At best, the 1980s was a showcase of gorgeous fabrics and a welcome revival in bridal wear echoing times past.  At worst, it was all those gigantic, over-the-top, poufy sleeves, blinding white cheesy satin, and lace covered in beads and sequins.  Some of the traditional cookie-cutter bridal wear from the 70s got a shot of inspiration when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981 in a silk taffeta ball gown redolent of the prior century.  Thereafter came a certain fairy-tale aspect to wedding fashion, mostly inspired by European designers that has been with us ever since,  

 Above: The Prairie Revival in fashion began in the 70s and was with us through the 80s.  It initially evolved from the hippe and folk movement.  While Jessica McClintock revived the Prairie Gown with her Gunne Sax line in the seventies, the more haute couture versions of Prairie came to us through the stunning creations of  British designer, Laura Ashley.  She used finer imported cottons and voiles in some of the images above where we get a glimpse of this look at its best--a sort of Prairie meets Jane Austen.  Vintage elements were really brought out in the accessories like the picture hat and crochet gloves.  Below:  Headpieces and sleeves were big.  Close ups here show some very pretty laces and applications as well as over-the-top and extremely ridiculous!

Header Photo via Etsy
Photo 1: Jessica McClintock Bridal Ad Campaign Spring/Summer 1988
Photo 2: Gunne Sax, Seventeen magazine, April 1983.
Photo 3: Gunne Sax Dress by Jessica McClintock
Photo 4: Spring 1988. Victoria Magazine. Jessica McClintock dress.
Photo 5: Laura Ashley late 80s
Photo 6: Laura Ashley Spring/Summer 1984
Photo 7: Laura Ashley Bridal 1987 via Nibs Blog
Photo 8: Laura Ashley's 80s Boho via Buzz Feed
Photo 9: Laura Ashley Bridal Collection 1983-84
Photo 10 Michelle Piccone for Alfred Angelo 1983
Photo 11: 1983 Eve of Milady gown
Photo 12: Cindy Crawford via Vintage Brides
Photo 13: Eve of Milady circa 1982
Photo 14: Carol Alt mid 80s
Photo 15: via Pinterest
Photo 16: June 1983 via Pinterest
Photo 17: Eve of Milady gown circa 1986 via Pinterest
Photo 18: Late 80s via Pinterest