As a wedding dress consultant, I've heard brides say, "I'm not sure what works for my body type" time and time again. So brides, when in doubt, start with the A-line silhouette. You can't go wrong with A-line dresses, and it's a place to begin the search to see what you love vs. don't love.
So... what is an A-line wedding dress?
An A-line dress literally means a dress that shapes like an A. The silhouette features a tighter upper body hug and gradually spread starting at the waistline. This silhouette looks flatter on all body types, and it is a reliable choice when brides get overwhelmed with a million options.
So with A-line being the perfect silhouette for any body type, what about materials? The possibilities are endless when designing a wedding dress - colors, motifs, embellishments, laces, etc. If you're conscious about a certain part of your body, the rule of thumb is to choose details that draw the attention away from that part. For example, if you feel conscious about your upper arms, you should not cover them up entirely, unlike popular belief. Instead, you want to add embellishments to the bodice and draw attention away from your arms.
In terms of motifs, many trends are focusing on simplicity, elegance, and sophistication. However, this is up to your personal preference as you could choose lace or embroidery or nothing at all.
Now that we all agreed, the A-line silhouette is the most reliable answer when you don't know where to start; let's look at iconic A-line gowns that we at Dare and Dazzle absolutely love.
The most iconic A-line wedding dresses of all time
The Duchess of Cambridge
Catherine Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, becoming HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. On their big day, Sarah Burton, the artistic director of Alexander McQueen, dressed Middleton in an ivory and white satin gazar dress with long sleeves and a bodice trimmed in couture lace. It was a timeless and stunning A-line wedding gown with lace over the shoulders. The Royal School of Needlework, located at Hampton Court Palace, created the lace appliqué on the dress's skirt and bodice. The dressmakers employed the Carrickmacross lace-making process, which dates back to the 1820s in Ireland. The Cartier Halo Tiara, which Queen Elizabeth chose, was worn with the gown and a veil made from layers of ivory tulle to complete the iconic look.
Gwyneth Paltrow wedded Brad Falchuk in an intimate wedding at the couple's Hamptons home in 2018. Her bohemian gown was created by Valentino designer Pierpaolo Piccioli according to her idea. Paltrow said "I do" in an A-line wedding gown with swoon-worthy flower lace appliqués over nude lining, capped shoulders, and a keyhole back with a cathedral-length veil. This dress is romantic, whimsical and is ranking high on our top pick!
In 2017, Pippa Middleton married James Matthews at St Mark's Church on the Englefield Estate. Pippa Middleton wore a lace gown by British couturier Giles Deacon with a tulle-filled train. Featuring all-over lace, a high Victorian neckline, a voluminous A-line skirt, cap sleeves, and a keyhole back, the look was completed with a pearl-studded veil by Stephen Jones, a Maidenhair Fern tiara, and Manolo shoes. It was Pippa's style at its best: traditional, trendy, and classy.
In 2012, Anne Hathaway married Adam Shulman in an outdoor sunset ceremony in Big Sur, California. Hathaway dressed in a Valentino wedding gown made of elegant lace and quilting, as well as a spectacular full-length veil and retro headpiece she made herself. The gauzy Valentino gown had an off-the-shoulder neckline, soft lace, and a crowning veil that cascaded down the gown floor-length, making it as romantic and whimsical as a princess.
Ellie Goulding and her beau Caspar Jopling looked like a real Belle in a timeless A-line for her big day on Saturday, August 31, 2019, at York. Her amazing long-sleeved wedding dress was designed by Natacha Ramsay-Levi. And you may recognize that it looks familiar. That's because it was inspired by Princess Anne and Bianca Jagger to the Princess of Monaco [Grace Kelly].
Princess Beatrice of York
A princess in a classic A-line gown! Princess Beatrice of York married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a special ceremony in Windsor on July 17, 2020. Walking down the "natural" aisle, she wore a Norman Hartnell gown made of Peau De Soie taffeta and organza, decorated with Duchess satin and encrusted with diamanté. It is absolutely stunning and swoon-worthy!
Via Harpers Bazaar
Last but not least, on October 18, 2018, Karlie Kloss married Josh Kushner in a romantic ceremony in upstate New York in front of 80 guests. Kloss's wedding gown was a custom design by Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior, with elegant sleeves and rouleaux buttons down the back. There's a lot to love about this dress, from the dreamy voluminous A-line skirt to the charming flutter sleeves and exquisite beading.
If you're now convinced A-line silhouette is for you, check it out here!