Over the last year, my Instagram saved folder has slowly become a vision in white, which may or may not have to do with the fact that I finally have a great boyfriend. As weddings have started to pick up again, I can’t help but swoon over the incredible wedding dresses that have been absent from my feed for so long! Exaggerated silhouettes, puff sleeves and lace-trimmed veils have returned with a brilliant vengeance after brides have endured delay after delay—and although I have no intention of getting married anytime soon, I have every intention of using my free time to plan and re-plan the multiple outfit changes I would like to have at my wedding. The top 2022 wedding dress trends play with the boundary of traditional norms, making it an extremely fun year to say “I do.”
The most stunning weddings I see are when the bride looks like an elevated version of herself. The notion of a white bridal gown naturally starts to feel a bit uniform, but once you consider options outside of the traditional bridal silhouettes, a white dress can actually take on many forms. Like most fashion trends, the emergence of the modern bride has started to gain traction in Europe.
Camille Charriere, a Paris-based fashion influencer, has taken over Instagram with her “Roaring 2020s”-themed wedding that included not one, not two, but three outfit changes. The looks included a fitted vintage Jean Paul Gaultier suit and two completely sheer dresses: Celine for the ceremony and an up-cycled vintage lace dress for the reception. You can stalk it all on her Instagram, obvi.
The dresses check all of the usual boxes (lace, sequins, white) and yet feel especially unique. While you absolutely don’t need to have your underwear on display at your wedding as Charriere did, I think every modern bride should look to her for inspiration on infusing personal style into rigid wedding dress norms.
Bridal designers are joining in on the fun—and many of their 2022 collections truly push the envelope. A traditional white dress will never be a bad choice, but if you’re looking for inspiration to turn “I do.” to “I do!”, read on for the best and boldest wedding dress trends to consider in 2022.
This Yolancris wedding dress has a lot going on with thick ribbed material, a strapless neckline, puff sleeves and the two-piece top/skirt—and yet, it comes together to look clean and simple. This is a great option if you like a traditional wedding dress shape but want to play up the details.
Vera Wang is a wedding dress master and the evidence is in the details of this completely pearl-studded dress. On it’s own, the simple pearl silhouette is streamlined and modern, but the eye-catching flower on the shoulder adds a vintage-inspired element.
Simone Rocha does not specifically design dresses for brides, but almost the entire SS2022 Ready-To-Wear collection is perfect for a wedding. The Victorian-inspired silhouettes are extra dramatic, and the shorter hems make them perfect for a more casual venue.
The Kate Middleton Effect
The Kate Middleton effect still hasn’t worn off, and probably never will because It. Is. timeless. The wide train of this dress paired with the neck-to-floor pearl embellishments give her look a 2022 twist.
This sheer color-blocked dress would be perfect for a beach wedding or as a fun reception second dress! A slip runs beneath the full dress so it has the playful sheer detail without being too revealing.
If you’re not marrying into literal royalty, this dress is the next best thing. The layered tulle ruffles give the dress incredible texture, guaranteeing all eyes on you.
A mermaid silhouette is a classic way to show off your figure. The deep v-cut of the bodice and contrasting feather-like bottom gives a modern-day princess effect that takes the streamlined shape and amps it up just enough.
If a full-on deep V scares you, go for something sheer but supportive! The sheer top of this Justin Alexander dress shows skin without getting too PG 13. Plus, that lacy sheer train is just too die for.
High Collars + Puff Sleeves
This wedding dress is a refined ode to what many of our parents probably wore to get married in the ’80s—only far better, I promise. The combination of dramatic accents like a high neckline with puff sleeves contrasts beautifully against an otherwise simple silhouette.
The ultra-chic cape sleeve is back in style! This silhouette pairs beautifully with a veil or can be worn without, as the draping gives a veil-like shape to the dress by itself. If you’re a low-key bride, a cape-sleeve could be a good one-and-done option.
If a huge gown isn’t for you, consider wearing something more structured, like a suit jacket-inspired mini dress. This Edem style will look just as amazing at City Hall as it will at a swanky afterparty.
Cecile Bahnsen is another design that does not specifically make wedding gowns, but has incredible options for a more casual bride. This simple dress can easily be jazzed up with glittery heels and a dramatic veil, or paired with sandals for a beachier vibe with just enough frill.
Contrasting Black Accents
If the tiered silhouette of this wedding gown alone wasn’t stunning enough, the black piping and bow detail make it wearable art. Black instantly breaks the all-white bridal mold, but keeping to a classic shape with the sweetheart neckline keeps the dress from feeling too funky.
This modern jumpsuit is still very feminine, with a boned bodice, shoulder train and off-the-shoulder detail. However, the flared pants obviously break the wedding dress tradition. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, an ornate jumpsuit is the move.
Detachable Statement Sleeves
Dramatic sleeve are a big trend in 2022, and going with a detachable option allows you to participate as much as you want! I love when brides wear a statement sleeve down the aisle and then remove them for the reception, as it gives the illusion of two dresses for the price of one.