The “perfect” wedding dress is in the eye of the beholder. Ultimately, what catches a bride's attention is the style of a gown—one that will make the bride look and feel utterly confident. And with such high stakes when it comes to finding "the one", it's worth expanding your sights well beyond the limits of the Northern Hemisphere. Specifically, there are a wealth of designers based out of Australia who cater to brides of all styles, sizes, budgets, and so much more.
As with any region, Australian designers offer a variety of bridalwear options, but one common theme among this group is their ability to produce unique and nontraditional wedding looks—ensembles that favor brides who have a strong sense of personal style. This may range from those who prefer dramatic sleeves over a train, or embroidered colors over prim bows. Additionally, brides-to-be with minimalist aesthetics may love Australian designs since many of the dresses are sleek slips in luxe silks, gowns with clean tailoring, and pieces that can easily be styled and worn well after the wedding day.
Ahead, explore 10 Australian bridal designers that are accessible all over the globe.
Grace Loves Lace
World-renowned bridal label Grace Loves Lace was launched in 2010 by Megan Ziems, inspired by the struggle to find her own dream wedding dress. The result is a line of unconventional offerings that feature comfortable, yet daring, silhouettes. The use of lace, silk, and other unique trims bring each of her gowns to life—dresses that feel special and fairytale-like, but still distinct and unexpected. “Grace Loves Lace is inspired by the unique bride—a woman of style, substance and passion,” the brand shares of its hand-crafted and ethically made pieces.
The Grace Loves Lace Bride:
For brides who plan to move and dance all night long, Grace Loves Lace is a brand you’ll want to peruse. “From the beginning, our signature aesthetic has been luxury you can dance in,” says Ziems. “We are known for the way we layer and mix fabrics, and trims in unique combinations and silhouettes that are comfortable and allow you to move and actually enjoy your whole day. Our gowns are lightweight with no restrictive elements like zips, boning, or heavy materials.”
As Ziems explains, wedding dresses, above all, must make each bride feel amazing and comfortable. “Our most recent collection, Disco Daydream, features a spectacular reflective textured satin which is a really exciting visual fabric,” she shares. “We were inspired to develop styles that would allow the fabric to be the hero and the woman wearing them to feel really special.”
Megan Condipodero was a dental nurse before making the leap to launch her design business in 2015. Today, she’s the brains behind Marquise Bridal, a brand that has a strong cult following.
“Forever evolving our vision of modern and the pursuit of perfection, Marquise Bridal continues to redefine bridal trends with a commitment to uncompromisable quality, craftsmanship, and luxury textiles,” says Condipodero. “The result is sultry, romantic, and luxury gowns for the modern bride.”
The Marquise Bridal Bride:
Condipodero says her brides possess a quiet confidence. Her gowns fittingly include bold embellishments and full skirts, but in thoughtful placements and amounts. “Currently featured in our latest collection is elevated elegance in the form of our signature corsetry and form-fitting silhouettes, [and] glam beading complimented with softly pleated tulles. [They’re] our most statement gowns thus far,” she says.
Still, Condipodero suggests that the success of her designs depends, not necessarily on the trends incorporated into them, but how a bride feels in the garment. “Something I have learned along the years is that, whilst there are some rules about the right ‘shape’ for brides, if the bride feels like herself in the gown, then that is the gown she will glow in—even if it defies traditionally styling ‘rules.’”
With a love of design and fashion instilled in her at a young age, Cathleen Jia went from creating bespoke pieces for her dolls to designing stunning and understatedly elegant looks for weddings. Melbourne-based, Jia launched her eponymous line nearly a decade ago with “the belief that drama does not need to be loud, [which] is entrenched within the heart of the brand,” the brand’s site explains.
The Cathleen Jia Bride:
For brides who love a sleek, modern, and minimalist aesthetic, Jia’s designs feature luxe silks and satins in timeless silhouettes, with a range of whites and neutral-alternative tones. The label will also appeal to brides making conscious fashion choices, as well. “The devotion to eliminating wastage by hand cutting silks and meticulous detail application breathes life and romance into your modern-day bridal look,” the site shares of its sustainable efforts.
Made With Love Unique Bridal
Made With Love is a family-run business launched by Carla Jenkins in 2013. Inspired by the struggle to find her own wedding dress, Jenkins came to develop her own range of gowns that have become known for their daring, plunge-neckline silhouettes.
