As editors at Brides, we have the honor and privilege of reviewing hundreds of wedding photos, featuring some of the most beautiful brides around the world. These are pictures that have the ability to share a unique love story and provide inspiration for those on their own journey down the aisle. However, aside from images of gorgeous décor and statement-making details, one element that truly catches our attention is the extraordinary wedding day fashions worn by each bride. Between modern, sumptuous ball gowns and non-traditional silhouettes, the brides we feature are not afraid to take risks and embrace individual aesthetics on their big day.
Though everyone we highlight holds a special place in our hearts, there are a few who truly stand out in terms of the looks they've chosen to wear; specifically, bridalwear pieces that are not only timeless but memorable and of the moment. So, as we look back at a year of wonderful bridal attire, we couldn't help but highlight some of our favorite real wedding dresses of 2022. From feathered minis to sleek slip ensembles, here are the 25 best-dressed brides, plus a little information on how they landed on "the one."
A Storybook Ending
After five bridal salon visits, Chasity McGrady wasn't sure she'd find the dress that she always envisioned wearing. As luck would have it, though, following a last-minute visit to a trunk show, Chasity was able to find her gorgeous dream gown. "When I finally put the dress on, I immediately knew it was the one; it was like a Disney fairytale," she shared. Her Berta ensemble is a look you will never forget, and one we will always remember in the years ahead.
A Romantic Touch
As Brides editors, it's safe to say that we know a thing or two about weddings and bridal fashion. So when Samantha "Sam" Netkin, assistant general manager at Brides, said "I do", it came as no surprise that she wore a gown designed by the queen of bridal herself: Monique Lhuillier. Sam wore a breathtaking, romantic lace ball gown that featured a corset bodice, scoop-back design, and cathedral-length train. “There’s nothing more iconic than a lace Monique Lhuillier gown,” she previously shared. “Lhuillier told me herself that her lace gowns are still her favorite to create.”
A Minimalist's Dream
Francesca Nicolas Brugal illustrated how minimal aesthetics have the ability to look timeless, modern, and trendy all at once. Featuring an A-line silhouette, pin-thin straps, and pockets, her Alex Perry gown "checked all the boxes", as she once shared, and truly embodies why less is sometimes more.
A Lady in Red
Wanting to stay true to her familial traditions and Indian roots, Priya Satiani donned a red sari as one of the six looks she wore to her colorful Wes Anderson-inspired wedding. Though the vibrant color of her ensemble completely stole the show, it was the gold accessories that took her look to the next level, making her outfit one to always remember.
A Feathered Masterpiece
Featuring a mini hemline, feather embellishments, and a retro-inspired silhouette, Natalie Gill's Cult Gaia dress was one of the most statement-making looks of 2022. “I went to only one dress shop for fun, but always knew I wouldn’t end up in a traditional wedding dress,” Natalie told Brides. We love how she chose to ditch tradition and, instead, opted to make her wedding day ensemble an extension of her personality.
A Desert Chic Vibe
For her Joshua Tree wedding, Alexandra Brown chose to wear a sleek and fashion-forward look by the designer of the moment, Danielle Frankel. “I fell in love with Danielle Frankel's unique designs that aren’t super traditional or overly bridal,” she shared. The long-sleeve, off-the-shoulder number featured a cowl scooped back, and effortlessly pulled off the ultimate cool-girl, desert chic vibe.
A Shining Star
Though Jasmine Multani wore six looks for her multi-day celebration, it was her Chosen by KYHA gown that truly had us in awe. The gorgeous ensemble is fully adorned in crystal beading, creating a look worthy to be celebrated for years to come.
An Ethereal Vision
For her 2022 nuptials, Stephanie “Steph” Taddei opted for a tulle long-sleeve gown by Hayley Paige, which looked absolutely gorgeous and on par with her bohemian-inspired celebration. The ensemble featured allover sequin and crystal embellishments—that formed a celestial design throughout the bodice—and was an effortless choice for her ethereal vision.
A Sleek Design
Slip dresses have been a bridal fashion trend for several seasons, and Meghan Adams's Ines Di Santo gown played into today's trends, in addition to her wedding day theme. "I didn’t shop much. I saw this dress, got my local bridal shop, Ivory Bridal Atelier in Houston, to order in the sample, tried it on, and didn’t look any further. Once I saw the cape, it was over. Case closed! It was so perfect for the beach," she shared.
A Royal Moment
Stephanie Tresil's Berta ball gown is one to look to if searching for a dress that's both contemporary and traditional. The long-sleeve, A-line silhouette lends itself to more classic aesthetics, while the plunging neckline provides a modern touch. “When I put on the Berta dress, I felt beautiful, sexy, and classy,” she told Brides. “I felt like a queen. And, it was so romantic. I saw myself walking down the aisle in the old white-washed cloister in Italy.”
An Explosion of Color
Kalianna Carpenter brought an explosion of color to her rainbow-hued Las Vegas elopement the best way she knew how—with her bridal ensemble. “My wedding dress needed to reflect my love of color and be unique to me,” she shared. Designed by Etsy creator Inna Kalinina of Dreams Dresses, her gown featured layers upon layers of richly hued tulle, for a look that truly highlighted her vibrant personality.
A Timeless Beauty
When it came to her wedding dress, Maya Brown knew she wanted a look that could forever be remembered and admired long after she said "I do." To achieve that goal, she donned the Seraphine gown by Élysée, an elegant ensemble that featured a strapless neckline, sculpted bodice, and mermaid silhouette. "I felt like I was shining through the dress,” she shared. "I didn’t see myself getting tired of it throughout the years. It’s not trendy but timeless."
