The year of the lord 2022 is looking to be the biggest year for weddings — arguably since 1984 (as in, the setting of "Stranger Things" season two.)
According to The Wedding Report, a bonkers 2.5 million weddings will take place this year, with couples making up for lost time and capturing the most joy and happiness with much-missed friends and family (and maybe a furry pal). The Knot Wedding Trends Report 2022 also found that these celebrations won't just be a one-day event, but multiple. All of which means: The fashion is also going big.
After two years of uncertainty, rescheduled ceremonies and, perhaps, new engagements (congrats!), people understandably want to capture the most joy and express their most individual selves on one of the biggest day — or days — of their lives. And, based on the Spring 2023 bridal collections (and a few in-person runways this time) the designers are here to help.
Per usual, there's something for everyone, from the slip-dress minimalist to the corseted period piece protagonist to the lace-clad beach bride. But the details and silhouettes feel particularly celebratory in innovation, intricacy and pure exuberance. Brands also have looks for all events surrounding a wedding, be it a tailored pantsuit for a rehearsal dinner or tons of bold minis for after-after parties.
Ahead, click through galleries for the top 12 wedding dress (and pants!) trends from Spring 2023. (Spoiler: "Bridgerton" bridal continues to go strong.)
Yes, florals are wedding canon at this point, but representations of flora are notably breathtaking this time around. For his sophomore collection as Amsale Head Designer, Mihca Cho interprets his Billie Holiday inspiration through stunning lilac and mint silk tulle night bloom appliqués, which he draped and designed just 48 hours before the intimate presentation at the atelier. Halfpenny London's detachable, ruffle-flower puff-sleeves look just as gorgeous with a slip dress as they do on an off-the-shoulder gown, while floral appliqués enchant in the far-flung travel-inspired Ines di Santos collection.
No, we're not talking about the 2022 Met Gala theme or Bertha Russell's Parisian wardrobe in "The Gilded Age" — though, TV's new society doyenne would be drawn to this level of opulent sequins, crystals, pearls and bead embellishments.
Charles Dieujuste brings Scorcesa's "Sea Siren" theme, inspired by Haiti's beautiful beaches, to life with a cut-out, white sequin-skirted dress, with a floating cloud-like mermaid train. Galia Lahav Couture's luxury-embracing line is stacked with reflective paillettes and sequins; and the name of little sister Gala's glimmering collection, "Shine," says it all.
Designers find a myriad of ways to bring the runway-favored (and nostalgic) cut-out trend down the aisle, with geometric side panels, keyhole fronts, midriff peeks and the mid-back strap (or "bra-strap back" in my note-taking short-hand).
The return of Houghton — sadly sans Bridal Week VIP Jonesy — features '80s-referential ruched and crystal-heart-buckled body-con dresses in varied lengths. Sachin & Babi plays with delicate lace inserts (and neckline-trim) with an Old Hollywood motif. I gasped when I saw Colombia-based Francesca Miranda's figure-hugging gown, complete with rows and rows of delicately-draped silk strips over an embroidered lace underlay, which could also fall under the dancing dress category.
Designers enhance another wedding staple — corsetry — with inventive shapes and elements for Spring 2023. Verdin Bridal, by Marchesa and Reem Acra alum Gustavo Nunez, reimagines a classic column with futuristic exposed boning countered by a romantic draped bodice, while Andrea Pitter's Pantora Bridal adds flirty feathery wisps to enhance the defined lines of the décolletage.
Highs and Lows
Reflecting fashion trends of decades past and present, the waistlines of wedding dresses fluctuate like a NASDAQ index: high, low and even asymmetrical.
For her debut bridal collection, Rosie Assoulin playfully combines a halter-neckline, a drop-waistline and sculptural, 18th-century pannier-like skirting. Elizabeth Fillmore and Savannah Miller return to the '90s (and Regency Era) with empire waisted slip silhouettes. LoveShackFancy's inaugural bridal line covers both extremes, with its signature embroidered lace ruffles and eyelets.
An Eloise Bridgerton Engagement
Ironically, the Bridgerton sibling least interested in the marriage market pop up the most in the latest bridal collections.
Season two costume designer Sophie Canale's hope for Eloise (Claudia Jessie)'s adorable Spencer jacket to become a trend comes through in Spring 2023. Look to Amsale's versatile ivory cropped layer and Rosie Assoulin's crisp, button-up pencil skirt-suit. Stephanie White's romantic cool bride line Odylyne the Ceremony evokes the headstrong character's ethereal high necks and billowing sleeves. Eloise might also appreciate the literary inspirations, like Kim Kassas's ode to Romeo and Juliet with beaded lace and demure necklines, plus Savannah Miller's sweet puff sleeve homage to Emily Brontë's poem "Spellbound." (Although, on second thought, maybe arty brother Benedict would be more into those mentions.)
Tying the Knot, Literally
Bows abound for 2023, from Rebecca Vallance's petite double bows on a cut-out ruched mini with a tulle overskirt to Pantora Bridal's oversize bow-like shrug, layered onto a strapless mermaid gown.
All the Colors
Rules are no longer regarding wearing white to your wedding. (And who cares, anyway?) Plus, numbers don't lie: Online marketplace Love the Sales found that demand for "color wedding dresses" jumped by 50% over the past 12 months — and there are plenty out there.
Amsale's strapless lavender gown features hand-painted night blooms and moonflowers, with a bow at the back (check, check and check), while a rainbow of hand-embroidered florals decorate a gossamery fingertip-length veil from Francesca Miranda. Nadia Manjarrez pays homage to her Mexican heritage with a stunning blue ballgown featuring removable balloon sleeves, inspired by the country's national flower, the dahlia.
Matching Capes, Trains and Veils
Like a ready-to-wear matching set, wedding co-ords are classic (and effortless). Designers have fresh and edgy takes on them for Spring 2023, though: Kim Kassas connects shimmering sparkle on a shoulder veil with a structural peplum, Reem Acra grows 3D florals on a billowing chapel-length cloak and corset gown, Verdin charms with delicate leaf embroidery on an airy capelet and A-line dress.
Complex Pleating and Draping
It's as if designers spent the last two lockdown years feverishly innovating their pleating and draping techniques in their studios. Danielle Frankel's variegated pleating methods feel futuristically experimental this season. Peter Langner weaves strips of ruched tulle for a ruffle-framed bodice, and Scorcesa remains on-theme with an inventive seashell-shape bralette.
Wedding interpretations of tailored classics, like suiting and crisp button-ups, work for all matrimonial occasions, dependent on your mood and style. Sheila Frank's size-inclusive collection takes inspiration from Victorian menswear silhouettes (think a duster robe with fabric-covered buttons and blazer dresses). Rowley Hesselballe London pays homage to "The Queen's Gambit" with a confident ivory pantsuit and bandeau top, while Meghan Markle favorite Safiyaa offers a range of ultra chic suits with intricate beading, cuts and draping that will make you cry with joy. Plus, Rosie Assoulin does bridal cargos you can definitely wear again.
Dresses to Dance the Night Away
A celebratory wedding boom year obviously needs a suitable party — or after-party, or after-after party — dress. Or, let's be honest, dresses, and there are a lot.
Belgium-based Valentine Avoh accents a strapless tea-length confection with quilted playful quilting. Monique Lhuillier celebrates la dolce vita with a colorful floral-embroidered mini and an off-the-shoulder draped dress. Or consider the alterna-mini with David's Bridal's adorable crystal-belted romper.