New York City's biannual bridal week has been even buzzier this season with Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's royal nuptials on the near horizon — and a surprise runway wedding proposal that brought the usually stoic front row to tears. (Although, a prerequisite for being a bridal editor is zero shame for flaunting an unabashed belief in love, so the heartfelt moment was actually pretty on-brand for the week.)
In addition to the welcome distractions, the Spring 2019 runways revealed what brides will be wearing down the aisle next year — and the results were also a bit of a surprise. While deep plunge, exposed backs and sultry illusion details are now wedding staples, a pivot toward covered-up simplicity and glamour emerged. Refreshed interpretations of classic silhouettes and textures might encourage a change of heart in a bride who wasn't before intrigued by the traditional. Plus, elaborate embellishments, exquisite florals and modern non-dress looks continued to evolve from last season. (And, obviously, everyone has royal fever.)
Take a look through the top 11 bridal trends for Spring 2019 below.
Even though Meghan Markle Wedding Gown Speculation will conclude with the reveal on May 19, 2018, Royal Wedding Mania will continue to at least Spring 2019 — through bridal styles, anyway. At Theia, Don O'Neill took inspiration from British royal weddings throughout history, while Romona Keveza Legends looked to European and American royalty — think Princess Grace of Monaco and Rita Hayworth. Meanwhile, Jenny Packham recreated Kate Middleton's green, black-belted and much-discussed BAFTAs look as an ethereal lilac gown that's like a Jane Austen novel come to life.
The New Naked Dress
Designers sent pristine, unembellished and unadorned gowns in clean and streamlined silhouettes down the runway for next season. But just because the gowns aren't bedazzled with jewels or covered in delicate lace doesn't mean they're any less stunning, from gossamer-like illusion-sleeved ball gowns by Romona Keveza Collection and Nouvelle Amsale to clean, high-neck halter perfection by Savannah Miller.
Modern Ball Gowns
In general, voluminous, doorway-grazing and bathroom-escort-requiring ball gowns will forever be a bridal mainstay, but Spring 2019 offered more modern interpretations. Gracy Accad injected a relaxed and playful vibe into the traditionally structured silhouette, while Viktor & Rolf Mariage created literal edge with asymmetrical layers of tulle. Plus, Victoria KyriaKides's bustier-topped champagne confection — part of her Marvel heroine-inspired collection — would actually look like a dream on D.C.'s super-chic Diana Prince (a.k.a. Wonder Woman), as played by the super-chic Gal Gadot.
Studio 54 Throwback
Designers also reveled in the electrifying '70s with disco-ball metallic detailing, from Elizabeth Fillmore's silver sequin-splashed silk charmeuse slip to Mira Zwillinger's mirrored paillette and off-the-shoulder look to Jenny Packham's full-on sterling gown. Although, Naeem Khan went with sensational all-over gold — and mini — for a banger of an after-party.
With stunning crystal-work, brilliant sequins, luxurious pearls and exquisite beading, designers went all out with embellishments for Spring 2019. Naeem Khan meshed "The Great Gatsby" and "Saturday Night Fever" with an all-over beaded fringe gown, while Theia created its own soundtrack with a deco-patterned and pearl-encrusted dress that clicked and clacked down the runway.
Flutter sleeves reminiscent of the free-spirited '70s made an appearance in a range of oh-so-pretty lengths, from Mira Zwillinger's floral-embroidered off-the-shoulder layers to Claire Pettibone's long, sheer lace fluted sleeves to Alexandra Grecco's structured ruffles at the shoulder.
While it's perma-winter wedding season over here on the East Coast, spring is in full bloom on next season's bridal gowns. Flowers are practically blossoming off the dresses, with Vera Wang's almost subversively oversized abstract florals on a tulle gown and Viktor & Rolf Mariage's breathtakingly beautiful lily blossom appliqué, an addition to its signature floral motif.
The structured bows and dripping ribbon detailing are still going strong from last season, but now, they've gotten super-sized — like Gala by Galia Lahav's champagne silk-satin bow-train (and on a sequined lace jumpsuit, no less) and Lela Rose's sculptural front-tie on a strapless ball gown. Designers also doubled up on bows, bedazzled them or even added a shock of a color contrast for an extra kick.
Reflecting the evolution of music festival fashion, the classic lace wedding dress also moved on from the Boho aesthetic. For Spring 2019, designers showed an almost rocked-out take on the delicate, free-spirited bridal favorite beyond the Coachella-friendly slip-dress. The looks ran the gamut from edgy, '80s-inspired corsetry (think: "Like a Virgin"-era Madonna) to Gracy Accad's moto-topped brocade mini to Elizabeth Fillmore's 3D lace blossom midi-skirt suit.
At this point, capes have become a wedding staple. The layer just makes sense: Its fluid silhouette enhances the shape of any dress and offers functionality, whether covering the shoulders for the ceremony or keeping you warm for a winter wedding or chilly evening. Of course, designers must to out-do themselves each season, which they have, from exquisite embroidery to dramatic ruffles to museum-worthy and sculptural capelets that are just as stunning as the dress.
The tailored, non-dress silhouettes for Spring 2019 offer just as many aesthetics and vibes as traditional gowns: elegant tuxedos, sexy jumpsuits, playful short-and-jacket sets and even sporty co-ords (ahem, Naeem Khan's sequined tracksuit). So, think about wedding pants — or the anti-dress mini, the romper — for the new classic bridal silhouette.
Homepage photo: Taylor Jewell for Lela Rose