Wedding dresses: Hot trends include vintage, frilly, colored - but unique
BY BRAVETTA HASSELL World Scene Writer
Sunday, March 03, 2013
3/03/13 at 7:08 AM
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The magazines will tell you that the bridal looks coming into style and expected to be big this year feature beading and sequins, sheer overlays, peplum, ruffles, and other delicious elements that weddings are made of.
This year's dresses also may come in gold.
Jessica Biel seems to have started something with her bubble gum-inspired dress.
And we can all expect to see some off-the-shoulder necklines.
But here in Tulsa, the look many brides are after is vintage, said Kristine Ellis, of Abelina's Boutique, 5219 S. Sheridan Road.
Today's wedding look has a more rustic feel.
"We're getting away from the super glammy 'Jersey Shore' look," Ellis said.
Voluminous dresses bedazzled in bling are being passed over for those that are more elegant and accented with glimpses of sparkle. Dresses featuring portrait necklines and keyhole backs are nods to that elegance.
Sheer necklines are in, and just as Princess Diana's wedding dress was an inspiration to brides of the '80s - big and grandiose as they were - the sleeved Alexander McQueen dress worn by Duchess Kate Middleton in 2011 is a draw for today's brides.
Sleeves might be too much for a summer wedding, but the gown's lace appliqués are being reused and reinvented everywhere.
But today's brides are also their own women. They may be influenced by pop culture and the runway, but they want to be unique, Ellis said.
Now that the big-everything of the '80s has certainly been toned down, it's hard to pinpoint what new trends will be hot, at least for Tulsa brides, experts said.
But "vintage" is on point with visions of creamy lace and ornate detailing that remind brides of love, family, home and togetherness. Great-grandma's pearl earrings and fabric from mother's wedding gown are just a few items that can serve as inspiration.
"The vintage style with a modern twist is very big with the style of weddings here locally with all the rural-type venues," said Jennifer Thompson, owner of Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire, 4910 W. Kenosha St.
Short bridesmaid dresses worn with cowboy boots also is very "in."
Vintage settings could include a barn - and many local brides are loving this as a venue.
Couples are also having smaller, more intimate events.
Brides are being more practical - picking bridesmaid dresses that aren't one-time-only worthy.
Accessories can be handmade. "Where we were once used to sparkle and glitz," burlap has now arrived on the scene.
Ellis suggests pairing shine and sparkle with something natural.
"We want a feminine touch but to mix the two elements," Ellis said.
An elegant affair
If rustic country is at one edge of the wedding-day style spectrum, Angie Mathis of J.A. Mathis Co. would say the incredibly elegant affair represents the opposite edge.
She calls it "beautiful romantic," and it's also popular right now.
Envision lace and frilly bottom dresses, Thompson explained. The skirts have interesting movement with layers and ribbons.
"We love when the lining of the gown is a café color and the overlay is ivory - it gives the lace a background to show all of its beauty," Thompson said. "It makes the gown look rich, especially in pictures."
Which leads us back to the precious dress.
Elegant looks can be ruched or have peplum or ruffles. They're meticulously detailed, often with a keyhole back. Illusion necklines make you think of royal weddings and getting married all over again.
Such platforms as Pinterest give brides virtual scrapbooks where every stitch of a wedding can be imagined and mocked up. The sites have empowered today's bride to plan her wedding in a manner more a la carte and more to her unique style than in decades past.
Online, one can find inspiration for anything from table settings and centerpieces to hairstyles for the big day and how the bride can wear her "something blue."
The outcome: More weddings are including a handmade touch.
Brides can spend hours looking at pictures of wedding flowers, wedding dresses, wedding shoes, wedding cake, wedding hair, wedding pictures - even pretty "Downton Abbey"-inspired place settings.
But as helpful as such sites as Pinterest are, Mathis and others have noted that having such a wealth of ideas at your fingertips can get to be overwhelming.
"This can be a blessing and a curse," Mathis said. "You may see something you love on Pinterest, but do you have time to make it happen? Are you going to rely on your mom or bridesmaids to help with the week prior to the wedding?"
Some Pinterest ideas are easily created, and others serve primarily as points of inspiration that are tweaked to match the bride's own needs.
Mathis said she has noticed that brides are choosing photographers, florists, even caterers from their Pinterest pages. It's fascinating to her.
"Personally, I find Pinterest a little limiting - it's someone else's ideas that you are wishing were yours."
