above image of a 1988 wedding from fashion-era.com
Alternatives to modern barely-there swim wear are available, as I reported in an earlier entry, "Dress with Joy this Swimwear Season."
Alternatives to modern "sexy" bridal gowns are also available. I'm sure there is a listing somewhere else as well (such as at ModestClothes.com/modest formal dresses), but I'll provide here a list of some websites with beautiful photos of bridal gowns that glorify the purity and beauty of a new bride. Most of these sites also provide dresses for the bridal party, as well as formal wear for other special occasions.
[Personal note: after reading several articles about and praying about living modestly and simply, as in the previous articles, I think that it is also possible to buy, borrow, rent or make a wedding dress for a modest amount of money; but you must look carefully and think creatively. You may even consider breaking the whole "bridal gown" tradition in favour of using what would have been spent on a gown for good works; but that, of course, is up to you.] above image from BridalImage.com
Let me first remind you of my understanding of my thoughts on dressing with joy and pride when appearing in a formal situation:
* You don't need to be undressed to be pretty. Please have a look at these websites, and any others you can find in a web-search on "modest wedding gowns". The ladies that you see are extremely beautiful and classy. right image from Eternitygowns.com
* Dressing discretely at your wedding does not mean that you are ashamed of the body you are presenting to your new husband. The Christian lady will remember the description of the holy city being "adorned as a bride" for her husband, Christ. There is a sense of glory, beauty, wonder and even splendor in being dressed for him. The description of the woman's breasts as being something to satisfy really are directed toward her husband and no one else. He should be able to "rejoice in the wife of his youth" and be satisfied with her breasts - can he do that if everyone else is rejoicing in them too? If either the bride or the groom wants to show off what he's got, that is considered pride, and it also places her body as a prize rather than something which he will cherish as precious and special for him alone (as illustrated in Song of Solomon).* Men do not just need to learn to live with women baring their chests in public. They really don't.image from Allposters.com
Here's an article on how to pick your modest bridal gown: "Modest Wedding Dresses for Every Kind of Girl," from Buzzle.com, which begins with these lines: "I think it would be safe to say that today most brides prefer sleeveless wedding dresses. However, you might be surprised to know that many brides prefer modest wedding dresses and you might be even more surprised that they look lovely in them." (This article was written in January 2007) Published in January 2006, is "The Hunt for a Modest Wedding Dress", showing that women were looking for alternatives to the modern styles without being "frowsy" a long time ago, such as online sites, what to tell your seamstress, or how to do it yourself. You see, it is not impossible to retain your modesty and dignity if you really want to. See also the articles under the topic "Modest Wedding Dress" at LoveToKnow.com, for more descriptions and help on finding the perfect dress for your once in a lifetime occasion.
None of the following websites paid me for promoting them. The fact that these are listed does not mean that you will approve of every thing that you see, nor need you. These websites are merely provided to present you with a list of some of what IS available as an alternative to the modern strapless or very low cut bridal gown. This list is also not a complete list, and does not include dresses for sale on ebay or craigslist.org. Please, pass on the link to this article if you know of anyone who says, "But there just AREN'T any decent wedding gowns out there!"
Latter Day Brides
A Formal Choice
Bonny; Bliss collection
The Bridal Online Store
Gowns by Simple Elegance
Anastasia Modest Bridal
Dress of a Lifetime
Carilynn's Modest Wedding Collection
Lydia of Purple
Katrina Marie Designs