These Adventure-Ready Wedding Dresses Are Perfect for an Outdoor Celebration
If you love all things bold and adventurous side, wedding dress shopping might feel a little frilly. Puffy ball gowns, unlimited sequins, and voluminous bows aren't for everyone—and if you're in this camp, we're here to tell you that you don't actually have to wash your hands of the whole bridal gown enterprise (although there are plenty of alternatives if that is, ultimately, what you decide to do!).
Enter the following wedding dresses, curated with the brazen, outdoorsy bride in mind. These incredible creations are perfect for the woman who approaches marriage like the brave new world it is—a territory unexplored and ripe with possibility. While these numbers' aesthetics appeal to adventurers, their designs and details all cater to the woman who's exchanging vows outside. Ahead, get ready to discover bohemian-inspired sheaths, short (but sophisticated!) minidresses, and other cool-girl shapes that feel right at home against an outdoor backdrop.
Getting married in a grove of wildflowers? Put our Oscar de la Renta pick—a classic silk A-line with an alluring V-neckline and (subtle!) bow—on your radar. If you're searching for something that gives of garden party vibes, our Savannah Miller option, complete with vintage-inspired buttons and cloud-like sheer sleeves, is as romantic as it gets.
Outdoor brides, here's another thing to try: hats. From beachy, wide-brimmed straw hats, to moodier black iterations, they add that al fresco touch you've been searching for (and protect your face from the sun, too!). Ready to check out all of these adventurous picks? Who are we kidding—you, ever the trail-blazer, are already on your way.
With its sweeping A-line skirt and sophisticated draped bodice, this Carolina Herrera gown will make you feel like you're on top of the world, whether you're exchanging vows on a wildflower- covered peak or in a grand ballroom. Finish the look with a "crown" that's equal parts regal and rebel: a black straw hat.
Carolina Herrera "Gardenia" Silk Wedding Dress, $5,490, 212-249-6552. Janessa Leoné "Calla" Black Straw Hat, $181, janessaleone.com
. American West Sterling Silver and Turquoise "Naja" Cuff, $299; and Sterling Silver and Mother-of-Pearl Squash-Blossom Necklace, $609,
Tie That Binds
Proof that sweet can be flat-out sexy: this Rivini by Rita Vinieris number. The bishop sleeves and delicate lace would fit right into a little house on the prairie—but only a single ribbon keeps the decidedly daring V-neck bodice on this side of scandalous. It all adds up to a heart-stopping ensemble that's a tongue-in-chic reminder of the importance of tying the knot.
Rivini by Rita Vinieris "Maria" Wedding Dress, $4,070, ritavinieris.com
. Charles & Colvard "Forever One Hearts & Arrows" Colorless Moissanite Three-Stone Engagement Ring in White Gold, $2,399,
Sidle down the aisle, then into the cocktail hour in this Sottero and Midgley beauty, and you'll earn a black belt in knocking them dead—whether or not you choose to add a buckled leather waist cincher.
Sottero and Midgley "Maxwell" Wedding Dress, $1,698, maggiesottero.com
. Oscar de la Renta Belt, $790,
. A.Jaffe "Intricate Basket" Engagement Ring, $1,560 (without center stone),
. Annika Inez Sterling Silver "Ribbon Hoops" Earrings, $125,
Shake It Up
And by it, we mean your big-day look and everyone's expectations, as you shimmy into your future wearing this Pronovias showstopper, which drips in fringe, from the sweetheart bodice and deep-V back all the way down the mermaid train. Come reception time, it's also an excellent choice for rattling and rolling.
Pronovias "Riva" Wedding Dress, price upon request, pronovias.com
. A.Jaffe "Asymmetrical Knot" Engagement Ring, $830 (without center stone),
Diamond in the Rough
You learned the power of strategically placed sparkle the minute that engagement ring slipped onto your finger. Jenny Packham's illusion top has the same gift for transformation, turning the slip dress underneath it into a dazzling vision.
Jenny Packham "Angel" Illusion Top, $2,250,
. Jenny Packham "Allegra" Slip Dress, $2,100,
Mix the supple fit of a negligee with the exquisite detail of a ball gown and what do you get? The cool appeal of this Monique Lhuillier wedding gown, which works for dancing all night, then zooming toward the horizon in the morning. When you hit the road, top the Chantilly-lace stunner with her leather-and-pearl grommet moto.
Monique Lhuillier "Alexis" Wedding Dress, $4,990,
. Monique Lhullier Leather and Pearl Grommet Jacket, $4,795,
. Niett Metals "Longline Arc" Choker, $91,
Home on the range? More like at home in the world, in a two-piece ensemble that's easy to wear but impossible to ignore. The flowers on Honor's ironwork-embroidered tulle and silk-georgette maxi skirt sway in the breeze, and the ruffled top is as unique and unforgettable as you are.
Honor Iron Work Embroidered Tulle and Silk Georgette Maxi Skirt, $2,500,
. Honor Ruffle Top, $1,550,
. Ochre Objects Sterling Silver Oval Hoops, $185,
. Coco Loves Rome Cuffs: "Hana," $18; "Merritt," $24; and "Alexis," $26,
. Ritani Double French-Set "V" Engagement Ring, $1,460 (without center stone),
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. And so is your va-va-voom figure, thanks to the structured silk corset of this gorgeous gown from Vera Wang Bride. The lingerie-inspired ensemble looks as right waltzing around a mansion as two-stepping down a desert path. Slip into stilettos to bring out its refined side, or go a bit more rugged by pulling on your boots, cowgirl!
