Call it a return from restraint, the post-pandemic bride and groom are making bigger, bolder decisions when it comes to their wedding day style.
For brides, the moodboard draws from wildly different sources from blue hues to Bridgerton but one thing is for sure — the 2023 bride is truly dressing for herself. Pastels and block colouring dominated in menswear; think Barry Keoghan in baby blue and Gabriel LaBelle in monochromatic periwinkle at The Golden Globes.
The devil’s in the details and men and non-binary people are seeking stylish injections to customise their suits via vintage buttons, hand sewn embroidery or florals and frippery. Pre-loved wedding garments are on the rise too, with sustainability playing a major part as renting the runway has never been easier.
Sustainability is always a hot topic in The White & Gold bridal shop in Kinsale, and it is at the core of some of its designer’s collections, says owner and stylist, Sorcha Gillett.
Bon Bride at The White and Gold, Kinsale.
“Danish designer Fekih now lines their dresses with a luxurious vegan silk which is a by-product of cotton production. Dresses are only cut to order so there is no dead-stock and no fabric wastage.”
Prices range from €2,600 to approximately €10,000.
One designer at White & Gold goes a step further to prolong the lifecycle of your wedding dress.
“London designer Bon Bride offers brides an incredible post-wedding service where they can have their dress altered to re-wear and enjoy it all over again. I am always demonstrating to our brides how their dresses can be cut, dyed and reworn; no item of clothing should only be worn once.”
Flowers have long been a staple for bridesmaids but this year, more and more brides are turning to the natural world for inspiration. Floral appliqué got a sexy makeover at Pronovias and Yolancris, with cut out detailing, figure hugging shapes and edgier offerings than ever before. Oversized floral motifs bring high octane glamour.
This Magda Butrym silk organza mini dress, €2,175 from netaporter.com, could be dyed and re-purposed afterwards for cocktail parties.
MAGDA BUTRYM dress Net a Porter.
Monique Lhullier’s (stocked at The Suite, Dublin) colourfully embroidered dresses are a real show stopper — the intricate embroidered blossoms conjure romance and whimsy in abundance.
2023 is all about ripping up the sartorial rule book when it comes to wedding dresses! Mixing and matching separates from bustiers to trousers, suits and skirts is on the agenda.
Adeline jacket and keeley trousers both £375.
Maybe it’s the influence of Instagram but brides are craving their very own ‘red carpet moment’ and bucking the dress trend really makes a statement. Rixo’s bridal range imbues off-duty model vibes and will appeal to vintage aficionados.
For a long time, the boldest deviation from white for a bride was magnolia but the temporary hiatus on wedding ceremonies during Covid has encouraged brides to really go for what they want, which is all things blue.
From a splash of glacier blue tulle train at Ines Di Santo (stocked at Bridal Village with discounts of up to 70%) to a blue silk taffeta sash at Amsale, (stocked at Alice May, Dublin) brides are leaning into the superstition and going blue.
Empire line dresses, opera gloves, pearl necklaces and tiaras all come with guaranteed swoon factor, thanks to the influence of Bridgerton. Channel your inner Daphne in the Melba bardot dress from Whistles, at €519 it’s affordable luxury at its best. The Sho maxi dress from LoveShack Fancy, approximately €673.44, is giving main character energy; it combines the delicacy of lace flutter sleeves with a pearl-trimmed neck and the universally flattering empire waistband.
Tell the groom he’s the second most important person on his wedding day and you might owe him a pint but there’s no disputing a three-piece suit is a timeless classic. Navy and grey are failsafe options. Family run business Diffney has a slew of three-piece suits, as does Tom Murphy on Cork’s Patrick Street who also offers a made to measure service. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to nuptial style and Hunter Treacy tailors spend 4-12 weeks custom-designing and sewing suits from midnight blue double breasted stripes to velvet tuxedos and green silk separates paired with a paisley pocket square or tie. Expect to pay between €750 and €1200 for a bespoke suit.
You only have to look at the Golden Globes best dressed list to note that block colour in pastel hues is tres chic. Louis Copeland’s Inch Stripe wool blend suit, €799, would look elegant paired with horsebit loafers or a more casual moccasin. Paul Smith is always a safe bet if you’re buying online or off the rack; his pastel blue two piece is a slightly more sober homage to Bowie’s Freddie Burretti ensemble in Life on Mars for the adventurous groom.
Paul Smith pale blue mohair suit.
If you prefer to keep the suit classic, the groom can show personality in other ways, especially through accessories. Quirky cufflinks like these aviation-inspired ones from Paul Smith at Brown Thomas will help to ease any wedding day nerves.
Paul Smith cufflinks from Brown Thomas.
Boutonnieres run the gamut from vibrant posies to understated, neutral dried arrangements — talk to your florist about creating something that fits in with the theme. Consider going vintage for the pocket square or have one made by Hunter Treacy or The Belfast Bow Company. May Tie creates bow ties from cork, wood, silk, and linen as well as designing capes and hats should your tastes veer towards the Watson and Holmes variety.
The ubiquitous wool tweed is taking a slight step back as grooms are opting for cooler, lighter fabrics this spring/summer. Moss Bros has combined the best of both worlds with tweed print and linen fabric. Looking for something more sustainable? Suits.ie has a showroom at the South Link Business Park and offers rental on suits in all fabrics and prints.
If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for the groom and double-breasted suits have made a resurgence at weddings of late. The double breasted jacket cuts a looser fit in most styles and is less figure-hugging than its single-breasted comrade. Benetti Menswear, available in several menswear stores around Ireland while Scandinavian brand, Oscar Jacobsen does a double-breasted tuxedo if the occasion calls for it.