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Ready, set, wedding season. With restrictions finally lifted, this summer marks the momentous return of the wedding.

A big occasion calls for a big outfit, too. It’s the perfect excuse to embrace the joy of dressing up – and right now there’s an appetite for glamour and elegance. Thankfully, spring summer’s best designers are on the case with dresses and formal attire that plug into the collective desire to go all-out.

Whether it’s a modern bride in search of the ultimate dress to complement her personal style, a mother-of-the-bride seeking polished perfection, or a guest who's looking to make a statement, our guide to summer weddings has you covered.

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The modern bride has more choice than ever whether its Alberta Ferretti's delicate elegance or Cecilie Bahnsen's simple romance, the wedding dress can take whatever form you fancy.

The Modern Bride

Buying a wedding dress is changing – fast. Gone are the days of stuffy try-ons, exorbitant costs and an arduous wait for a dress. The modern bride has more choice than ever; from playful lengths to non-traditional colours and voluminous shapes.

As alternative locations are on the rise – Covid-19 demonstrated just how chic a back garden ceremony can be – so is the alternative dress. Leading the charge is Cecilie Bahnsen, whose spaghetti strap Beth midi-dress is made with linen plissé that falls into a dramatic, flared skirt. While Alberta Ferretti's crepe de chine is a masterclass craftsmanship an open back and cut-out detailing. Flout tradition in a strapless maxi by Alexander McQueen – it’ll double as your something blue.

Meanwhile, mid-range brands remain the sweethearts of the bridal world. See Aje, the Australian label that’s mastered the Little White Dress; its Vanades Cut Out Linen Dress, caters to the bohemian spirit.

Just launched is Rotate Bridal, the first full bridal collection from Danish design duo Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Madsen that remixes the most popular Rotate styles as pitch-perfect wedding attire. Shop it exclusively at the new Brown Thomas Dundrum store.

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The Vitty Grande bag from Benedetta Bruzziches.

Accessories to walk down the aisle

You’ve found the perfect dress. What now? It’s time to complete your look. The most discerning brides know the best accessories can be worn – and loved – beyond the big day. When it comes to stellar bags, heels and jewellery, these are the finishing touches that delight.

Take, for instance, the decadent embellishment on the Vitty and the Venus Bag by Benedetta Bruzziches which is swathed entirely in crystals. Try the new label Completedworks, which translates recycled materials into thoughtful jewels made from 14ct yellow gold vermeil, freshwater pearls and white topaz gemstones. Equally as appealing, the feminine Ridge Heart Drop Hoop earrings by Missoma will complement your dress without stealing the show.

Every bride needs a stand-out shoe. In this case, turn to Aquazzura, famed for peep-toe silhouettes that give the illusion of ultra-long legs. Classicists will abide by the cardinal rule that point-toe Jimmy Choo pumps are a wedding day essential – the epitome of luxury.

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Rebecca Vallance's Casey Striped Lurex Dress will ensure you're on the best dressed lists.

The Best Dressed Guest

Let’s face it: the wedding guest outfit is the zenith of dressing up. And, whether you’re headed to a chic city wedding, bougie nuptials abroad or a romantic event in the countryside, the bottom line is you want to dazzle.

Rixo’s slinky Opal Halterneck Slip Dress is the kind of polished piece that looks just as good after-dark. Dial up the glamour in an ebony midi-dress by Self-Portrait or with Rebecca Vallance's lurex maxi (yes, you can wear black and glitter to a summer wedding). Pair it with simple heeled sandals and fine gold jewellery for a modern edge. We’ll always advocate for some romance – which is why Alessandra Rich’s Rose Collar Midi-Dress is pretty perfect.

Modish bridesmaids will delight in the puff-sleeve and slit-detail on Rebecca Vallance’s dramatic Jaclyn Maxi Dress, or how the V-neck and A-line shape on Alexander McQueen’s Silk V-Neck Gown, flatters all body shapes.

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Erdem works florals like no other, discover beautiful offerings for the mother of the bride.

The making of the Mother of the Bride

Time’s up on drab mother-of-the-bride dressing. Cast aside any tropes of what you should wear and embrace what makes you feel your best self. Namely, the array of elegant options that feel right for now – from conservative to unconventional.

Trend follower? Fall for colour of the moment, verdant green, as seen in the iconic Plissé High Neck Dress by Pleats Please Issey Miyake. A fan of longer lengths? The long sleeve and belted waist on Oscar de la Renta’s Drape Front Midi-Dress will always flatter. Statement maker? You can do no wrong in a cap-sleeve dress by master of colour Dries Van Noten or glorious floral prints by Erdem.

Don’t forget the final flourishes. Celebrate a love of pearls with Braided Hoop Drop Pearl Earrings, by Completedworks. When it comes to accessorising, a leather clutch by Christian Louboutin is an investment piece that will pay dividends.


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CeliaB's pretty prints and playful detailing will work a fun and carefree day 2 mood.

Style for Day Two

The day after the festivities is a chance for a little experimentation. Oftentimes, casual brides find themselves keeping the dress they actually wanted to wear, but didn’t for fear it wasn’t ‘dressy’ enough, for day two. No matter what your personal style, day two is a little more relaxed, fun and carefree – so choose a look that sings to the mood.

Strike a pose in a taffeta ruched dress by Rachel Gilbert (the Australian designer of the moment, that’s new this season), sashay in a satin maxi-dress by Jonathan Simkhai (the open back moves perfectly on the dancefloor), or embrace the 1970s look in a high-necked midi-dress by label CeliaB (made from structured cotton, it blends comfort and composure). Wedding guests should follow the dialled-down memo; you can’t go wrong with a playful print by Rixo or a simple polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich.


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The Honeymoon Wardrobe

No matter where you land – lounging on the Greek islands, holidaying in Amalfi, or road tripping down Highway 1 – pack for style success with these vibrant, vacation-ready pieces.

Honeymoon dressing can be summed up neatly in three words: romantic, relaxed and spirited. If pulling up poolside in this season’s Zimmermann lace mini-dress doesn’t tempt you then perhaps sundowners in their printed short set or a knitted ombré creation by The Attico will turn heads.

Accessories call upon those hallmarks of holiday chic; shell motifs, espadrilles and, that unmissable essential, the raffia handbag. A logo bucket hat by Isabel Marant demonstrates 1990s nous, while Christian Louboutin’s scarf sandals (tie them at your ankles), are the last word in chic.


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Keen for expert advice when shopping for a wedding or bridal look? The personal shopping experience is now available at all Brown Thomas stores, meaning you can shop the best bridal looks, including wedding-friendly options from brands such as Erdem, Roksanda, Rotate, Rachel Gilbert, Aje and much more.

Or, why not try our unique, virtual Personal Shopping service. Our womenswear team are also available to host a video call appointment to talk you through what you may need for your upcoming occasion and can arrange for your purchases to be delivered right to your door

To make your virtual or in-person shopping appointment with our team please call: +353 (0)1 617 1108 or email

Shop our wedding guide here




Soak up Summer’s New Spirit with daring hemlines, bold colour and striking prints from Prada, Dries Van Noten, Loewe, Valentino and more.