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Well, if it’s the season for engagement sessions, that probably also means it’s the season for wedding dress shopping! Cue the exclamation points!! In the spirit of spring, we decided to each pick our four favorite designs from eighteen current collections. Floaty, structured, dreamy, embroidered, dramatic, or sweet — we each have our own preference, and hope our picks inspire, whatever your style might be!

I’m going to start with myself! A few things I like in a wedding gown: natural waists, full skirts, matte fabrics, sweetheart necklines, swiss dot fabrics, and draped bodices. Each of the gowns I’ve chosen has at least three of these criteria, and many have more than that!

1. The “Maribel” by Christos is quite possibly my favorite dress of all time. The swiss dot fabric is perfection! (The Maribel also scores the highest on the criteria count, coming in at a solid 6 for 6.)
2. The “Aimee” by Jenny Yoo is a beautiful bargain at $1,200. I love its delicate bodice. (Criteria: 3 for 6)
3. The “L238” from Legends by Romona Keveza is my shortie pick! John is a traditionalist when it comes to wedding gowns, which means that there is most likely not a short number in my future, but this would be my choice if there was! The stiff lace hanging past the skirt hem is gorgeous! (Criteria: 3 for 6)
4. Watters gowns are my new wedding love! This one is the “Sydney”, but I was also very tempted to include the “Lasara,” “Melbourne,” “Cancun,” or “Escalante.” (Criteria: 4 for 6)

From Nicole:

1. I love love love “Ceres” from Jenny Packham. The structured bodice is made more feminine with lace and the skirt has a ton of movement and isn’t overwhelming like a full ballgown can be.
2. Amsale “Ivy”. A dreamy dress. It looks so soft and feminine with the perfect hint of drama in the ballgown skirt and big organza flowers.
3. I’m a big fan of wedding dresses that aren’t white. This sherbet colored Lazaro (3108) looks like the ultimate princess dress. My absolute favorite part is the deep V in the back.
4. I love this White by Vera Wang for David’s Bridal dress five times more with the lace sleeves. Delicate and traditional but kicked up a notch with a huge black bow and smooth A-line.

From Whitney:

1. BHLDN is the brand new wedding line of a personal favorite brand (and probably your favorite, too), Anthropologie. The “Pleated Fantasy Gown” is just that, a fantasy. Everything about this gown is magnificent, from the piles of pleats to the dusky gray color.
2. Swoon-worthy. That is the only reaction that the “Serafina” from Kenneth Pool could possibly elicit. The strapless a-line gown with its gorgeous ruffled skirt is definitely one of the highlights from this season’s collections, in my quite honest opinion. Can you beat that beaded belt? I think not.
3. Oscar De La Renta has perfected the art of combining modern elegance with the memories of times past that lace often evokes. From the red carpet to a rose-petaled bridal walkway, Oscar De La Renta is the way to go when it comes to elegant gowns. I love the lace dress in Oscar’s spring 2011 line-up, particularly “22L20”and honestly I could see myself in a similar gown someday.
4. The “Elope”‘ dress from Sarah Seven would be the perfect choice for a low-key affair and I am absolutely obsessed with the small polka dots. Further, 5% of all proceeds go to charity! Heavenly.

From Sierra: I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to my favorite wedding dresses, which means I have four very different, equally lovely looks to share with you!

1. Modern Trousseau’s “Matilda” is simple and classic, perfect for a Southern belle on her big day. We’re a bit bow crazy around here, so the Matilda, with its subtle drop-waist bow detailing, is 100% SW-approved.
2. The JL227 from Priscilla of Boston’s Jewel Collection taps into my love for the ethereal. I love that the gown is a sophisticated update on the popular Grecian column style. The jeweled belt makes it more modern and just the right amount of glamourous.
3. Like Emily, I’m a through-and-through Christos fan, and think his flowy Christos “Magnolia”>”Magnolia” is whimsical and perfectly girly.
4. The Lazao “3111” is the only “princess” gown I would consider for my big day. The jeweled detailing at the waist seems to dress up the gown effortlessly, perfect for a formal cathedral wedding.

