Choosing the Perfect Bohemian (Boho) Wedding Dress – A Complete Guide

Boho bride in white dress

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Bohemian wedding dresses are on the rise now as an increasing number of brides gravitate towards more casual, free spirited wedding dress styles. In this article, we’ll outline what a bohemian wedding dress looks like. And if you aren’t sure if this style is the right one for your wedding, answer our questions at the end to see if you’re a boho bride!

Let’s dive right in. 

What is the Bohemian Style?

It can be confusing because there is a place called Bohemia in Eastern Europe, but the Bohemians don’t have much to do with the current stylistic movement. It’s more likely that the name ‘bohemian’ comes from the French word bohemien which means gypsy, referring to the nomadic, free lifestyles of these peoples.

In fashion today, the bohemian style refers to unconventional, artistic and countercultural lifestyles. Bohemians are creative, free spirits who follow their own path in life, unencumbered by the ‘rules’ of how to live life.

Bohemians are also rebellious and can’t be placed in a box. They live life loud and on their own terms. And this reflects in their fashion choices too.

What Makes a Wedding Dress ‘Bohemian’?

Bride wearing bohemian dress

Boho style wedding dress by Saldana Vintage. See it here.

Bohemian wedding dresses come in a wide range of styles, from casual and laid back to more sophisticated and even glamorous. While this might seem like a very wide variety, the common thread is that all these dress styles feature a free flowing, romantic look. The most popular types of bohemian wedding dresses are the free flowing, unstructured dresses featuring lots of lace.

Here are some characteristics of bohemian wedding dresses:

  1. Lace: You cannot have too much lace! There’s something natural and romantic about lace that gives a wedding dress an immediate bohemian aesthetic. It’s a staple fabric for bohemian style dresses and is also very versatile as there are many types of lace patterns.
  2. Crochet: Crocheting is a type of needlework that results in beautiful fabrics with elaborate, detailed patterns. It provides an almost 3D look to the details of your dress and it’s rustic, natural look makes it very boho.
  3. Flowers: Floral patterns and actual flowers gives a bride a wood fairy aesthetic, perfect for a boho style. Think 3D flowers on your dress, a flower crown or a clear floral pattern on your dress. Florals also add color to your look, which is another boho feature.
  4. Textures: Boho dresses typically feature textural fabrics, as it utilizes materials like lace. These textures add natural detail and depth to your dress as opposed to a clean fabric like satin.
  5. Vintage: The entire bohemian movement was huge in the early 70s era, and dress styles from this period are still celebrated in the boho movement. Think unstructured, flowing dresses full of movement and often with long sleeves. These vintage styles are still in vogue.
  6. Simplicity: The whole point of the bohemian movement is a carefree, back to nature vibe and simplicity is the order of the day. While your boho wedding dress will be beautiful and will have lots of detail, it shouldn’t be the center of attention.
  7. Not Just White: Bohemian wedding dresses can be any color as this reflects the fundamental point of being bohemian – living life on your own terms. Some gorgeous bohemian wedding dresses feature ombre colors, pastels, blush pinks, blues and any other color that speaks to your heart.

Types of Bohemian Wedding Dresses

Bohemian wedding dresses are more than just casual flowing dresses. Like we mentioned above, they come in a wide variety of styles. Here are some:

Bohemian Lace Dresses

If there’s lace, there’s a boho vibe. Lace comes in a wide range of varieties, from subtle to detailed and clear patterns. It can be the primary focus of your dress, added as an overlay or embellish parts of your dress like the sleeves. The choice is up to you.

Bohemian lace dress worn by bride

By Saldana Vintage. See it here.

Bohemian Dresses with Long Sleeves

Long sleeves, especially flowing batwing, bell or balloon style sleeves, immediately give a boho chic vibe. These can be of lace or any other flowing fabric. An excellent way to incorporate sleeves is to opt for detachable sleeves for the ceremony. You could take these off for the reception, and  have a strapless or spaghetti strapped dress for that part of the wedding.

