Sleeves in any form can make a bridal dress feel elegant, refined, and sophisticated. There’s surely a design for everyone, whether you’re a minimalist bride averse to frills and froufrou deets, a bohemian bride with a penchant for anything billowy, or a princess bride looking for major drama.
While sleeves on wedding gowns might have a reputation of looking uptight or too dated, these designs will definitely prove you wrong. Check out these gowns that will have you think twice before opting out of sleeves.
1. Full Lace
Who says you can’t look sexy in sleeves? With a sheer sleeve design like this one, you’ll look like an ethereal vision in white. You'll easily achieve this look with an all-white lace bodice that extends to your arms. Having it cover every inch of your torso from your neck down to your wrists just spell out pure romance!
2. Short Sleeve
If you’re bent on wearing sleeves but don’t want it full-length (such is probably the case if you’re getting married in a warmer venue), opt for a short sleeve version. Short sleeves can still look elegant and romantic, especially when they’re made of delicate lace like this one from Ivory and White.
If you're not ready to commit to sleeves, but still want a part of your arms covered, we've got the solution for you: ruffles! Opt for a ruffled neckline that extends to your shoulders so they look like sleeves. Make sure you request for tulle fabric so your gown looks feather-light and nothing short of an exquisite dress on a glowing bride like you!
How’s this for a fun touch? Feathers add playfulness to any look, and when done right, it can be appropriate to be worn as a wedding dress. We’ve long been obsessed with Patty Ang’s feathered creations, and even more so because of this chic feathered cape. The best part? You get to reuse the cape even after you've said your vows. How fun would it be atop a slip dress for a night out, right?
Billowy sleeves and a bohemian-themed wedding go together like wine and fine cheese. There’s nothing that complements that easy and laidback vibe more than loose-fitting sleeves in a soft and flowing fabric. We’re obsessed with this Rosa Clara one, with a touch of lace running through the sleeve and cuff.
6. Tulle Drape
Here’s a creative idea: Achieve the sexiness of a plunging neckline without baring it all by donning a tulle overlay. Such is the case with this White Label Bridal wedding gown, which features a low neckline bodice draped with a whisper-thin layer of tulle.
7. Full Tulle Cape
Still thinking twice about skin-hugging sleeves? Why not try donning a cape that will not only cover your arms, but will also add a dramatic train as you walk down the aisle! This Hannah Kong creation features a soft tulle drape from the neck down, with the material subtly creating a split sleeve detail at the shoulder. The overlay conceals a glittering dress underneath, toning down the sequins, and instead creating subtle sparkle as you move.
8. Suit Set
Who says only grooms can wear tuxedos? We’ve been obsessed with wearing suits to formal events for the longest time, and we're not opposed to the idea of doing so for a wedding, too! What we love about this Debbie Co set is that although it has the clean and modern edge of a suit, it still has the feminine factor with its soft, textured fabric.
Nothing reminds us of an English princess quite like a large ball gown. This regal beauty is by White Label Bridal, and features a satin body with lace sleeves. And here’s the secret we’re dying to tell—the sleeve is actually a removable bolero! You can take it off during the reception for easier dancing!
MS Label will win the hearts of our minimalist brides who favor a flawless cut, flattering silhouette, and a peep of lace on the wrist. Here’s a quick fashion tip we picked up from this: If you’re covering up one part, it's okay to compensate in showing off other parts of your body!
The modern bride practices practicality and one of the best ways to do so is with bridal separates! We love this combination from Hannah Kong. It consists of a sleeved sparkling top that could do well with a dark washed jeans for a girls’ night out, and a long skirt that would pair well with a bralette for another formal event.
It takes one risk-taking bride to pull off a look like this Aurea Vinluan wedding gown, but boy does it bring the drama! What you get in the absence of a waist is major shape and volume. And despite how strong the silhouette is, the gown still feels soft and feminine as the fabric gives it a lot of movement.
We’re definitely not the first one to say that the image of Gwyneth Paltrow in a Tom Ford cape dress has been forever etched in our minds as an iconic fashion moment. Channel that allure in a caped wedding gown! We love this one from Vee Tan, which strikes the perfect balance between soft and structured.
Take a look at this Pronovias creation, with sheer sleeves that go down the shoulder and splits in midway, creating a whimsical effect. It’s one of the most fairy-like designs we’ve seen (imagine the shapes you’ll make with each movement of your arm), and definitely one-of-a-kind.