100 Years of Wedding Dresses: 1990s



The 1990s were characterised by a rise in multiculturalism as the world became more connected than ever, aided by new technology such as the internet and the expansion of television. Young people adopted a more anti-conformist approach to fashion with movements such as grunge, hip hop and the rave scene spreading throughout the world.


After the excess of the 1980s, a more minimalist style took control and became the most popular choice for brides. The silhouette was much more fitted and led to a more androgynous look. Embellishments such as lace and beading were rarely seen or used sparingly.


Carolyn Bessette Kennedy is widely acknowledged as setting the trend for pared-down simplicity at her wedding to JFK, Jr. in 1996, wearing an iconic, simple silk designed by Narciso Rodriguez.


More and more couples were choosing to have their weddings outside of the church setting so strapless gowns, plunging necklines and low backs became more acceptable. Couples also began to have their weddings abroad in warmer climates, needing light and looser dresses that could travel easily and wouldn’t be damaged.


Wedding dress designers started to become household names, such as Vera Wang whose style at the time was all about understated chic and she was the first American bridal designer to really influence European style.


In terms of veils, more straightforward styles were common and flower crowns were popular.

Big hair continued into the 1990s with perms, curled fringes and hairspray being the fashion at the time. Make-up was defined by natural, clean faces with a light colour on the cheeks, dark brows and dark red and brown lips.


Neat and chic bridal bouquets became popular using muted or pastel colours with jewels mixed in amongst the flowers.


Image 1: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy on her wedding day to JFK, Jr. in 1996

Image 2: Victoria Beckham in a Vera Wang dress in 1999.

Image 3: Lisa Rinna in a Vera Wang dress in 1997.



Feel free to get in touch if you have a question or want to talk about how I can help you plan your wedding by visiting leaholiviaweddings.com or email leah@leaholiviaweddings.com.


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