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Wedding Dress Trends Over The Years

We saw this the other day and it reminded us how much wedding dress trends have changed over the years. It’s funny to think that an ivory wedding dress is considered to be the absolute bridal tradition when, compared to some traditions, it’s relatively modern. It’s less than 200 years ago since Queen Victoria sent us flocking for white frocks. By comparison, we've been exchanging wedding rings since 4000 BC i.e., 6000 plus years.

How have wedding dress trends changed since 1840?

While white has remained a common theme in the years since the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, so much else has changed.

For instance, ivory has quickly become the most popular shade of white for modern brides because the creamy colour adds a level of luxury. Even so, it's often still called white.

A timeline of trends

1860 - you’d be forgiven for mixing up the bride and her bridesmaids as it was then tradition for the entire bridal party to wear white dresses and veils.

1880 - very conservative styles were the norm, unsurprisingly. You could expect to see the bride in a dress with a high-neck, full length sleeves, and gloves – extremely modest!

1900 - moving into the Edwardian era, wedding gowns were typically more relaxed with loose fits and delicate fabrics.

1920 - jazz clubs, flashy vehicles, and liberated women defined the Roaring Twenties. Beaded wedding gowns had dropping waistlines and ankle-length hemlines, risqué for the time. Women ditched corsets and embraced boyish dresses. No bride was wed without a cloche hat or Juliet cap and floor-length veil.

1940 - The 1940s embraced outfit repetition. Handmade dresses, often made of rayon, were passed between friends and sisters. Hemlines on dresses dropped to the floor again, and women were encouraged to dress modestly. The long silky trains gave a stunning mermaid shape, and V-necklines were favoured.

1960 - Shorter shoulder-length veils were fashionable and three-quarter sleeves and crinoline were popular. Brides embraced the Space Age with patterns, textures, and colour. When Audrey Hepburn married Andrea Dotti, she wore a memorable light pink dress.

1980 - Princess Diana's wedding dress was a taffeta ball gown with puffy sleeves and a lengthy train, a combination that reflected the decade's "more is more" aesthetic. In the midst of the 1980s, lace details and elaborate hairpieces were all the rage.

2000 - Strapless wedding gowns were increasingly popular in the new millennium. This dress was available in a wide variety of silhouettes, including princess, mermaid, and sheath styles, but never had straps. Wedding gowns grew more casual as couples choose to elope in less traditional locations. Tan complexion and curls were also popular.

2010 - When Kate Middleton wed Prince William in 2011, she made a strong argument for convention. There was an immediate worldwide imitation of Kate's lace-sleeved wedding dress after their Westminster Abbey wedding.

2022 - As weddings increasingly depart from more traditional styles, 2022 brides can find several fresh and innovative options. This features exaggerated detail on the sleeves and a range of hem lengths, including mini and midi designs.

Want to know more about the next big trend? Book an appointment with us to help you make the right choice for you.

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