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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Dressed to Thrill


Popular styles range from clean and chic to ball gowns and mermaid styles; bridesmaid dresses take on fresh hues

Spring is near, and that means it is wedding season!

A wedding ceremony is a time for a couple to pledge their love and themselves to one another. It's also the space where a bride can be true to herself and shine!

The bride is an artist, and the wedding is her canvas. She paints her big day with everything from the gown she wears to walk the aisle to the dresses adorning the bridesmaids.

The colors and styles chosen are unique to each bride and reflect her style, passions and personality. As the star of the show, the wedding gown she chooses enhances her shine.

Area dress shops are seeing some distinctive trends with wedding and bridesmaid gowns. "We will always have brides that want a traditional look with lace and the sweetheart neckline," said bridal consultant Ashley Easter. "However, a big trend we're seeing now is variations of clean and simple lines – fitted, A-line, a ball gown or mermaid styles."

Easter, who works at Happily Ever After Bridal Boutique, says the look is simple Mikado fabric without beading or lace. She says statement pieces like bows and pearl cathedral veils are also popular with brides selecting clean and simple gowns.

"Even if it's just simple dress, a lot of brides like ruching or texture on the bottom," said Easter. "It's something that adds detail without using lace or beading."

The boho look continues to be popular with brides. This trend is all about unstructured, effortless elegance. "These brides want to step out of the box and wear bold, intricate lace patterns with a nude or deeper toned lining underneath," said Easter.

The style isn't made up of any specific dress style or cut. Instead, flowing fabrics with lace or embroidery that are elegant and light make the ideal dress. Boho is a relaxed style that pairs well with vintage or upscale elements.

A trend gaining popularity is the triangle neckline. These dresses are strapless with a neckline that peaks up in a triangular shape.

Happily Ever After Bridal Boutique owner Terri Zacha Laster agrees with Easter. "The other trend is all the glitter, all the sparkle and as much drama as a dress can have with giant trains and lots of glam," said Zacha Laster. "The two trends that are very current are either completely clean or super sparkle."

Bella Bridesmaids manager and stylist Mallory Liles says one-shoulder styles and midi dresses are having a moment, too.

New fabrics and hues are trending for wedding party apparel. Easter says bridesmaid dresses are shifting from the trusted and true chiffon to a charmeuse fabric. Charmeuse is similar to satin but with more shine. "That's become quite popular," said Easter. "The brides doing the more formal, clean, crisp type weddings are adding fabrics like charmeuse to their bridal party."

At Bella Bridesmaid, Liles is noticing a trend back to the entire bridal party wearing the same dress for brides wanting a more formal feel. "For brides wanting more of a textured look, we are seeing tons of parties in the same color/ color scheme in different fabrics," said Liles. "This gives the photos a ton of dimension!" Easter says many brides with a more relaxed style, like boho, choose velvet and select bold colors like burnt orange and earth tones like sage and eucalyptus.

Black is gaining in popularity for bridesmaid dresses. The typical blushes and burgundy remain commonly requested bridesmaid dress shades as well.

"Before I worked in bridal, I never would have thought to have burnt orange bridesmaid dresses," said Easter. "Burnt orange and black are bold colors. And we are loving it."

Brides shopping at Bella Bridesmaid also request fun new fabrics and hues for their bridesmaids. Liles says satin fabrics are big right now, and golds, black, rusts and sage are among the favorite colors.

"Brilliant blues are coming in and rusty cinnamons ... brides are liking those," said Zacha Laster. Tuscan gold, rustic rose and smoky quartz are also popular colors.

Today's bride is more adventurous, wants something out of the box, and has fun. Easter recently styled a bridesmaid party where the bride selected dresses on a color gradient. The maid of honor's dress was creamsicle, and the bridesmaids' dresses got progressively darker to a bright coral.

"We love when brides do fun stuff like that," said Easter. "We're seeing a lot more branching out as far as colors and fabrics go."

Zacha Laster wants brides to know that getting wedding gowns in takes longer. They must place orders early because the wait is as long as seven months with some designers.


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