How to Ditch the White Wedding Dress & Just Be You!

Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides in non-traditional wedding dresses holding hands

I remember “wedding dress” shopping. 

I remember the experience lasting under 20 minutes. 

I remember feeling generally embarrassed because I don’t have a mother, and I didn’t have bridesmaids. I was alone. I felt like I was worlds away from the waiting room of younger women in matching bejeweled tank tops.

“What are you looking for?” the overly enthusiastic salesperson asks when my turn comes. I see her search my hand in vain for a ring (which I also didn’t have; diamonds freak me out for a lot of reasons!). Is she attempting to gauge my budget by the size of my ring? I wonder, feeling worried.

“I only know that I don’t want a white dress. I want something more like that, maybe?” (I’m pointing to a simple looking bodycon green dress on a mannequin.)

“That’s from our ______ Bridesmaid collection,” she says, significantly.

I stare blankly, unsure how this applies.

She shows me to the enormous overly mirrored dressing room and brings me the “bridesmaid” dress. I try it on, and then I try on a super traditional (also unasked for) gown. I’m not feeling it. Maybe it’s cliche, but the only thing I’m feeling is misunderstood.

At midnight that night, 2 cocktails in, I order a dress online on my phone lying in bed eating chips. It’s blue and black, it’s kind of “weird” in the way that all the things I really love are weird, and it’s on sale for $200. 

It’s the least “bridal” thing I have ever seen, and it’s perfect. 

Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides, one in short and simple dress
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides posing
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography kiss
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography pose in front of wooden gate
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography laughing

A few months after my own comfy-blue-dress wedding, I sit down for coffee with an awesome lesbian couple to chat about what they’re looking for in their wedding photography. (That’s what I do!

Bride 1 hasn’t worn a dress since prom, but she’s decided that she’s “bride-ing it up” in a long white gown. Bride 2 is wearing a men’s suit, which needs to be significantly tailored. No one seems especially excited.

Why are we strapping ourselves into giant white gowns just because a queen of England wore something lacy and white 176 years ago?

I’ve been at 400 weddings in 15 years. I’m sure I’ve seen every kind of white dress you can possibly imagine, and frankly, I’m over it. 

It’s 2016, people! You can stand out as a bright flower in a summer full of white-dress-black-suit friendweddings! 

You can be memorable and amazing! You can be excited about being yourself!

You can express your gender identity! LGBTQIA+ couples don't have to try and fit into what their straight friends are doing, unless they want to.

You can put that weirdly large wedding dress budget to use in hiring a better photographer, getting engagement photos, having cocktails or better quality food, or going on your honeymoon! 

You can be YOU! 

I’ve never done a styled photo shoot before, but this whole dress thing changed me! I chose some magical people and cute budget-friendly, wedding-friendly clothing from awesome local vendors. I had a lot of help from talented people in the Edmonton Wedding industry, and I’m super proud of what we did together. 

Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography grooms smiling and holding hands
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography holding hands
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography man adjusting jacket
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography smiling for camera
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography smiling
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography grooms smiling
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography grooms with bouquet of flowers
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography posing 
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography grooms with flowers
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography candid smile
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography groom stretching suspenders 
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography kiss
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography laughing
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride in dress shirt and slacks
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride with bouquet and matching flower crown
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride looking off
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography portrait shot of bride
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography couple sitting
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography kiss
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography couple gazes at one another
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride in non-traditional dress with bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography pose with bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides admiring bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride looking down
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride admiring bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography smiling couple
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography couple smiling and holding hands
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography stoic portrait
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides hugging with bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride holding up bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides being funny with bouquets
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography kiss on cheek
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides with bouquets
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride with bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography holding hands
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride admiring bouquet
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography bride with flowers in her hair
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography laugh
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography holding hands
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography mid-shot laugh
Buffy Goodman Wedding Photography brides running while holding hands

THE CREATIVE TEAM

Photography and amateur hour styling | Buffy Goodman | @buffygoodman

Legit styling and brrrrains | Moirae Choquette, Maggie Barton Baird, Linda Janzen

Florals | Fabloomosity | @fabloomosity

Hairstyling | Christina Yun at Dollhouse Hair 

Makeup | Astrid Woodard | @eclecticamakeup

Leroy and Chad's Styling |  Moirae from Simons 

Nasra's dress | Lucid Lifestyle 

Quinn's dress | Rowena Clothing 

Tess's dress| Rowena 

Lexi's outfit | dress from Noul | shoes by Rescue Flats  

Tracy | wearing her own threads, yo.


Buffy Goodman of buffy goodman photography

BUFFY GOODMAN

Buffy is a photographer in Edmonton, Alberta who likes atypical weddings where fun is the focus, laughing, eating dessert first, and attempting to make her cat Instagram-famous. You can see her strut her stuff at www.buffygoodman.com