Wedding Season: Be The Best Dressed in 2024

As the longer and warmer days beckon, the wedding season is finally upon us. In this article, we will bring you the latest trends for 2024’s wedding season so you can be the best-dressed at any wedding this spring and summer! 

We will delve into this season’s most coveted wedding themes, colour palettes, and dress styles – for brides, bridesmaids and guests alike – and guide you through the must-have accessories, with a special focus on headwear. Headwear – whether it’s a veil, tiara, or floral crown – has always been the crowning glory of a bride’s ensemble, elevating her style with elegance and traditional significance. And no wedding guest’s outfit is complete without a hat or headpiece!

As an expert milliner based in London, Alexandra Harper is perfectly poised to help you choose the right headwear for any wedding.

2024’s Hottest Wedding Themes 

No conversation about 2024’s wedding themes can fail to mention the “quiet luxury” trend, epitomised by Sofia Richie’s South of France wedding. Quiet luxury weddings are all about minimal elegance: think timeless, classic aesthetic, lush florals, bright and airy colours, minimal makeup and a sleek wedding wardrobe. 

In stark contrast to the “quiet luxury” theme is the Summer Camp- themed wedding, made popular by actress Beanie Feldstein and her wife Bonnie Chance. The trend focuses on a connection with nature and on providing a true bonding experience amongst the guests in a more relaxed setting, appealing to our collective yearning for nostalgia and escapism.

Closely linked to this outdoorsy wedding vibe is the continuing popularity of alternative wedding venues and decorations. In recent years, couples have been embracing unique and unconventional venues, such as barns, vineyards, and industrial spaces; this trend accelerated during the pandemic, as indoor venues became off-limits. In 2024, we expect this trend to continue – wine-themed weddings set in vineyards, in particular, are seeing a surge in interest.

Wedding Dress Styles and Colour Palette

Florals is a bridal theme that never goes out of style. In 2024, this motif comes in fresh iterations – one particular standout trend is the use of appliqués to create unique 3D floral elements, from sweet rosettes at the bustlines of dresses at Alexandra Grecco to textural white and light green petals along a gorgeous column dress by Monique Lhuillier

Another major trend in wedding dresses is the use of bows and ribbons, which has been attributed to the rising popularity of the balletcore aesthetic. While bows were previously used as an accessory to complement a wedding outfit, they have now become an integral part of the structure of many gowns for 2024. No designer has leaned into this trend more wholeheartedly than Elie Saab, whose collection features bejewelled bows that are incorporated into bodices and gowns with sculpted bow-like bustlines. This sweet motif is set to make an appearance at many weddings this summer.

In contrast to the delicate sleeves seen in 2023, wedding dress sleeves are going big and bold this year, with oversized and statement sleeves featuring prominently across many bridal collections. Fashion-forward puff sleeves – worn off the shoulder for a nonchalant look – and billowing 1970s pleated sleeves are just some of the manifestations of this trend. Another trend to look out for in the sleeve department is detachable sleeves – this clever and versatile feature allows brides to switch up their looks from day to night without a full outfit change.

Similarly, dramatic overskirts offer another easy way to transform a bridal outfit, ideal for brides who want a dramatic shape for only a portion of their wedding. Designers such as Enaura embraced this trend by pairing sleek column dresses with stunning overskirts and full trains to create an elegant contrast in shape while allowing for an effortless transition from ceremony to party.

And we’ve got some good news for adventurous brides when it comes to colour choice: white is not your only option! Pastel pinks and blues have added dreamy, whimsical touches to the collections of many designers, including Ines Di Santo and Honor NYC. Other designers – including Galia Lahav and Nadia Manjarrez – channelled a gothic vibe with dramatic black gowns, offering an alternative option for bribes seeking a truly memorable look.

Bridesmaid Dresses: Key 2024 Trends

Lilac is one of 2024’s standout colours when it comes to bridesmaid dresses – shades of periwinkle, lavender and other variations on this colour scheme are set to take centre stage at many weddings this spring and summer. Effortlessly feminine and romantic, these hues are perfect for the warmer months and have the added advantage of being universally flattering on all skin tones.

Echoing the trend for black wedding gowns mentioned earlier, 2024 also sees the rising popularity of black bridesmaid dresses, breaking free from the traditional taboo against wearing black at nuptials. But it’s easy to see the appeal of black bridesmaid dresses – when paired with a bride in a dazzling white gown, bridesmaids in black provide a vivid contrast, forming a chic and understated palette. It’s definitely a winning combination.

Another trend that’s gathering steam is mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses. While the trend itself is not new, the increasing popularity of more casual, outdoor-inspired weddings, as mentioned earlier, has certainly contributed to its rising popularity, as non-matching bridesmaid dresses can perfectly channel that carefree, unconventional vibe. And, of course, bridesmaids have the freedom to choose whatever colour and style works best for them, something that truly lets their individuality shine.

A Quick Guide to Wedding Guest Dresses

Have you been invited to a spring or summer wedding and are not sure what to wear? The first thing to consider is the type of wedding it’s going to be – is the venue formal or relaxed? Will the event mostly take place indoors or outdoors? These factors will steer the dress code. 

