In a world where change continues to push boundaries, one thing remains the same: Every bride wants to look radiant on her wedding day.
While wedding gown trends shift annually, classic dresses continue to stand the test of time. Why is that? Because looking and feeling like a princess on your wedding day never goes out of style.
Some people may prefer a modern take on their wedding dress, but for a majority of brides-to-be, a traditional bridal gown is the way to go. From the time you were old enough to imagine your wedding, you probably had an idea of what you wanted your dress to resemble.
As decades went on, trends came and went, but that dream of walking down the aisle in something timeless, elegant, and (of course) white, never faded. If you’re a traditional bride who’s looking for the perfect gown, here are some of the most stunningly classic wedding dresses on the market.
Ah, yes, A-line wedding dresses. The “A” in the name of this gorgeous wedding dress style is representative of the shape that the skirt makes as it flares out from the bodice, but it should stand for authenticity. An A-line gown is authentically and undeniably the gown for a traditional bride.
A-line gowns are the perfect middle ground between a ball gown and a sheath style dress. This is the shape for the bride who finds elegance in simplicity. She wants to look like a princess, but she doesn’t want to overdo it. This is the gown for a bride who wants everything perfectly balanced on her perfectly special day (are you noticing a theme here?).
The skirt of an A-line gown is typically made from gentle, flowy material, but one that still retains its shape. If the skirt loses its structural integrity, the entire style of an A-line gown will be lost.
These simple wedding dresses look beautiful when made from fabrics such as mikado and charmeuse, which have a beautiful, glossy finish, and a little bit of stiffness. Sheer overlays can also be added to the skirt for an artful, delicate touch. No matter what individual elements you add to it, an A-line gown is going to create a gorgeous shape that will assure confidence follows any bride down the aisle.
Traditional Wedding Dress Tip: If you want to show off the silhouette of your A-line gown, opt for an updo hairstyle on the big day. The form-fitting part of this style is all in the bodice, and as luxurious as your long locks may be, they can potentially cover the shape of this style of gown and downplay its true beauty. An updo is not only going to ensure that your gorgeous dress is visible, but it will also prevent any rogue strands from interfering with your kiss at the altar.
Ball gowns are the ultimate fantasy when it comes to classic wedding dresses. From the tight bodice to the cascading skirt, and all the glamorous details that come with it, a dreamy ball gown is going to make any bride feel like she’s woken up in a fairytale. If you’re a traditional bride looking for the quintessential wedding dress, a ball gown is the way to go.
The skirt of a ball gown is typically made from a combination of fabrics. Sheer materials such as organza and tulle have a gauze-like texture that many designers use to volumize the lower half of ball gown style wedding dresses.
Not only are these sheer fabrics lightweight and easy to move around in, but they also embody a very princess-like vibe that’s going to make any bride’s wedding dreams come true. Fun fact, if Cinderella’s gown was real, it would probably have a tulle petticoat underneath. There’s no way that glittery fabric would stick out that far on its own.
Traditional Wedding Dress Tip: Tripping is a fear that many brides have when the big day is on the horizon. If you’ve chosen to wear a ball gown, the sheer size of this style may have heightened these fears. Make sure to bring the shoes you plan on wearing at the wedding to every dress fitting that you have. This will ensure that the hem of your dress is placed at the perfect height, which will save you from a potential tumble down the aisle.
For the more traditional bride, long sleeves are going to make a gorgeous addition to any gown. Your arms are a beautiful feature, and there’s no reason to leave them out of the wedding dress fun.
Not only are long-sleeve gowns beautiful, but they’re also versatile depending on your personal style. Sheer sleeves with some light embroidery will add a delicate element to your bridal gown, while opaque sleeves will add coverage and shape. Whatever way you choose to present them, long sleeves will help set your classic wedding dress apart from the others, without having to sacrifice the traditional aspects that you want to maintain.
Traditional Wedding Dress Tip: Long sleeves are a must-have for any fall or winter wedding. Shivering at the altar is no fun, and a gown with sleeves will keep you comfortable without having to hide your gorgeous dress under a coat (even if it’s a white coat). Don’t let a case of the sniffles ruin the honeymoon, opt for a dress that keeps you warm and keeps you in style.
For the traditional bride who’s looking for something more subtle than a ball gown or an A-line, sheath style wedding dresses are a fantastic option.
In addition to their beauty, sheath style gowns have a great deal of versatility. You can keep it subtle or amp up the glamour with beading, embroidery, and jewels. Either way, a sheath wedding dress is going to hug your curves without being overly sexy. Sheath style gowns are a great option for anyone who wants to look classy and sophisticated at the same time.
Sheath gowns are characterized by their narrow cut, and they tend to be made from silky fabrics that drape down the body elegantly. Opting for this style is a way to celebrate your body’s natural beauty without needing to show a lot of (or any) skin.
Sheath gowns are going to show your curves, but they’re not going to take your wedding guests to Curve City USA, if that makes sense. This wedding dress style is going to provide just the right amount of sultry, and still be appropriate for when your great-grandma comes up to congratulate you at the reception. If you like the look of more modern wedding dresses, but prefer something a little more timeless for yourself, a sheath gown is going to be the perfect choice for you.
Traditional Wedding Dress Tip: The tighter shape of a sheath style gown is going to leave room for a beautifully long veil. Larger gowns may appear too busy with an equally luxurious veil. If you love the look of a long, traditional veil, opt for a sheath style dress so you can wear both during the ceremony. As an added bonus, you can remove the veil for the reception and move around comfortably without a heavy gown weighing you down.
It’s perfectly normal to want to go the traditional route when it comes to your wedding gown. Classic wedding dresses bring an air of importance to your special day that a modern style may not be able to provide. Every bride deserves to feel like a princess on their wedding day if that’s what will make them feel beautiful and confident.
Traditional gowns also provide more modesty. For brides who are looking for more coverage, whether it's for family, spiritual, or simply personal reasons, classic wedding dresses are going to have you covered (literally).
Whatever the reason you’re opting for a traditional gown, any of these styles are going to have you absolutely glowing. Because, no matter what type of dress you wear, the love and happiness you’re going to feel on the big day is going to have you looking gorgeous.
As cheesy as it sounds, a smile really is the best accessory. Just make sure that you’re wearing a dress that makes that smile even bigger.
If you’re shopping around for a wedding dress, don’t forget to check out Zola’s online Bridal Boutique. Zola’s website allows you to filter your search based on price, color, designer, and, most importantly, style. The Bridal Boutique is going to have all the classic wedding dresses that you’re looking for, right in one place.
Zola also offers tools that will help you build your registry, design your wedding website, create invitations, and so much more. Ditch jumping around from website to website trying to get everything done, and get your entire wedding checklist done at Zola.