If your fairytale wedding entails a princess-worthy ball gown, then you’ve probably considered any and every detail in the book by now. Beading, ruching, appliques, petticoats—the whole shebang. But perhaps there’s something you may have left out in the course of your dress planning: bridal separates. Also known as two-piece wedding dresses, bridal separates are a good alternative to typical ball gowns for many reasons.
First, RTW separates usually come in tried-and-tested silhouettes and details, making it an easy choice for those who can’t be bothered with the stress of coming up with their own design from scratch. Second, they’re basically pared down versions of ball gowns, so they’re perfect for those who want to achieve a fairytale-worthy dress that’s more relaxed. Lastly, you can even mix and match pieces if the brand permits, facilitating the process of creating your dream bridal look!
Ahead, we’ve rounded up some elegant designs that might convince you to don these modern separates instead:
1. For the minimalist
If you prefer a clean, classic look, consider a sleeveless cropped top and skirt set in luxurious silk.
2. For the boho girl
If you want a rustic wedding look, go for a lace cropped top and a voluminous tiered skirt.
3. For the romantic
Much like the bodice of a gown covered in appliques, you can opt to wear a sleeved top either as an overlay or as the upper garment itself. You could even play around with your dress’ neckline to add dimension, like the V-neck one in the photo above.
4. For the old soul
If you love ornate beading that reminds you of the jazz era, then consider a dazzling beaded cape to accent a simple dress or a jumpsuit.
5. For the conservative
If you’ve always been averse to exposing skin, then this Alberta Ferreti two-piece set is perfect for you! It features a vintage-inspired embroidered top and a frothy tulle skirt that gives us major old world vibes.
6. For those who want a fun look
If you're game for a look with layers of tulle, then channel an '80s prom dress aesthetic by donning a matching skirt and camisole set in blush—the rosy hue adds a subtle youthful vibe!
7. For a classic bridal look
If you have Grace Kelly’s iconic long-sleeved wedding dress on your Pinterest board, here’s a version that’s perfect for warmer weather: a lace two-piece set with three-fourths sleeves and backless detail! Plus, the fit and flared skirt is an easy-to-wear alternative to a long train.
8. For those who love floral
Floral appliques on bridal dresses are usually rendered in small patterns, but might we suggest a large pattern instead? It’s a refreshing element that will look amazing on a two-piece bridal set, especially one made of the lightest tulle.
9. For those who want to be slightly covered up
If you want a clean and polished look that strikes a balance between modern and classic, go for a cap-sleeved cropped top paired with a full skirt. Check out the tulip hem on the top below—it’s like a modest alternative to a midriff-baring cutout.
10. For those who want a no-frills sleeveless look
Nothing screams “timeless wedding look” than a clean and simple dress, and you can achieve the same effect with separates. Opt for A-line skirts or slightly pleated full skirts paired with a cropped sleeveless top. Try a unique statement detail like the beribboned backless top below.
11. For a sweet, dainty look
If appliques and florals are too much for your taste, consider a bustier spaghetti-strapped top in lace—it’s a youthful, subtly feminine top that will stand out with a swooping tulle skirt.
12. For those who want a laidback look
Perfect for low-key ceremonies or civil weddings, a sleek cropped top and mullet hemline is the right amount of class and chill. Plus, it’s great for showing off your bridal heels!
13. For the pragmatist
If you want your bridal look to have a functional, practical element, then why don’t you incorporate pockets? It looks most lovely on a pleated full skirt!
14. For the glamour girl
If you prefer bridal looks with snazzy embellishment, then by all means go for a fully beaded two-piece dress like the art deco-inspired one below. Or, you could simply go for a glittery top paired with a sheath skirt like the design below from Joe San Antonio's Blanc collection.
15. For a sophisticated flair
If you think you’d feel most comfortable tying the knot in a long-sleeved gown, consider a wraparound blouse and a tiered taffeta skirt for an elevated version of a classic wrap dress.
16. For those who want to wear an elegant top
If cropped tops or bustier bodices aren’t your cup of tea, might we suggest getting hitched in a pussybow blouse? It’s timeless and polished yet not overbearing, especially if you choose sheer fabrics like chiffon. Plus, the beribboned neckline will go great with a clean updo and statement earrings.