2012 bridal wear is sexy, classic, and feminine. From lace sleeves to illusion necklines, mini skirts to mullet silhouettes, this year has it all. Here to guide you through the major trends for this year is Weddings Online Features Editor Amy Croffey.
Dresses by Vera Wang
Blush was once the most popular shade of bridesmaid dress but this year it has made its way into the top trends for the bride herself. In her wedding to Jim Toth in March last year, Reese Witherspoon wowed guests in a very feminine, blush-hued, custom designed Monique Lhuillier gown and set the wheels in motion for a new wave of pink ladies for 2012. If you find blush a little too girly, try to veer towards a more understated, ‘neutral’ shade, and let your accessories pick up the blush tones.
2. Lace Sleeves
Image of Kate Middleton courtesy of The British Monarch | Dresses Monique Lhuillier
No matter what type of dress Kate Middleton wore for her wedding last year, it was sure to make its way onto the list of trends for 2012, so thank God she chose well! Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen revived the oh-so-classic lace sleeve look with her beautifully ladylike number. One huge body hang-up for a lot of brides-to-be is their arms, so this trend is perfect for hiding an area you may not have been able to tone in time in a very chic, on-trend way.
3. The Little White Dress
Dresses by Delphine Manivet
If you don’t consider yourself a traditional bride, and want to avoid a full length dress, then this is the year for you! The little white dress is the dress of the year and is perfect for a minimal, low key affair. Double points for wear-again-ability too!
4. Tea-Length Wedding Dress
Dresses by Justin Alexander
Cute, kitsch and perfect if you’re a lover of decades gone by. Justin Alexander’s Collection is full of beautiful 1950s styles that will add a hint of playfulness to your overall look. It goes without saying that show-stopping shoes are a must, go for a bright and bold coloured heel to really be on-trend.
5. The Feather Look
Dresses by Lazaro
The princess dress for 2012 is all about the skirt, and that skirt commands the attention of all who gaze upon it! The ‘feather’ skirt can be created with frayed organza and tulle, or with actual feathers (ostrich being a much-used variety) to give a more a boho edge to the look.
6. Off-the-Shoulder Dress
Dresses by Pronovias
This was once a very traditional look but now designers are pairing this shoulder-baring trend with a modern style bodice and skirt, giving the neckline a new lease of life. This style flatters most shapes and it is a great way to show off your shoulders with a bit more coverage than a strapless style.
7. The Slit
Dresses by Monique Lhuillier
The slit has made its way back onto the catwalk and it’s sexier than ever! A style that should be worn with a tight-fitting dress, the racy slit can still be very elegant and should be on the top of your list if you have great pins, but still want to wear a long dress.
8. High-Low Hemline
Dresses L-R: Tobi Hannah | Romona Keveza | Carol Hannah
Back by popular demand this year (possibly from the more indecisive bride!) are high-low hemlines! ‘Drama’ is one word that pops into your head when you see one of these knockout gowns, but always in a good way. Go for a graduated hem for a softer look, or if you want to make a statement try two separate layers. Wear this 90s look with a pair of killer heels to bring the whole style up to date.
9. The not-a-wedding-dress-wedding-dress
Images L-R: Stephanie Allin | Coast
Trouser suits, jumpsuits, playsuits and cocktail dresses… this year is all about loving what you’re wearing, even if it doesn’t happen to be a traditional white wedding dress. Whatever you do however, make sure to get something you adore, it is your big day after all!
10. Illusion Necklines
Images from Reem Acra
The sheer neckline is probably the most universal bridal trend for 2012, and was present in almost every bridal collection for this year. A strapless look with all the comfort of a tee-shirt style neckline is perfect for the more demure bride. Added embellishments such as embroidered flowers, lace, or even diamantes give a more glamorous feel to the overall look.
Get even more inspiration on our Fashion pages!