10 Must-Have Wedding Dresses You Won’t Find In A Bridal Boutique

Hayley O'Neill

Like any girl I’ve thought about my ‘big day’ many times.

From ‘what he will look like?’ to the type of location I’d like best, I’ve thought about every detail—but the remaining question that stays on my mind is: ‘what will I wear?’ It’s a tough choice when the intention of getting married is to only do it once.

So when I think about what type of dress I see myself in I honestly can’t see myself walking into a bridal shop. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the dresses they stock and appreciate the detail and fabric, but when it comes to myself it just doesn’t feel right for me.

As a stylist I have styled my fair share of wedding editorials and like any girl, when you’re in a room full of dresses, you are going to try them on. The biggest one gave me an instant asthma attack from the sheer weight of it and was so large I couldn’t hold it up myself. I knew that asking a bridesmaid to help hold up my dress whilst I peed would be a sheer disaster because there wouldn’t be enough room in the bathroom stall for me, the dress, and someone else.

So it’s safe to say that I’m just not going to be a bride that walks down the aisle wearing a traditional wedding dress. Instead, I’m going to opt for a dress that’s Australian made and not designed for the sole purpose of being a wedding dress. And so I’m looking to the best of the Australian designers, from Zimmermann’s relaxed beachy style to Ellery’s structured dress with extravagant sleeves, Manning Cartell’s cleanly lined pant suit to Thurley’s off-the-shoulder lace number.

These are things that make my heart beat a little bit faster and are a paradise for non-traditional brides. You can find these designers all online, but if you’re the type of girl who needs to feel and try on the dress in person then your best bet to find these brands in local boutiques Momento Dezigns, Pink Ink and Rebel Muse.

ZIMMERMANN

Zimmerman_

MATICEVSKI

MATICEVSKI

INSTINCTIVE GOWN: $1900

ELLERY

Ellery

MOLOTOV RUFFLE SLEEVE DRESS: $1,650

SHONA JOY

Shona Joy

LACE HIGH NECK HANDKERCHIEF MIDI DRESS: $320

ALEX PERRY

Alex Perry

NIAMH DRESS: $2,800

THURLEY

THURLEY

FREYA FRINGE DRESS$499.99

MACGRAW

MACGRAW

BON BON DRESS$1,595.00

ALICE MCCALL

ALICE MCCALL

MANNING CARTELL

MANNING CARTEL

DIRECTOR’S CUT BLAZER: $649

LOVER

LOVER

VIOLET HALTER MIDI DRESS: AUD $895

Want more off-the-rack options? Check out our Runaway Bride editorial in the latest edition of UNVEILED.

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Hayley O'Neill

Hayley O’Neill is a Canberra based fashion stylist and fashion editor for HerCanberra. Hayley works as a freelance stylist at Westfield Belconnen and Woden and began her career styling for The Work Diaries blog. Hayley has lots of experience dressing real people with every size, age, budget and body shape. More about the Author