This pandemic will forever signify a number of things—one of them being the lack of gatherings that have always been such a part of our lives. Perhaps the most significant of gatherings that we've missed over the course of the past 14 months is weddings. The majority of engaged couples postponed their weddings that were scheduled for 2020 or 2021, but as vaccinations tick up, many of those patient couples have begun to resume wedding planning. This is likely to cause an emotion we refer to as excitement with a side of overwhelmed.
We may not have all the tips for resuming wedding planning post-pandemic, but we do have some fashion-girl advice when it comes to the dress, flowers, honeymoon attire, shoes, invites, and more. We researched the coolest designers and vendors and did some extensive shopping for brides-to-be, narrowing it down to the most stylish options to give you some inspiration and to perhaps even help you kick off (or wrap up) your bridal shopping.
Read on for our best "cool bride" advice to fill your Pinterest board.
Photo:Danielle Frankel; Khyeli; Odylyne the Ceremony; Katharine Polk
Photo:Courtesy of Danielle Frankel
Danielle Frankel is one of those "tell me you're a fashion girl without telling me you're a fashion girl" bridal brands, so you'll surely find the designer on every cool bride's short list. The New York–based brand is designed by Danielle Hirsch, whose take on bridal wear marries classic design with modern tailoring. From voluminous gowns with belted waists to pleated taffeta dresses with puff sleeves, the pieces are a no-brainer for "fashion" brides.
Fresh, elegant, and feminine, Israeli bridal designer Dana Harel is celebrated for her ultra-romantic and avant-garde gowns that use intricate techniques—mixing precious materials such as crystal beading and handmade embroidery with luxurious fabrics—elevating her gowns to the level of couture. Entirely handmade, her breathtaking designs have garnered the attention of A-listers and celebs around the world. Her gowns are perfect for fashion-forward brides looking for an unconventional yet timeless wedding dress.
Katharine Polk, which just launched its first collection at the end of 2020, has everything we look for in a bridal brand, all wrapped up in one beautiful package. It's 100% female founded, funded, and run, it's sustainably designed and made in Los Angeles, customization and rush shipping are available, and most importantly, the brand offers inclusive sizing on all styles. Speaking of said styles, the offerings are unique, modern, and on-trend (without being overly "trendy"). It's truly the perfect formula for a fashion-girl bridal look. More good news: A new collection of options for the entire wedding weekend (an oft-overlooked category) just dropped earlier this month.
Photo:Odylyne the Ceremony
Odylyne the Ceremony is another Los Angeles–based brand that every fashion-girl bride should know. Designed by Stephanie White, each collection is ethereal and special and would appeal to any bride who dreams of getting married in the middle of the desert under the stars. These photogenic dresses were practically made for the great outdoors. Lastly, it's worth noting that this magical brand is paving the way for wedding minidresses to be a thing—the proof is on its Instagram feed.
Photo:Courtesy of Khyeli
Khyeli is the London-based brand you'll spot on red carpets and wedding aisles alike. Founded by Ahmed Alkhyeli, the couture pieces are truly show-stopping, finished with beautiful details ranging from intricate feathers to voluminous, puffed-up tulle. There's one thing that's certain: It's easy to see why the romantic gowns are a rising favorite among the fashion set.
There's no doubt that, this past year, we've seen a rise in women choosing alternative and nontraditional wedding outfits catered to more low-key wedding celebrations. Whether you're planning a courthouse ceremony, celebrating in your own backyard, or opting for a destination wedding, there are a number of non-bridal designers and brands that have created special capsule wedding collections and have designed effortless nontraditional dresses that are perfect for the aisle and beyond. From cool-girl brands such as Sleeper and Rixo to luxury designers such as Jacquemus and Khaite, take a look at some of the nontraditional wedding dresses we're loving right now.
Shoes are one of the key accessories that can really put the finishing touches on a wedding-day look. Depending on the style a bride opts for, they can transform the dress the bride is wearing. A pair of embellished heels from Jimmy Choo or Mach & Mach is a cool, directional take on a classic wedding shoe. Flats—ranging from pretty strappy styles to Sleeper's bow-adorned version—are the ultimate comfortable option for the fashion-forward bride. You can also go for Magda Butrym's pearl cowboy boots for something unexpected.
