Photos by Sarah Ward Weddings

This Southern trend is the bow on top of whimsical wedding style

Nothing says primped and polished like “putting a bow on top,” the ultimate idiom to describe the final touch on a job well done, whether it be an outfit, a celebration, or an event in which both play leading roles: namely, a wedding. Of course, for us Southerners, bows are more than a figure of speech. In our perusals through tastes and trends for our June Weddings issue, the simple shape—whether in regal ribbon or simple twine—stood out as a must-have marker of youthful elegance on a bride’s big day.

“Every trend cycles back around, but bows have never really gone out of style,” says Angela DiVincenti Babin of Angela Marie Events, whose inspirational shoots appear in our June Weddings pages. “Even so, I think people are inspired nowadays by the Kate Spade look that was popular in the ’90s, which has become more streamlined and affordable in more recent years thanks to the brand appearing in places like Target, for example.”

A classic element, to be sure, but still an accessory that can be edited to suit a bride’s particular style.

“I was inspired by the straw bag trend for this shoot, and I thought the bow detail you see on the one we used was a cute way to bring in the trend while still keeping the style looking different and individual,” says Babin. “Even the monogram on the stationery is a very Southern-inspired touch, but the bow detail is an unexpected embellishment to just make it extra pretty.”

For Babin, a simple bow can be just what a set-up needs for a business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back feel—a touch of childlike whimsy that meshes beautifully with the decidedly grown-up setting of a wedding. Especially when it comes to the dress itself.

“The bow trend is definitely bigger than ever, from rehearsal dinner dresses to bridal gowns to hair accessories,” says Ramsey Sims, owner of I Do Bridal Couture. “I went to market recently in Palm Beach, and they were everywhere. Front, back, side. And they’re rarely ever perfect—I saw so many asymmetrical bows, bows with streamers, bows studded with pearls…there are so many intricate and detailed options out there that play with tradition.”

Another thing about bows in bridal style that keep them timeless through the ages? The fact that they seem to suit any bride’s aesthetic, no matter how they grew up.

“A lot of people start out as little girls wearing bows in their hair—’no bow, no go,’ I used to say,” says Sims. “But I love seeing brides choose subtle bow details that surprise their mothers who couldn’t have put a bow in their daughters’ hair if they tried. It’s just a classic detail that isn’t going away anytime soon.”

For more pics from our shoot with Angela Marie Events, as well as swoon-worthy ideas for adding bows to your own bridal style, check out our inRegister Weddings issue, on stands now.