Nothing against runway models or mannequins, but seeing wedding gowns in all their splendour on brides of all shapes and sizes is a beautiful thing. Here, 50 real brides show us what they wore and why.
Cupcakes and Cashmere blogger Emily Schuman captivates millions of readers with her daily style snapshots and musings. When she announced she was engaged, fans wondered which gown would make the cut. This vintage-inspired Claire Pettibone stunner with intricate beading was worth the wait. "I didn't have to make any compromises—it fit the vibe of our venue perfectly, was flattering, but also extremely comfortable," said Emily.
Larissa reminds us of a movie starlet from a bygone era in her lace-edged Jasmine Couture gown (style T442) with its elegant illusion neckline. She accessorized it with a ballerina bun, silver heels and a creamy fur (not pictured) for her winter wedding at the Carrick House in Lexington, Kentucky.
Klia still gets messages from strangers asking who designed the intricately-detailed dress she wore to her December 2011 wedding, and with good reason: It's an original, there exists none like it. Philippines designer Veluz Reyes sketched the custom design based on the bride's personality, and the execution turned out beautifully. "I just could not stop smiling the day of the wedding!" the bride said.
Denise Panetta helped her daughter, Angela Fortescue, find her regal wedding gown by Ines di Santo. So it was only fitting that this amazing mom submitted her daughter's wedding photos to us on behalf of the bride, who wed this past August. "She knew when she tried this dress on that it was The One: It showed off her beautiful figure," said Panetta. The Detroit duo scored this couture style at half price during a sample sale at Roma Sposa Bridal Evening Atelier.
Carrie "simply couldn't resist" the exquisite hand-crafted lace of her Monique Lhullier dress. Her favorite part? She couldn't pick just one, raving about its sexy open back, elegant sleeves, and how comfortable it was to wear, despite the warm May weather.
Lace can be youthful and fresh: Just take a gander at this Martina Liana fit-and-flare that Megan wore at her July nuptials. The California bride added her grandmother's brooch to the back, and a rhinestone sash to the front. "It gave it that extra special touch and completed the dress — it was exactly what I had envisioned," she said.
Danielle's Alfred Angelo ballgown (part of the "Sapphire Collection") was the highlight of her Old Hollywood-themed fête in Florida. It had a chapel-length train and a cream color "that was beautiful at night." It also came with optional beaded straps.
When this bride slipped on Ian Stuart's "Sydney" at Mariee, a tiny shop in Gainey Village, she felt it was fate. Here, she's pictured with her new step-daughter by the same name at her April wedding on a golf course overlooking Eagle Mountain in Arizona. Her dress' vintage-inspired flair was enhanced with the addition of off-the-shoulder sleeves.
Brianna resembled a modern-day Veronica Lake at her wedding at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum in California. Her sophisticated Enzoani gown is versatile and the champagne sash adds a hint of color without being over-the-top.
Meghan married Kevin at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, Indiana on October 11, sharing the same wedding date as her parents. The gathered illusion neckline of her Vera Wang gown is an optimal choice for autumnal brides seeking coverage while still showing some skin.
Everything fell into place when Lindsay went for an impromptu dress shopping visit with her bridesmaids at a tiny boutique in Atlanta. She scored this Jim Hjelm gown for 80% off, so she had room to splurge for an aquamarine pair of Jimmy Choos at her November wedding in North Carolina.