One of the best things about wedding planning has to be dress shopping. What is there not to love about dress fittings, uninterrupted girl time, and champagne? But shopping for dresses also raises a few questions. Like what dress is right for you, what is trending, and how to accessorize? On top of that, brides also have to be aware of when to buy their dream dresses. Unfortunately, due to Covid, wedding dress designers had to extend their production time from 4-6 months to 6+ months. As a result, many brides have opted to say yes to the dress sooner rather than later.

So we thought we could make your life easier and ask Natalie Mills, owner of the bridal salon and boutique Moonlight Lace, for help. According to Natalie, we will see designers push the boundaries of making a dress with multiple looks in 2022. Think removable skirts and removable sleeves. "We're also seeing varying lengths of dresses. Probably with the abundance of elopements last year, it was a trend that stuck. We also love seeing liner color options, which can completely change the look of a dress." Lastly, she wants us to watch out for the emergence of a modern ballgown. "We're seeing it with a few designers that typically have steered clear of ballgowns. We love the new update, making them more sleek and modern and removing the crinoline." 

So without further ado, here are five of Natalie's favorite in-store dresses. She has even given us some tips on how to pull them off. But, of course, you'll have to scroll to the bottom for her all-time favorite!

Ren (Daughters of Simone) 

Ren is a perfect blend of classic beauty with modern touches. The beautiful french corded lace, the long sweeping train, and buttons down the back are reminiscent of a treasured heirloom gown. But what makes this dress one of our current faves are the modern touches throughout. Bustier cups and princess seams outline your curves, while the detachable long sleeves allow for a fun transformation look for your reception. 

Accessory Recommendations: Keep it classic! Pearls match the romantic feel of Ren, and a long, simple veil will complement the gown without competing with the lacey texture. If you want a more dramatic look, we recommend a pair of chandelier earrings with hair pulled back in a low bun or french twist.  

Mimosa (Alena Leena) 

Mimosa is an excellent example of a modern ballgown featuring bustier cups and detachable straps! Made of a silk blend jacquard (think a matte textured material), this A-line skirt has just enough structure to give you a very full, dramatic look. In addition, the cut-out back and hidden pockets (yes, she has pockets!) add a playful element that we love.  

Accessory Recommendations: This minimalistic and modern gown can be accessorized in so many ways! One of our favorite looks? A chic top knot and a fun modern hair accessory that mimics the pretty cut-out of the dress.

Raven (Evie Young) 

Evie Young is one of our favorite designers who offers beautiful liner colors, dramatic lace, and detachable options with nearly every gown. Raven is extremely flattering on every bride, with her V-neck and A-line skirt. But the boho lace, latte-colored liner, and detachable sleeves are what make this gown a real standout!  

Accessory Recommendations: Raven speaks volumes all on her own! Add minimal metallic accessories to add the perfect amount of shine.  

Juliette with Flora (A la Robe)

We will always be in love with a beautiful slip dress like the satin Juliette gown from A la Robe. This sleek and sexy look is effortlessly romantic. In addition, it can pair beautifully with a detachable skirt, like Flora, also from A La Robe. We love the idea of a skirt over a slip dress because it offers two completely different looks without you having to take time away from your day to change into a separate dress.

Accessory Recommendations: This dress features a stunning low back that looks absolutely amazing with any type of back necklace. A low, chic bun and a red lip would take the look over the top. Given Juliette's simplicity, this dress could be perfect for any minimalist or maximalist to personalize.

And Natalie's Personal Fave:

Gaga (Daughters of Simone)

Currently, Gaga is our favorite dress in the store! It's the ultimate cool-girl dress that is both timeless and edgy. She is a 60's inspired mini dress with a detachable cape with THE prettiest metallic gold embroidery. This dress features long sleeves with pearl button details and a small mock neck, making it unique and fun if the cape comes off to dance the night away. Gaga is perfect for a micro wedding, elopement, after party, or any bride looking for a fun, bold look.  

Accessory Recommendations: Gold jewelry, ankle booties... top it off with a hat. Done.  

Check out Moonlight Lace's vendor profile here! And stay tuned for more info on their VIP Bridal Appointments launching soon.