Vera Wang Bride, "Francoise" Wedding Dress, $5,900, modaoperandi.com
. The Frye Company "Natalie Lug Rebel" Boots, $279,
. Coco Loves Rome "Frida" Earrings, $16,
. Foundrae "Passion" Gold, Enamel, and Diamond Band, $2,630; and "Wholeness" Short-Stack Signet Ring, $3,495,
What was that about not expecting to grow flowers in the desert? You're all about defying conventions—and so is this long-sleeved, bateau-neck trumpet gown from Oscar de la Renta. Sleek but soft, covered up but seductive, and embellished all over with floral appliqués, it's everything you dreamt of in a dress—and more.
Oscar De La Renta Long-Sleeved, Bateau-Neck Wedding Dress, $13,990, oscardelarenta.com
. We Dream In Colour "Santiago" Earrings, $150,
On your wedding day, you'll feel like you're floating on a cloud. And in this Savannah Miller simply stunning slip dress and over-jacket, you'll feel like you're wearing one, too. The see-through sleeves and soft silk fabric create a celestial vibe befitting an earth angel. No halo handy? Janessa Leoné's classic sisal straw boater will frame your radiant face nicely.
Savannah Miller "Honor" Slip Dress, from $1,000; "Penny" Over-Jacket, $1,700, savannahmiller.com
. Janessa Leoné "Mason" Straw Hat, $205,
. Larisa Laivins Turquoise Diamond Pendant, $2,360,
. Larisa Laivins Turquoise "Wexler" Ring, $3,480,
Nope. From this day forward, you're more of a lovebird, billing and cooing, migrating through life as a pair. Just take a look at those gorgeous wings! Okay, so they're really tulle straps sliding off this Anne Barge wedding dress, but together with the gown's flattering shape and beaded lace, they'll have you flying high, sartorially speaking. Hats off to the bride who pairs it with this Madewell straw topper for an outdoor affair.
Anne Barge "Raven" Wedding Dress, $5,490, annebarge.com
. Madewell "Georgia Stampede Strap" Hat, $48,
. Melissa Joy Manning Hemimorphite and Turquoise 14k Gold Open-Faced Ring, $850; Lone Mountain Turquoise Company Turquoise 14k Gold Ring, $400; and 14k Gold and Sterling Silver Chrysocolla Cuff, $775,
Some brides are fancy. You're more footloose and fancy-free. And Lihi Hod's chiffon-and-lace gown matches that untamed spirit. With a barely-there lace bodice and tiers of silk-crepe georgette, chiffon, and lace in the skirt, it's the most gorgeous dress you've ever worn—while feeling like you're wearing nothing at all.
Lihi Hod "Anne" Wedding Dress, price upon request, lihihod.com
. The Frye Company "June Short" White Boots, $548,
. American West Sterling Silver and Turquoise Five-stone Cuff, $199; and Jennifer Nettles Sterling Silver Turquoise Cuff, $219 (for similar styles),
. Tacori "Sonoma Mist" Silver and White Diamond Ring, $750,
This mini is the ideal choice when your vows are going to be brief and beautiful and your dance party long and legendary. Zimmermann's corded dress is an exquisitely detailed, unexpected option that walks the line between retro and modern.
Zimmerman "Whitewave" Dress, $1990, us.zimmermannwear.com
. Ariana Boussard-Reifel "Palomas" Sterling Silver Earrings, $595,
. American West Sterling Silver "Interchangeable Bold" Ring, $139; and Kenneth Johnson Sterling Silver and Turquoise Ring (similar to shown), price upon request,
Take a Shine
Your personality sparkles. Your face glows. But your wedding gown? It straight-up glitters, covered in ivory sequins that glint and gleam with every step you take. The fact that this Sachin & Babi's number comes in a high-low shape that makes it easy not just to step, but also to sashay, swing out, and jump for joy? Well, that's a flash of genius, one that shows off your boots to their best advantage.
Sachin & Babi "Evren" Wedding Dress, $1,180, sachinandbabi.com
. Stuart Weitzman "Arizona" Boots, $655,
Everyone is going to have opinions about what you should wear on your wedding day. If your vision doesn't match theirs, we say, give them the slip—in this case, this Theia slip dress. The luxurious satin and flared hem let everyone know this is a special day. The simple, spare cut helps you feel as comfortable and confident as if you were pulling on your favorite denim shirt (say, this light-washed Levi's option). Dress it up with sky-high stilettos, or add some edge by tugging on a pair of these Louis Vuitton boots. Either way, you'll be dancing to the beat of your own drum.
Theia "Jean" Slip Dress, $995, bridal.theiacouture.com
. Levi's "Vintage Western" Shirt, $59.98,
. Louis Vuitton "Star Trail" Boots, $1,360,
. Khalama "Peace" Turquoise- and-Silver Necklace, $270,
. Ritani French Set Halo Engagement Ring, from $1,390 (without center stone),
Art direction by Michael McCormick. Styling by Jessica King. Additional styling (jewelry) by Colleen Banks. Produced by Dawn Sinkowski. Hair and makeup by Casey Gouveia at Art Department using GoBeYou skin serum.