Lacey or beaded, fitted or full…when it comes to wedding dress designs the options are seemingly limitless. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of “I Do” since your younger years, or maybe you’ve spent countless hours curating Pinterest boards packed with white tulle and trains, but while we’re spoiled for choice finding “The One” is often easier said than done.
In fact, many brides will try on dozens of dresses before declaring a winner. And while starring in your own private fashion show sounds like fun—and it is, for a while—many brides-to-be can feel confused and even concerned during the process. After all, there’s a lot of pressure put on brides to look their best on the Big Day and the dress plays a big part in that.
We want to look modern yet classic, elegant yet natural, and, of course, timeless.
No one wants to look back at their wedding album and regret making a choice that seemed trendy at the time…but feels horribly dated decades later. (Looking at you, puffy ‘80s sleeves.)
We don’t have a magic button that’ll give you all the answers, but we do have a handy guide that’ll give you some insight and inspiration so you’ll feel flawless as you walk down the aisle.
Here, a list of some of the best wedding dresses of 2017 that are sure to stand the test of time.
The A Line
Depending on your body shape, bridal consultants may recommend that you try on a specific silhouette. But there’s one cut that’s regarded to be the most universally flattering: the a-line. Perhaps not surprisingly, these dresses form the shape of the letter “A” and feature a subtly flared skirt attached to a fitted bodice, giving your waist plenty of definition.
This dress by Pronovias has all the elements of a classic wedding dress, including a simple waist bow, a touch of lace, and subtle button details on its back. The skirt, cut from heavy silk mikado, will swoop so elegantly on the dance floor.
The Modified A Line
For all intents and purposes, the modified a-line isn’t much different than a traditional a-line. The main difference here is that the skirt on the modified a-line will have a more subtle flare than a traditional a-line.
This a-line wedding dress by Lela Rose is proof that less is more. Deceptively simple, this design features a subtle embossed floral pattern and a structured bodice that’s both sweet and sophisticated. It’s a perfect canvas for a few pieces of statement jewelry.
If you’re looking for that Cinderella style, a ball gown dress is the way to go. The full skirt makes whirling and twirling a delight and you’re sure to make a statement. Because of its volume, this style works best on taller women.
Few wedding dress designers are as timeless as Vera Wang. Her creations are iconic and bold—fit for a queen. In fact, many of her designs seem to jump straight out of storybooks. It’s no wonder that so many brides-to-be dream of saying “I do” in these stunning works of art. This particular dress is for the bride that’s ready to have all eyes on her. The silk organza skirt is voluminous and light, while the embroidered bodice lends a touch of structure.
You can still feel like a princess without feeling like you’re drowning in your dress. This style is somewhere in between an a-line and a ball gown.
There’s something about a sweetheart neckline that’s just so, well, sweet! This beautiful gown by Reem Acra has all the elements for an ethereal bridal look: a soft, floating skirt, whimsical embellishments, and an illusion back with just a smattering of buttons. It’s hard to tell which decade this dress comes from…and that’s a good thing.
If you’re looking to show off your figure, a sheath dress is the way to go. This style will hug all of your curves, so you won’t have a full skirt to swish around in, but you’ll look oh-so-elegant.
This sheath dress, available at Luv Bridal, hits all the marks of a timeless dress. Cut from lace and featuring a simple bateau neckline, this design doesn’t have any frilly features that’ll have you saying “well, it was trendy at the time” when you look back on photos years later. What’s more, it has a beautiful lace train that’s versatile for any venue.
Mermaid dresses have become increasingly popular in recent years and can be quite dramatic. Essentially a “fit and flare” style, the bodice and waist are figure hugging and the skirt puffs out at the knees, much like the shape of its mythical namesake.
If you’re keen on a mermaid dress, we suggest taking a “less is more” approach as the cut itself is quite dramatic. This wedding dress, available at David’s Bridal, has all the element of a showstopper while still remaining restrained. Because the organza skirt is such a focal point of the piece, it’s important that the bodice isn’t too overwhelming. The bead detailing and simple sweetheart neckline do just the trick to create an even balance.
Trumpet dresses also fall under the “fit and flare” category but are less dramatic than their mermaid cousins. The skirt’s flare begins mid-thigh and is subtler.
This trumpet dress by Anne Barge is perfect for the minimalist bride who appreciates understated elegance. The classic cut is accented with lacey waist details and cutout cap sleeves that are modern without being too “out there.”
The Tea Length
If you don’t fancy floor-length, something a little shorter might be just the solution. The hem on tea-length dresses hits between your knees and ankles, which is perfect for showing off your shoes.
A two-tiered skirt keeps things interesting in this tea-length wedding dress by Naeem Khan. Still, the tulle fabric isn’t a fleeting fad and the floral bodice is about as classic as it gets when it comes to bridal wear. The raw neckline is the perfect subtle touch to break from tradition without being too trendy.
The Drop Waist
A drop waist dress gives the illusion of a longer torso, as the dress’ waist will hit lower than your natural waist.
Get the best of both worlds with this dress by Mia Solano, available at Luv Bridal. The tulle skirt offers a fantastic train while the lacey bodice shows off your curves. A simple v-neck keeps things classic and tasteful.
When it comes to empire dresses, think a-line with a higher waist. This style will accentuate the bust while also elongating your body.
Is there anything more classic than a pleated skirt? This dress, by David’s Bridal, features just that, along with a dramatic sweetheart neckline and a cinched empire waist that’ll add inches to your frame. With no added embellishments, this dress is perfect for a glittering bangle and a pair of chandelier earrings.