Gone are the days of white or antique white gowns, puffy sleeves and drowning in tulle (three cheers!). The best 2016 trends for trendy brides are all about being your most fabulous self.

There are a myriad of distinct and shapely silhouettes, flourishes of floral appliques, a plunging of necklines and backlines, a playful raising of hemlines to knee and above the knee, and details that are feather fancy.  Other wonderful trends are the use of colors like blush and peach, accents of black, red, and silver lace, and silver floral appliques.   The dresses all are recognizable as wedding dresses, but all have unique touches that set them off.  As a bride, you no longer have to think of a signature color draped about the church or reception hall,  but think of your signature of style.

Distinct and Shapely Silhouettes and COLOR

H1272_F This wedding dress by MOONLIGHT  number H 1272-F  is available through Simply Modern Bridal.

The stunning wedding dress ABOVE by MOONLIGHT Bridal is available from Simply Modern Bridal of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  It nearly needs the model to wear a veil or hold a bouquet in order to recognize it as a wedding dress versus a ball gown because it combines several of the best trends, which is a good thing if you are looking to stand out among brides.  The designer utilizes color and a striking silhouette to ensure all eyes will be on the bride.  The spill of black lace is elegant and very haute coutour.  Unless everyone else is dressed in ball gowns, there will be no way to mistake the young lady in this dress to be the bride, and she will not soon be forgotten.  So very ooh la la!

12179158_812082465555643_215280889_n This sweet pink gown by Olivia K Bridal can be purchased through miLA Bridal.


Less may mean more to you, so if bold color is too much, a softer, sweeter application of color might be what you need.  The gown featured ABOVE by Olivia K Bridal can be purchased through miLA Bridal located at Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Virginia.  I feel like some cute cowgirl boots could be hidden under this dress to give your style a little kick, although some beautiful heels with complimentary beading would be in perfect harmony, too.

*TIP:  Ask yourself, no matter what gown you fall in love with, what touch you could add to reveal more of your personality?  Vintage jewelry?  Cowboy boots?  Sky-high heels?  A bright, colorful bouquet?


Enzoani_2016_Pro_Kacey_Fro_Web This gown by Enzoani called “Kacey” is available through Serendipity Bridal & Events.

The gown pictured ABOVE by Enzoani, called “Kacey,” shows how subtle some color, such as silver lace applique, can set your gown apart from the history of all-white wedding gowns, but not in a shocking way.  You can purchase this gown through Serendipity Bridal & Event.


Enzoani_2016_Pro_Kacey_Bac_Web The back of the gown is important in considering silhouette. The back of the Kacey gown by Enzoani is very shapely.

**Tip:  You should go to the designer’s websites and look at just the outline of the dresses.  No need to look like a cake topper! 

Tiers of Shape and Style

H1250_AD2 Wedding dress by MOONLIGHT number H 1250_AD2 is available through Simply Modern Bridal.

Even if you go with all white there is still ways to make your gown stand out, like with the gown pictured ABOVE also by MOONLIGHT Bridal sold through Simply Modern Bridal.  There are dresses to give you a distinct and unique silhouette that is flattering to your form.  It is also worth noting the textures and layering effect.  This gown reminds me of some old, romantic days of Hollywood.  It has glamor.

Short and Simple and Sweet

T721_F This tea length gown by MOONLIGHT number T721 is available from Simply Modern Bridal.

Long, flowing gowns are not the only choice in shapes and lengths.  What is called tea length is making itself known on different designer websites.  This dress ABOVE by MOONLIGHT Bridal sold through Simply Modern Bridal conveys youth and reminds me of the mod-inspired fashion trend I’ve seen about and around downtown Richmond.  It is adorable and fresh.

*Tip:  No need to trip on your hem or hide your shapely calves, you can have a wedding dress at any length and can even have it higher in the front with a long train in the back.  


D8035_AD This dress is by Val Stafani number D8035 and is available through Simply Modern Bridal.

I remember forbidding “dead birds” at my wedding as I couldn’t stand the arrangements with the doves’ stiff wings and beady eyes.  BUT when I saw gowns using feathers, I was moved.

This particular dress by Val Stafani  sold through Simply Modern Bridal, which is pictured ABOVE and BELOW, is sweet, romantic, and elegant with its feathery skirting.  In no way does the feathery look appear overplayed or costume.  I think the beaded bodice might help anchor this dress’s elegance, keeping it in the vein of haute couture.

D8035_B The back view of this dress shows off how feathery soft the skirt is cascading down, like a swan swims across a placid pond, versus a Bjork wobbling down a red carpet.



This feathery gown by Olivia K Bridal can be purchased through miLA House of Design.

The gown ABOVE by Olivia K Bridal, which can be purchased through miLA Bridal in Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Virginia, does have feathers whispered about the dress from shoulder to hemline.  It is ethereal with a grounded, traditional dress silhouette.  You would not be going too far out on a limb in this Audobon inspired number.

*TIP:  I recommend staying away from any feathery feature that looks like you are being strangled by a boa from a Las Vegas showgirl.

So before booking your appointment at the bridal dress shop or breezing into one of the gown shops at a mall, have a look at what designers are offering for 2016 by visiting our Wedding Gowns page.

Remember, you can play with colors, lengths, silhouettes, and appliques.

I’ve even seen a plaid waistband and bow that was both personal and original without shattering the idea of a wedding dress.  My personal favorite was a dress that had flowers’ petals standing out from the surface of the dress; each flower had a flourish of a feather and some pearl beads; a dream of a wedding dress.

Ask about the addition of personal touches, like a special lace pattern or plaid ribbon.  If the dress doesn’t come complete as you like from a designer, ask about wait a tailor might be able to do to put a unique twist on your dress.

Wedding dresses are now individual concepts only limited by your willingness to experiment.

The author: Dawn Van Ness

Dawn Dickson Van Ness grew up at the beach and has published her work in print and online. With a BA in English and a MS in Mass Communications, she has used writing and multimedia to promote artists, art shows, writers, small businesses, and other self-employed individuals by building websites and maintaining social media pages. She feels most fulfilled when she is helping others achieve their dreams, which includes writing self-help and steps-to-success articles for various websites. It seems a natural fit for this wife and mother of two to write features that help soon-to-be wed couples. For more about Dawn, go to www.dawnvanness.me.
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