How Modern Brides Are Changing the Bridal Fashion Industry

Brides are no longer focused on selecting just one beautiful dress. As more pre-wedding parties are being added to the calendar of activities and weddings are increasingly spread across multiple days and venues, the modern bridal wardrobe now consists of a collection of outfits.

“Brides are really wanting to have an Instagrammable fashion moment for their bachelorette, their shower, their rehearsal and their after-party,” said Ms. Chapman. “It is about a wedding wardrobe for them right now.”

That was the case for Ms. Moore, the Dallas bride. Although she found her wedding dress only a few months before the main celebration, she had bought multiple bridal outfits since getting engaged in September 2021. First, there was the engagement party dress, then another dress for the bridal shower, then two more for a separate elopement in Las Vegas. And all of that was before the wedding weekend in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In total, Ms. Moore had eight different outfits in her bridal wardrobe, she said. One was secondhand, another had feathers, and everything she wore was bought online.

Although her bridal wardrobe ended up costing more than what the average American bride spends on one wedding dress, she pulled it off, she said, because she budgeted for it. “I went into it knowing I wanted to set aside a part of my budget that wasn’t for my wedding dress, but for other looks,” she said.

“I feel like for me, it’s just that time in your life when you’re the center of attention, and wedding dress shopping felt so high-pressure,” she added. “So buying these different looks was taking some pressure away from that, with the thinking that I have all these different moments where I can shine, and use my creative expression, and wear something I am super proud of.”

The desire for a multi-outfit bridal wardrobe is something that Amy Trinh, a co-founder of the brand WED, based in London, said she had noticed in particular because brides frequently want multiple outfits for multiple events that “are connected in aesthetic in some way,” she said.