The ceremony aisle is basically your own personal catwalk, so a killer wedding dress is definitely in order. The process of finding a dress — along with most of the other wedding-planning decisions you’ll make — can feel totally daunting, especially with so much inspiration floating around. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by images of elegant A-lines, romantic lace and ethereal chiffon and tulle — they’re the iconic image of “bridal,” after all. But you have to do YOU on your wedding day, so if traditional is totally not your thing (as gorgeous as it is), ditch it for designs that channel the modern vibes you love. To start you on the right path to finding the dress of your dreams, we’ve curated a list of 13 modern mermaid gowns that will knock your nuptial style out of the park.
1. Nicole Miller Celine Bridal Gown ($1,200): Between the dramatic train and crisscross straps, this elegantly understated dress is all about the party in the back. Let the gown’s elegant simplicity speak for itself by pairing it with a pair of glittering drop earrings and a playful pink lip.
2. Roland Mouret Godfrey One-Shoulder Gown ($3,535): This origami-inspired number is sophistication in tangible form. The ladylike peplum and structural one-shoulder silhouette strike just the right balance of feminine elegance and modern muse. Complement the cream hue with gold accessories like an edgy cuff or architectural earrings.
3. Houghton Duncan Gown ($2,450): It-girl cool is imminent when you show up to the ceremony in this designer creation. It brings the best of both worlds with a streamlined, high-neck bodice and layers of fluttery ruffles. Pair it with look-at-me shoes like these pretty pink pumps.
4. Jill Stuart Strapless Maxi Dress ($396): This is not a drill. This sophisticated stunner is actually under $500. Impeccable wedding day style doesn’t have to break the bank, and this beaut proves it. Up the elegance factor with a simple classic veil and a glitzy collar necklace.
5. J.Crew Harper Beaded Mermaid Gown ($1,100): Vintage elegance gets a modern day makeover with this shimmery mermaid number. The simple silhouette has slinky slip-inspired appeal, while hand-sewn beads bring the glamour in a totally modern way. Pair this one with a bird cage or bubble veil and a bold shade of berry lipstick.
6. Kaviar Gauche Victory Lace Dress ($3,002): Straight-up romance right here. If you want a contemporary look that feels incredibly timeless, this lacy mermaid dress is the answer. The sleek silhouette has 21st-century bombshell written all over it, while a cropped lace overlay and illusion sleeves add swoon-worthy softness. Style hair into long loose waves, then add a gilded headpiece for a DDG look.
7. J. Mendel Adelaide Strapless Bustier Gown ($4,400): Clean lines and architectural folds lend sculptural appeal to this strapless mermaid stunner. Sheer tulle panels and a diamond-shaped cutout at the back offer a cheeky but totally tasteful peek of skin, while the graceful train introduces an element of elegant drama. Basically, this show-stopper is the whole package.
8. Made With Love Danni Dress ($2,700): Looking for lace with attitude? This sensual number is it. The daringly low back and sheer skirt put an envelope-pushing edge on the classic lace gown that will make jaws drop the minute you enter the room. Stick to tradition for the ceremony with a lace-trimmed veil, then go all-out glam for the after party with an eye-catching headpiece that glitters out on the dance floor.
9. Lazaro LZ3610 (Price upon request): Hello, gorgeous! Knock ’em dead with over-the-top ruffles and a lace corset bodice that will make your wedding style go down in history. Opt for natural-looking makeup with a bit of extra emphasis around the eyes to balance out the bodacious gown.
10. Amsale “Lenox” Beaded Illusion Strap Silk Blend Trumpet Dress ($4,800): Love one-and-done style? This gown has you covered with rhinestone-studded straps that deliver plenty of big-day glitter and a sweeping train that will no doubt steal the show. Style with a pearl-adorned birdcage bandeau veil to let all of its best features shine.
11. Casablanca Camellia Gown ($1,350): Intricate beadwork, fabric-covered buttons and an OMG-worthy train — this ultra-glam gown does it all. Skip the extras, save a delicate bracelet or two, and weave flowers through your hair for a wedding-day look that reads 21st-century bohemian romance.
12. Stone Cold Fox Market Gown ($815): Big on prints? Meet your match. Textured, scalloped embroidery on this ethereal mermaid is a one-of-a-kind embellishment that will set your bridal style apart. Round out the look with a starry crystal headpiece and a gilded chain belt.
13. Amanda Wakeley Rajasthan Antonella Bridal Gown (Price upon request): Keep all eyes on you all night long with subtle details that make a major impact. Signature top-stitched detailing and a full skirt that leads into an unforgettable cathedral train will do just that. Drive the look home with a sultry smokey eye, simple veil and glittering chandelier earrings.
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