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Bridal Separates – Everything You Need to Know About a Two-Piece Wedding Dress

bridal separates

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One of the biggest trends in the wedding world right now is bridal separates. Bridal separates are perfect for the modern bride who wants a stylish take on the traditional wedding dress.

They can be as discreet or as daring as you want them to be, which is why many brides love the idea of separates. It’s an extremely versatile option and gives you endless choices.

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Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about bridal separates and if it’s the right choice for you.

What are Bridal Separates

If you’re new to the world of bridal separates, this term simply means wearing a bridal skirt and a blouse. This combo can look very similar to a traditional wedding dress, or very modern and sassy – it all depends on the style you choose.

The skirt and top combo can be in any fabric or style you choose and doesn’t necessarily have to be bridal. Two-piece bridal dresses are a relaxed, casual approach to the traditional wedding dress and gives you a way to express your personality.

Why Choose Bridal Separates

Bridal separates skirt blouse

Bridal lace crop top with tulle skirt by Mila Bridal. See it here.

Bridal separates have a lot to offer the modern, unique bride who wants to stand out in a different way. Here are 8 reasons to choose them:

  • Bridal separates give you the opportunity to mix and match to find your perfect combo. This gives you a lot of versatility to find something that reflects your true style. For example, you might want to have an embellished skirt with a more minimalist top or pieces sporting different colors or shades. There’s no end to the styles you can come up with.  
  • A single piece wedding gown can cost an arm and a leg, but bridal separates tend to be more affordable. Skirts and blouses are generally less expensive than a single grand dress. For example, a ball gown wedding dress could cost well over $1000 but a ball gown skirt and a crop top might set you back just $150 each.
Bride in bridal skirt tulle

Tulle wedding skirt by Bridal Garden Studio. See it here.

  • How many times after your wedding do you think you would wear your single piece wedding dress? For most people, the answer is – not many, if at all. With bridal separates, you can always wear these pieces again, recycling them into other looks. No one would even know that it’s the same skirt or top from your wedding day!
  • For most of us, finding clothes that fit us perfectly can be really hard to do. You might be a size 8 top and a size 10 bottom, so if you’re going for a one-piece wedding dress, you’ll almost certainly have to have it altered. With bridal separates, you can find pieces that fit your body perfectly meaning that you’re wedding clothes will be more comfortable and you’ll feel amazing in it.
  • Here’s one of our favorite things about bridal separates – you can find different pieces for different looks for the ceremony and reception. So, let’s say you’re thinking traditional ball gown style for the ceremony. Find a beautiful, ball gown tulle skirt but if you want a sexy look for the reception, swap the skirt for another that’s more figure fitting and it’s like you’ve got an entire new ‘dress’.
  • Bridal separates give you a unique, non-traditional look that’s guaranteed to make you the center of attention. Most brides gravitate towards traditional dresses, so you’ll probably be the only one you know who chose to walk down the aisle in bridal separates.
Bride wearing blue-tulle skirt separate

Rustic style bridal separates by Wardrobe by Dulcinea. Check it here.

  • If you hate the idea of an overly formal, stiff wedding, then you’ll love the casual vibe of bridal separates. You can dress this style up or down, but it tends to have a more relaxed vibe which is perfect for a casual, laid back wedding.
  • For pregnant brides, separates are a heaven-sent option! Unlike a wedding dress that needs to be altered to accommodate the baby bump, with separates, the bride simply has to choose a  skirt that is comfortable and large enough for the bump with a blouse in her usual size.

Bridal Separates Styles

Bridal crop top

Bridal lace crop top by Davie and Chiyo. See it here.

For confident brides, bridal separates that have midriffs bared can be an excellent option. Think a crop top with a maxi skirt and a little bit of sexy midriff showing. You can balance out the non-traditional show of skin by opting for a crop top with long sleeves or a large, ball gown style skirt.

If you’re more traditional, think a matching combo that looks very similar to a one-piece wedding dress with no midriff showing. Pick a top that meets the skirt for a more conservative look.

For bohemian and rustic style brides, pick lace and embroidered skirts and tops with layers and length.

Modern brides can opt for sleek and clean silhouettes, with pencil skirts and structured tops. This gives a fresh, minimalist look to the bride.

How to Choose Your Bridal Separates

ombre bridal separate dress

Ombre bridal separates by Wardrobe by Dulcinea. Find it here.

So, let’s say you’re on board with this amazing new trend and want to wear bridal separates for your wedding day. Now the fun begins! If you’re not sure how to start your search for the perfect pair, here are some style tips to help you on your way:

  • First choose the theme and style you’re after. What image do you want to give on the day of your wedding? Modern, traditional, bohemian, romantic? Knowing this will help you narrow down your choices.
  • If choosing whites, ensure that the top and skirt are of the same palette – either cool or warm. If your skirt has a white with cool undertones but the top features white with warm undertones, the two colors will clash and possibly not work well together.
  • It’s all about balance. If you’re going for a long, figure-hugging skirt, try pairing it with a more flowy top or long sleeves. If the skirt is voluminous and full consider a simple bridal bodice with straps.
  • Choose fabrics that have similar finishes if you’re opting for separates from different collections. If you’re skirt is a shiny satin, but the top is a dull lace, the two won’t complement each other.
  • Choose textures that work well together and complement each other.

Before You Buy

Because bridal separates come in all types of fabrics and styles, deciding what theme and style you’re after will help you narrow down your search.

You don’t have to specifically look for ‘bridal’ pieces because basically anything that’s in your color category would do. Note that often if the words wedding or bridal is affixed to anything, prices tend to increase. It’s what’s known as the ‘wedding tax’.

We suggest searching on popular platforms like Etsy which has a range of bridal separates at various prices by a wide range of designers. Also check on other popular clothing stores and see what treasures you might be able to dig up!