Bold Choice: Color and drama highlight this year’s bridal trends

From sweeping princess gowns to unexpected modern silhouettes, covered-up to sexy, today’s wedding gowns follow no rules.

From sweeping princess gowns to unexpected modern silhouettes, covered-up to sexy, today’s wedding gowns follow no rules.

“There seem to be endless options for brides today in terms of what they can select for their wedding day look,” said Lori Conley, divisional merchandise manager for bridal, lingerie and flower girl, David’s Bridal. “While classic gowns will always have a place in the industry, there is most definitely an emergence of gowns with more ease and simplicity. The rules of old are being reinterpreted with brides opting to wear short dresses, separates or even jumpsuits for their walk down the aisle.”

And there’s no clear favorite, said Jennette Kruszka, spokeswoman, Kleinfeld Manhattan, whose “customers from around the world desire all styles from classic lace ball gowns to sexy fit-and-flare dresses.”


Some of the hottest trends this year “include off-the-shoulder necklines with classic silhouettes,” Kruszka said. Also popular are “soft fabrics and unstructured bodies of flowing sheath dresses. Sparkle is reinvented every season, and this season the beading patterns are more intricate and subtle. This season short rompers and jumpsuits also made a scene – perfect for the rehearsal dinner or after-party,” she added.

“Color is one of the hottest trends,” Conley said. “Brides are moving beyond the traditional white and ivory and favoring more bold color choices. Pinks and blushes are the most popular as they lend themselves beautifully to the romantic rustic vibe of many of today’s weddings. For the most fashionable of brides, smoky blues and greys are a sophisticated option.”

Brides are looking sexier than ever.

“Plunging necklines are everywhere! They can be truly seductive when they’re finishing off a slinky sheath or can be tamer when topping off a more traditional ball gown,” Conley said. “Additionally, low backs continue to be a big hit with brides. Whether adorned with lace or subtly sheer, they ensure that a bride makes a statement from all angles. For the really dramatic brides, bodices that feature sheer panels are the ultimate in sexy.”

Also popular are dramatic skirts. Whether they be layer upon layer of voluminous ruffles or soft ethereal cascades, these skirts pack drama and movement when a bride walks down the aisle, Conley said.

A more adventurous bride may “ditch the veil and make an entrance with a hooded cape from Mark Zunino’s runway or sparkle down the runway with body jewelry from Pnina Tornai,” Kruszka said.

Also upping the allure factor are illusion netting and “subtle yet sexy illusion cutouts at the side seam as well as plunging necklines with illusion netting to the belly button,” Kruszka said.


Brides are embracing the option of covering up the shoulders, and the accessories department is experiencing a big interest in tops, boleros and capelets.

“Jeweled capes are the perfect way to add an accessory to a simple, less-embellished dress. Capes/boleros can also create two looks in one. The bride can wear the cape for the ceremony and remove it for the reception,” Kruszka said.

“Toppers are a fantastic way to transform the look of a gown, whether it is for added coverage for the whole day or just to change up your look from the ceremony to the reception. Winter brides are loving faux fur wraps for a bit of glam, while dainty lace capelets are a favorite for brides looking for a vintage touch,” Conley said.

Get the designer look

While it typically takes a few seasons for high-fashion design to “trickle down” to bridal design, brides are certainly influenced by the trends shown on the runways.

“For the past few years, designers have been presenting sexy nude-illusion evening wear styles which you have begun to see walking down the wedding aisles on real brides,” Kruszka said.

“Brides have instant access to what’s new in fashion via the web and social media sites such as Instagram. Because of this they are taking more risks and looking for their wedding day looks to be an extension of their personal style,” Conley said.

One thing to keep in mind: Most of the dresses brides see on the runway typically don’t hit bridal stores until four months later, Kruszka said.

“If a bride sees a dress on social media during the runway shows, she should follow that particular designer and learn when their next trunk show is. The dresses travel while in production, and at a trunk show you will typically see the latest samples from the newest collection,” she said.

—Melissa Erickson | More Content Now