Most brides will admit that shopping for their wedding gown has always been a dream. Since the days of playing house and dressing up their dolls, soon-to-be brides have often imagined themselves walking down the aisle on their wedding day, draped in a white wedding gown surrounded by family and friends. Nowadays, however, that dream could turn into a frustrating experience when trying to keep up with all the latest trends to have a memorable wedding. The popularity in traditional white wedding gowns is fading and colors are brightening up brides’ wedding wardrobes, according to Glamour Girl magazine. Some brides are even abandoning their childhood dreams to wear gowns similar to the ones their mothers once wore, opting for more colorful designs.
In recent years, boutiques have seen a rise in brides reverting back to their colorful roots. Colleen Wilson of Claire’s Fashions boutique, a family owned bridal and formal occasion boutique located in North Wilmington, Del., says brides are looking for a gown that is unique and will make them stand out. Two of the best bridal lines in their boutique are Allure Bridals and David Tutera by Mon Cheri Brides.
“David Tutera incorporates a lot of his high-energy personality and fashion knowledge into the hip and trendy designs of his bridal lines,” Wilson says. “One of the big trends he has captured is the emerging popularity of color, including bridal gowns in soft pinks and blues. Perfect for the bride who is looking for something sweet and different.”
Before the 1800s, brides wore gowns made of practical fabrics that could be worn for many different occasions. Many brides wore red, black, or blue gowns in order to get as much use of them as possible. And in many countries, white was considered a “mourning” color and used for funerals and periods of mourning loved ones. It wasn’t until February of 1840 that white wedding dresses became popular. On Feb. 10, 1840, Queen Victoria of England married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and set a fashion trend for “wannabe” brides. When images of her white wedding attire made its way around the world, brides flocked to be like this elegant royal bride.
The style of wedding gowns has also changed over the years, including their overall shape. Traditional gowns were the “ball gown” style dresses with a full skirt, long veil, trains, and were made of silk and lace. In the 1930s, brides exchanged their veil for bonnet- or cloche-style hat. Today’s bride is dressed in a very different style. Instead of the traditional ball gown designs, brides are now opting for gowns in a curve-hugging mermaid style, textured bottoms, and see-through elements.
These trends have continued to develop as increased media attention and technology have created more exposure to wedding fashion.
With the popularity of wedding-based reality shows, social media websites, and other media, it can be hard for brides to make up their minds when choosing a potential style for their big day. “Too many brides come in with one thing in mind and end up choosing a gown that is completely different from anything they ever imagined,” says Bijou Bridal & Special Occasion boutique in Ardmore, Pa.
A quick search on Pinterest or any other media site will show you thousands of potential gowns, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy one of the gowns on the site.
“Social media is playing a huge part in the beginning of the bridal experience,” states Wilson of Claire’s Fashions, “The only downside is that brides don’t always realize that the gown they fell in love with on Pinterest costs more than $10,000. So, we always tell
our brides to keep an open mind, use social media for ideas, and don’t commit to a style until you try it on.”
In the world where being unique can pose a serious challenge, is it possible for brides to find something to make them standout from the other girls crowding the salon floor? The solution might be with the small touches a bride can add onto her gown.
“More than ever before, I feel that brides are truly customizing their look on their day. They will add beaded belts, shoes dyed in the color of their wedding, and other unique touches,” reported Cheryl Steele, owner of Forever Formals in Kennett Square, PA. “I love this trend because I feel that every bride is unique and special. This is her opportunity to really be herself and let her inner beauty shine!”