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The Latest Looks for Brides

The Latest Looks for Brides

By Christine Boulton, owner,

It’s all about the fashion.

For most brides the very first thing they think about when they start dreaming of their wedding is the gown. Sadly, for far too many years the only choices seemed to be strapless ball gowns with huge skirts or slinky sheaths.

That is not the case any more. Designers and manufactures are getting the message and new trends are hitting the runways. Bottom line: There are wonderful new trends for spring that will make brides happy.


The newest trends in bridal gowns are all about texture; from a move to more sumptuous fabrics to lace overlays to layered looks like silk chiffon over a ruffled tulle underskirt. The trends on the runways at the Wedding Channel Couture Show in New York were all about fabulous fabrics and impeccable cut. Designers were relying less on embroidery and bling and more on beautiful laces and cutwork.

David Wright Photography
In some cases the lace or cutwork was used over a silk or satin in a deeper tone to showcase its beauty and intricacy. A lot of the collections had an organic feel to them with what embroidery there was being vine-like and the appliqués being floral. In fact, flowers were everywhere, but not the tiny accents of seasons past. These were big and bold and often three-dimensional. Every collection was softer but no less stunning.

After the years of strapless, shoulders are getting some attention. Straps are back in a tank or halter style. Off-the-shoulder looks, like portrait collars, are starting to show up – think classic Jackie O elegance. The wonderful rising trend in beautiful shrugs shows up in fabrics to match the season, lovely in chiffon or lace with silver wire embroidery or fab in cashmere with Swarovski crystal trim.

The shapes are also beginning to change. The hottest look right now is the trumpet or modified mermaid shape – a very fitted structured bodice that extends down to the hips with a fuller, flared skirt. The trumpet still gives the look of fullness but also shows off the hours you spent at the gym. It is a great way to create sexy curves.

A-line silhouettes are still available but not as hot as in years past. Even the time-honored ball gown is getting a modern make over. The look is less structured; designers have pulled layers of stiff crinolines out to give the dresses a softer, easier look and feel. Trains are getting smaller and more work is going into creating a sturdier bustle configuration so the bride has less to deal with at her reception and can dance the night away. In addition, gowns are getting added interest at the hemline with the bubble hem or layers of pleated tulle peeking out under a lace or silk satin skirt. There is also a trend for brides to add a colored crinoline to peek out as they walk down the aisle.

Special attention is being paid to the back of the gown. This is where the ooohhh-ahhhh factor is being seen. A gown may have a boat neck in the front but a plunging back. Cutting edge jewelry lines were showing necklaces specifically to adorn this plunge. Many designers jumped on the monogram trend by offering beaded monograms on the train. (Don’t forget, in most cases, the back is what your guests will see during your ceremony.)

Color is everywhere in bridal gowns. Brides are favoring light gold, mocha and champagne. Ivory is still strong, but bright white is out. Most women find that a bit of color is much more flattering to their skin tone. Also hot is bolder color as an accent, whether in a sash or in the embroidery.

Christine Boulton has been a professional in the wedding industry for more than 20 years. She is the owner of and currently serves as a marketing consultant to some of the industry’s largest vendors. Christine, who is known for her never-ending stream of research and always knowing and understanding what brides want, is published regularly in this and various other magazines and blogs.

Photographs by David Wright Photography