Obviously, the most important piece of jewelry that a bride wears is on her ring finger, but the rest of your wedding-day jewelry shouldn't be just an afterthought. Once you've secured your dress and have decided whether or not you'll be wearing a veil, it's smart to start thinking about jewelry that will complement—but not distract from—your dress and engagement ring. You certainly don't need pricey fine jewelry to do so. There are many lovely demi-fine and costume options from brands such as Alighieri and Completedworks as well as relatively affordable fine-jewelry options from the likes of Stone and Strand and Mateo, to name a few. Shop some of our favorite cool, wedding day–friendly baubles.
No matter the scale of your wedding, flowers are an integral part of wedding décor—adding visual beauty, mindfulness, and romance to each affair. From simple, minimal arrangements to more elaborate and fantastical floral designs, below, we're highlighting some of our favorite floral studios that will add color, texture, and a special feeling to your big day.
Floral designer and creative director Kristen Caissie is the force behind Moon Canyon, a California- and destination-wedding floral design studio, creating fresh, elegant, and wild floral designs that revolve around the seasons. Featured as a top florist by Martha Stewart and Harper's Bazaar, Moon Canyon tells stories with its work, approaching each wedding as an opportunity to embark on a fresh adventure, create a mood, celebrate beauty, and embrace the senses.
If you're looking for something bold, imaginative, and fantastical, look no further than L.A.–based floral design studio Isa Isa. With an emphasis on seasonal, local, and foraged flowers, branches, pods, and fruits, founder and designer Sophia Moreno-Bunge creates emotive, weird, and wonderfully inspired environments. Featured in everything from Vogue to The New York Times and with clients ranging from Chanel to Gucci and Goop, it's hard to take your eyes off Isa Isa's abstract and theatrical silhouettes.
Floral studio Everbloom is a relative newcomer to the wedding scene, bringing refined, romantic, and artisanal flowers to life's most important occasions. Designer and founder Erice McNeff creates magic with her compositions, bringing beautiful blooms to California and destination weddings everywhere. Her swoon-worthy bouquets are hard to resist.
There's so much to think about when planning a wedding, and figuring out things like bridesmaid gifts, a wedding-day handbag, and a getting-ready outfit can be overwhelming, but many of these "extras" are quite important. To make this admittedly vague category a little less daunting, start by making a list of the extra items you'll need to remember to shop for, and try to get them checked off as early as possible to avoid the dreaded last-minute scramble to find a pretty mask, ring box, or gift for your bridesmaids. (We promise they'll adore the personalized claw clip.) Here are eight chic options to help get you started.
Whether you love modern designs, beautiful calligraphy, or colorful illustrations, a beautiful wedding invitation suite is a form of creative expression, setting the tone of your upcoming wedding, building up the anticipation for the big day, and representing how special the occasion is for you. We're highlighting some gorgeous stationery designs and brands below that are loved by fashion girls and will become keepsakes for you and your family.
Happy Menocal's hand-painted whimsical lettering, delicate watercolors, and signature emblems are a major bridal favorite—loved by Vogue and the fashion set. New York artist and designer Happy Menocal and her team are like magical storytellers, creating super-personalized invitation suites with a sense of luxuriousness, joy, humor, and rigor. From creations decorated with striking flowers and animals to illustrations of local wedding locales, the brand's eye-catching creations are ones you'll cherish forever.
Delicate, intricate, and expressive, international artist, calligrapher, and author Veronica Halim's wedding invitation suites truly stand out from the crowd. Deeply influenced by nature, her use of exquisite materials, fabrics, and techniques are impressive and evoke a true sense of romance. These are the types of frame-worthy invites you'll cherish for a lifetime.
Based in France, artist Lise Mailman is the founder of Papier and Co., a branding and print design studio offering refreshingly cool, modern, and colorful invitations that can be shipped worldwide. We're particularly drawn to the brand's minimalist typography, eye-catching color palettes, and optimistic original art.
Photo:@vivianhoorn; Courtesy of Cult Gaia; Courtesy of With Jéan
Depending on where you book a honeymoon, your suitcase might have anything from cool swimsuits and dresses to fun jewelry and bags packed inside. One thing it should definitely include? Joyful items that can put you in the mood to celebrate. You really can't go wrong here, but it never hurts to have designers like Jacquemus, With Jéan, and La Manso in the mix.