2016 Bridal Trends

Although certain wedding gown styles remain popular every year (think A-line, strapless and sweetheart necklines), other trends come and go.
    For Fall 2016, designers are showcasing a variety of stylish bridal looks that include heavy doses of illusion, sleeves of varying lengths and dramatic back details. The result is gorgeous, cutting-edge gowns that offer something for every bride.
    Following is a text excerpt from our March/April 2016 issue of 12 key gown trends brides will be searching for this spring. It’s important to recognize that most gowns showcase more than one trend, so there is quite a bit of overlap. As well, trends often vary regionally or by a store’s specific niche; what’s hot in one area might not necessarily be true in another. Nonetheless the following is a good general guideline. 

Click here for the PDF of the entire article including images.


1. Sheer sleeves. While strapless wedding gowns remain popular, sleeves are stealing center stage this season. Whether cap, three-quarter length or full length, sleeves – particularly the illusion tulle variety with a delicate lace finish – are prevalent across many bridal collections for Fall 2016.
    This look is ideal for winter and fall weddings. It’s also appropriate for brides needing to cover their arms for religious reasons. Finally, it adds a touch of elegant ornamentation to any dress.

2. Plunging necklines. For brides who want to reveal something without being too daring, plunging necklines offer an alternative to the more traditional sweetheart neckline. This alluring yet sophisticated look adds a touch of sensuality to bust lines. Brides can choose from risqué styles to more demure interpretations, offering something for every taste.

3. Back details. Who says the front of a gown should get all the attention? For Fall 2016, eye-catching back embellishments and a variety of back silhouettes, including illusion, lace, low and open, are trending. This creates a 360-degree picture of elegance.

4. Illusion. Hollywood elite have been wearing illusion gowns on the Red Carpet recently, so it should come as no surprise that this trend has carried over to the bridal world. Illusion can be found everywhere – skirts, necklines, backs, sleeves and bodices. It’s definitely one of the hottest trends for Fall 2016.

5. Dimensional florals. From oversized sheer laser-cut appliqués to tiny beaded blooms, three-dimensional embellishments help create texture while modernizing a gown without weighing it down. Also trending, both in and outside the bridal world: allover floral prints.

6. Color. Muted colors, including subtle blush tones and variations of ivory or gold,  give wedding gowns a rich appearance while keeping their traditional appeal to brides. Color is visible this year on fabrics, embroidery and lace. Alternatively you might find a subtle pop of color in the bodice - just enough to enhance the gown without stealing center stage.

7. Texture. Lace and beading are two of the most-requested details on a wedding dress, and this season they have a fresh look. Unique patterns and textures of various types are being used everywhere, from the smallest details to entire gowns. It’s a perfect look for the bride who enjoys a little bit of bling while looking to make a statement.

8. Minimalist. For some brides, less is definitely more. The “blank canvas” trend, showcased most often through classic A-line style gowns in solid fabrics, allows the bride to choose add-on accessories that truly showcase her individual style. Not only will she be thrilled with her custom look but you’ll get the benefit of add-on sales. It’s a win-win for sure!

9. Long train. Lightweight trains provide a classic look for the ceremony, but can be easily removed to reveal a stunning dress bettered suited for moving around the reception. The long length allows designers to showcase a variety of beautiful embellishments that perfectly complement a dress.

10. Overskirt. These sheer add-ons allow brides to completely change their look in a split second. They add the illusion of romantic layers to a gown, and when removed, reveal a completely different look. It’s the perfect option for the bride who desires two different dresses – one for the ceremony, another for the reception – without a hefty price tag.

11. Two-piece dresses. Fashion-forward brides looking to create their own looks are falling in love with two-piece separate styles. Extra selling point: The bodice and/or skirt can be repurposed in the future for another occasion.

12. Tulle/ruffle skirts. Beautiful layers create a whimsical, princess feel without adding a lot of weight or bulk. This style is elegant, romantic and totally on-trend.

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