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When it comes to trending wedding dress styles, changes in popular silhouettes, necklines and skirt styles happen more often than you’d think. Luckily, 2021’s wedding dress trends just so happen to be especially gorgeous. If you had to postpone your 2020 wedding, consider it an opportunity to get yourself a beautiful gown for your 2021 ceremony instead.
Of course, a bride’s personal style should dictate her choice in gown, but there are always going to be accents and shapes that are more popular than others as the years go on. “Simple, clean silhouettes and fabrics have been popular lately, and they are surging for 2021,” says Sonali Lamba, Co-Founder & COO of Brideside, an online bridal retailer with showrooms in New York City, Boston, Chicago and Charlotte.
“If this year is anything like the last one, there are no rules when it comes to wedding fashion,” says Samantha Iacia, Associate Editor, WeddingWire. “Brides and to-be-weds are ditching the idea that you can only wear certain types of dresses in certain settings.” Looks like anything goes in 2021! And we’re not mad about it.
If you’re into a minimalist aesthetic with fun fabrics, you’re in luck. “Previously, a bride looking for a simple silhouette was almost always looking for a crepe gown, but this whole category is growing,” Lamba further explains, adding that “Soft Mikado, taffeta, and organza are also becoming really popular.” A traditional silhouette with not-so-traditional fabrics? We love to see it.
Oh, and just like in all other aspects of fashion, the 1990s are back. “’90s-inspired bridal wear will be a huge trend for 2021,” says stylists at gown company Azazie.
The Knot’s Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor Shelley Brown agrees. “In 2021, we’ll see more streamlined silhouettes like sheaths and ’90s-inspired slip dresses as opposed to voluminous ball gowns and mermaids.”
Of course, shorter, less-formal styles will also be trending next year given the surge of smaller ceremonies and elopements. That being said, not all brides are doing away with the dramatic gown. “Removable pieces are great for brides who want different looks for their ceremony and reception—especially with plans getting delayed or changed due to COVID,” says Lamba.
“Short styles are having a moment, considering weddings in 2021 will continue to look very different from weddings of the past. Think, smaller guest lists, more casual and personal vibes, live-streamed ceremonies,” adds Emily Forrest, Director of Communications at Zola.
“Capes and tulle overskirts are perfect for outdoor weddings, shifting venues and unpredictable weather,” Lamba points out. “Plus, you get two looks in one!” If you ask me, the more bridal looks you can pull off in one night, the better.
Already thinking about your perfect gown? Read on for more 2021 wedding dress trends below, plus a few dreamy dresses that fit the bill.
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“Shorter trains will be popular in 2021, as wedding fashion trends skew more casual than in previous years,” says Brown. Especially with smaller weddings and ceremonies becoming the norm, this casual but still gorgeous style seems like it’ll be here to stay.
“Brides are opting for more fun and unique looks that also give flexibility and could be worn multiple times,” says Forrest. And the jumpsuit certainly fits into that description. “Wedding fashion brands like Morilee and Anne Barge are even launching collections dedicated to casual short dresses and jumpsuits,” adds Brown.
“While sleek and chic styles are definitely trending, so are more maximalist details like ruffles, puff sleeves and 3-D floral appliques,” notes Brown. We love the touch of sparkle these long puff sleeves give to the gown, adding just enough wow-factor to the otherwise simple gown.
Gone are the days of big, voluminous skirts! Say hello to this simpler bridal style, a sort of ’90s-inspired look. “A lot of these clean, sheath styles will have a standout detail,” says Lamba, like the twisted knot at the neckline of this Black Halo gown.
Add a modern twist to your wedding gown with a cape sleeve moment like this one from Torrid. Made with luxe crepe and georgette fabrics with a slightly fitted skirt, you’ll feel like your best self walking down the aisle in this dress on your big day. Major princess vibes!
There’s nothing quite like the understated beauty of a slip dress. Sexy, sleek and sophisticated, all eyes will *definitely* be on you as you walk down the aisle in this gown. I love the subtle cowl neck detail and just enough train to make a statement.
Little White Dress
With more mini-monies and elopements coming in 2021 than ever before, brides are opting for something less dramatic and more fitted for a smaller wedding. The Little White Dress still feels very bridal, but works in a more low-key setting.
Sleeves—long and short, voluminous and fitted, off and on-the-shoulder—will be big in 2021. They complement the sheath style dress that will also be trending next year and add a finishing touch to any simple silhouette. This gown in particular gives me major Hailey Bieber vibes.
“Lightweight tulle adds dimension and texture, which can create a romantic and ethereal effect,” explains Lamba. That’s certainly the vibe I’m getting from this detachable tulle skirt from Etsy, perfect to layer over a more fitted dress.
“Appliqué lace will be huge in 2021, partly because pairs so well with the clean fabrics and simple silhouettes that are becoming so popular,” says Lamba. Case in point: This dreamy dress with an appliqué lace bodice and simple pleated skirt.
With many weddings taking place over Zoom, brides want to ensure their dress makes an impact on the computer screen. A soft tulle skirt brings all the necessary drama in this ball gown dress without looking like a cake topper. I love the romantic off-the-shoulder neckline with its small sexy V-notch at the bust.
Beading and embellishments will have a moment next year to give a pop of drama to the simplest sheath skirts, also trending. I’m loving the sexy sheer bodice on this gown combined with a form-fitting ivory skirt. “The scale of the look may be paired down, but not the special touches that give sparkle and dimension,” says Forrest.