Wedding Dresses for Modern Brides

ShoppingFashion / Style

  • Author Karen Zabel
  • Published March 3, 2010
  • Word count 776

Choosing a wedding gown is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime, highly personal experience, and only the bride herself truly knows exactly what gown will suit her own personal sense of style. While modern brides were once limited in their gown selection, today’s designers fully recognize the style needs and considerations of today’s contemporary brides, and have responded with a plethora of styles and designs ideally suited to the modern bride.


While they are appropriate for day and evening ceremonies, as well as both indoor and outdoor events, short gowns are especially well-suited to more casual weddings, or outdoor or garden themes. Their abbreviated hemlines make them a great choice for the bride who has legs to die for, and are a great way to gently defy tradition and make a style statement of your own.

Featuring a sweetheart neckline and lace overlay, Bella’s short, strapless profile is perfect for garden weddings, as well as evening or outdoor affairs. The form-fitting silhouette flatters every curve, and the lace edge is the perfect complement to the streamlined design.

Frankie is a unique design that borrows elements of menswear to create a memorable impression. The wide-belted waist divides the strapless structured bodice from the simple skirt, and the overall design is expertly wrought in satin organza and tulle materials.

Sleek, strappy Paisley features a slimming shift style with satin waist embellishment and a striking V-back. Despite the gown’s simple lines, the English net overlay and lace appliqué make this contemporary gown something extra special.

Short and flirty, Larkin takes center stage and evokes images of flamenco with its flippy skirt and strapless bodice. This tea-length gown features a fitted waist and inverted pleat neckline, and is created in a luxurious combination of silk and cotton faille.

Platinum is a runway-inspired take on the contemporary gown, with loads of details that are sure to create a lasting impression among your wedding guests and bridal party. The encrusted bodice sparkles and glimmers above the gathered bubble skirt, and the bow-tie back closures and stylized rose embellishment on the skirt add to the drama and effect of this unique gown.

Other contemporary gowns offer a Chantilly lace overskirt and a closely pleated underskirt, while the strapless bodice offers a sweetly romantic sweetheart neckline. With sparkling waist embellishments and corset closure in back, this dress is sure to turn heads.


Full-length gowns are typically considered a more traditional choice, but today’s wide range of styles make them a good choice for any bride, regardless of the type of wedding she’s planning.

For a gown that’s ripe with tradition and substance, look for a hand-draped bodice embellished with vintage-inspired silk rosebuds, full, flowing skirts and A-line silhouettes. This is ideal for romantic-inspired ceremonies for both contemporary and traditional weddings.

A contemporary bride may also choose a strapless ball gown style, designed in rich silk-faced satin organza. Featuring a sweetheart neckline, dropped waist, and silk skirt, both the bodice and waist are embellished with silver sparkle for a shimmering finish that would be ideal in candlelit ceremonies and receptions.

Sleek and form-fitting, other modern full length gowns look like they’ve stepped right out of Hollywood’s glory days. The slim silk satin gown features shoulder straps heavily encrusted with crystals, as well as a vintage-inspired floral corsage accent. The swooping train and swirling draped bodice add to the vintage flair of this unique and stylish gown.

The chic modern bride should also look for a dress that echoes a Greco-Roman influence, with an empire waistline encrusted with Swarovski crystals. The flowing draped skirt is topped by a strapless modified sweetheart neckline and draped bodice and features a V-line back.

Callie is a fit to flare design, featuring a full and flirty lower skirt topped by a form-fitting extended bodice and modified sweetheart neckline. The self-bound seams and large self-bow finish the skirt with urbanity and aplomb.

Pure romance is the look created by other modern gowns, which feature removable halter straps and a silk taffeta construction. The cinched waist is topped by a draped bodice and simple sweetheart neckline, adorned with vintage-inspired embellishment.

Remember, when selecting your wedding gown, it’s important to work with an experienced bridal salon with a wide selection of quality dresses. Take your time, and keep an open mind to a variety of styles. Whether you choose a long or a short gown, your wedding gown can be as unique and individual as you are. Take your time to select your gown carefully, as you craft a day of memories and emotions that will sustain you for a lifetime of wedded bliss.

Karen Zabel is a freelance writer who writes about weddings and wedding dresses.

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