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Regular Dresses as Wedding Gowns: Wear What You Want – It’s Your Party

inexpensive wedding gowns boomerinas.com

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Not every bride is keen on having a big traditional wedding, filled with enough pomp and ceremony to rival a princess’s coronation. Hey, that conventional wedding stuff is not for everyone. And, some of you have done the Barbie-doll wedding dress once or twice before, and this time you'd rather wear a glitzy evening gown at a small, romantic candlelit ceremony. 

Other brides would like to save money with less-expensive dresses because they're paying for their own weddings... and they'd rather have a great honeymoon or a bigger ring than a designer gown.

sparkly sequin wedding gowns boomerinas.com

Embellished Gowns

Indie Bridal Gowns

Then, there are the boho, indie brides (of all ages) who are naturally inclined to go rogue… chicks who want something different because “traditional” is not their style. This type of bride might prefer to wear a red sari, a mirrored kurta with white jeans, a flowered bohemian dress, a white suit with city shorts, a tie-died silk toga, or something so totally rock-n-roll that everyone in the room will gasp with delight when they see it.

All of these women might benefit from searching for their bridal outfits in small boutiques and department stores that do not cater to brides.

God knows I love a good show. So, wearing something unique and different is just fine with me (and with all of us)... because it’s your party. It’s your wedding. It’s your day.

All we ask is that you don’t embarrass yourself and that you wear an outfit that is suitably festive. You can go demure and sweet. You can go rocker chic. You can go Victorian Steampunk. You can go pink-plaid cowgirl. Just… get married.


boomerinas.com wedding gowns

White Lacey Top for Bride

We’re Happy You’re Getting Married

These days, many couples wait until they have five children before they decide to get married. C’mon, people. Chicks from my generation are just so freaking happy that you are actually going through with the ceremony… that we don’t care what you wear… as long as you wear something.

Trendy Brides 

Modern brides can wear whatever they want. Well... if you're a bride, you can wear almost anything you want. I don’t want you to wear your shimmery Wallymart spandex and tell your wedding guests, “I read that brides can wear whatever they want. Here, you can read it for yourself on my iPhone.”

indie bride gowns

Boho Wedding Dresses

If you're a bride, you need to have dignity and taste… but you also need to have a playful side.

Party Dresses as Bridal Dresses

I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been married several times, and I’ve experimented with my own bridal gowns… a Gunne Sax hippie dress, a designer cocktail frock, a traditional white wedding gown… and the fat lady ain’t sung, yet, so who knows what lies in store for me in the future. Well... the point is... I know there are lots of fun options out there for any intelligent, creative bride with an independent streak.

Some of the wedding-ready dresses I’ve seen online are amazingly cheap (under $100) and other dresses are sky-high, gorgeous, designer gowns that are probably worth the big bucks. However, money is not a substitute for creativity and taste… although money plus creativity plus taste can be a killer combination that will blow people's minds.

So, look around at various stores and don’t limit your search exclusively to bridal shops. It’s quite possible you will find a regular party dress from a regular clothing store that will work just fine as a wedding dress… and it might even be something you'll end up wearing again... like when you're going out to dinner on your honeymoon.

flapper wedding gowns indie brides

20's Deco Flapper Dresses

Cocktail Dresses and Occasion Dresses

After watching my parents blow some major cash on two glamorous shindigs for me and two glamorous shindigs for my sister, I’ve come up with a common-sense theory that I want to share:

You should think about spending less on the dress and the booze and the band and the other stuff… and spending more on the ring. You're only going to wear the dress for a few hours… max. And, very few people are going to want to look at your wedding album.

However... that wedding ring is something you're going to wear every day for the rest of your life (hopefully). So, even if all your clothes come from Target, your big, sparkly ring is going to make you look like a million bucks.

I’m older and wiser than you. The ring is a better investment. I love a good party as much as the next gal, but life is unpredictable and you can’t hock a dress.

alternative wedding dresses

Bohemian Wedding Gowns

Paying for Your Own Wedding and Dress

If mum and dad are paying for your wedding, you should have a big reception, buy a designer wedding dress, hire an awesome band, have an open bar, and invite me. However, if you’re spending your own money, I really think you should try on a few regular party dresses from regular clothing stores. There’s nothing wrong with bridal shops, but why not look high and low until you find a wedding dress that's perfectly suited to both you and your lifestyle?

More Articles for Women Over 40, 50, 60:

Should a Bride Wear a Purple Wedding Dress?

