Rejoice! The spring 2018 bridal season has something for everyone. No joke: If you want to saunter down the aisle J. Lo-at-the-Grammys or Rihanna-at-Coachella style with a deep plunge to the pelvis, hip-high slit, exposed back, peekaboo paneling or bedazzled illusion effects (or all of the above), go for it. Or maybe you're more of a classic bride, in the mold of Kate Middleton in her lacy long sleeves or Grace Kelly in an old Hollywood ballgown, you do you. (Or just forgo that whole traditional gown business all together.)
In short, the usual suspects (lace, illusion, off-the-shoulder, yes, always and forever, strapless) abound for the upcoming season, so you have the freedom to totally be yourself on your wedding day — albeit maybe a more heightened you. But for spring 2018, there are some new and notable standout bridal trends, which include a few resurgences, but with fresh twists. (And, remember, if you don't find that wedding look that's the one, you can always customize.)
Diamonds and Pearls
The fashion week runway trickle down effect finally hit the bridal collections, from Reem Acra's fanciful bejeweled collection — presented at Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue, obviously — to Viktor & Rolf Mariage's exquisite pearl-like beading to Theia's full-on gem-themed collection (and bauble-covered dress that clacked down the runway and back that David Bowie would have totally approved of).
Black and White
While wearing all-black to your wedding might still be considered a bit subversive (and a bit maudlin), a touch of black — like with Elizabeth Fillmore's draped ribbon detail — adds an unexpected, but still classic flourish.
Stripped Down Corsets
The underwear-as-outerwear corset trend, which has been going strong for a few seasons now, strips down to delicate, uncovered boning. But the boudoir bustier look is elevated with swoon-y details, like embroidery, appliqués, guipure lace or stunning blue crystal work in Jenny Packham's circus-themed collection.
The last couple of bridal seasons included a smattering of pants (always a classic), but trousers are coming in especially strong for 2018. From Lela Rose's off-the-shoulder and pearl-detailed set to Naeem Khan's sequined jumpsuit — if dresses aren't your thing, now is definitely the time to be shopping for your bridal look.
Millennial Pink and Baby Blue
Unsurprisingly, millennial pink isn't just for sneakers and Suki Waterhouse's new fashion line. But pink isn't the only pastel making an appearance in bridalwear. Easter egg blue has also proved to be trendy, appearing on Reem Acra's gold-embroidered princess gown and Sachin and Babi's softly belted lace-topped dress.
Maybe it's Mandy Moore's authentic vintage wedding dress on "This Is Us," but '70s details abound for spring 2018 — especially flouncy clavicle-exposing ruffles and fluttery sleeves,. But expect updates, like Mira Zwillinger's floral illusion crop top and skirt set.
Spring 2018 also threw it back even further to the '20s and '30s Art Deco period, with elegant scallop-shaped beaded embellishments and embroidery, opulent and chandelier-esque layered necklaces and dreamy, swoop-y draping at the back. Oh, Lady Mary, we miss you.
Screw BBG and SoulCycle or whatever that latest boutique fitness thing is that's all over Instagram. Just define your waist with a belt, but bridal style, like Romona Keveza's delicate pearl or jewel-encrusted pieces or Galia Lahav's sexed up Victorian corset belt.
This season, the bridal staples of bulky layers of ruffle and tulle enjoy a lighter touch. Designers pared down the effect with soft, gossamer tiers to reveal beautiful lacework, intricate embroidery, striking embellishments or glimpses of bare leg underneath, like at Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim's debut collection for Oscar de la Renta.
Modern Puff Sleeves
Bridal gives the puff sleeve, from that awkward sartorial period of the late '80s and early '90s, a reboot for next spring. Whether it's Vera Wang's exaggerated shapes or Carolina Herrera's sheer pussy bow blouse — worn with pants, of course — there's nothing dated about this look.
There aren't many times when a cape can be considered practical, but when it comes to bridal outerwear, the garment just makes sense. It's romantic and regal and won't mess with the shape of your wedding dress. Plus, a cape is a statement piece on its own, as evidenced by Savannah Miller's adorable star-embroidered capelet (layered over a matching empire-waist gown) to Elie Saab's minimalist longline silhouette. Because even most tropical beach weddings can get a little chilly at night, so might as well be prepared.
Homepage and top image: Looks from the Marchesa Notte spring 2018 bridal collection. Photo: Yvonne Tnt