Lace is an eternally beautiful material for wedding dresses, and it’s a style that has lasted for centuries in the fashion world. It’s a favourite amongst designers worldwide, its reputation huge. And it’s not hard to see why!
A lace wedding dress by Kudos Couture Bridal and Evening Wear
Lace seems to be everywhere, and the biggest designers are using it all over the world. They have been for years! Its regard may in part be due to the fine craftsmanship that is handmade lace, but the popularity of the white lace wedding dress is often attributed to Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in her lace-trimmed gown, train, and veil. Celebrities really help to push the reputation of this fine material—just look at Grace Kelly, whose wedding dress is famed in the fashion world. Now lace is everywhere, from bridalwear to wedding decoration.
Lace features in many for the trends for next year, (as shown in our Top Bridal Trends for 2015 article), most prominently with the likes of nude lace. The design acts as a bit of an optical illusion that may, for some, seem a little bit racy. But it gives some absolutely beautiful effects, and a look like that of old vintage.
Being a very traditional, flattering material, lace is wonderful for a vintage or art deco wedding. It really adds a pretty elegance to the wearer, and with the ornate designs available right across the material, you can get any number of beautiful finishes to the dress. Open backs seem to be a big trend for next year, and lace can really set off that effect. Also bohemian gowns and tea length dresses really run with lace, giving some of the most stunning designs.
Choosing the Right Material
A selection of lace wedding dresses by Alfred Angelo
If you’re worried a full-lace wedding dress isn’t for you however, don’t fret! You can still get that spark of vintage with lace sleeves, shoes, a cloak, jacket or bolero, or a belt, veil or a hairpiece. Perhaps even a handkerchief or a pair of gloves? Lace is a very flexible material to work with; with it, you can get any number of styles: chic or floaty, grand or unadorned. You may even consider some appliqué work, where bits of lace are stitched by hand to parts of the dress in order to accent it. Don’t be afraid to try out different colours either—ivory lace on a white dress, or white on pale pink or blue-silver? Brides are no longer going after the classic white wedding. Feel free to shake it up!
Choose your lace carefully, as it can come in many forms and give any number of stunning effects—some is denser and heavier with deep patterns, some is lighter and softer, its design delicate. And then there is even lace decorated with beads and sequins, crystals, gems and pearls, and these really echo the fashion of the Roaring Twenties or the Victorian era. Research thoroughly by perhaps keeping a scrapbook of the materials you like, and the dress designs you love, and be careful when it comes to buying your dress/accessories. There are many cheap knock-offs in the world so it’s advised that you seek professional advice on what to look for when buying your items. Of course, not all of the cheaper lace is a bad thing, for when it’s done right it can really suit a bride on a budget and still look magnificent.
DIY and Re-Use
Lace wedding dresses by Swoon Bridal
Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Let’s focus on the something old: in the spirit of tradition, some brides may decide they want to wear a dress that their mother or even their grandmother wore for her wedding day. Vintage wedding dresses are really beautiful and can hold a really special place in your heart if they hold such history and sentimental value. The only problem may arise when you realise how old that dream dress could then be—it could have stained with age, and been spoiled after so many years sitting in a box. Of course, these days a wedding dress can be professionally stored to minimise damage, but that doesn’t always happen.
Ideally, you should seek professional advice on how to treat older materials, lace included, for both preservation and bringing the dress out of its box. You run the risk of ruining the dress and its possibly-delicate material if you attempt it yourself armed with nothing but bleach and a washing machine.
If even professional advice fails, there are other options such as having a dress custom-made using the same or a similar design from the older dress. Or, if you really want to, you could have the original retouched—e.g. you could take parts of the original dress and put them with something newer. It’s not unheard of for a bride to make her own dress from scratch either.
Where to Buy Your Lace Wedding Dress
Art Couture Bridal appliqué lace wedding dress
As already mentioned, it’s an unfortunate truth that many people try and rip others off by means of cheap knock-off dresses. Lace wedding dresses in particular are a hard-hit design due to their demand and prestige. But you can find and buy lace wedding dresses that are genuine from any number of stockists across the UK (or wherever it is that you live). You will also find them at seasonal wedding shows and fairs, where you can try the dresses on and walk home with one on the day. And, if you feel you can trust them, there are numerous online sales sites where you may find other brides selling their own wedding dresses—we even have a section in our brides’ forums dedicated to the selling of wedding dresses.
There is indeed much to consider when hunting for your perfect lace wedding dress, from trends and tradition to styles and statements, but if you look thoroughly enough you’ll find the perfect one for you.
Leanne manages Confetti's Instagram account (@confettiwedding) and is one of Confetti's article writers. She enjoys being a highly creative person with a life-long passion for art and creative writing; she has a determined dream of becoming a published author. She values giving help and advice to everyone she can, and loves talking to new people.