A Statement-Making Back
There are very few gowns that are able to embody a sleek, sexy, minimal, and chic design aesthetic, and Catrina Cosculluela's Naeem Khan lace gown is one of the rare few. In order to get the look, though, the bride had to make several alterations. She removed a few elements from the original design and added a statement-making bow, for one of 2022's most gorgeous dresses to date.
A Blushing Bridal Moment
Kristina Nolte's ultimate vision for her wedding day was a fun, eclectic, and untraditional event. “Whenever possible we tried to throw out the playbook,” Kristina shared with Brides; and that was clearly shown through her choice of dress. Though absolutely gorgeous, the bride didn't adhere to the standard wedding fashion "norms," instead opting to wear a vintage, blush pink A-line ball gown with a silk bodice and tulle skirt.
A Visionary Ball Gown
For her fashionable 12-person desert wedding, Jaclyn wore a total of four gorgeous looks, with her Milla Nova ball gown landing at the number one spot. “When I put the Milla Nova on, I knew it was the one because it felt more ‘me’ than any of the other dresses,” the bride explained. “I literally felt like I was in a fairytale; the absolute best version of myself. And, at that moment, I couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle in anything else.”
A Floral-Filled Lehenga
Poonam Sharma's pink silk lehenga, by Shyamal & Bhumika, proves why wearing florals for any season of the year is always a great choice. While the artfully designed piece stole the show at her celebration, it did come with its fair share of trouble before the big day. “I had to find designers and outfits through Instagram and work with them via WhatsApp,” she revealed. “That took a long time because of the time difference, shipping delays, and uncertainty of what the outfits look like."
An Asymmetrical Design
Not many brides are willing to pull off a structural, asymmetrical design, but Jacqueline Ja-Rei Lee didn't shy away from the modern and of-the-moment trend. “I thought I would choose a simple silk dress, but I wanted to at least try on other styles—when else would I be able to do that?" she shared. "As soon as I put on the Sedna gown, I came dancing out of the dressing room. It was glamorous and dramatic. Even better, it had pockets."
An Instant Vision
The design for Oluwafeyisayo “Feyi” Okunlola's wedding dress was one she already had prior to getting engaged. Drawing inspiration from her mother's wedding dress, the bride tapped her cousin Gbemi Okunlola (who is also the founder and designer of Alonuko) to help custom create her remarkable silk Mikado sheath gown. “I never actually went dress shopping, and my decision was remarkably swift. I was very clear on what I wanted: elegant and timeless. Simple in the front and drama in the back,” Feyi told Brides.
An Old-World Flair
Santana López chose Danielle Frankel as her designer of choice for her high-fashion Miami wedding. Her gown featured a raised cowl neck and cowl open back design, which Santana effortlessly styled with lace gloves for a super trendy outfit. “When I tried on the dress and it felt like it was from another era, especially the scarf draped accent on the back, I knew it was the one,” the bride shared. “I also knew I didn’t want a veil, so the fact that the dress allowed me to show off my back was the icing on the cake.”
A Personalized Touch
Amanda Stewart's brilliant use of accessories is what makes her look stand out from the rest. She was able to infuse her personal style into her Pnina Tornai wedding ensemble, with the use of a veil, stole wrap, jewelry, and gloves. “I added long satin gloves and a satin-trimmed veil, and David Yurman stud earrings and bracelet," the bride shared.
A Hidden Gem
Leora Soleymani's search for the perfect dress didn't come easy, but finding her look was worth the effort and the wait. The bride revealed to Brides, “I spent countless days trying to find the perfect dress. I went to over 20 bridal stores, [and] probably tried on over 200 dresses. I was so overwhelmed.” Ultimately, she found this breathtaking number by Simin Taghdiri of Simin Haute Couture and the rest is history.
A Whimsical Floral Dream
Madison Sain-Miller is another bride who broke with tradition and wore an unexpected wedding gown design (and we couldn't be more thrilled). Her Monique Lhuillier floral dress featured flowy and ethereal fabric, an off-the-shoulder neckline, and modern puff sleeves. “I knew it was the one when I really felt myself in the dress, plus it was really comfortable, [which was a] huge win. My mum and sister are very stylish, so they reinforced that ‘this is the one’ feeling because seeing their reaction solidified my feelings," she shared.
A Secret Garden
A gown from one of Monique Lhuillier's most recent collections, Chloe Lewis's A-line dress was a floral masterpiece and a sight to remember this year. It featured a plunging V-neckline, flutter sleeves, and embroidered flowers and butterflies, all of which perfectly aligned with her garden-inspired theme. “It was the first dress I tried on,” the bride shared. “I never imagined I’d have ‘that bridal moment,’ but as soon as I put it on, I burst into tears.”
A Stunning Showstopper
Though Sage initially wanted a form-fitting, sexy gown, her mind immediately changed the moment she slipped into her Galia Lahav dress. “I thought I knew what I wanted when I went to try on dresses: tight-fitting, sexy, low cut,” she previously explained. “The one time my mom went shopping with me, she asked me to try on a more ball gown style. The second I put it on, I was so comfortable! In that moment I realized, I can wear a tight, sexy dress any day of the week, but when can I wear a huge ballgown?"
An Embroidered Masterpiece
Last, but certainly not least, one of our favorite looks from 2022 is Navpreet Mahil's blush and gold silk lehenga. The hand-embroidered piece was designed by Sulakshana Monga and was the perfect mix of modern and traditional for her bohemian-inspired celebration. “I felt like a royal princess,” she shared. “The embroidery stood out to me. The shape was perfect for me."