As tradition holds, brides in the Western world have tended to wear long white gowns ever since Queen Victoria stole the show in a snow-colored dress during her 1840 wedding ceremony, upending generations of simply wearing one’s finest dress to the altar and calling it a day. But now, more brides and designers are beginning to look past old expectations and branch out into new colors, textures and even patterns, from Maggie Sottero’s black-accented ball gowns to Monique Lhuillier’s flower-strewn puff sleeves—and boutiques in Baton Rouge are getting in on the action in subtle, stylish ways.
“Colorful patterns are definitely coming into trend, and there are always a variety of styles that can suit that vibe,” says Ashlee Johnston, bridal manager at Bustle. “We certainly carry several gowns that veer toward the unorthodox side, especially with a trend toward neutral tones, deeper shades of blush pink, or even taupe.”
Salons like Bustle pride themselves on stocking dresses to suit everybody, with Johnson noting that a twist in tradition can often come from something small like an unexpected accessory or colored detailing on a veil.
“I always tell my brides that the only rule in the game is that there aren’t any,” says Johnston. “Typically brides come in with a game plan, and they know what they’re going to put their bridesmaids in and what color palette they want to use. But oftentimes, brides come in with a particular idea in mind, and they end up choosing something totally different. We always like to give brides full reign to explore—they don’t have to stay in a box.”
Plus, almost all Bustle gowns can be ordered in at least one different color, unless they’re made of a simple silk or bedecked in complicated embellishments. One common trend, says Johnston, is to add a color like mocha or pale lavender in the lining of a dress, leaving the outer layer a traditional white.
“It’s not necessarily a pop of color, but it’s definitely a versatile option for brides,” she says. “We’ve also been seeing a lot of new lace patterns, more florals, and even some really unique jacquard-style fabrics that lend a lot of elegance and texture.”
So although a red gown a-la Rachel McAdams in About Time may not be everyone’s exact cup of tea, the whimsy of an uncommon bridal dress is more easily achieved—and more readily accepted—than one might think.