The 10 biggest wedding dress trends for 2021, according to an expert

Victor Dyomin / Getty ImagesInsider rounded up the biggest wedding dress trends for 2021.
  • Insider spoke to Brides’ editorial director, Roberta Correia, about 2021 wedding dress trends.
  • Microweddings and courthouse ceremonies have made non-traditional wedding looks popular for 2021.
  • Jumpsuits and dresses that offer multiple looks in one will be bridal favourites this year.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The rise of the less-formal “microwedding dress” is continuing into 2021.

LulusLulu’s ‘This Is Real Love’ dress.

Many couples are continuing to opt for microweddings, which The Knot defines as a wedding that has 50 or fewer guests.

This has led brides to choose more casual wedding dresses, Roberta Correia, the editorial director for Brides, told Insider.

Correia said that the “microwedding dress” is similar to some brides’ “second dress” – or a less-formal look that they change into after their ceremony.

“Now we’re finding that they’re wearing something for the microwedding or Zoom wedding and then keeping the big ball gown for when we can all celebrate properly together later on,” she added.

Some online retailers, like Lulus, have started selling wedding dresses in recent months, making it accessible for brides to find a laid-back gown for their smaller ceremonies.

For instance, the This Is Real Love dress from Lulus is $US98.

Tea-length dresses have become popular again.

Brides/Marijke AerdenThe Marguerite Sparkle Tea Length dress from Viktor & Rolf Mariage.

Fashion trends often come back into style, and wedding dresses are no exception.

According to Correia, tea-length dresses, which were popular in the 1940s and ’50s, are becoming a go-to for brides again. The return of the style coincides with the rise of midi dresses.

The Marguerite Sparkle Tea Length dress from Viktor&Rolf Mariage is one example of the silhouette.

Cottagecore-inspired gowns are also becoming popular.

Olga Efimova / EyeEm / Getty ImagesCottagecore wedding dresses are great for boho-chic weddings.

The cottagecore aesthetic boomed in 2020, and fashion played a large role in its glorification of a pastoral and agricultural lifestyle.

Examples of cottagecore-inspired clothes include loose-fitting dresses, cotton fabrics, and old-fashioned patterns. Wedding dress designers are embracing pieces of the aesthetic, too.

Correia described cottagecore-inspired wedding gowns as the “idea of the house dress translated into a wedding dress.”

They’re a great choice for boho-chic weddings.

Bridal jumpsuits and pantsuits are perfect for 2021 weddings.

LulusThe Enamoured With You Jumpsuit from Lulus.

All-white bridal outfits, like the $US85 Enamoured With You Jumpsuit from Lulus, were around before the pandemic, but they became more popular than ever in 2020.

This year, jumpsuits and pantsuits will continue to be a favourite among brides.

Correia said this is because many brides may feel that with microweddings or courthouse ceremonies, they have more opportunities to shine and embrace outfits that veer from the traditional gown.

There’s a recent renaissance of puffy sleeves and square necklines, too.

Brides/Leanne MarshallThe Onnika Gown from Leanne Marshall.

Correia said that bridal-gown designers are mixing old-fashioned elements with more modern styles through oversized sleeves and square necklines.

The style combines elements of the cottagecore aesthetic, and, as Correia said, ’90s nostalgia.

Leanne Marshall’s Onnika Gown pairs retro, puffy sleeves with a fitted bodice and A-line skirt.

Read more:

17 brides share how they knew their wedding dress was the one

Brides are turning to slip dresses for a sexy, laid-back wedding-day look.

Olga Efimova / EyeEm / Getty ImagesSlip wedding dresses offer understated elegance.

Slip-style dresses were becoming popular before the pandemic, and their newfound popularity in wedding couture is a natural progression of that trend.

To elevate the simple silhouette of a slip, these wedding dresses often have lace or embellished detailing on the neckline or hem.

They can work as shorter dresses, or some brides opt for floor-length slip gowns.

Brides are making statements with bows and ruffles.

Brides/Elie SaabAn Elie Saab gown.

Brides are turning to bows and ruffles to give their dresses a wow-factor.

Correia said that these details stand out when they’re paired with gowns that are otherwise understated.

For example, the oversized bow on the back of this Elie Saab bridal gown gives it a dramatic touch.

You can expect to see plenty of backless wedding gowns in 2021.

Brides/Ines de SantoThe Heart dress from Ines De Santo.

Backless wedding dresses were popular throughout 2020, and according to Correia, that trend isn’t slowing down.

No matter what gown style you hope to wear, you’ll likely find a version that’s backless.

One example is Ines De Santo’s Heart dress, which also has a statement bow at the waistline.

Off-the-shoulder dresses are making a comeback in 2021.

Brides/Dudi HassonThe Star gown from Eisen Stein.

Correia said that the off-the-shoulder look was popular about five years ago, but that it’s come back into style over the last year with a modern spin.

Today, many wedding dresses have a detached off-the-shoulder sleeve, making for a romantic look. One example of a modern off-the-shoulder dress is Eisen Stein’s Star gown.

Transformative dresses that can give brides multiple looks in one are appealing to 2021 brides.

Brides/Vivienne WestwoodA Vivienne Westwood gown.

Some gowns have detachable bows that you can use as a train and then tie around your waist. Other brides opt for dresses with removable skirts so they can dance more easily at their receptions.

For instance, this Vivienne Westwood gown has a removable train.

Correia also said transformative gowns often go hand-in-hand with sustainability, as they give brides the opportunity to get more than one use out of the same garment.

You can read more about 2021 wedding dress trends on Brides here.

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