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These Romantic Wedding Dresses Are Straight Out of a Story Book

Get inspired by these gorgeous gowns that are perfect for the romantic bride.

True romance is rarely a tame affair. It might be raucous and passionate, or quietly wondrous—and the gowns on these pages were chosen with that mercurial spirit in mind. Flowing, fluid, intricately detailed, each is as surprising as the love it celebrates.

(Above) A walk in a misty wood, a chance encounter—this is the stuff of romantic daydreams. The Caroline Hayden stretch-velvet drop-waist gown, with its figure-hugging bodice and voluminous skirt, will spark your imagination. 


The Details: Caroline Hayden gown in Ivory, $5,050, Jimmy Choo “Lance” silver mirror leather sandals, $895,

A Separate Peace

There's something both sweet and seductive about the Charlie Brear top and skirt. Both densely embellished with floral appliqués, they require no further accessory.


The Details: Charlie Brear "Calla" chiffon top, $945, and "Canya" skirt in Cream, $1,930, both at

Maid of the Mist

Let refinement have its day. The J. Mendel gown with a hand-pleated skirt has a chevron-paneled bodice, long sleeves, and a high neck—for an effect that embodies understated elegance.


The Details: J. Mendel "Lily" gown in Ivory $5,600, Fallon pearl U-hook earrings, $185,

All Aflutter

Some beauty is almost too ethereal to capture. The Kaviar Gauche dress, on the left, with its sheer capelet and ivory silk corseted bodice, is the picture of delicate, old-fashioned romance. On the right, with eye-catching details, like the flowers on the ruffled top of this Angel Sanchez embroidered-organza blouse, and its billowing crepe skirt, you'll set his heart soaring.


The Details: (On left) Kaviar Gauche "Pure Innocence" dress, price upon request, Atelier Swarovski by Peter Pilotto "Arbol" long pierced earrings, $349, Eva Fehren White "The Etoile" ring in 18- karat rose gold, price upon request, (On right) Angel Sanchez blouse and crepe skirt in White and Mint, $6,325, Yoko London ear cuffs with Akoya pearls and diamonds in 18-karat white gold, $3,000, Lady Grey "Composition" ring, $156,

Garden of Eden

Vines of beaded blooms wind their way from the illusion bodice down to the last tier of Sabrina Dahan's long-sleeve, floral-embroidered silk-tulle tiered multicolor gown.


The Details: Sabrina Dahan "Amélie" gown, $9,240,

Sweeping Statement

For some brides, dramatic effect is everything, and this gown—with its off-the-shoulder top and long, sheer train—brings it. The Delpozo off-white silk-tulle long-sleeve draped dress is a serious entrance-maker.


The Details: Delpozo dress, $13,000,

Sheer Genius

Get ready for the big reveal: Layers of diaphanous fabric leave just enough to the imagination. The lace sweetheart bodice of Marchesa's gown, on left, offers a structured counterpoint to the airy tulle overskirt. On the right, a plunging neckline and pale-purple hue are convention-defying picks. But the delicate embroidery, beaded details, and graceful train of Maria Korovilas's gown, are undeniably—and stunningly—wedding-day-worthy.


The Details: On left: Marchesa "Hydrangea" gown in Ivory Nude, price upon request, Vita Fede "Mini Aria" collar with Swarovski crystals, $380, Jennifer Behr "Celestial" coronet with Swarovski crystals, $1,125, BHLDN "Pippa" lace gloves, in Ivory, $100, On right: Maria Korovilas "Alice" gown in Lilac, $4,035,

Bare Essential

Reminiscent of underthings that are lovely enough to wear on their own, the Anne Barge gown is a study in restraint. A strapless corset, in nude Chantilly lace with Alençon appliqués, tops a white silk-chiffon skirt, for an effect that is simple yet dazzling.


The Details: Anne Barge "Lily" gown, $3,070, Fallon "Toria" buckle velvet choker, in Bordeaux, $180,

Soft Focus

Sometimes it's what you don't show that makes
 the biggest impact. Slip
 an impossibly soft sweater over a floor-length lace skirt for a winter-wedding look that's oh-so chic—and even comfortable—with this Bride by Sarah Seven cashmere sweater and Sampson skirt.


The Details: Bride by Sarah Seven "Olivia" sweater in Ivory, $638, and "Sampson" skirt in Ivory, $2,070, both at Lele Sadoughi feather-pompom earrings, $150, Mimi So 18-karat yellow-gold white-diamond ring, $12,800, Bowen NYC "Moroccan Star Band" in 18-karat yellow gold and gray diamonds, $3,185,

Look the Part

This is the beginning of your fairy tale, so go ahead and dress the part. The Atelier Pronovias gown has a Victorian-inspired mermaid silhouette in guipure, tulle, and lace; a custom hooded cape completes the regal effect (left).


On the right, indulge your most feminine impulses by donning the figure-skimming Marco & Maria gown of embroidered nuage tulle over a pleated blush skirt. Fluttering fabric at the shoulders draws the eye up and sets off your own glow.


The Details: On left: Atelier Pronovias "Elvira" gown, price upon request, Atelier Pronovias cape, price upon request, Sylva & Cie rough diamond-slice earrings, price upon request, Mitchell's, (203) 227-5165. On right: Marco & Maria gown, price upon request, Selim Mouzannar bracelet in pink gold with diamonds, $9,760, Bowen NYC "London Blue" topaz drop earrings in 18-karat white gold with black rhodium, blue sapphires, and white diamonds, $4,960,