As we’ve mentioned several times before, the popularity of the series, Bridgerton (now getting ready to begin its second season!) is definitely having an influence on weddings in 2022. Deemed “Regencycore”, the theming and décor at many wedding venues reflect a royal Regency Era vibe as of late, with designs reminiscent of the lavish sets found in the hit Netflix show.
Vintage furnishings with decorative carvings and bold embellishments, opulent chandeliers, flowing drapery, damask patterns in deep, rich colors and antique brass and gold metals are dominating the most glamorous of events. But nowhere is this romantic early 19th century European style more prominent than in bridal fashion.
This era’s clothing style is called Regency Fashion, and women’s dress has several highly identifiable features, namely empire waistlines, square necklines, a conspicuous décolletage, puff or cap sleeves, long gloves and ornate jewelry. Skirts are long and full, and for the finest occasions, bejeweled or embroidered. In the early 19th Century, they would be made of muslin or silk but today, they’re found in a larger variety of soft and light fabrics for the modern bride.
Can’t you picture this dreamy look? If you’re not watching Bridgerton, think Elizabeth Bennet, Marianne Dashwood or one of many other romantic characters in Jane Austen classics. But you won’t find one bridal gown this year embodying all of the Regency Era fashion attributes. Most brides don’t want their wedding to feel like a costume party! And a ‘conspicuous décolletage’ is not for every bride. Instead, subtle touches, one or two Regency details, are making their way into wedding attire.
Cap sleeves and square necklines are two of the most readily available Regency Fashion elements to be found in today’s designer bridal gown collections. Delicate cap sleeves (tiny, fitted sleeves that taper under the arm) especially when worn completely off-the-shoulder, are so romantic and pair beautifully with any dress silhouette. Square or slightly scooped necklines are the epitome of this free and fanciful Romantic Age. And larger, more elaborate jewelry pieces, such as the popular chandelier earrings, tiaras and crowns, celebrate one’s inner beau monde.
The high empire waistline, undoubtedly the most recognizable feature of a Regency Era dress, simply isn’t the most flattering style or comfortable choice for every bride. So although the empire waist is an iconic and beautiful silhouette, ball gowns or A-line designs paired with definitive Regency Fashion clothing details, are far more popular.
Many of the brides we’ve filmed have incorporated different Regency Fashion attributes into their bridal attire. Ann Marie definitely reflected a beautiful and classic regal tone, with a custom-made gown with rhinestones, lovely cap sleeves and a sparkling headband at her grand Philadelphia Marriott Downtown wedding event.
Roxanne’s gorgeous wedding dress, featuring a higher waistline, a square neckline and off-the-shoulder lace cap sleeves, certainly embodied many Regency Fashion staples.
And going way back in our library, Bethann was way ahead of the trend wearing a beautiful light and airy gown with a definitively square neckline and lots of lace and ruffles. With her wavy hair fastened in a soft updo, she was the epitome of Regency romance.