6 Hippie Wedding Dress Ideas for Your Second Marriage

Hippie Wedding Dresses for a Casual Bohemian Chic Second Marriage

Best Brands for Apple Shapes: Women Over 40, 50, 60


boho wedding gown

Main Photo - Wear Your Favorite Dress as Wedding Gown

Photo Resources: All photos are from prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Topshop.
  • Embellished Gowns: Phase Eight, Adrianna Papell.
  • White Lacy Top: Dorthy Perkins.
  • Boho Wedding Dresses: Wallis, Phase Eight.
  • 20's Deco Flapper Dresses: Miss  Selfridge, Monsoon.
  • Boho Wedding Gowns: Missguided, Miss  Selfrige, Accessorize, Wallis.

What do you think of this article? Leave a message at the bottom of the page or give us a Google Plus. Thanks, Tina



Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

Follow Me on Pinterest Follow My Boomer Lifestyle Blog on facebook

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  1. Tiffany

    Nice piece!

  2. Jillian

    Hello. I LOVE the dress at the top left corner if the trendy brides (blush with plum flower overlay). Can you tell me where it came from?

    • Tina-Boomerina

      I'm fairly sure it's from Phase Eight in the UK, but I can find a place that sells internationally. Let me double check. Yes, it's Phase Eight, but it's almost sold out on the House of Fraser site. I'll send you a link. You might be able to find it on the Debenhams site. I think they might sell it.

      Tina Boomerina

      • Tina-Boomerina

        ps More dress info. Try googling Phase Eight Rita Dress. I found it at Debenhams and the Phase Eight site, but you might find it at other online stores.

        The bad news is that they don't have it in every size. It's so pretty, it's going to sell out. If you're in the US, be sure to change the country (flag - usually up at the top of the page or down at the bottom of the page) to change it to US sizing and US currency. I think all those sites I've mentioned ship internationally and ... what the heck... everything is made in China or VN or Mexico or Turkey or some other far off place these days, so it's no big deal to shop the sites in the UK. I've bought a few things that were shipped from London (or maybe they were shipped from China... I don't know) ... and I got them faster than items I've ordered from Nordstrom.

        Just double check the sizes and the return policy (shoot them an email if you're unsure) and you're good to go.
        Happy hunting,

  3. Patti

    I really like the middle dress in the box entitled
    20's Deco Flapper Dresses
    Any idea where to find it?


  4. Tina-Boomerina


    It's from Monsoon in the UK. They ship to the US. Unfortunately, I can't find it on their site. I'm not sure if it's sold out or if it's going to be in stock for the holidays. I'll send you more info.

    Tina Boomerina

  5. Chale't

    Where can I find the white and purple dress in the boho wedding dress section, top left?

  6. Metka

    There is a beautiful dress on your pinterest board that is a white straight dress with v-neck and v-back with a large bow in the front. Can you please tell me where this is from? It is on your Wedding Dresses for Older Brides page.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      It's from Debenham's in the UK, but it's from 2013... maybe even 2012. I've looked for it before to help someone else and it's not available. I'm sorry. You might want to find a dressmaker and have it made.


  7. Sandy

    Hi there there a lovely dress I love it's with the Bohemian wedding gowns third one along with the embellished top over the bust. Could you please tell me where I can find it
    Thanx sandy x

  8. Megan Henson

    Hi! I LOVE the gold and purple fully sequined gown in the very 1st pic (2nd from right). Any idea where I can find it? I can't seem to find it anywhere online! Thank you!

  9. Toystat39

    Ms.tina can you please tell me where I can find that purple and white lace boho dress the very top left please tell me where I can do to find this dress please

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I don't have it labeled quite right. It's from Phase Eight. It's from last year but they may have something similar. I'll email you if I can. I'm on the road and I have a hard time getting online. Bad wi-fi.


  10. TiReje

    Where can I purchase the middle purple and silver dress under Embellished Gowns?

  11. Tina-Boomerina


    The article is from last year, so you might or might not find it, but the dress is from Phase Eight in the UK. Some stores that carry Phase Eight and ship to the US are Debenhams, John Lewis, and... I can't remember the others. Just type Phase Eight occasion UK. You might also try Amazon UK.


    • Tina-Boomerina


      The article is from last year, so you might or might not find it, but the dress is from Phase Eight in the UK. Some stores that carry Phase Eight and ship to the US are Debenhams, John Lewis, and... I can't remember the others. Just type Phase Eight occasion UK. You might also try Amazon UK or Marks and Spencers or maybe Harrods. The last two are a guess.


  12. saicredranlo.science

    The wedding dress is often the top priority for a bride, but what about what to wear underneath? We recommend the best undergarments for each type of bridal gown.

  13. Tina-Boomerina

    Hi, I can't get to your page, but it sounds like you could write an article about undies that we could use.


  14. Widley

    My daughter loves the dress that is covered with lace and rooshing/tule at the bottom. Can you tell me where I can find it?
    I thank you in advance.