Bride wearing boho long sleeve dress

By Bohika Store. See it here.

Off-the-Shoulder Bohemian Dresses

Off-the-shoulder styles give a relaxed, casual and comfortable look to the bride and is perfect for the boho aesthetic. There are many ways to wear this look, from small, stylish straps falling off your shoulder to the entire neckline going across from shoulder to shoulder.

Bride wearing white off-shoulder bohemian dress

By Larima Loom. See it here.

Short Bohemian Wedding Dresses

A short boho wedding dress is the epitome of casual chic. What’s more, it’s highly practical and makes for an excellent option for venues like the beach or an uneven winery ground. Simply pair with leather booths or strappy sandals, loose waves and natural makeup and you’re good to go!

Short white boho dress worn by bride dancing

By Shop Demi Loon. See it here.

Open Back Bohemian Wedding Dresses

Who says bohemian dresses can’t be sexy? Not only will this style keep you cool during a hot weather wedding, but it’ll also have a sophisticated, chic and yes, sexy look.

White open-back bohemian dress

By Wear Your Love. See it here.

Colored Bohemian Wedding Dresses

Make your dress your something blue or any color that speaks to your heart. The boho style is perfectly suited to gorgeous colors like this stunning blue tulle dress featured below. Add some flowers to the bodice and you’re a boho bride! 

Blue boho wedding dress

By Boudoir Wedding. See it here.

When to Choose a Bohemian Wedding Dress

A bohemian wedding dress would ideally suit a bohemian themed wedding, especially casual, rustic and outdoor ceremonies. Some perfect bohemian weddings include the beach, a garden, a farm, a cliff top, a backyard, a winery or a barn. These types of wedding venues align with a bohemian aesthetic.

If you’re having a traditional or formal wedding, a bohemian wedding dress might look out of place and not in step with the overall theme of the wedding.

How to Know if You’re a Bohemian Bride at Heart – A Quick Quiz

Bride with fresh flower crowns

Let’s say you love the idea of bohemian wedding dresses and the overall implications of this style, but how do you know you’re a bohemian at heart? How can you distinguish between just wanting to follow a trend or following your natural style? If you answer yes to some or all of the following questions, it’s highly likely that you’re meant to be a bohemian bride:

Do you love flower crowns over tiaras?

You’d rather have a crown of natural wildflowers over a diamond tiara any day. You’re more comfortable feeling like a fairy from the woods than a princess in a castle and if you had the choice, you’d go for a handful of wildflowers instead of a lavish flower arrangement for your bouquet.

Do you find vintage and quaint styles adorable?

Vintage and antique styles take your breath away and you have an affinity for the quaint and the whimsical.

Do you prefer your leather boots and sandals over heels?

You love a good heel, but your leather boots or strappy sandals are your go-to when you dress up. You would love to walk down the aisle with a beautiful pair similar to your favorite boots instead of an uncomfortable pair of heels all day.

Would you rather not compromise comfort for beauty?

They say if it’s killing you, it must look fabulous. But while you like to look beautiful and want to look like the best version of you, you won’t sacrifice comfort for that.

Do you prefer simple, minimalistic styles?

You have a minimalist aesthetic and don’t want a lot of fuss around you. You don’t like the idea of a group of makeup and hair artists fussing around you and helping you get ready or a dress full of crystals and pearls.

Are you free at heart and do things your own way?

You don’t really care about ‘how it’s always been done’, you’d rather do things the way you want to. You’re free in spirit and not encumbered by society’s rules and norms. You rebel against unjust or illogical regulations and you see merit in making things personalized.

Do you love the idea of an informal wedding?

You don’t know why but you balk at the idea of a room full of people, some unknown to you, watching as you go through the motions expected of you. You’d rather have your guests involved in the wedding, and ideally want just the nearest and dearest to share in the day with you.

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, chances are, you’re a boho bride at heart and boho chic might be just the style for you!

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