Today, I’m going to say something you might find controversial, but you heard it here first. Boho brides are (on their way) out. If you’re wondering what to wear for your wedding, forget festival-inspired frocks. Bridal fashions trends are moving towards drama, glamour, and ultra-minimalist. If you want a dress that looks different from what all your friends wore last year, read on. I talked with a bridal fashion insider who just returned from the 2019 Spring Bridal Market. This is what she had to say regarding the latest looks and what’s hot for bridal fashion trends.
According to Vogue, definitive bridal fashion “trends” don’t really exist. “Many of them have grown out of “trendy” territory to become near-ubiquitous, like removable skirts and off-the-shoulder dresses, which we now see every season.” But Katie Wadhams, owner of Lovely Bride in Rochester, was able to describe details designers want dead. When talking about bridal fashion trends that may be tired or done, Wadhams says, “Designers are looking for a way to depart from the V-necks that have been so popular on wedding gowns over the past few years. [They want ways] to change them up and make them more interesting by plunging them all the way to the navel, adding illusion tulle, or interesting straps.”
She continues, “Sweetheart strapless continues to be shown in a very limited capacity at the bridal market. Brides are still looking for a departure from this – we often hear that it’s been done or that they want to avoid it for comfort. This is still a neckline that is universally flattering though so we encourage brides to give it a try!”
(Sidenote: My dress from my 2009 wedding was a sweetheart strapless dress. I loved it. But by 10:00 pm, the boning inside my corset had rubbed me for so long, it had almost cut into the skin on my sides. I was so ready to take that dress off because of the pain!!)
Texture: Wadhams says, “We saw a lot of texture in the form of interesting new fabrications, embellishments, and floral appliqués. 3-D floral appliqués are going to be popular over the next few years in bridal.”
Clean & Classic: She continues, “Minimalism is still a huge bridal trend. We’ve seen it for a few seasons and will continue to see it now that Meghan Markle rocked it for her wedding and reception gowns.”
Updated Necklines: According to Wadhams, “V-necks have been a go-to for brides over the past few years. But designers are starting to showcase new and interesting necklines. The three most popular new looks we saw were square necklines, high and halter necklines (again, thanks to Meghan Markle), and notched necklines, which are often combined with a squared silhouette.”
In the bridal fashion world, it’s hard for new designers to gain footing. The upfront cost is so high before designers see any ROI, it’s a challenging industry to break into. Even the writes at Vogue said, “To start your own line and break through a market dominated by heritage brands (Oscar de la Renta, Elie Saab, Vera Wang) is difficult.”
The challenge of finding less-known designers is why I love stores like Lovely Bride, which styles itself as the O.G. of indie bridal shops. Lovely Bride helps their “lovelies” discover designers that they will love but may never have heard of. One such designer is Vagabond. According to Wadhams, “There was a ton of buzz around [Vagabond] at market. We’re so excited to have it included in our collection at Rochester. It’s designed in South Africa and has a true “indie” vibe! The gowns are eclectic, fun, interesting and feel very fresh. A lot of the trends outlined above are encapsulated in the line.”
Another designer’s collection that she’s also excited about is Willowby by Watters. “[The collection] looks absolutely beautiful this season. They showcased gorgeous floral appliqué works on their gowns. And there’s a lot of playfulness in the line.”
I don’t know about you, but this article makes me super excited for upcoming bridal fashions. If you’re wondering when they’ll be available for you to see IRL, Wadhams says, “The newest trends and gowns will start hitting our store in August so for brides who are scoping out the latest looks from market on Instagram, that’s a great time to shop! If there are particular designers you like, check if there’s a trunk show scheduled! You’ll get to see the full collection and also take advantage of a discount.” Click HERE to learn more about trunk shows in my article Wedding Dress Shopping 101.
As they say, art imitates life. I hope this article makes you super excited about the latest in bridal fashion trends! (If you’re still worried about finding the right look for you, check out this post: Wedding Dress Shopping 101). Bridal fashion designers are giving us looks inspired by the people we love to stalk. Think Meghan Markel’s long-sleeved minimalist Givenchy gown and Priyanka Chopra’s ultra-embellished custom Ralph Lauren wedding gown. They’re also innovating current trends to give future brides much to look forward to.
If you haven’t bought your dress yet, get excited! There’s much to discover in the coming months. And if this article was helpful, make sure you tune in my Alexa Flash Briefing – Ask the Planner: Wedding Tips in a Flash. I recently devoted a whole week to tips on wedding dresses and attire.
Don’t choose a bohemian, festival-inspired look. Designers are going ultra modern or super-embellished and dramatic. To avoid feeling like everyone’s already seen your wedding dress, try a square, halter, or high neckline. Or go super-embellished with floral appliques or a more unique fabric. Need more ideas? Sign up to receive QUICK WEDDING PLANNING TIPS via my Alexa Flash Briefing! Learn more about it HERE.
PS: Many thanks to Katie for providing BTS photos from the spring bridal market for this article! Cover photo via Vagabond.