Bridal Style through the Decades

We’re sure many brides would agree — the search for the perfect wedding dress is the most difficult, but also the most exciting, part of planning for your wedding. With countless brands and styles on the market, you’ll be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the expanse of choices available. Today, Wedding & Travel rounds up some of the most beautiful wedding dresses based on the hottest trends of each decade.

1920s: The Golden Age

Thanks to the influence of popular movies such as The Great Gatsby, the lavish style of the roaring 1920s have made a grand renaissance on the fashion stage in recent years. Defining characteristics from this era include opulent embellishments, dropped waistlines and tubular dress shapes. Too much to take in? One word to remember: glamour, glamour, glamour.

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(Photos from Justin Alexander)

1930s: Boudoir Bride

The impact of the Great Depression is evident in the fashion style of the 1930s, which took a more modest and practical approach than the excesses from the 1920s. Brides favoured long, flowing silhouettes and dresses that could be reused again after the wedding. Other features such as butterfly sleeves, fishtail hems and shoulder-hanging trains were also in vogue.

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(Photo from Jenny Packham)

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(Photo from Ellis Bridal)

1940s: Wartime Bride

Bridal fashion continued to take a conservative approach as governments pursued austerity policies during wartime, even going as far as to banning silk for use in clothing. Many brides tied the knot in long, narrow dresses with sleeves that were left over from the previous decade. After the war, however, illusion necklines and square shoulders became popular styles.

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(Photo from Halfpenny London)

1950s: “New Age” Women

The revival of the economy saw a proportionate rise in time and attention devoted to bridal fashion. Recovering from post-war depression, romantic characteristics such as sweetheart necklines, lace embroidery and corseted waists were all the rage with women. For the first time since the 1920s, this decade also saw a rise in hemlines as women embraced ballerina-length skirts.

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(Photos from Ellis Bridal)

1960s: The Hippie Era

With the rise of the hippie movement in the early 1960s, an appetite for experimentation was also fostered in bridal fashion, as women began to opt for shift dresses or mini dresses instead of the traditional choices. Notably, an innovation that arose from this decade that remains popular among women today was the babydoll silhouette.

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(Photos from Stone Fox Bridal)

1970s: The Bohemian Bride

The bohemian chic look that is loved by vintage brides all around the world today has its fashion roots in the 1970s. It was during this era when light, airy silhouettes coupled with beautiful lace and gathers first took the fashion world by storm. Accessories such as headbands, turbans and chokers, which have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, first made their appearance in the 1970s as well.

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(Photos from Carol Hannah)

1980s: Glitz & Glamour

With the bullish economy in full swing, the 1980s was all about the glitz and glamour when it came to bridal fashion. Over-the-top styles characterised the decade, with brides embracing cake-layered ruffles, rosettes and large dramatic sleeves.

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(Photos from Eugenia Couture)

1990s: The Modern Bride

The 1990s saw bridal fashion swing the other end of the spectrum with the rise minimalist designs. Strapless dresses, plunging necklines and lower backs began to gain popularity; at the same time, slip dresses made their comeback to the fashion spotlight.

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(Photos from Amsale)

What is your favourite bridal fashion style from the eras? Share with us what you think!