Weddings can be pricey affairs, especially when it comes to what the bride and groom will be wearing.

This is your big day—all eyes will be on you, and you’ll be looking at your wedding pictures for the rest of your lives. You want to look great, but you also don’t want to blow the budget on outfits you’ll only be wearing once.

What’s a stylish couple to do?

The good news is there are tons of great options beyond the traditional tux and ball gown. In fact, choosing something a little different can actually help set your wedding apart and showcase your unique personality as a couple.

Consider these alternative options:

For the Bride

 

Try a sundress.

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, a light, romantic sundress can look lovely. Plus, it’s super comfortable and easy to dance in! Make it beach-ready with strappy sandals or go country chic with a nice pair of cowboy boots.

Dazzle in a cocktail dress.

Invoke a little old-school Hollywood glam with a chic cocktail dress. Make it extra special with glitzy accessories, a killer pair of shoes and a classy updo.

Rock the retro look.

Retro is very in right now. Try a sleek ‘40s gown with gloves, a full-skirted polka dot dress that evokes the ‘50s or even a fluttery flapper dress circa 1920s. (Bonus points for dressing the groom in a matching period outfit.

 

Imitate the red carpet.

A long evening gown can be just as stunning as a full-trained wedding gown, especially if it’s in a knockout color like red or features a dramatic design element like a low back or a single shoulder strap. You’re the star of your big day, so why not dress like one? 

 

For the Groom

 

Take standard jeans up a notch.

A nice pair of dark-washed jeans and a blazer, along with a fun pair of sneakers or a dapper hat, can be just as handsome as a coat with tails—and it feels a lot less stuffy for a guy who prefers to keep it casual.

Ditch the jacket.

A bowtie and a sharp vest can look just as sharp as a full suit, and it’s a lot more comfortable for a hot summer day. (You can also get away with a short-sleeved button-down if it’s pressed and paired with a nice tie or bowtie.) Visible suspenders are another way to “accessorize” a basic outfit and inject some personality.

 

 

 

Punch up the color.

It takes a certain kind of guy to rock head-to-toe color, but those that can get major wow-factor points. A baby blue suit has a classy, laid-back vibe; a khaki one is perfect for a beach setting. Not brave enough to go head-to-toe? Colored trousers are also very popular right now, and pairing them with a neutral blazer can be a great way to have a little fun without going crazy.

Be preppy.

You can never go wrong with a classic pullover sweater, white button-down and tie. If you’re a super-casual couple, this could be just right—dressy enough, but not so dressy you don’t feel like yourself.

For Both

Run with a theme.

Are you both huge Steampunk fans? Is Halloween your favorite holiday? Are you huge Star Wars geeks? There are tons of unique outfit options when you have a theme wedding—let your imagination run wild!

 

 

Final Thoughts

Don’t cut corners when it comes to providing your guests with a top-notch experience.

Your wedding guests will remember the music, food and fun. Hire a band or a DJ, serve delicious food, and have a great time celebrating with your family and friends.

In the meantime, trim your budget by finding a beautiful-but-affordable wedding dress, tux, flowers, invitations and other accouterments. The more you can control your expenses on the elements of your wedding that don’t matter to you as much, the more you can spend on food, music and making sure your guests have a great time.