-honored princess gown is to introduce it in a subtle monochromatic print, like a luxe brocade. A modern updo and darker, smokier makeup look finishes the bride’s regal look, while gold accents will have the groom feeling like a king.

 

The perfect complement to the simplicity of a traditional mermaid gown is a sparkly belt to help define the waist and add a little visual interest. This is also a perfect moment to add a hint of color.

His Look: tuxedo: Suitsupply, boutonniere: Taylormade Floral & Event Design, watch and ring: Munchel’s Fine Jewelry, loafers: H by Hudson

.03 / EDGY ELOPEMENT

She’s a little “lace;” he’s a little “rock and roll.” You both don’t want the stress of wedding planning, yet you still want to have that unforgettable first-look moment. An impromptu flashy Vegas elopement sounds like a dream to you and is the best place to mix a dash of streetwear and classic style. Trade the blazer for a worn-in motorcycle jacket and give your tuxedo a dose of James Dean. Feel like a rock star in a lace-and-beaded bodysuit-inspired gown. Leave your hair a little disheveled for an intentional windblown look, and wear a sultry smoky eye to bring a little glam to the altar.

When sticking to the traditional black-and-white colors, play with multiple fabric textures to add visual interest and a touch of luxury, like we did here with the velvet trouser on him and the nude mesh mixed with lace on the gown.

 

His Look: motorcycle jacket vintage: Members Only, tuxedo shirt and trousers: Zara, bow tie: Suitsupply, shoes: Florsheim, watch and ring, Munchel’s Fine Jewelry, Motorcycle Lakeland Harley Davidson