The Return of the Long Sleeve Wedding Dress

Long sleeve wedding dresses... Some may think old fashioned, conservative, and traditional. Us? We think regal, sophisticated, elegant, and classic.

Worn by the likes of royalty (Duchess Kate Middleton and Princess Grace Kelly), socialites (Nicky Hilton and Olivia Palermo) and celebrities (Ivanka Trump and Nicole Richie), long sleeve wedding gowns are officially making a comeback, and we at JYW couldn’t be happier.

Some may think long sleeves are an old fashioned choice for your wedding day, conservative and modest, not the right approach to stand out, but ever since Kate Middleton arose from the Rolls Royce and stood on the sidewalk outside Westminister Abbey, we have completely fell in love with the style. Fashion designers for the Spring 2016 bridal lines have put dramatic and seductive twists on the conservative style, resulting in endless options from sexy cutouts and whimsical lace necklines, to dramatic slits and voluminous silhouettes.



Flipping through the latest issue of INSIDE Weddings magazine, the pages are filled with long sleeve wedding dresses featured in the 2016 Spring Lookbook spread. Lovely designs by Ivy & Aster, Liancarlo, Monique Lhuillier and Romona Keveza caught our attention!

Perhaps the most famous & iconic long sleeved wedding dress is the gorgeous Helen Rose of MGM lace gown made for style icon Grace Kelly. She looked absolutely perfect. Even today, the dress is timeless, classic and has influenced many designers and brides well into the 21st century. The buttons, high neckline, lace bodice, long flowing cathedral veil and full skirt are all features still yearned for from today’s brides and countlessly emulated by current fashion designers.

Grace Kelly

Image from Link here.

Another gorgeous long sleeved wedding dress was seen on Ivanka Trump. Her custom-made Vera Wang wedding gown during her nuptials in 2009 put long-sleeved wedding gowns back on the radar. Featuring stunning appliquéd lace detail and a sophisticated neckline and sleeves, this beautiful creation is classic and lovely- offering conservatism and class.

Ivanka Trump

Image from Link here.

I remember watching the Royal Wedding in the early morning hours of April 29, 2011 and literally gasping in awe when I saw Kate Middleton emerged out of the maroon Rolls-Royce. She looked elegant, regal and absolutely stunning in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The dress was superb; elegant and classic, and the dramatic back skirt detail was mesmerizingly gorgeous. The deep V-neck was reminiscent of Grace’s over five decades earlier, and the delicate veil was effortlessly draped upon her crown; her ‘something borrowed’ from the Queen. She achieved the ‘perfect bridal look’ in my opinion.

Kate Middleton

Image from Link here.

Son of designer mogul Ralph Lauren, David’s nuptials to Lauren Bush in 2011 was something out of a classic old-western. Lauren’s custom Ralph Lauren wedding dress was stunningly beautiful, as was the rustic elegance of the landscape and wedding decor. The antique ivory masterpiece took over 3,000 hours and 100 craftspeople to “hand-embroidering the tulle with delicate motifs of small flowers and Renaissance-era scroll designs in ivory silk and metallic thread, Swarovski Elements crystals, and off-white pearl beads”. (Quote obtained from, Link Here). The gown was traditional, yet daring and modern with the exposed back cutout.

Lauren Bush

Image from Link here.

Nicky Hilton’s recent marriage to James Rothschild was done so in high style. The bride walked down the isle in a showstopper custom Valentino creation with stunning intricate lace details, high neckline, dramatic train and long sleeves. Finishing the perfect look was a long & dramatic cathedral length veil with embroidered detail.

Nicky Hilton

Image from Link here.

Seen all over the Spring 2016 Bridal Runways including Ines Di Santo, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Jenny Packham, Galia Lahav, Pronovias, Romona Kevesa and countless others, long sleeve wedding dresses are reminiscent of the traditional, yet variations on the conservative style strike a modernist note and appeal to the contemporary & daring bride.

We’ve compiled a few of our favourite long-sleeve bridal gowns from the runway shows, & explain why we think they’re perfect for the upcoming wedding season.

Ines Di Santo Spring 2016

Ines Di Santo’s gorgeous collection called for lace, whimsical appliqué detail and diverse silhouettes- what a marvellous twist on the long sleeve trend. The soft a-line and mermaid trumpet skirts are sure to please the bride yearning for a romantic silhouette and show-stopping detail.

Ines Di Santo Spring 2016 (2)

Images from Link here.

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016

Some of my favourite gowns to date dominated the Monique Lhuillier runways. Featuring stunning overlay skirts, lace and tulle combinations, and delightful confetti beading; these gowns are works of art in every sense- completely unique and lavishly adorned.

I like classics but I always add a twist because I don’t like to think of my clothes as classic.

– Monique Lhuillier (Quote here)

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016 (4) Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016 (1) Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016 (2)
Monique Lhuillier Spring 2016 (3)

Images from Link here.

Pronovias Spring 2016

The beautiful lace sleeves on the gowns seen in Pronovias’ runways are highly reminiscent of Kate Middleton. The daring and unique necklines paired with the peekaboo cutouts and streamline skirts give hints of modernity and allure while the draping of lace yields to the traditional. I love the mixture of lace sleeves with full and voluminous silk skirts.

Pronovias Spring 2016 (1) Pronovias Spring 2016 (2) Pronovias Spring 2016 (3) Pronovias Spring 2016 (4)
Pronovias Spring 2016 (5)

Images from Link here.

Reem Acra Spring 2016

Reem Acra’s spring 2016 bridal show was angelic and romantic. Dreamy silhouettes, soft lace, delicate tulle and ornate necklines are perfect for the traditional bride yearning for something just a bit different. Angels would wear these gowns in heaven.

Reem Acra Spring 2016 (1) Reem Acra Spring 2016 (2)
Reem Acra Spring 2016 (3)

Images from Link here.

Angel Sanchez Spring 2016

The detail on this stunning gown is seriously astonishing. The intricacies of the lace and 3D floral appliqués are superbly designed and executed. This gown is a showstopper. We can just picture this dress in the midst of a garden tent wedding, illuminated in candlelight and adored by every attendee.

Angel Sanchez Spring 2016 (1)

Image from Link here.

Christos Costarellos Spring 2016

These gowns scream femininity- from the delicate lace and hints of skin beneath, to the full and soft tulle skirts. We love the separates seen on this runway and the natural edges of the lace top gives allure to the gown and the hint of skin shown at the midriff.

Christos Costarellos Spring 2016 (3)

Images from Link here.

Christos Costarellos Spring 2016 (1) Christos Costarellos Spring 2016 (2)

We’ve got our eye on long sleeve wedding dresses and they are by far some of our favourites this upcoming wedding season. The variations in designs offer alluring and feminine options that are more daring & beguiling. Worn throughout the seasons, long sleeve wedding dresses are proving themselves to be timeless and classic, able to stand the test of time. No matter what season, wedding vision or style, long sleeve wedding dresses can cater to every bride wanting to stand out in a classic and beautiful way.

XO Samantha

Header image featuring Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring 2015 backstage via Link here. Image by Greg Kessler.