You Don’t Need a Valentine’s Wedding to Wear a Romantic Gown

Think 'boudoir bride' over sugar-sweetheart neckline

Romance isn't just for Valentine's Day.

Romance isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. (Photo: Dan Lecca)

Many brides strive to look classically elegant, others strut up the aisle in sky-high slits and some aim for a bohemian beach style—but one of today’s most embraceable trends is pure romance. Featuring softer lines and frankly femininity silhouettes, it may be a reaction to our over-digitized age—or, simply, a yearning for a moment of grace and beauty. Hallmarks of the style include details drawn directly from nature, nostalgic accents like hoods and peplums, delicate embellishments such as vintage lace, even elements drawn from today’s lingerie movement. To avoid a sugar overload, keep the attitude playful and limit yourself to just one or two flirtatious touches—a pink sash, a sweetheart neckline, a silk floral accent. Isn’t it romantic?

The Boudoir Bride

A dress from Vera Wang's 2016 Bridal Collection.

A dress from Vera Wang’s 2016 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Vera Wang)

The lingerie trend finds a natural place in the world of wedding dresses. Case in point: this  splendid gown’s sheer bodice, strategically positioned lace panels, and sensual satin accents. The pendulous waist bows adds a mad dash of romance, while the full skirt is balanced by a snug Chantilly lace bodice. Vera Wang, $8,900.

Full Frontal Floral

Monique L'huillier, Fall 2016.

Monique Lhuillier, Fall 2016. (Photo: Dan Lecca)

Dressing for drama, a modern heroine heads for the altar in a graphic ivory silk gazer gown, softened with its illusion neckline, elegant peplum and large floral rosettes. The perfect setting for such a style statement: a historic ballroom or formal garden. Monique Lhuillier, $7,200.

Goodnight, Sweetheart

Oscar de la Renta's sweetheart neckline.

Oscar de la Renta’s sweetheart neckline. (Photo: Oscar de La Rental)

As flattering as it is romantic, the sweetheart neckline is a favorite with brides; paired with a taffeta-ruched column and hand-draped point d’esprit overlay gown, the effect is sexy-sweet sophistication. Oscar de la Renta, $7,690.

Languid and Lacy

Claire Pettibone's Bridal Fall/Winter 2016 Presentation

Claire Pettibone’s Bridal Fall/Winter 2016 Presentation (Photo: Dan Lecca)

A smooth pour of vintage-style Chantilly lace caresses a sensual column of satin. The long lace sleeves, warm tones of pearl and ivory, and elaborate rose-gold embroidery paint a nostalgic picture that would be stunning in a Gilded Era mansion—or on the deck of a classic yacht. Claire Pettibone, $6,500.

Petal Perfect

Angel Sanchez's perfect petal bodice.

Angel Sanchez’s perfect petal bodice. (Photo: Dan Lecca)

With a baby-pink ribbon providing a charming accent, this short silk gazar dress is embellished with hand-cut flowers on the illusion bodice. This might be the sweetest ensemble to ever grace the steps of City Hall. It’s a perfect reaffirmation choice, too. Angel Sanchez, $3,080. 

Romantic Rebel

The Ines Di Santo Fall/Winter 2016 Couture Bridal Collection

The Ines Di Santo Fall/Winter 2016 Couture Bridal Collection (Photo: Jemal Countess)

If you’ve got the legs—and the chutzpah—this illusion body suit covered in lace appliques and softened with a voluminous tulle skirt takes romance in a riveting new direction. Vegas, anyone? Ines di Santo body suit, $4,890; detachable tulle skirt, $3,290.

Girl in the Hood

Galia Lavhav

Galia Lahav (Photo: Dan Lecca)

The French Lieutenant’s Woman meets the Kardashian gals in this Gothic-inspired dress and cape mixing multiple textures: delicate French laces, silk tulle, beading, vinyl threads, clear crystals and a belt with a touch of metal. Just the thing for that castle wedding. Galia Lahav, dress, $9,840, cape, $3,100.

You Don’t Need a Valentine’s Wedding to Wear a Romantic Gown