We weren't sure we would recover from last year's wedding spectacular (two royal weddings and one Jonas event all in one year!) but it turns out 2019's brides were just as fashionably epic.
From rule-breaking reception looks (think sequin jumpsuits in all sorts of metallics), to over-the-top layered skirts, 2019's brides came to play when it comes to style. This year's best wedding dresses were all about color, exploring with different silhouettes, and breaking from tradition in all the right ways.
Ready to see our favorite wedding dresses from 2019? We rounded up 35 of this year's most fashionable brides.
Feathered in Kelly Faetanini
“I tried on over 100 dresses before finding this ostrich feather Kelly Faetanini skirt,” says Susan. When she couldn’t find the right top, Susan decided to create it herself, covering it with ostrich feathers as well. To mimic the gown’s soft finish, she carried a vibrant orange bouquet of celosia, and wore a simple pair of ivory Gucci loafers.
Seema wore a gray lengha by Tarun Tahiliani, made with a sheer material and featuring a cape alongside intricate, star-shaped beading.
For the reception, Janie changed into a second dress, by Milin, that paired a plunging neckline with a corset-style waist. The bride added a celestial-inspired star headpiece as a final touch to her reception look.
Feeling Boho in Elie Saab
Christina spotted her crochet lace Elie Saab gown online and immediately fell in love. “I had the exact same feeling the first time I tried it on!” she says. And it's easy to see why: The dress features a floral-patterned design, along with a sheer back and bell sleeves.
Channeling Meghan Markle in Emilia Wickstead
“When I was looking for wedding dresses, Emilia Wickstead had just launched her first bridal collection in London, and I was blown away by the simplicity of the designs,” Justine says. In fact, the gown she chose was inspired by Lady Charlotte Wellesley’s dress, which Emilia had designed a few years prior. “I wanted to look back in 10, 20, or 30 years and still admire the dress I’d chosen,” explains the bride. And you can imagine Justine’s surprise when, just a month later, Meghan Markle walked down the aisle in a similarly simple gown with a boat neckline and sleeves.
The bride traded her wedding gown for a more dance floor–friendly ensemble: a sequined jumpsuit and white high-tops. The music-enthusiasts also sprung for a DJ, carefully curating the best party playlist (although the rogue picks still went over wonderfully).
Floral in Frida Jonsven
The bride worked with designer Frida Jonsven to create a custom gown. "When we met, I just saw the fabric with all those flowers and fell in love. It was like my name was on it," Lisa recalls. From there, they worked off of the "more is more" theme to design a floral dress that featured hand-embroidered flowers on the arm, chest, and train. Adds the bride, "The back is stunning but my favorite part is the sleeves...yes I'm in love with my dress!
A Carolina Herrera Dream
After having a moment when she saw both Marco and their wedding venue for the first time, Brie admits that she did not have such a feeling while dress shopping. "I was torn between two dresses, but there was something special about my dress and it came down to a feeling," she says of the winning dress, a Carolina Herrera ball gown. "In hindsight, I’m sure I knew it the second I tried it on, but I was so afraid of choosing the wrong one that I got easily overwhelmed. I don’t know how I even considered anything else. I felt like a queen in it!"
Timeless in Reem Acra
Brianna envisioned something elegant and timeless for her wedding-day look, donning a stunning satin Reem Acra ball gown with a wrapped bodice and peplum skirt. “It was classic, but still fashion-forward and unique,” she explains.
Breaking the Rules in Alexander McQueen
“We wanted a venue that was a bit different, so I proposed the zoo! Thankfully, Nick loved it,” the bride said. The zoo is set on 30 acres of gardens, which inspired the day’s floral elements as well as the bride’s Alexander McQueen dress. She also loved how its high collar reminded her of a Chinese cheongsam.
Loads of Lace and Color
Both of these brides wore dresses embellished with lace, and Tatjana worked with designer Louise Selby to create hers. "I drew my dress on a napkin in a cafe one day and was introduced to the wonderful Louise Selby to bring the dress to life," she explains. She accessorized with family heirlooms—her grandmother's ruby and her mother-in-law's pearl necklace—plus espadrilles by Castaner.
