Bridal fashion 2021: Ultimate Trend Guide for style down the aisle

Justin Alexander captures modern bridal romance
Brooke is a fluid halter neck gown with flattering cummerbund from the latest Justin Alexander collection

Absolutely Weddings has teamed up with Justin Alexander to bring you six key bridal fashion trends for the 2021 wedding season

After a year when weddings were scaled back or postponed, there’s no doubt that 2021 and beyond are going to be brilliant for bridal fashion, with a wedding-day look to suit every bride. So, the key question is: which is the look for me?

If you are struggling, then good to know that increasing numbers of brides are picking two outfits – partly because extended celebrations (weekend plus) are now so popular. Alternatively, brides are hunting for that one perfect dress versatile enough to take them from ceremony to dancefloor and beyond.

Whatever your party priorities, the dress plays a starring role – it’s your day, your way, so yes to the big ballgown if that’s your dream! We’ve teamed up with Justin Alexander, the iconic New York design house, to pick out six key trends from its new-season bridal collection that guarantee perfect style down the aisle.

Dress up in a ballgown

After a year of dress down at home, it’s no surprise that brides want to dress up to party. The timeless ballgown is the biggest bridal fashion story of 2021, and there’s a fabulous vintage-meets-modern twist in many of the best designs. We love the bold lines of Belle, capturing the new-season spirit perfectly. It features a portrait neckline with finely structured bodice and full skirt – paying homage to classic mid-century glamour (think early seasons of The Crown). Modern style elements include the bold plunge front and pockets. The wedding dress features floral lace appliqué on the bodice and with covered buttons extending from bodice to train – both are classic Justin Alexander signature details.

Style-up and sparkle

Mermaid wedding gowns are another bridal classic, but there’s a contemporary twist and a sparkling extra element in this Blaire design. Made of luxurious Mikado, it has a sweetheart neckline and sleek modern profile, with detail seaming to flatter curves. The brilliant style-up twist comes from the beaded illusion bodysuit worn underneath. It’s an extra element that is perfect for a quick day-to-evening change – although we predict many brides will choose to sparkle all day. The bodysuit features button details that perfectly match the buttons at the back of the gown.

Love lace with attitude

Lace is being used in increasingly creative and modern ways. This season there are bold florals and graphic designs – and it’s being combined with luminous beading. Bianca is a perfect example of how lace adds star quality – it features on bodice, skirt and scalloped hem and comes with sparkle elements. A relaxed ballgown style, this gown is a great choice for a warm-weather party where you want the glamour of full skirt and train while keeping your cool. The silhouette-enhancing cut adds another confidence boost, with flattering lace cummerbund and plunge bodice with wide shoulder straps.

Choose a slinky showstopper

Gowns with minimal detailing can be showstoppers – especially when they are cut to tap into the fashion for slinky cuts that show off toned shoulders. Brynn is a high-impact look that is perfect for summer and destination brides – glamorous enough for day-to-evening as well as being a breeze to pack. Made of crepe, it has a bias-cut belt and softly fluted kick-pleat skirt for a fluid line. Covered buttons along the length of the gown – right to the end of the train – add refined detail in a simple and ultra-chic design.

Be a playful bride

Playful styles with fun details and lots of attitude are appearing across designer collections in 2021. Breslin is an irresistible example and offers so much to love. First up there are those on-trend dropped shoulder straps (detachable for a quick and easy style change). Then there’s the flirtatious ruffled effect of a frothy trumpet skirt just made for dancing. We also love the fine beaded lace appliqué, finished with a sparkly tulle underlayer for photo-perfect glamour.

Channel the Eighties-cool trend

We’re back to ballgowns, but this 2021 trend has more than a touch of 1980s cool. A standout piece from Justin Alexander’s new-season collection, Berkley is in lustrous off-white satin. The gown is all about clean style and bold lines – with straight neckline, box-pleat skirt and statement relaxed pockets. It’s a versatile gown you can dress up with pearls and diamonds or dress down with trainers and colourful accessories. It also looks just as stunning on the dancefloor as it does against a dreamy garden or beach-wedding backdrop.

Justin Alexander

To view the 2021 Justin Alexander bridal gown collections and find local stockists, visit


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