The Made With Love Bride:
“You can spot an MWL girl a mile away,” Jenkins shares with Brides. “She is the first one to eat the cake and the last one on the dance floor. She knows who she is.”
The collection includes full-body sparkle and lace, tiered layers of tulle that will float down any aisle, and deep-cut necklines that aren’t for the faint of heart—all available up to size 26 US. “I want my designs to compliment all bodies so everyone can be an MWL girl. This has become a huge focus for Made With Love as a brand,” says Jenkins. She shares that the brand takes feedback to heart—be it from employees or real brides —to create the best products possible. “All our designs are tested in our Australian boutiques before releasing to our stockists and brides worldwide,” she shares of the process. “We want our dresses to enhance our brides’ natural beauty.”
Rosemary Masic pulls inspiration from her Eastern European roots to create her detailed, and texture-rich designs. As a patternmaker by trade, Masic named Nevenka in honor of her late mother. She infuses nostalgia and culture into her made-in-Melbourne pieces. “I am obsessed with crochet and tapestry embroidery,” Masic shares. “I only use natural materials—cotton cross stitch, floral embroidery, and hand-made crochet are heavily featured throughout the current collection.” Fittingly, her textiles are sourced from Croatia, Italy, France, Turkey, and Balkan countries, as well.
The Nevenka Bride:
“Our Nevenka bride is the alternative bride,” confirms Masic. “She is raw and a woman whose path is different and a little left of center. She chooses quality over quantity and would love to wear her dress again, and hand her down to future generations.”
That said, it’s quite easy to picture the Nevenka pieces having an extended life beyond one day, be it gorgeous floral jackets, sweet pinafore dresses that can be layered and styled in multiple ways, and lace and embroidered gowns that pop with color well beyond the traditional bridal white.
Nevenka is also for a customer who appreciates a personal experience in her quest to find a wedding look. “We get to know the details of her wedding day: theme, where she met her lover, the ceremony of love, flowers, favorite colors, what shapes she has in her wardrobe now, and what styles she feels most herself and best in,” explains Masic. “We talk through the pieces that have stolen her heart in a Zoom or Facetime call. She knows what she loves and wants, and it’s pretty easy to dress her.”
Fashion and wedding designer Courtney Illfield launched Lola Varma after observing what many pared-back brides know to be true: The bridal market doesn’t always provide celebration looks that align with a minimalist’s wardrobe. Thus, enter: Lola Varma, “marrying high fashion and everyday apparel,” as stated on the brand’s site. In other words, you can find modern pieces, understated romance, and elegance across dresses and separates alike.
The Lola Varma Bride:
“The Lola Varma bride is wonderfully present and tends to resonate with a nontraditional outlook on how to celebrate her relationship, romance, and commitment,” says Illfield. For the designer, wedding-day style is an extension of everyday style—a way to express your truest self when making one of the biggest decisions in your life. Dresses include simple, strapless A-line numbers, and gowns in crisp shapes with open backs. Additionally, there are skirts and tailored separates that may be easier to keep within your “everyday apparel” wardrobe long after you say "I do."
In her most recent collection, My Paradise, Illfield introduced the use of spotty silk, a boucle weave, and “velvet-like” silk. “Every collection, I try to evolve and continue my love of mixing tones and textures within an outfit,” she adds.
Christie Nicole Bridal
Designer Christie Trowbridge launched her first fashion business in 2013, a luxe lingerie brand. But three years later, after a friend asked her to design a wedding dress, Trowbridge pivoted to bridal fashion with Christie Nicole Bridal.
While the label originally specialized in custom pieces, it has also expanded into ready-to-wear collections. “Christie Nicole Bridal has created ‘Adele’, a collection of dramatic, edgy, and ethereal pieces that brides dream of wearing,” the brand shares—adding that the Adele was created with a specific inspiration in mind. “An ode to Christie’s grandmother, a strong woman, who has been there for Christie throughout childhood and has been on a journey with Christie pursuing her dreams.”
The Christie Nicole Bridal Bride:
“Romantic, feminine, daring.” Three words that describe the brand, which can be seen through the label’s bold use of hand-sewn three-dimensional floral appliqués, rich texture, and voluminous sleeve silhouettes. Together, these details strike a thoughtful balance between delicate design and making a grand statement.
