04/23/2013 02:49 pm ET

45 Stunning Nontraditional Wedding Dresses


Ever since Queen Victoria decided to marry Prince Albert in a lacy, white wedding gown in 1840, Western brides have traditionally opted to wear the same color for their nuptials. But historically, dresses spanned the rainbow and were usually chosen because they were the finest piece of clothing that a woman typically owned. In Eastern cultures, colors like red, gold, and fuchsia symbolized good luck, while white was worn for funerals, so brides chose those vivid hues to ensure a prosperous union. Now it's taken for granted that one will wear something in the ivory, ecru, or Champagne family down the aisle — but not every woman dreams of showing up on her big day dressed that way, especially if it’s her second time around.