By Kristy Kurjan
Planning a wedding is an exciting time in any couples life. The event
is an outward celebration of the love and joy between two people.
After the proposal, whats at the top of most brides to-do list?
Fashion, of course! No matter the wedding style... Black tie, casual
attire, beach party, or eloping in Vegas - fashion is intrinsically
important on the big day. It creates continuity and gives the bride an
avenue to project her style and personality. From the intricacies of
the lace on a brides gown to the color of her shoes, bridal fashion
Come with me to take a head-to-toe look into 2011s bridal fashion.
The ring was presented, she exclaimed yes. So what now? The journey
to the two words I do is filled with joy, happiness and an
overwhelming amount of decision making. A couple must choose a date,
location and multiple other details which ultimately set the tone for
the entire event from a backyard garden affair in June to a
high-styled ballroom bash.
It all starts with an inspiration - the pale pink of a favorite
flower, a picture plucked from a magazine or an entire chest of items
collected since childhood. Before heading to the store to find that
all-important white dress, determine the key factors of location,
season and theme. The dress a bride chooses will convey the feeling of
the big day. At first, dress options might seem overwhelming so scour
bridal magazines to get a feeling for which trends are appealing to
A bride should plan to order her gown six to eight months before the
wedding to allow ample time for delivery and alterations says Toni
Liles, co-owner of To Have and To Hold Bridal Boutique. Brides-to-be
are advised to start looking for the dress about nine months ahead of
time because it is important to try on as many options as needed and
enjoy the process.
THE PERFECT DRESS
When she does find that perfect dress, tears of joy take over the
dressing room and a dream suddenly becomes a reality. This is the
classic moment that brides, mother-of-the-brides and little girls have
daydreamed about for centuries. When it comes to picking ones ideal
gown, you just know.
Soft luxurious fabrics like chiffon, organza and satin make bridal
gowns gorgeous. Quite possibly the most exquisite item of clothing a
female may ever purchase, a wedding gown can run anywhere from $200 to
$20,000 - many gowns averaging around $1,000.
What should a bride expect at her first dress appointment?
First and foremost, have an open mind, recommends Liles. I tell
brides to look in magazines, and pick out things that catch their eye.
I try to tell them not to get their hearts set on a particular style
or dress. You need to try on various styles and fabrics because until
they try them on they usually dont know how they will feel and look.
Bridal gowns are totally different than other gowns, even formal
Bridal gowns offer the rare opportunity to drape beautiful fabric in
spectacular silhouettes. For years Cinderella inspired ball gowns were
the ultimate in bridal. This is still the case; however, designers are
now giving brides even more stylish options for varying body types.
From flattering corsets, to slimming draped fabrics, to short and
flirty styles, there is a look to fit most every brides personality
Fashion forward trends are now a mainstay on the bridal runway. One of
the hottest silhouettes for 2011 is a mermaid style which is
form-fitting through the hips with a low flared skirt. The one
shoulder look has been growing in popularity in the past few years as
well. It provides the comfort of a shoulder strap dress while still
providing a strapless look. Another style brides are swooning for is a
full skirt with a light weight feel. This silhouette allows for a
night of dancing without heavy fabric in the way.
Bridal fashion trends prove that nothing plain is ever simple. Even
the most basic bridal slip dress is crafted with attention to detail.
A small embellishment or lavish treatment can make a common shape a
Designers are showing a trend of adding dimension to gowns with
accents such as lush organza flowers or romantic shimmery embroidery.
They are placing delicate pleating, ruffles and lace to create unique
looks. Even sequins have made an impact on bridal fashion trends.
Sequins are not used in the pageant-esque way that comes to mind but
in a subdued shimmer that catches the light as the bride walks down
the aisle. Another modern feature, pockets. Pockets have become
extremely popular despite their causal connotation.
We are also seeing a lot of beads, flowers and lace on bridal sashes
in 2011. A sash is often sold separate than the bridal gown, creating
an even more customized feel. A few years ago sashes were popular but
tended to be plain, now they are back but this time they are beaded,
lacy and in muted hues, explains Liles. Todays sash resembles a
belt more than a tied sash.
TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL
The veil is the icing on the bridal gown, however some brides are
choosing to forgo a veil completely. The traditional style of double
layer veil and blusher is not as wide spread as it used to be. Some
decide to wear a veil but go with a shorter, more modern version. For
the brides that elect not to wear a veil, they have a variety of less
traditional hair accessory options. Rhinestone covered headbands,
fabric flowers and large jeweled pieces are becoming staples when it
comes to bridal up-dos.
I notice less veils being used over the last few years, at least full
blown veils, says Liles. We tend to see a lot of shorter
versions. But with more simple style dresses people will add a long
veil as their way to feel more bridal and make the dress pop.
One of the best ways to add personality to a wedding day is through a
brides shoe. Colored shoes are increasingly becoming a popular way to
add a hint of color. Another shoe trend is to have multiple pairs of
shoes during the event. Dawn a pair of beautiful photographer friendly
heals for the first half of the night. Later, break out a pair of
flexible flats when the band starts to rock. Having a beach wedding?
Flip-flops are more than acceptable in 2011 bridal attire.
Throughout her years in the wedding industry, Liles has been witness
to a variety of unique bridal shoe choices. We have had girls in
cowboy boots, fuzzy slippers, even a fancy pair of tennis shoe- her
dress was so big we barely saw the shoes!
The most important aspect of any shoe is to make sure it fits- there
is nothing worse than a bride walking down the aisle with aching feet.
Yes, wear that pair of breathtaking stilettos but make sure they fit
A SENTIMENTAL VALUE
Modern weddings are all about making a personal and unique occasion
for the bride and groom- adding special touches to the big-day is a
trend that is here to stay. Some of the ways fashionable brides are
doing this is by carrying a monogramed handkerchief or a sparkly
heirloom broach. Even grandmas pearls are a classic draping on ones
wedding day. Dont forget a special something blue- which can be a
pair of light blue heals, a blue gem or even an undergarment.
Wearing a mother or grandmothers wedding gown is a tradition that is
talked about but hardly ever practiced. Most modern brides agree that
a faded thirty-year-old dress is not what they dream of for their walk
down the aisle. A more realistic approach to this dated custom is to
incorporate fabric from the dress into a new bridal gown by safety
pinning a swatch of the fabric inside the gown. Another option is to
wrap a piece of lace from the dress around the bridal bouquet. Ask a
seamstress (or grandmother) to incorporate the fabric into a handmade
sash or handbag. The added reward- checking off the something old
box on the wedding to-do list!
Months of hard work will come to fruition with a truly unforgettable
wedding day. The joyful moments will pass quickly so make sure to
cherish every second from yes to I do. To keep a gown in pristine
condition for years to come, professional wedding gown preservation is
highly recommended. The process costs around $200 depending on the
fabric and style of the wedding gown. Once the night is over, the
dress will eventually have to come off; but if maintained properly, it
will always be there to slip on when no one is looking.