Offering a unique and personal experience to its customers, Christie Nicole Bridal “[treats] each constructed garment as a piece of art. Each piece is handcrafted in our Sydney studio by their small team from start to finish.”
Georgia Young Couture
Georgia Young fostered her love of design from an early age, teaching herself to sew on her mother’s sewing machine as a child. After studying couture and working under the direction of fellow Melbourne designers, she would eventually launch her namesake label for the “bride that didn’t want to look like a ‘bride,’” she reveals.
“What I have seen working with many brides over the years (and being a bride myself) is the importance of knowing yourself and your style,” Young shares. “I apply this to everything in our planning process: the dress, the ceremony, even down to the place settings.” Young says she understands the importance of design that stays true to the woman who wears it. “I should know, I love color and decided to get married in lilac!”
The Georgia Young Couture Bride:
Young’s distinct appreciation for individuality will resonate with like-minded brides-to-be who are looking for a unique day-of style. This includes pieces from the Gertrude collection, like playful lace jumpsuits with a layered skirt, or the ethereal elegance found in the wave-inspired Ocean collection.
“There is a strong distinctive design difference with our gowns that isn’t quite like anything else,” Young says. “With the use of strong lines, geometric shapes, clean fabrics, and contemporary vibes, these gowns are the perfect piece for the modern bride.”
Additionally, Young offers advice for the consumer who may want to incorporate on-trend elements without losing herself in the dress-shopping process. “Take that time to really ask yourself what do you value and want from your special day. From there, your decisions will be easier and it will feel more personal.”
Karen Willis Holmes
Sydney-based designer Karen Willis Holmes launched her eponymous line in 2000 and has gained much notoriety since then, for her timeless and impeccably crafted designs. They’ve appeared on public figures, at Sydney Fashion Week, and on real customers throughout the world.
She designs for a bride who loves the classics, be it those drawn to minimalist, strapless gowns, or those who prefer sharp suiting. “Our goal is to always create a one-of-a-kind, personal, and genuine experience for brides when finding their perfect wedding dress,” Holmes shares with Brides. Across all her designs, including bespoke offerings and extended sizing up to a US 20, Holmes “is about working with brides on an individual level, listening to their plans and style ideas, and elevating their dreams into reality.”
The Karen Willis Holmes Bride:
Holmes’s brides don’t fit into one specific box. “Our silhouettes are timeless, but each of our gowns has that little extra something,” she says. This comes by way of dramatic statement sleeves, beautiful lace or beaded detailing, touches of playful feathers, or the option to add a cascading, detachable, and organza train to your fitted gown.
Within the brand, Holmes created distinct collections, each featuring designs for different bridal aesthetics. “Our head-turning Luxe collection is perfect for the bride who loves a bit of glamour. Our Wild Hearts and Curve ranges are for the bride who loves stunning simple fabrics, or modern lace in a statement gown that gives them all-day comfort," shares the designer. "Our Elope range is designed for the non-traditional bride who wants to stand out on her day in a way not often seen. Our Bespoke range is for the bride who loves to fully customize her look, with the ability to mix and match bodices and skirts to create each and every bride’s ultimate fantasy!”
Anna Campbell has over a decade of experience and works to create romantic and sophisticated designs while using luxurious silks, custom-designed laces, and hand-beaded embellishments. She also utilizes local Australian manufacturing and creates her designs right in Melbourne. The designer tells Brides, “From a quintessential beachside soiree to an elegant European elopement, each Anna Campbell collection offers a gentle fusion of aesthetics for the ever-evolving modern woman—while embracing a passion for individuality, romance, and sparkle.”
The Anna Campbell Bride:
For the bride with a modern sensibility, Anna Campbell offers a refined sense of glamour. “The Anna Campbell bride is feminine and sophisticated,” explains Campbell. “She loves understated silhouettes paired with playful details and intricate embellishments. She is unrestrained by tradition, instead seeking a gown that compliments her personal style.”
Even though the brand primarily focuses on clean lines and figure-hugging silhouettes, brides can also find gowns with multiple levels of "wow factor." "Our current collection offers a new level of luxury, suffused with opulent embellishments and intricately embroidered laces which are rich in champagne hues and classic ivory on ivory colorways—both equally elegant and jaw-dropping,” shares the designer.