Welcome to Aisle Style, a week-long series that features the most untraditional wedding fashion trends, bridal designers behind the coolest wedding looks, and brides who walk to the beat of their own “Canon In D.” Buck the tradition and say I do to personal style — the aisle is yours.
For Los Angeles-based couple Jess Jacobs and Bryan Keller, the planning of their May wedding — on the picturesque island of Salina, north of Sicily — started way before season 2 of The White Lotus, set in Italy, came out on HBO Max. After waiting out their pandemic engagement, the actor/writer and her musician fiancé are now maximizing the occasion with a multi-day blowout complete with five themed
Working with her bridal stylist Gabrielle Hurwitz, Jacobs compiled style moodboards for all of the events. In addition to the “Creative Black Tie Optional” ceremony, the inventively branded affairs include “Mediterranean Cocktail” for the welcome drinks gathering, “Dolce Vita” for a boat party (think: circa ‘60s Sophia Loren wearing sunglasses and a headscarf), and, for the rehearsal dinner, “All White Festa” (where the couple will be wearing bold colors, while guests compose an alabaster background in all-white looks). Jacobs will disseminate the moodboard PDFs on their wedding website to help guests prepare their looks.
Couples determining uniform fashion for their wedding parties and mandating guest dress codes for nuptials has been a longstanding practice. But involvement in determining the overall sartorial aspects of weddings — which in 2023 are trending toward multi-event destination nuptials — has rapidly escalated and expanded in the past year or so. Take, for example, last June when bridal and eveningwear designer Jackson Wiederhoeft created 32 custom outfits for a single wedding. The Halloween- and Wizard of Oz-inspired confections included a suit for officiant Deepak Chopra, pajamas for the stepfather and corduroy groomsmen suits in rainbow colors.
“It’s a new level of styling,” says stylist and former editor Anny Choi of the growing trend. “Now, with all the content that’s being shared [from the wedding]… it’s not just five pictures of the bride in five outfits. It’s everybody.”
Before March 2020, stylist Micaela Erlanger was hired to style and shop for all 50 guests for a four-day destination bacchanalia — at the client’s expense. While that wedding was scuttled by the pandemic, these days, Erlanger finds more and more of her clientele requesting custom moodboards that harness her experience, styling editorials and A-list stars like Lupita Nyong’o and Diane Kruger, for wedding events. “The purpose [of a moodboard] is to inspire and evoke a feeling and lend a direction,” she says. “Depending on how personalized the clients are looking to get, we will include some recommended items that are available to buy.”
Exploring Wedding Guest Styling: The Emerging Trend in Bridal Fashion
We are pleased to introduce Aisle Style, a week-long series highlighting non-traditional wedding fashion trends, cutting-edge bridal designers crafting exceptional wedding ensembles, and brides who confidently showcase their distinct style as they walk down the aisle. Embrace your personal flair and make the aisle your own.
For Los Angeles-based couple Jess Jacobs and Bryan Keller, planning their May wedding on the picturesque island of Salina, north of Sicily, began long before season 2 of The White Lotus, set in Italy, premiered on HBO Max. After navigating their pandemic engagement, the actor/writer and her musician fiancé are now celebrating with a multi-day extravaganza featuring five themed events.
In collaboration with her bridal stylist, Gabrielle Hurwitz, Jacobs created style mood boards for each event. In addition to the “Creative Black Tie Optional” ceremony, the imaginatively themed occasions include a “Mediterranean Cocktail” welcome drinks gathering, a “Dolce Vita” boat party (envision 1960s Sophia Loren with sunglasses and a headscarf), and an “All White Festa” rehearsal dinner, where the couple will don bold colors while guests provide an alabaster backdrop in all-white attire. Jacobs plans to share the mood board PDFs on their wedding website to assist guests in preparing their outfits.
Establishing uniform fashion for wedding parties and setting dress codes for guests have long been standard practices. However, couples’ involvement in determining the overall sartorial aspects of weddings—now trending toward multi-event destination celebrations—has dramatically increased and diversified in recent years. For instance, last June, bridal and eveningwear designer Jackson Wiederhoeft designed 32 custom outfits for a single wedding, complete with Halloween and Wizard of Oz-inspired creations, including a suit for officiant Deepak Chopra, pajamas for the stepfather, and corduroy groomsmen suits in rainbow colors.
Anny Choi, a stylist and former editor, observes this growing trend as a new level of styling. With the abundance of content shared from weddings, it is no longer just about the bride’s outfits but involves everyone. Prior to March 2020, stylist Micaela Erlanger was hired to style and shop for 50 guests for a four-day destination event—at the client’s expense. Although the pandemic disrupted that wedding, Erlanger now sees an increasing number of clients requesting custom mood boards to inspire their wedding events, drawing on her experience styling editorials and A-list celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o and Diane Kruger.
The purpose of a mood board is to inspire, evoke feelings, and provide direction. Depending on the level of personalization clients seek, Erlanger will include recommendations for items available to purchase. As people aim to create memorable events following pandemic lockdowns, bridal designer Andrea Pitter-Campbell notes that everyone is curating their weddings.
As couples labor over every detail of their weddings, it makes sense for them to consider their guests’ attire as well. Hurwitz suggests that guests generally appreciate the guidance, reducing confusion and preventing a flood of questions about dress codes. This is especially true for VIP guests like parents and siblings, who may also desire styling services.
Patricia Voto, designer of the sustainable, made-to-order line One/Of, increasingly collaborates with mothers of her bridal clients to create one-of-a-kind wedding looks, particularly to avoid wearing the same outfit as another guest. As the Great Wedding Boom of 2022 continues, Millennial and Gen Z couples—already inclined toward personalized experiences—seek further customization for their milestone events.
Choi has witnessed couples increasingly “fully curating” their wedding events over the past five years, approaching them as if they were editorial spreads in a magazine. The focus on content creation during wedding weekends is becoming more prominent.
Pitter-Campbell concurs, noting that everyone is searching for curated content, with fashion taking center stage as it will be showcased in the photographs. In addition to their own social media roll-outs, couples may request tags from wedding vendors, such as dress designers and photographers, and submit photos for features in bridal publications.
For the Playa Del Carmen wedding of San Francisco-based tech consultant Anjali Gill, Voto designed custom pieces for Gill’s sister and mother-in-law. Recognizing the advantages of personalized attention and design enjoyed by the bride and groom, the two family members decided to pursue a similar, tailored experience. While Gill was not focused on achieving a picture-perfect guest aesthetic, she valued the emotional aspect that the experience added. Gill cherishes the cross-country red-eye flights with her sister to Voto’s Manhattan atelier for fittings as a shared experience that brought them closer together.
Recent years have demonstrated that weddings are also about celebrating the precious relationships we share with friends and family. For both the couple and guests, fashion serves as a powerful medium to express love and joy, as well as to create lasting memories that can be shared through various channels.
“Our friends are so creative and beautiful. Seeing them express themselves through fashion collectively will be so much fun for us,” says Jacobs. “And of course, the pictures will look amazing.”