After the pandemic upended several wedding seasons in a row, 2022 has undoubtedly marked the return of ceremonies. The wedding industry is again in full swing, and with the extra time that many brides have had to think about and plan their weddings, there have been some shifts. Many of the pre-pandemic wedding and bridal trends have fallen by the wayside and been replaced by others that are more efficient and personal.
My wedding was a few years ago, and I'm not quite as up on the bridal trends anymore because of that, so I reached out to someone who is, Anny Choi. Choi is the head stylist for the popular wedding site Over the Moon. (Side note: If you ask me, working with a stylist for your wedding looks is perhaps the greatest trend to emerge.)
I picked Choi's very knowledgeable brain about the wedding trends stylish brides are done with and those they're embracing. Some may surprise you, so read on for her expert insight.
Avoiding: Matching Bridesmaid Dresses
"Every single client I have worked with since 2018 has gone the mix-and-match route when it comes to their bridesmaids' dresses. Gone are the days of unflattering 'bridesmaids' dresses that never look good on anyone. At the end of the day, the brides want their bridesmaids to look and feel their best, and letting them choose their own silhouettes is the best way to ensure everyone is happy. Everyone will be working with a different budget most likely, so this is a great way to diversify that also. Instead, they are coming up with bigger themes like 'shades of blue' or 'primary colors' or 'spring florals' and so on."
"Obviously, there will be a bride here and there who will want added height for their big ball gown or something, but even then, they will opt for some sort of comfortable platforms. More and more brides are opting for comfort first when it comes to their wedding shoes to ensure they can dance through the night without having to worry about ripping their dress or being in pain all night long."
Avoiding: Only Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
"Calling all the bridesmen and groomswomen! This old idea that the bridal party has to be all women and the groomsmen all men is such an antiquated idea in 2022. I am seeing more and more women incorporating their male best friends and inquiring about styling services for the whole group."
Avoiding: Only Simple, Classic Jewelry
"Not your grandmother's pearls. I think when you think of wedding jewelry, simple, classic pearls or diamond studs come to mind. With brands like Mateo and Sophie Bille Brahe on the rise, more and more brides are opting for these modern pearls for their wedding wardrobes [and] also experimenting with more statement jewelry for the other weekend looks."
Avoiding: All-White Everything
"Almost every bride I work with wants to incorporate more color and print into their wedding wardrobe. One reason is that they want to invest in pieces that they'll wear again, and they just want to have more fun with their look and be able to shop beyond the white pieces available to them. There are ways to ensure that the bride still stands out in color or print, so this is always a fun project to tackle."
Avoiding: Ordering a Traditional Wedding Dress Months in Advance
"With more and more brands doing white pieces each season and starting a made-to-order bridal business, brides now have more options to choose from. Whether that be a Galvan slip-style gown that you can simply buy off the rack or a white Erdem dress that skews bridal, the women who want something a bit less traditional have the option to buy something off the rack a couple of weeks before their wedding."
"I am seeing more and more brides stray away from the traditional bridal white and opting for prints and color instead. It could be a more subtle floral print, which Monique Lhuillier does so well with her signature lily of the valley prints on her wedding dresses for a more modern and fashion-forward ceremony look. Or it could be a bolder way to add color like red or gold for the rehearsal dinner. I am seeing a lot of brides hosting an all-white welcome party (big trend this year!) so that they can wear something more fun and bright to stand out while all of the guests wear white."
"The number one thing brides want when working with a stylist is that they want something one of a kind and something that hasn't been too seen everywhere. Enter the vintage look! Incorporating a fabulous vintage piece into your wedding wardrobe is probably the best way to create that unique, never-been-seen look. Lily at Happy Isles is incredible at sourcing these special pieces."
Embracing: Thinking Outside the Box and Being Adventurous
"Now that weddings have become an Instagram takeover, as a stylist, I also treat it like an editorial shoot for a spread, making sure each look has a personality of its own but also cohesive throughout the weekend like in a story in a magazine. More and more brides are straying away from the more traditional looks and letting their personality shine through. It could be about making a pair of fabulous shoes the center of a look if she is a shoe fanatic, opting for a pantsuit, or adding their own bespoke personalization to a dress we buy off the rack. So this could mean adding feathers to something, adding pearl scatters, adding a 'something blue' sash… The ideas are endless, and brides are willing to explore and have a bit more fun with their wedding wardrobes."
Embracing: Renting and Borrowing
"Rentals and being conscious of what they can wear again after the wedding and investing in those pieces [is another trend]. Jewelry rentals and dress rentals [are] being considered more and more normal—especially pieces you know you will only wear once. Brides will want to find an alternative solution versus wasting a lot of money on it. They are borrowing veils from friends, buying their after-party dresses secondhand, and finding fun ways to add 'something borrowed' into their weekend wardrobe. I have a client who has a pair of wedding earrings that their entire friend group has worn and is basically the sisterhood of the traveling earrings!"