From Marissa:

1. Oh, Amsale! As you know, we are BIG Amsale fans around here, but this strapless satin “Ella” gown with its French lace bodice and grosgrain ribbon detail makes me fall in love with Amsale all over again!
2. My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw Watters’ “Escalante” gown! With its hand embroidered v-neck bodice and full skirt with pockets (bonus!) this dress is just perfect to me! I would literally wear this dress to the grocery store!
3. LulaKate’s “Christy” gown has to be in my top picks for spring 2011 gowns. The feminine ruffled collar alone makes my heart happy! This gown’s simple clean design makes the perfect canvas for a spectacular necklace or detailed-edged cathedral length veil.
4. Southern, vintage and glamorous! Three of my favorite words to hear when it comes to wedding gowns, and I’m happy to describe the “Grace” gown from Anne Barge with these words. This 1950’s style tulle ball gown is the epitome of classic style, and, well, grace!

From Katharine: When it came time to look for my own wedding dress last winter, it was pretty clear I had a distinct type: rich, structured materials, clean lines, classic silhouettes with natural waistlines and very little embellishments, save one or two unique details. (Amsale had my name written all over her lovely line!) Judging by my final pick, it seems I err on the minimalist side. But less is more, right?

1. If Jackie O. were to pick a wedding dress this year, it would be the “Clara” from Amsale’s luxe Blue Label. This dress, with it’s simple full skirt and 1950’s understated glamour, could totally be renamed the “Katharine.” It’s just that perfect for me. The chic bow detail at the waist makes an otherwise simple gown feminine without being too girly.
2. Priscilla of Boston’s “4507” is a bit more glitzy than I normally go for, but I just love how the full, pleated skirt and natural waist perfectly balance the jewel-encrusted top. If I had the curves to pull off a V-neck dress (which I don’t), this would be my pick.
3. More sophisticated than the 4507, Priscilla of Boston’s “4509″ is wedding day perfection. (This dress definitely would have given my Amsale “Blakely” a run for its money if I’d seen it first!) The shape and style are right up my alley, and the jeweled illusion neckline is understated glamour at its finest.
4. Sure, I’d have to grow a good six inches (and find a magical reserve of self-confidence!) to pull off this dramatic Romona Keveza, but I’m just crazy for the RK 226. With its slim mermaid shape and bold one-shoulder neckline, this silk sheath is a chicer, more modern version of my go-to favorites.

You’ve seen our favorites; now it’s time to tell us yours! What dress or designer are you loving right now? Are any of you wearing one of the dresses we highlighted in this post?! (If you are, send us a photo!)

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Mary reply

    Yipee, Emily! Maribel is my dress! Can’t wait to wear it :)

    • avatar Emily reply

      Ahhhhhh I am so jealous, Mary!! I’m sure you’re going to look GORGEOUS! You MUST send me photos after your wedding!

    • avatar Mary reply

      Emily: You are so sweet! Will do!

  2. avatar Kristin Nicole reply

    This post makes me want to get married again (same wonderful man of course) just to wear all these dresses.

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    I am all about textured skirts… give me tulle, ruffles, lace, pleats, or swiss dots any day! :) Thanks for sharing all these stunning gowns!

  4. avatar paloma reply

    I got to see the RK L238 in person and it seriously is such a stunner – the perfect balance of femininity and drama! I wish it came in a black lace for cocktail parties! Also really love Marissa’s pick of the LulaKate Christy! So unique!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      paloma: Can you relay where you tried the RK L238 on or saw it? I am on a hunt and have come up empty.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Marissa: Just in case Paloma doesn’t see your question to reply back, I’m guessing she tried it on at Lovely Bridal in New York — she works there sometimes! Either that, or at Bridal Market itself. Hope that helps! You should also try calling Romona Keveza directly, if you haven’t already — they’re very helpful!

  5. avatar katie reply

    I am wearing the Maribel, too! I knew I wanted texture and felt certain I would choose a lace dress. After I tried on that dress, my mom and I knew it was IT.

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