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Bridal Dress Trends LEAD
Credit: Courtesy of BHLDN

If you have gotten engaged over the holidays (congrats!), chances are you're already in full wedding dress search mode. Or if you're not in a hurry to say I Do, you are at least browsing the Internet on your lunch break to see what's out there. And you've also probably realized by now that there is a lot.

Bridal fashion, unlike ready-to-wear, tends to be a lot more diverse, which is very important because every bride should have the opportunity to choose the dress that she feels most comfortable and beautiful in. After all, it is one of the most important days in your life (#nopressure).

But that doesn't mean trends are completely non-existent. Quite the contrary—every season we see certain styles and silhouettes a lot more than others, and designers re-invent old classics by adding a unique twist, whether it's the fabrics, the length of the dress, or an embellishment.

1. Lace and tulle take on a twist.

Just like last year, 2017 will be dominated by tulle and lace, but they are being adapted to the new emerging trends. "Lace is becoming bolder and more graphic. Tulle looks modern when mixed with layers of lace or point d’esprit [a type of mesh] or in an unexpected color," BHLDN's wedding dress buyer Lauren Bonenberger tells InStyle.

While brides prefer to walk down the aisle in a floor-length gown, extreme hi-low silhouettes as well as tea-length dresses are making a comeback. They are perfect to wear to your reception where you need more flexibility and freedom to move.

2. Princess silhouettes & column gowns get equal play.

For those of you who dream of a full princess gown, don't worry, designers will always have that silhouette for you, but, Bonenberger says, brides are getting excited about other styles as well.

While mermaid and fit-and-flare silhouettes are great for women who want a traditionally romantic look, "We’re also seeing more modern, column shapes emerge. Crepe and constructed lace fabrics look great in shapes with clean lines," she adds.

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3. Off-the-shoulder styles reign supreme.

It's not a secret that 2016 was the year of the off-the-shoulder dress, both in bridal and ready-to-wear fashion. And guess what? This feminine style is not going anywhere in the next 12 months, according to Bonenberger.

"We still see shoulder interest continuing in 2017 but it has also progressed into general sleeve interest which spans the gamut from demure cap sleeves, and flutter sleeves, to billowing boho sleeves, and long, full-coverage sleeves," she tells us.

And while brides are leaning towards more traditional arm coverage, the trend is moving in the opposite direction when it comes to necklines—interest in plunging V-neck, high halter, or illusion necklines is on the rise.

4. Veils are optional.

We also have good news for all of you romantic types who don't see themselves getting hitched without a veil. "A lot of our brides come into appointments with no intention of wearing a veil, but once she finds the gown and pairs it with a veil, she falls in love with the whole look," says Bonenberger.

But if you are not the veil type, she suggests considering the alternatives such as halos, crowns, combs, and other hair accessories. And speaking of jewelry, "Large statement earrings are also a big trend for bridal in 2017 which tend to look best when the rest of the accessories are kept simple."

5. Bridesmaids' dresses are getting a bold makeover.

And finally, we haven't forgotten about your bridesmaids. Joanna Dougherty, a bridesmaid dress buyer at BHLDN, says you shouldn't be afraid to go bold. "Color is key for next year as we should start to see some brighter shades pop up in the pink, purple and green family, with touches of yellow," she adds.

Whatever dress you decide to go for, both for you and your bridal party, don't forget that this day is about celebrating your love. And just like every relationship is unique and shouldn't conform to any rules and opinions set up by other people, your dress should feel unique to you.