This article appears in Bride 2018 magazine.
Femininity and romance are trending for bridal gowns along with soft hues, body-hugging silhouettes, exquisite details and high-style elements.
“It’s all about the romance,” Jessica McGuinn, spokeswomann for BHLDN, Anthropologie’s bridal line. “Impossibly dreamy, feminine and frothy silhouettes are key. Think all-over lace, fuller tulle skirts and delicate blossoms throughout.”
Many brides are requesting bridal separates such as tops and skirts worn together to look like a one-piece dress, said Nicole Kwoh, head of experience for Lace & Liberty, an online luxury-custom wedding gown boutique.
“Brides can then have more control over the design of their dress by choosing a neckline and then selecting a skirt. Separates can offer more comfort than a one-piece gown, allowing more movement,” Kwoh said. “Some brides re-wear their top or skirt after the wedding for another occasion.”
“We get lots of brides who want the soft, romantic boho look without the actual see-through components of a naked dress, high slit or dramatic crop top,” Kwoh said. Long-sleeve lace tops, illusion necklines or nude mesh lining give a look an ethereal sense without actually being see-through, she said.
For the winter bride looking for a bit more coverage, “fur wraps are definitely on the upswing. Undeniably glamorous and luxuriously warm, these pieces help create a dynamic, ethereal look that will keep her warm while also maintaining an air of mystery,” McGuinn said.
“Brides also love a gown with sleeve interest, whether it be bohemian bell sleeves, flutter cap sleeves or a great off-the-shoulder style,” McGuinn said.
Not all brides yearn for a white or ivory gown.
“We have brides who want dresses all over the board like black, mustard yellow and light green,” Kwoh said.
Tulle, chiffon and organza skirts can be custom-colored.
“The most popular requests are blue gray, light blue and blush,” she said.
While blush is the safest and most popular option, McGuinn said, brides are choosing apricot, gray and even metallic styles.
No to the gown
Modern brides are ditching ballgowns and choosing more casual, shorter-length dresses.
“From the bride who wants to keep things small to the bride who wants to change three times before her wedding day is over,” these dresses are transitional, McGuinn said. “These styles come in the form of the perfect tea-length gown, flirty LWD (little white dress) or even sophisticated separates. There’s no right or wrong way to wear them.”
Brides are “moving away from the ballgown look for the reception, but they want the white dress experience for the ceremony. We find that they’ll opt for a little white dress with a slimmer fit, like a sheath, and then wear a bigger skirt like our Celebration skirt over it. They’ll be able to take photos with the fuller skirt on. Then, they remove the outer skirt to wear the short dress during the reception,” Kwoh said.
Attention to detail
It’s all about dimensional blossoms, all-over sequins and perfectly placed lace, McGuinn said.
“We’re also seeing increased interest in pearl accents and bigger bows,” she said.
Toppers, capes and capelets “are beautiful additions to a dress that the bride can remove from ceremony to reception,” Kwoh said. “It’s a traditional piece with an incredible modern vibe.”
Renting the dress
Many brides opt to rent because they want a high-quality dress that they love without the sentimentality of keeping it, Kwoh said. For example, Lace & Liberty allows brides to fall in love with a dress and rent it for three days for their wedding.