Getting that ‘first look’
The tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony probably arose out of the practice of arranged marriages, explained professional wedding consultant Erica Scott of Erica Weddings.
And there are a lot of reasons that today's couples aren't putting much stock in the old superstition.
In fact, many couples are planning a "first look."
During a first look, the bride and groom get to see each other ahead of the ceremony, and a photographer and/or videographer captures these early moments.
From a logistical standpoint, having pictures of the couple taken before the wedding makes things easier, Scott said.
Even if you don't get all of your pictures done, you still get a significant share completed, and "this will ensure your guests aren't left waiting at the reception for over an hour while you finish your pictures," Scott said.
Photographers also like pre-ceremony pictures because they tend to be more relaxed and have time to be creative and play, whereas after the ceremony, the session is often rushed.
Scott gives her reasons why she's pro "first look."
1. Why break the communication?
A couple spends their entire dating relationship communicating with the person they love every day. And many of them see each other every day. "So why, on the day you plan to commit your lives to each other from now till forever, would you spend 90 percent of that day apart and not speaking to each other?" Scott asked.
2. The groom's reaction will be much more candid.
"Your grooms, generally speaking, are fully aware that the guests want to see his reaction to you walking down the aisle. Therefore, in that moment, your man will be reserved," Scott explained. "He will be holding back because all eyes are on him."
Arrange a private first look before the ceremony (just the two of you with the photographer and videographer in the distance to capture the moment), and Scott said you are certain to have a genuine, uninhibited reaction from your groom. He might cry. He might get giddy. He may run to you. Maybe do all of those things at once. The moment will give the two of you time to not only see each other you but also talk, hug, kiss, tell each other how great the other looks and just be with each other.
3. The ceremony won't be any less special.
Whether you have the first look, there will be walking down the aisle and saying those vows. A "first look" won't make the occasion any less momentous, Scott said.
4. Some of those pre-wedding jitters are taken care of.
And because the couple has seen each other before the actual ceremony, those nerves that have only continued to mount are quieted, something Scott said is helpful to the person snapping pictures. "Ask any photographer and they will tell you that the bride and groom are much more relaxed after they've seen each other," Scott said. "And relaxed people make for better pictures."
Top 5 local wedding trends
Tulsa weddings still tend to be fairly formal and religious, said Angie Mathis, event manager at J.A. Mathis Co.
But they're all different.
"I feel like I'm seeing more couples wanting to make their day unique and not caving to pressures of tradition or family wishes," Mathis said.
Here's five trends in today's weddings and receptions:
1. Shorter guest lists with more intimate celebrations.
2. Couples are extending their reception into the wee hours with Venetian hours or snack events.
Drawing from the Sicilian tradition, the Venetian Hour typically features a dessert course with cakes, pastries and coffee. Think of it as a late-night, wind-down event with finger foods.
Emeline Bauder, owner of Nibbles by Grandeur Affairs, 8313 S. Memorial Drive, said such events are more common on the coasts but offer wedding guests more time to celebrate the new marriage.
3. Brides are being inspired by Pinterest and other online sites.
4. Brides and grooms are shouldering more of the wedding costs.
5. There's less pre-wedding superstition. (See "First Look")
Original Print Headline: In Vogue For Brides
Bravetta Hassell 918-581-8316
Raven is shown in "Divina" by Maggie Sottero. Photos by CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World. Dresses courtesy of Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. Hair and makeup by J'nar Spa & Salon. Models courtesy Linda Layman Agency. Photographed at the Tulsa Garden Center.
Skyler wears the "Jayla" by Maggie Sottero. Photos by CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World. Dresses courtesy of Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. Hair and makeup by J'nar Spa & Salon. Models courtesy Linda Layman Agency. Photographed at the Tulsa Garden Center.
Raven (left) poses in a bridesmaid dress by Sophia Tolli, and Skyler wears the "Billie" by David Tutera. Photos by CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World. Dresses courtesy of Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. Hair and makeup by J'nar Spa & Salon. Models courtesy Linda Layman Agency. Photographed at the Tulsa Garden Center.
Maggie Sottero's "Divina" gown features a belt that brides who love bling would covet. Photos by CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World. Dresses courtesy of Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire. Hair and makeup by J'nar Spa & Salon. Models courtesy Linda Layman Agency. Photographed at the Tulsa Garden Center.
A "first look" moment Andrea Murphy Photography
Skyler wears the "Jayla" by Maggie Sottero.