’80s Wedding Trends, From ‘Epic’ Dresses to Big Cakes, Are Back – The New York Times


Read more about the 2022 wedding boom in our ongoing Year of the Wedding series.

Not since 1984 have experts expected as many weddings to happen in the United States as they do this year.

It’s easy to assume that, aside from the sheer volume of them, celebrations of then and now don’t have much in common. Particularly when it comes to a ceremony, a lot has changed, including who could legally have them and how people talk about them.

But now that statistics have linked the 2022 marriage surge to that of 1984, it’s hard not to wonder: What other ways do modern weddings look like those that happened back then?

In both years, there was a desire to go over-the-top. A good economy in part set the stage for lavish wedding expenditures in 1984. Today, the pandemic has given couples more time “to dream, budget and save for their grand celebration,” said Renée Sabo, a wedding planner and the owner of Urban Soirée in Boston.

“We’re seeing clients diving back into planning with a ‘bigger is better’ mentality for their wedding this year,” she added.

What defines over-the-top, though, has changed. “It’s not about just one big party, but multiple parties over multiple days,” said Jamie Chang, a wedding planner and the owner of Mango Muse Events in San Francisco.

But it hasn’t changed entirely. Contemporary celebrations still involve certain statement-making elements of ’80s weddings, say experts, who explain below how recent trends in dresses, dessert, décor and more feel very 1984.

Among the first things that may come to mind when you think of a 1984 wedding: dresses that are heavily embellished, with puff sleeves or a voluminous skirt (or both).

“Wedding dresses in the 1980s were all about volume, epic proportions, and regal lace,” said Monique Lhuillier, the designer of a namesake bridal line.

Those elements became less fashionable over the following decades, as preferences gravitated to what she described as “more streamlined and simple silhouettes.”

But now, Ms. Lhuillier said, “many trends of the ’80s have returned to bridal with a modern twist.” One is lace, which continues to be popular. Also returning are “puff sleeves and full ball gowns,” which she said have more “lightness and movement” than those of yesteryear.

Some puff sleeves worn today are also detachable, said …….


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