In terms of colour choice, it’s best to err on the side of caution as a guest: avoid white, black or red, which are traditionally considered faux pas! You cannot go wrong with bright, summery shades, from pink and green to yellow and blue. Also, you might want to consider a print, especially florals and polka dots – it’s a great way to tap into the joyful feel of the occasion. 

In terms of silhouette, 2024 is all about flowing shapes that look effortlessly romantic. The midi length, which has been trending for several years, is still the go-to choice for many wedding guests, which is great news as this length is flattering on all body shapes. It also offers the added benefit of being comfortable for both indoor and outdoor wear, offering some extra warmth after the sun goes down and well into the night. 

Complete Your Outfit With The Perfect Accessory

Whether you’re the star of the show, one of the bridesmaids, or an honoured guest, your outfit for this momentous occasion will not be complete without the right accessories. For brides, the most important accessory of all, needless to say, is the bridal veil – and this year brings some surprising new trends when it comes to this all-important adornment. 

Just as with wedding gowns, white is no longer the only colour choice. One standout colour is pink, inspired by the Barbie movie, which took the world by storm last year. Pearls will also feature abundantly in bridal veils in 2024, tapping into the maximalist trend that’s making a comeback in the fashion world at large. Also reflecting this exuberant mood is the surging popularity of dramatic veils that can often become the statement piece of the entire bridal look. Floor-length veils with exquisite embroidery, appliqué and other embellishments will add drama to even the simplest of gowns.

In terms of handbag choice, clutch bags or bijou shoulder bags remain the most popular options for brides and guests alike. While classic bags in neutral shades like beige, silver, white or black will always stand the test of time and can be used on many future occasions, a statement clutch will truly help you make a spectacular entrance. Opt for a bejewelled style or something in a dazzling jewel hue, from ruby and amethyst to sapphire and jade. 

This guide would not be complete without a section on headwear – nothing will elevate your outfit like a statement piece of headwear, whether it’s a hat or headpiece. The main difference between a hat and a headpiece is that the former covers the entire head and sits loosely on the top of the head, while the latter is worn using a hair comb, elastic or headband to fix it to the wearer’s hair. Both forms of headwear are acceptable for daytime weddings; not only do they enhance the wearer’s outfit, but they can elevate the occasion, making it more colourful, joyful and memorable. Headpieces and headwear are great for evening events, so there’s no need to remove them once you hit the dancefloor!’

When it comes to headwear, don’t be afraid to go bold! Even if you opt for a simple dress, you can embrace bright colours and exuberant designs with your headwear choice. Alexandra Harper Milliner’s Spring and Summer 2024 Collection brings together a range of hats, fascinators and hair accessories that will help you stand out from the crowd. Featuring a vast array of bright hues, from chartreuse and electric blue to cherry red and hot pink, this collection has something for everyone that will make a wedding outfit truly complete. 

Below is a curated selection of pieces from this collection that will be perfect for any bride’s wedding ensemble. 

Grounding: Perfect for classic brides, this side-beret style headpiece features a cacophony of swirls and curves in timeless ivory. 

Heaven Is Internal: Perfect for brides who want to add a modern statement, this perching coolie hat in pure white is adorned with handmade raffia pompoms. 

Experience Joy Silk Moiré Butterfly Bow Clip: Perfect for brides who want a delicate, eye-catching accessory that can be worked into their hairstyle, these silver alligator clips are embellished with delicate bows reminiscent of butterfly wings. They are available in three colours and can be worn together or individually, offering the ultimate versatility and styling possibilities. The sweet joyfulness of the butterflies makes them the perfect accessory for wedding days.

Dwelling of the Wondrous: Perfect for brides who want a vintage twist, this classic, elegant, and attractive side-beret style headpiece is in a timeless cream / beige shade. The hand-beaded cream beads and 1950s vintage blooms exude real craftsmanship and artistry, making this headpiece a true statement accessory.

Soar Angelic: Perfect for brides who want to add some colour, this pale pink, side-beret-style headpiece features the prettiest pink and classic veiling, making it the ideal wedding accessory.

Craft A Lasting Memory With A Custom-Made Design By Alexandra Harper Milliner

While Alexandra Harper Millinery offers a wide selection of headpieces that will elevate any wedding outfit, some occasions call for something truly one-of-a-kind. If you would like a bespoke headpiece for this momentous occasion, whether you’re the bride, mother of the groom or bride, a bridesmaid, or a wedding guest, we encourage you to explore our custom design service. This service allows us to craft an entirely bespoke piece that fits your exact vision. Imagine owning a never-seen-before masterpiece that will bring back memories of this significant day for years to come, or even a family heirloom that can be passed down the generations. It will be a legacy that can last a lifetime and beyond. 

You can visit us in the studio, your home, or a mutually convenient location. We can also conduct consultations via telephone, Zoom or email. Photographs and updates will be emailed to you throughout the construction process, and we are very happy to match colours and fabrics to your outfit, even custom-dyeing where necessary. The process can usually be completed within two or three weeks. Contact Alexandra today to create a millinery masterpiece unique to you.