Gayle also wore a custom gown from Mirror Mirror London. "I designed the dress and loved the simplicity of the skirt and the shape of the bodice," she says. The bride added a twist to her look, thanks to the help of her friend and hairstylist Emily Crowther. "We decided to tie my hair into a ponytail with a black velvet bow that hung down my back," she says.
Always Fashionable in Wednesday Atelier
Ever the fashion bride, Anne-Laure worked with Wednesday Atelier to create a custom silk-and-lace wedding dress featuring sheer sleeves and a detailed bodice. “I trusted her immediately," she says. "It was hard to stick to our first ideas, but she was so professional and helpful in keeping me on track."
Modern in Sarah Seven
“I went dress shopping by myself, and actually really enjoyed being alone at the boutique to figure out what I did and didn’t like,” says Maria. She used that time to narrow her decision down to two Sarah Seven dresses, then returned with her family to make the final choice. The winning design had a crew neckline, an open back, and a front slit to show off her shoes.
Lacey in Costarellos
The bride headed to Moda Operandi’s bridal salon in search of her gown, and fell in love with a guipure lace gown by Costarellos. “Shopping for a wedding dress is the way shopping used to be, with someone truly helping you from the moment you arrive and bringing you items you might not have tried otherwise,” the bride describes of the experience.
Funky in Beaded Alexandra Grecco
The bride wanted a classic, timeless dress with a "bit of funk" and found just that in an Alexandra Grecco dress-and-gown pairing. The silk crepe dress had a body-skimming silhouette, while the hand-embroidered tulle cape was an amazing upgrade to the traditional veil. She added white satin block heel pumps, a perfect choice for the venue’s rocky paths.
The Bride Wore, Herself
Chelsea came away from dress shopping feeling like everything she tried was either "too romantic" or "too sexy"—neither of which fit her vision for her big day. "My mom kept saying I should make my dress myself," Chelsea says. So she did! She spent four months working with her team to create a one-of-a-kind dress and cape featuring sequined fabric and a striking design.
Stunning in Hayley Paige
Carly tapped her close friend and bridal dress designer Hayley Paige to make her dress—and lucky for Carly, because they started designing just three weeks before the wedding. "I wanted the fit to be tight around my ever-growing belly," she says. With the bride's vision in mind—"I wanted my dress to show my shape since I was pregnant, but also be classic and chic," she explains—Hayley designed a crepe column gown with a plunging neckline and intricate button detailing.
Edgy in Liz Martinez
For her big moment, though, the bride selected an off-the-shoulder gown by Liz Martinez Bridal. “I went shopping alone, which helped me focus on what I really wanted,” she explains. Looking back, Amanda says she ultimately fell for the designer’s" iconic romantic, edgy style."
Classic and Fashionable in Alberta Ferretti
When Adeline started dress shopping, she thought she wanted a vintage tulle design. Instead, she surprised herself with a "timeless" silk gown by Alberta Ferretti. "Everyone is so used to seeing me wear loud and daring stuff. I liked the idea of of wowing people with a classic piece,"she says.
More is More in Oscar de la Renta
Sometimes, bigger really is better. Just ask Tara Foley, who found her dream dress at Oscar de la Renta—a gown with a voluminous skirt that radiated, as she puts it, “cool princess” vibes. But to her eye, the petticoat the salesperson suggested she wear with it lacked adequate oomph. “I just thought it needed more,” she admits. “I ended up wearing the biggest, fluffiest one they had. It was a spectacle, but I loved it.”
Something Blue in Hayley Paige
"Choosing my dress was the easiest part of planning," says Harmony Walton. "I've known Hayley Paige for many years, and I love her style as much as I love her as a person. I was meant to wear one of her dresses!" Harmony and Hayley originally planned to create a custom gown, but it was love at first sight when Harmony spotted the Lumi gown while collecting inspiration for their design. The pale blue gown combined flowing sleeves, a V-neck bodice, and a full tulle skirt with star embellishments.
A Structure Ballgown With an Edge
Keshia admits she tried on more than 40 gowns in her search for a “low-key ball gown.” When it came down to making a decision, she did something a bit untraditional. “I asked Corey for his opinion,” she says. “I figured who else knew me and my style better?” To which she adds: “By the time I actually wore it, he would have mostly forgotten what it looked like anyway!”
