Brides who want a fresh approach are digging the latest trends of the moment. Whether you’re just starting to plan your nuptials, or putting the finishing touches on your big day, we’ve rounded up the industry’s top experts to weigh in on the bridal beauty and fashion trends you need to know about. Get your Pinterest boards ready — these looks are too pretty to pass up!
Less is more when it comes to modern bridal hair, according to Ryan Cotton, hair stylist at Serge Normant Salon in New York City. He notes that the basic blowout is back in favor, and even brides who have intricately beaded gowns want to keep their hair simple. “The gown sets the tone, but sometimes that means going in the opposite direction with the hair, so it doesn’t distract,” he said.
Cotton claims that the days of half-up styles (which were popular until recently) are gone, and ethereal or distressed hairdos that are either all up or all down feel more current. “I like updos that look like they’re almost falling down, where you create size and volume with texture, rather than backcombing to get a slick bouffant.”
Adair Ilyinsky, co-owner of New York City nail salon and event space TenOverTen says that the once-traditional category of wedding nails has become an important form of self-expression for many brides. Since it’s a small detail, Ilyinsky believes brides are viewing nails as a way to bring a pop of personality into their overall look. “Anything goes now, and many girls are selecting a fun nail color they way they would choose fun shoes,” she explained.
While neutrals still come into play, many TenOverTen brides are opting for shades of blue, true red, or even edgy black for their big day. Others request a twist on a classic French manicure by using metallic tips or creating a crescent moon shape at the base of the nail. The most devoted nail enthusiasts even do a polish change between the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. “We’ve had technicians do up to three different looks in one weekend,” she said.
Every bride wants to look like she’s glowing on her wedding day, and LA-based makeup artist Lilit Caradanian, more widely known as @MakeupByLilit, says that means the focus is on the face, rather than the eyes. "There’s a movement away from dramatic eyes and especially anything frosty or bold,” she said. “Matte color and wispy lashes are all you need.”
Caradanian says this modern makeup technique complements the more couture, embellished dresses that many of her brides select. She’s noticed a movement away from red lips in the past year, and finds that mauve has replaced it as a popular — and universally flattering — alternative. “You still need some color so the overall look isn’t too pale, but my brides want something that’s soft and romantic,” Caradanian noted.
Kiss conservative notions of wedding dresses goodbye! “Sexy” is the top trend in bridal gowns right now, according to Lindsay Mann, marketing director for Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City. Mann even likens a popular bridal trend known as illusion (where parts of the bodice are heavily beaded yet sheer) to the “naked” dresses that were seen on celebrities at the 2015 Met Gala — though she admits the bridal versions are not as extreme.
Beyond chiffon netting, a new wave of Israeli designers like Inbal Dror and Mira Zwillinger are bringing body-conscious, ultra-luxurious gowns to the forefront, and women are embracing these sensual silhouettes. “Brides today are slightly older and we’re finding that they have the confidence and attitude to wear a form-fitting dress,” said Mann. “These brides worked hard for their figures and they want to show them off.”
Mann also notes a shift away from buying a second dress for an outfit change, instead looking to convertible dresses for maximum versatility. By simply adding or removing an overskirt or thin top to reveal a form-fitting sheath, brides can achieve the same result. “Sometimes you don’t even realize it’s the same dress, but there can be two or even three different ways to wear these convertible styles,” she said.
Bye, bye blushers. Jennifer Behr, whose luxury hair accessories are a fixture on both the fashion and bridal scenes, says that for most brides these days, a simple veil (worn just for the ceremony) is all you need for an added touch of traditional bridal style.
But beyond the veil, brides are using elevated headpieces to look like the most elegant versions of themselves. Many brides are moving away from the ornately embellished “Gatsby” trend that was popular a few years ago, instead opting for an organic, nature-inspired accessory that feels more of-the-moment. “Even if the dress isn’t floral or overly romantic, this feels very modern and easy,” said Behr.
And while silver-based accents used to be the norm, Behr said that in the past year, gold has become a strong contender. “Gold brings a Grecian feel and a warmth that many brides really love.”
Annie Lee, founder of event planning firm Daughter of Design, has found that her 2015 brides are embracing either a fashion-forward or bohemian look — or mixing the two together by pairing dramatic dresses with natural, undone beauty.
“With so many bridal designers also doing seasonal fashion collections and haute couture gowns these days, brides realize they don’t have to stick with a traditional wedding fabric or silhouette,” she explained, referencing designers like Monique Lhuillier and Jenny Packham, whose bridal designs often mirror their red carpet looks.
While dresses may be exquisitely tailored and elaborately embellished, Lee notes that even the most fashion-forward brides are opting for a soft and simple — rather than dramatic — appearance. “Light makeup, healthy, glowing skin, and slightly undone hair is what today’s brides want,” she said. “The overall look is very fresh and bohemian, and it’s not going away anytime soon.”