After several seasons focused on simplicity and minimalism, 2021 bridal fashions are breaking out of the box. This year's brides aren't going to be afraid to add some eye-catching, head-turning details. Here are 15 of the year's most fashion-forward trends in bridalwear.
It's always on-trend to incorporate a nod to femininity in your wedding gown, but this year's ruffles aren't dainty. Ruffles this year are more like ocean waves, and you can take the trend as big as you want. Have an entire sea of ruffles wafting down the length of your gown, or build a skirt with layered, ruffled tiers that nearly fills the room.
If your personal style is more structured, consider a gown with an architectural feature designed to wow your guests. This can come in the form of a geometrically shaped waistline, in an oversized wave of a crumb-catcher at the neck, or an extra covering of satin surrounding the skirt.
All Over Lace
Lace is a classic bridal tradition with romantic symbolism. Beautiful lace this season will be on wedding gowns from top to bottom, often as an overlay on the skirt and over sheer fabric on the bodice. Sleeves will be long and lacy, as well. Expect to find intricate and unusual patterns and colors in lace gowns. Delicate Chantilly lace is a favorite, along with any vintage lace.
Puffy sleeves are a current trend in all areas of fashion, but no sleeves are more voluminous than those in bridal. Some of the sleeves you will find on bridal gowns this season will include more fabric than the rest of the dress.
Look for giant puffs that come down to a structured point at the elbow or wrist, and also look for billowing sleeves that envelope your arms like a cloud. Layers of tulle on sleeves will rival ballgown skirts.
Your wedding is a day when you can live your fantasy, and for some brides that includes stepping into someone else's shoes. Costume inspired wedding gowns will include Renaissance princess dresses, styles from the various royal eras and even Medieval costumes.
Some brides don't want to go the serious route and would prefer to show their playful side at their wedding. If that sounds like you, consider one of this season's gowns with fun or flirty details. This might be some colorful textured flowers or a barely concealed pattern on the lining of your skirt.
Pastels have been popping up in wedding gowns for a few seasons, and blush has become a staple. This year's pretty shade is pistachio. This lovely green can be an accent color on your gown, or it can be the only hue.
Smocking on a wedding gown can bring your bridal style a little bit to the bohemian side, or it can give you a pretty retro vibe. A white-on-white pattern will be subtle, while a colorful burst makes a statement. If you have a family member who knows how to smock, you might talk them into creating a customized look.
There was a time when a traditional bride would never consider getting married in anything but a floor-length gown. Those days are over, and hemlines are everywhere this year. Opt for a cute tea-length style or even choose a mini-skirt. A high-low dress is another popular choice, allowing you to float down the aisle while simultaneously showing off your legs.
Crepe hasn't been popular in wedding gowns in recent seasons, but you will see the fun, textured fabric again this year. Crepe is a material that brings depth to a dress, with folds and crinkles that can be flattering in the right places.
Instead of a scoop or a sweetheart, try a square neckline this season. This elegant style lengthens you through the torso and shows off your collarbone.
Layers are the name of the game this season, especially when weather conditions are uncertain or you are going from indoors to outdoors. Start with your dress and then add a shrug or a cape to cover your shoulders. Match that with another layer like a silk jacket or faux fur wrap. Some brides are even adding, or subtracting, an overskirt for different parts of the event. Layering is wonderful for weddings. It's a practical choice to keep you comfortable, and it allows you to show off a variety of looks throughout the day.
Cute cap sleeves are a sweet way to add some fabric to your arms when you want more than a tiny strap. Pay attention to where the cap sleeves are placed. Sometimes they can add extra bulk, but caps that fall slightly off the shoulder can make arms appear slimmer.
Pantsuits and jumpers are no longer a surprise on a bride, but this season's pants are a slightly different style. On-trend bridal pants are reminiscent of silky pajama pants. The fabric is flowy, and the legs are wide. Match it with a suit jacket or a lacy top.
After an uncertain year, brides are ready to take this season by storm. When it comes to wedding gowns, any type of drama is appropriate, so don't be afraid to be bold. Whether you want to surround yourself in feathers or wear a ballgown so big you have to fold yourself into the limo, this is your chance to express yourself.
This is going to be an amazing season for wedding gowns with fearless trends for brides of all kinds. Find a style you love and get ready to rock your big day.