Call it the Kate Middleton effect: Long sleeves are huge in bridal designs right now. Once made popular by royalty like Grace Kelly and Princess Diana, the trend resurfaced again when the Duchess of Cambridge stunned on her wedding day in a lace overlay dress by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton. The elongated sleeves create an unmistakably feminine look with a touch of drama. Typically associated with tradition-loving brides, this season long-sleeve wedding dresses are anything but conservative. Designers including Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, and Carolina Herrera redesigned the classic silhouette with shorter hemlines, unexpected necklines, and daring cutouts. Check out the gallery for our favorite styles.
Whether it’s the belief in the age-old “something blue” superstition or the MObama effect (remember the flurry of media attention surrounding the First Lady’s blue-gray nails at the Democratic National Convention?), blue nail polish is having a huge moment with brides this season. From electric cobalt, perfect for a bold bride, to subtle sky for a more traditional one, nail polish companies have been putting out hues with a serious case of the blues. Get the look with one of the picks below.
Set the tone for your beachside nuptials with fun nautical invitations. The beach-inspired stationery will reinforce the theme of your wedding and get your guests excited for the sun, sand, and ocean breeze. Explore the gallery for 12 of our favorite picks, from preppy anchor prints to whimsical beach illustrations.
Rose gold has always been a favorite of jewelry designers, past and present. This season, the trend transcended standard fashion and costume jewelry to arrive on the bridal scene with showstopping engagement rings and wedding bands. From sweet vintage-inspired diamond pieces to alternative mixed-metal stunners, check out the gallery for ten of our favorite rose-gold bridal sets.
Want height at your outdoor wedding without the hassle of sinking into the ground as you walk down the aisle? Every bit as chic as their stiletto counterparts, wedge heels will provide the comfort you need to be on your feet all day, plus enough style to maintain your reputation as a fashion-conscious bride. From espadrilles to peep-toe platforms, we scouted the best wedding-friendly pairs. Your feet will thank you.
You don’t need a floor-length gown to look fantastic on your big day. Not only can you dance all night sporting a shorter hemline, but you can also stretch your dollar by wearing it again in the future—something you can’t always say about a traditional wedding gown. Whether you are looking to walk down the aisle in a leg-baring design or just planning on slipping into a shorter number for the reception, here are our favorite picks. You can thank us when you get your dry-cleaning bill back.
5. Jason Wu leather-and-silk dress, $3,395 at Neiman Marcus.
6. ML Monique Lhuillier tiered lace bustier dress, $598 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
7. Va Et Vien Kauai dress, $800 at BHLDN.
8. Ann Taylor embroidered tea-length strapless dress, $695 at Ann Taylor.
A dog is a couple’s best friend. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at these four-legged wedding party members—bearing rings, escorting their owners down the aisle, and inspiring signature “pup-tails.” We fell in love with these creative ways to include canines, and we think you will, too.
Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting and stressful things you will ever do. From organizing your guest list to finding the perfect dress to getting in shape to look your best in that dress, it seems like a bride-to-be’s job is never done. To make your planning a little less stressful, we’ve rounded up some of the best apps for brides.
This app has virtually everything a bride needs to plan her big day. It lets you make a to-do list, helps you allocate your budget, and even manages your guest list. The app also features tons of photos from which to draw inspiration for your dress, hairstyle, decor, and more, and you can save and organize your favorite picks. There’s also a countdown to help build the excitement as you get closer to walking down the aisle.
Available for: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. For Androids, try a similar app called Our Wedding Planner
As if we needed another reason to love Net-a-Porter, the insanely fashionable online shopping site has just launched an exclusive bridal collection in collaboration with eight top designers. The impressive lineup includes Nina Ricci, Jay Ahr, Antonio Berardi, Lover, Rochas, Giambattista Valli (who most recently designed Jessica Biel’s wedding dress), Issa, and Chalayan, with gown silhouettes in everything from a simple shift to a taffeta ballgown or a slinky beaded halter dress. Six of the dresses are available online now; the Giambattista Valli and Jay Ahr gowns come online in the next few weeks.
Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, and Reese Witherspoon are just a few of the celebrities who’ve recently eschewed traditional ivory wedding attire in favor of gowns with a decidedly rosier hue. From Claire Pettibone to Oscar de la Renta to Watters, designers are turning out gowns infused with color, be it boldly verging on magenta or muted, barely there blush. Whatever your pleasure, the dresses have become approachable from a design standpoint, as well as an acceptable way to show off a variation on bridal style.
For Washington, we think the trend is spot on—can’t you just see a March Tidal Basin photo op with cherry blossoms in bloom to match your gown? Actually, we can’t imagine a time when saying “I do” to a pink gown isn’t a perfectly pretty option. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from recent bridal collections.