Traditional wedding dresses are a big umbrella. But if you like a wedding with all the trimmings and all of the usual rituals, one of these gowns might be just the right fit for you.
This simple v-neck wrap bodice (above) would look great on its own, or with a chapel-length veil. As a bonus, it is good for brides of all ages. If you want to add a bit more fairytale romance to your look, think about a princess gown with a sweetheart neckline (below, left) or a dress using lots of soft lace detail (below, right).
If your traditional wedding is a little more formal, try on dresses with more structure and detail. Above, this glamorous fit and flare dress is accessorized with a sheer shrug and jeweled sash. Below, both of these trumpet dresses have one statement detail. The one on the left features a beautiful one-shoulder neckline (skip a necklace and just wear chandelier earrings), whereas the one on the right is all about the pintucked texture. Either would look lovely at a traditional ballroom wedding.
If you want your traditional with a healthy side of va-va-voom, here are a couple of ways to incorporate sexier details into a traditional gown. If you are wearing a long and detailed sheath, such as this beaded number (below, left) go for a deep v neckline or a showy statement back (below, right).
Vintage weddings are all about mixing old-fashioned elegance with modern sensibility. Whether your wedding takes place on a rustic farm or in a historic home, we think you will love these pretty options.
The unusual silhouette of this lace peplum wedding dress (above) makes it the perfect mix of vintage and modern. Because there is so much fantastic detail, keep your accessories to a minimum so that they won't distract from the architecture of the gown.
These two strapless gowns (below) are very sweetly vintage, with bow belts (left) and geometric striping (right).
If you prefer a more sophisticated vintage, take a page from Claire Pettibone's book. This dress from a recent collection (below) features long lace sleeves, a floral sash, and great natural movement through the skirt. Again, this dress needs little more that a refined updo to make it absolutely shine.
People often lump vintage and retro together, but this theme definitely deserves a category all to itself. Nostalgic with a "wink", this look is all about flirty, playful fashion with hints of 1950s and 60s style.
Of course, for a retro wedding, tea-length dresses are tried and true. With a-line skirts, nothing says retro like a mid-calf dress covered in lace with scalloped edges (above). And in aqua? All the better! Or stick with traditional bridal white, and embrace a pair of kicky kitten heels and a birdcage veil (below).
If you don't want to go with tea-length, but you love the silhouette of an a-line, simply find a dress that hits you at the ankles (below, left). Sashes and horizontal detailing will help lengthen the overall look (this dress features floral embroidery that cascades down the skirt).
Of course, your idea of retro might be more Marilyn than Sandra Dee. In that case, find a great shift with a pencil-skirt hemline. I'm dying over this gorgeous lavender beaded dress with its square neckline and thin belt (below, right). Even though it is a little formal, you could even wear this dress to a courthouse wedding with dinner and drinks after.
More so than any other theme, retro loves applique and lace embroidery. This blush strapless gown (below) features "3-D" flowers bursting from the rows of lace all the way to the hemline.
Modern weddings are possibly just as hard to define as traditional ones. No longer are modern wedding dresses simply stark white sheaths (although, yes, they can be). These gowns are very different from each other, but they all have a bit of an edge, from lacy corsets to the simplicity of a hard line. All of these gowns would be stunning at your modern affair.
It's true. This blush dress (above) could be styled differently, and easily fit in with a traditional or vintage event. But between the jewelry and the bold lace corset, this look is most definitely romantic-gone-modern.
The lovely simplicity of these two statement backs above are more examples of a softer modern. On the left, the v back is sharply angled and is set off by structured cap sleeves. On the right, a column of pearl buttons runs all the ways down the satin to the end of the train.
For brides who love a simple column dress, they should look no further than this texture and tucked sheath with a notched neckline (above). This dress could go anywhere, from a destination wedding on the beach to an urban rooftop.
Below, this beaded neckline and tied waist perfectly accent this otherwise simple dress. Brides who don't normally go super-girly would feel at ease in this refined gown.
Embracing a relaxed and laidback vibe, boho weddings love easy style. And these dresses certainly deliver a breath of fresh air with their flowy skirts and nature-inspired detailing.
The unique neckline and gathers around the hips make this ethereal sheath pretty magical (above). But you will never be more comfortable than in this cotton wedding dress (below, left). It has an empire waist and a billowy skirt, which means you can skip the Spanx and enjoy plenty of wedding cake (and shouldn't that be a key part in selecting any dress?). Boho brides can also go very relaxed and simple. This lace embellished overlay would look divine at a forest wedding, wouldn't it?
For more dress inspiration, head over to Pinterest: