Your wedding day is all about celebrating romance. How you define romance is depicted in that most-dreamed about ensemble — your wedding dress. And nothing brings romance to life more than today’s interpretations of the Victorian Era, proving once again what’s old is new — but with a few very modern surprises!
Color this season is huge, says Ashley Vaughn, owner of Occasions Bridal in Portsmouth. “Designer Alfred Angelo has put color in his dresses. Fall’s color was ivory and it is still very popular. Ivory is wonderful because it is softer than pure white and can compliment many skin tones.”
Flared mermaid hemlines and Empire waists are newly defined this year with simplified skirts, said Vaughn. “Tucked, quilted poufs, or ‘the bubble look’ is very popular, too.” A change from previous seasons’ pared-down looks, lace is lavished on this spring’s dresses. Delicate Chantilly, defined Alençon, or floral Venise, lace is appearing on dress bodices and skirts, as overlays for a jacketed effect and adding opulence to trains, both long and short.
Veils are back again in a big way. After several seasons of barely-there lengths of bridal tulle, veils are being called this season’s key accessory. This season’s love of lace is being transformed into ultra-long, ultra-luxe veils, recalling the fairytale weddings of Grace Kelly and Princess Diana, but have a style all their own.
Cathedral veils, extending three yards or more behind the dress, most often crown a very formal, full-skirted dress to give it balance, but paired with a simpler silhouette can create a modern yet regal look.
Tiaras still reign supreme as the most popular headpiece among today’s brides. “What could be simpler for becoming a princess for the day?” remarks Vaughn. Functioning as the foundation for the veil, a hair ornament and jewelry, today’s tiaras are simple and elegant, adding a bit of sparkle as well as functionality.
Vaughn, an admitted “shoe freak,” says the runways of New York are showing shoes with a splash of color. “I’ve also been reading that beach brides are really embellishing their flip-flops for their weddings,” she added.
Whether you choose striking stilettos, posh pumps or those fun flip-flops, practice walking in them with the dress before the big day.
Not only will breaking in the shoes ahead of time save your feet, you’ll also save some face by preventing slips and trips.
New Hampshire brides can face cool breezes to downright chilly Nor’easters almost any time of year, making a wrap or shawl an essential accessory. But that doesn’t mean the cover-up has to be utilitarian. Vaughn says shawls can add a finishing touch to any wedding style.
Anything from luxurious velvet to cashmere to faux fur can work well depending on the style and formality of the dress. Vaughn also adds, “If you have some color in your dress, it’s always nice to match your wrap in the same hue.”
This article appears in the January 2007 issue of New Hampshire Magazine