1/ THE OFF-THE-SHOULDER
Images sourced from (clockwise from top left): Leave Her Wilder, Mark Antonia Ltd, and Ashley Steffens
Off-the-shoulder dresses began gracing the bridal runways a few years back and understandably never left the wedding scene. It’s a design that interweaves sensuality with modesty, and one you can – and will want to – wear again in future. Depending on the fabric and design, off-the-shoulder dresses can vary in style from the more formal gowns with tulle sleeves to more relaxed bohemian styles like the red dress in the image above. Bold-coloured designs like this are ideal for warm outdoor ceremonies where a summer breeze is likely to make the loose, light material come to life in the wedding photos. Integrating such a bright colour into your wedding scheme may seem difficult at first, but if anything loud colours may make your styling easier. Just incorporate lots of greens and whites into the floral décor to balance out the bold accent blooms, add little touches such as ribbons or rugs here and there, and pick a few similarly coloured statement pieces in the furnishing, and you’ll be good to go.
2/ THE MAXI WITH A FRONT SPLIT
Images sourced from (clockwise from top left): Leave Her Wilder, Natalie Bray, and Ian Bursill
Floor length dresses are a popular choice for bridesmaids because they are so elegant, but one downside is that they do hide conceal the bridesmaids’ shoes. This can be unfortunate, particularly if you’ve taken the time to pick matching heels for your girls, as wedding photographers are unlikely to go out of their way to capture the bridesmaids’ outfit details (they’ll be too busy photographing yours!). Maxi dresses with an inner lining and a full front split get around this issue in style; the front split adds dimension to the dress, giving the dress an almost cape-like silhouette, and also allows for the shoes to seen, admired, and photographed.
3/ THE WRAP
Images sourced from (clockwise from top left): Leave Her Wilder, Franklin Photography, Dilworth Photography, and Sarah Clements Photography
A classic bridesmaid dress style, the wrap is a beautiful and no-fuss option for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a simple and sleek design that suits multiple body types. Secondly, the v-neck has an elongating effect on the neck. Thirdly, the wrap is a forgiving design that will fit your bridesmaids’ frames perfectly even if their weight increases or decreases between the fitting and the wedding day. And lastly, if you find the minimalist variations of wrap dresses bit boring, you can opt for details such as ruffles to give the dress a more whimsical vibe like that of the blush garment in the photo on the left.
4/ THE KAFTAN
Images sourced from (clockwise from top left): Leave Her Wilder, Kate Tovey Photography, and Anna B Photography
The kaftan is a timeless style that has been around for thousands of years in various cultures. In recent years, both more traditional and westernised variations of the kaftan have cropped up in luxury department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman; designers have caught on to the highly flattering and pragmatic nature of its design. Ideal for hot summer events, or destination weddings in warmer and more humid climates, kaftans will keep their wearers cool, comfortable, and looking chic throughout the wedding day.
5/ THE OPEN BACK
Images sourced from (clockwise from top left): Leave Her Wilder, Feather + North Photography, Jose Villa
Open back dresses are exquisite alternatives to off-the-shoulder dresses if you want an alluring look for your bridesmaids that still maintains modesty. These dresses do more than just allow you to display the female form without compromising on sophistication; they also photograph beautifully at all angles. This allows for stunning, varied wedding photos of the bridal party, be the photos posed or candid. This bridesmaid dress design also makes hair styling hassle-free because it works with any look: you can pair an open back dress with an updo for a refined aesthetic or opt for tousled curls for a more wild-spirited affair.