The 1980s were all about glitz and glamour: over-the-top ruffles, rosettes, and extreme sleeves were all in high demand. Princess Diana's wedding in 1981 set the tone for opulence, and long trains became a status symbol. Another member of the royal family, Sarah Ferguson, also influenced bridal attire by wearing a Basque waistline (a dropped V-shaped, fitted waist) at her wedding in 1986. Due to the strength of the American dollar, couples had a surfeit of disposable income and weddings became commoditized.
After the excess of the '80s, '90s brides embraced minimalistic wedding-day styles. Carolyn Bessette's iconic slip dress designed by Narciso Rodriguez for her marriage to John F. Kennedy was the epitome of pared-down simplicity. Vera Wang also made a splash with her striking gowns, and she was the first American bridal designer to influence European style as well. Strapless taffeta wedding gowns, plunging necklines, and lower backs became more acceptable thanks to the fact that more ceremonies took place in wedding venues as opposed to churches, and even in destinations abroad.