Vera Wang Rosette for the Win
From the start, Karelle knew she did not want a traditional wedding dress. "I wanted something that was really unique and not entirely bridal," she says. That said, she admits that she was not entirely sure about what she was looking for and enlisted Chris to help. "Rather than worrying about bad luck, I was so happy to have him and my maid of honor both there the moment I put on this Vera Wang ball gown," she says.
The Train Does It
Maria went dress-shopping with a friend, who encouraged her to try on a wild card dress. The bride ultimately said yes to her "unexpected" dress: an off-white silk mermaid gown from Vera Wang, finished with a full and frothy tulle train."We both immediately knew it was the one," she says. "I felt incredibly comfortable and loved how simple it was—aside from the statement train!" She accessorized with a textured bouquet made from wildflowers gathered from their wedding venue.
Superbly Stunning in Brandon Maxwell
For the reception, Michaela changed into a second Brandon Maxwell design finished off with a huge black bow.
Channeling Carolyn Bessette in Vera Wang
The bride’s aesthetic of elegant minimalism was reflected at every turn, from her slip-like Vera Wang gown and opera-length gloves to her bouquet of perfect white tulips. "It’s probably no surprise from my photos that Carolyn Bessette was my inspiration," she admits. Jamie added a bit of modernity to the look with custom heels by close friend Amina Muaddi. "Amina chose the Begum Slingback in PVC and engraved our initials on the sole," she says. "It’s such a fairytale shoe!"
Flowing Tulle by Reem Acra
“We just got each other,” Danielle says about working on her gown with Reem Acra. The bride added her own accessories, posing in a statement straw hat for portraits—and, eventually, the Brides cover!
Make it Short and Sweet
Sarah collaborated on the look of her silk, floral-print dress with designer Olivia Deeney, an artist she describes as “talented and fearless.” She paired the look with Simone Rocha drop earrings and Gianvito Rossi blush velvet heels—her “something borrowed” from her sister.
Designed by the Bride
Stone Cold Fox designer Cydney Morris's gown featured an ivory corset and peplum waist, corded lace, and blush silk ribbon straps that flowed down the back of the dress. She paired it with a vintage Victorian silk lace veil, vintage Chanel earrings, and a sentimental ring rom her mother.
Boho in Rime Arodaky
A few weeks before the wedding, Gemma still didn't have a wedding dress. "I had a backup, but it didn't feel like it was the one," she says. She and her mom went on one last shopping trip, stumbling upon a floral Rime Arodaky dress with sheer off-the-shoulder sleeves. It was the last dress Gemma tried on.
Fringe in Rue de Seine
Janine thought she wanted something completely different from this Rue de Seine wedding dress, but as soon as she tried on the fringed design, she broke into tears. "My friends and I spent the afternoon having lunch and drinking wine!" she recalls.
Grace Loves Lace Does it Again
“I stumbled across Grace Loves Lace on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with their gowns,” says Megan of her dress designer. “I’d initially picked another dress at my first appointment, but a few weeks later, Grace Loves Lace released a new collection and I knew their 'Edie' gown, with its Spanish fringe, dramatic train, high neckline, and sexy silhouette, was the one for me.”
Forever Fashionable in Viktor & Rolf
Anabel wore a Viktor & Rolf satin and tulle ball gown, a brand she knew she wanted for her big day. “They’re the only ones creating more fashion-forward bridal,” she says.
"I spent five months combing the Internet for [this] dress. I became obsessed. I put this thing into Google images every hour for weeks," Emma admits. "I started following the Marchesa hashtag on Instagram, and someone posted a picture of the dress but not any way of purchasing it. So I commented and said 'If anyone knows where this dress is, please let me know.' Someone DM’d me with a link to a website I had already checked. I decided I would check one last time, and it was there. I bought it in five seconds flat!"
Perfect for Dancing
“Before even looking for my dress, I knew I wanted something timeless and classic,” Jenna Johnson said. “I wanted something that I felt confident and beautiful in. I didn’t want to look like a princess—I wanted to look like a queen!”