Whether you just got engaged or are already deep in the throes of wedding planning, you're no doubt smack-dab in the middle of one of the most exciting times of your life. And if you're already dress shopping, you'll of course want to be up on the latest wedding dress trends. But what about the trends that haven't happened yet? That's right, we're looking into our crystal balls and giving 2019 brides a sneak peek at the styles that haven't even seen the runway yet. Since we still have a few months to wait until Bridal Fashion Week (and the actual dresses 2019 brides will be wearing), we’ve scoped out the wedding dress predictions held by some of the top bridal stylists. Here's what you should expect to wear if you're setting a wedding date in 2019.
Not your average white
Gone are the days where white or ivory were the only two options a bride had to choose from. “With the growing desire to be unique and expressive, brides are embracing colored gowns,” says Lori Conley, divisional merchandise manager at David’s Bridal. “For more conservative brides, we love to suggest tones of champagne or blush—and for more fashion-forward brides looking to make a splash, tones of blue, lavender, silver and gold promise to ensure you stand out.”
We’re seeing flashes of metallic all over the runways—from athleisure to evening gowns, makeup, and accessories. And it doesn’t look like the trend is going anywhere any time soon. “Mixed metals of gold, rose gold, and silver are increasingly popular in fashion and will help brides make a statement in 2019,” says Dareth Colburn, CEO and founder of USA Bride and the Dareth Colburn Bridal Collection. “From mixed metal jewelry to hair accessories, bridal belts, and more, these go-to accessories will offer more dimension than ever before.”
Perfect symmetry will be an element of the past when it comes to the bridal fashion of 2019. Alluringly abstract and eclectic designs will shine and be highly influential in both bridal gowns and bridal accessories. Mullet wedding gowns featuring a high-low look are already marking the runways and will soon begin to infiltrate bridal fashion as well. “The silhouette begs to be paired with a killer pair of heels and ensures the bride can navigate any venue with ease (especially outdoors!),” says Conley.
Raw, natural elements
When it comes to bridal accessories, traditional materials such as rhinestones and pearls will be accented with more natural components, predicts Colburn. “Crystals, elliptic keshi pearls, and raw opals are just some of the materials that will help create avant-garde headpieces and jewelry for brides,” he says. “Fluidity of bridal accessories will offer brides the utmost personalization that brides want.” Think: malleable, hand-wired vines that can be worn as headbands or halos, woven in a braid, wrapped around a bun, or even worn as a necklace or bracelet. The possibilities are endless!
The royal effect
If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s glamorous and so-in-love engagement photos (and paparazzi shots we can’t seem to get enough of) are any indication, all eyes will be on the royal wedding—especially Meghan’s gown. “The minute Meghan walks down the aisle, designers will be knocking off her dress, much like Kate’s a few years ago,” says Brian Worley, director of design at Atlanta’s premier events company, Bold Catering & Design. Designers like Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, and Carolina Herrera will be taking notes for their 2019 collection.
The non-gown and the second dress
Whether it be a chic and short business suit that’s courthouse-approved (à la Carrie Bradshaw) or a menswear-influenced pant suit, brides will begin to look beyond the traditional floor-length wedding gown in 2019. “While some brides are opting for these alternative looks for their main style choice, many are also opting to switch up their style at their reception so they can kick up their heels with comfort!” adds Conley.
While the traditional veil still holds importance for some brides, it’s no longer the be-all and end-all accessory. Now brides are looking for more stylish attributes to cover their head and shoulders on their wedding day. “Whether it is for a church ceremony or just for personal comfort or style, many brides will turn to capelets similar to our Azazie Phoenix style,” says Lindsey Bennett, lead designer at Azazie. “Many brides will also choose higher necklines rather than the super plunging necklines of the past, similar to Azazie Paulette.”
A welcome move towards sustainability and social consciousness, where the conceptualization, design, and manufacturing processes happen under one roof, is underway, says Malinda Macari, owner of Your Dream Bridal in Boston. “Whether here in the U.S. or throughout the UK and in Canada, limited-label designs are becoming more and more sought-after, as they give brides the opportunity to wear something that truly reflects their individuality without seeing it replicated in every other boutiques.” By 2019, she anticipates that brides will seek out these designers and show their support for the makers and the shops that carry more local brands.
Once shoulder-baring gowns have fully had their moment, Amber Silva, co-owner of Kinsley James, a couture bridal salon with locations in the San Francisco Bay area and West Hollywood, says to be on the lookout for straps. “The influences of the 90s made its way onto the 2018 runways with spaghetti straps (think Gwyneth Paltrow’s Ralph Lauren Oscar gown) and we predict that they’ll be there to stay,” she says. “Spaghetti straps in particular are great for brides who want a little more security on top without having to go for a full coverage look.”
Brides have been loving loser bohemian styles, but as the 2018 bustier trend indicates, we’re going to see structured designs take over in 2019, predicts Dawn Silva Rigney, co-owner of Kinsley James. “Brides want to feel confident going down the aisle, and gowns with boning can help create a dramatic hourglass silhouette that looks beautiful on film and in real life,” she says. “We’re also anticipating designers will use structure to give gowns a sexy edge, regardless of how little skin is actually showing.”