Aisle Style

A wedding is a time to celebrate a lifetime of possibilities, and brides in 2013 have some beautiful possibilities in wedding dresses.

“Overall looks we’re seeing are chic, vintage, elegant, Old Hollywood and refined or whimsical, pixie, earthy and unique,” says The Gown House co-owner Leesa Morton. “A look that we’re not seeing brides go for as much is the pickup, bouffant-y feel. Gowns have become more simplistic.”

Here are some more trends Morton is noting:

Nationally, there are trends toward asymmetrical dresses, high-low hemlines and side slits, but so far, Columbia brides aren’t picking up on these styles, Morton reports. Columbia brides are following the overall trend toward a slimmer fit, with the mermaid, trumpet or fit-and-flare style particularly popular.

“Lace is huge right now,” Morton says, and, yes, brides have Kate Middleton to thank for it. “Wedding dress fashion definitely trends with the celebrities and public figures. Vendors take inspiration from celebrities.”

Chiffon, a lightweight, flowing material, is also popular, usually as an overlay.

White is no longer the only color option for brides. While accent colors on bridal gowns have trended in and out and in again over the last decade, brides are now going for entirely colored dresses. Take, for example, Jessica Biel’s blush-colored wedding dress for her Oct. 19, 2012, wedding to Justin Timberlake.

Other popular hues are lilac, purple, black, deeper champagnes and gold, Morton says, and while The Gown House has done only one full bridal gown in red this year, she is seeing Columbia brides flirt with the trend with accents and accessories in the popular colors.

Brides want to impress coming and going, with dramatic keyhole backs, low-V backs and “illusion” backs, which feature see-through lace.

As for the train — “Brides still want trains, definitely,” says Morton. “It distinguishes the bride from everyone else.” She adds that chapel-length trains are the most popular.
Strapless dresses have been a steady trend for years, but their preferred status took a hit when Kate Middleton stepped out in her long lace sleeves.

“We’re not necessarily seeing brides want a long sleeve, but some sleeve,” Morton says. “Cap sleeves are very popular right now.”

Embellishments are trending toward the light side, which fits with the overall simplicity brides are favoring.

“Keeping the lines simple and not having quite as many embellishments — this lets the bride work with the dress, add to it as she would like and make it her own,” Morton says. “Do-it-yourself is so big right now, and we’re seeing that trend with wedding dresses. If it’s not exactly what she’s looking for, we find ways to get it there.”

One of the ways brides are customizing their dresses is with accessories.

“Belts are really popular right now because if a gown doesn’t have much embellishment on it, brides can add a belt to make it pop and give it dimension,” Morton says. Some brides choose a belt the same color as the gown, and others take the opportunity to add some color. Blush-colored sashes, Morton says, are definitely in style.

If the dress has pleating or ruching, brides often add a pin or beaded appliqué at the point where it all comes together.

“Again,” Morton says, “it’s adding to the dress to make it their own.”