The Classic 50s
We start our journey in the 1950s where conservative beauty is admired and dress length creeps a little shorter than the traditional floor-length gown.
Wedding dresses at this time reflected the classic tea dress with a cinched waist and full, voluminous skirt, accentuating the ever-desired hourglass figure of the 50’s. This may seem to the contemporary bride as a very simple silhouette with minimal detailing and a lack of ‘pizzazz’. However, the 50’s bride indulged in lace tiered skirts and boleros to cover up exposed shoulders and the trending strapless sweetheart neckline. All together, the 50’s inspired wedding dress is one that encapsulates a sense of innocence and simplicity.
The 60s and 70s
Enter long sleeves, ribbon detailing and bouffant veils.
The 60’s marked an era of bedazzled embellishments to accompany an otherwise simple gown. The classic tea length wedding dress stayed around for a little while but was paired with a statement veil and hair accessories that created a very feminine and regal look (think Kate Middleton in a Zimmermann gown with a shoulder length veil).
The 70’s welcomed anything and everything. Many brides continued the 60’s aesthetic of metallic detailing and a classic silhouette, while others delved into ‘hippie’ territory. Bride’s of this era loved the look of flowing sleeves that gathered at the wrist, creating a medieval-inspired, femininity. This was a time of individuality which encouraged some brides to explore a sleek and “modern” silhouette.
The Big 80s and 90s
The bigger the better; the ultimate 80’s philosophy.
We all know that the 80’s is a direct translation for puffy sleeves and wild hair-do’s. But this mantra of ‘the bigger the better’ also applied to other elements of the bride’s look. Cathedral length veils were popular during this time and complemented the inordinate obsession with outlandish flower arrangements that characterised this era. If oversized bouquets weren’t enough, it was also common for the bride to adorn every member of her bridal party with handmade flower crowns. We suppose the development of video photography during this decade was enough to warrant more of everything!
As women left the frills and ruffles behind, wedding dresses of the 90’s channeled a more modern and classic bridal look. Off the shoulder dresses also came on the scene and were paired with long opera gloves that extended to the elbow to create a unique variation in coverage. Lace dress inserts on the décolletage also became popular during this time thanks to Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride.
The Strapless 00’s
Go ahead and show off those shoulders. . .
As wedding ceremonies began to extend beyond the traditional church setting, the strapless gown naturally rose to prominence. Women of all shapes and sizes loved the idea of showing off their gorgeous curves in a way that had not yet been discovered. Naturally, this lead to unique variations of the traditional up-do, as more and more women fell in love will the idea of showing off their shoulders.
The Mermaid Dress and the Boho Babe
By this point in time, almost every trend on this list has made a comeback (except maybe the bouffant veils).
Contemporary wedding attire means one thing: inspiration is endless and accessibility to different styles is easier than ever. The non-bridal bride is a definitive trend of contemporary culture and includes any unconventional detailing: barefoot brides, short cocktail wedding dresses, sneakers instead of heels and bohemian body jewellery.
The rustic trend has dominated the wedding realm in the past few years and has been centered around D.I.Y decorations, relaxed dining and generally speaking, a much more casual dress code. On the contrary, glamorous, Hollywood style weddings are also extremely popular as a contemporary option. Mermaid gowns with crystal embellishments are at the forefront of contemporary style, where showing ofF your figure is encouraged and wedding videos feel like a Hollywood production.