Blue shoes, black sashes and long lashes are in. Plus, experts dish on lingerie, bridal party traditions, etc.
Wedding trends in Delaware
Hot Four-inch heels in any color but white
Not White satin pumps
Hot Long, long lashes
Not Bright eye shadow
Hot Clutch bouquets for mother of the bride
Not Pin-on corsages
Hot Above-the-knee bridesmaid frocks
Not Tea-length gowns
Hot Loose, romantic curls
Not Severe, pulled-back updos
Hot Citrus fruits and organic florals
Not Gilding the lily
—Eileen Smith Dallabrida
Wedding lingerie for brides in Delaware
In the excitement of picking out a dress, it’s easy to forget about something just as important—what goes underneath.
The specialists at Bare Essentials on Concord Pike in North Wilmington know all about those essentials. They advise clients to think about what kind of lingerie a dress will require before they try the dress on.
Says owner Debbie Esslinger, “A lot of times women have expectations about these gorgeous dresses, but they don’t keep in mind how they’re made, or the material, or what will go underneath. Bridal stores are great at finding you a dress to fit your body, but you also need to pick out lingerie to fit your dress.”
In short: Even when you find the perfect dress, don’t purchase it on the spot. First determine what kind of lingerie you’ll need.
Bare Essentials carries lingerie to match a bride’s every need. The store has a large line of strapless bras, many made of smooth materials that will not show through even the sheerest fabric. A bustier can also go a long way in providing a smooth, seamless look. Bare Essentials offers fittings for both of these items to ensure that you have a look that’s flattering and snug.
Esslinger touts Spanx, another popular product line that offers undergarments that are as comfortable as they are slimming. Spanx are made in a variety of styles, so you’ll be able to find just the thing to fit that dipped neckline or crisscrossed back. Once you’ve picked out the perfect lingerie, you can walk the aisle knowing you’ll have support no matter what. —Phoebe Rowe
Bride accessory trends in Delaware
Quirky is in! Accessories that were once seen as offbeat are becoming more mainstream.
There are lots of interesting accessories for brides. At Fantasia Bridal & Cocktail in Wilmington, there’s the birdcage or Russian style veil with netting in the front and silk flowers in the back. The advantage of such accessories? They can be modified to fit your color scheme without deviating too far from the classic. The netting can be made in a variety of different styles, and the flowers can highlight the accents on your dress or the main colors featured in your reception.
Janet Lawrence, of Simon’s Bridal Shoppe in Dover, says that these flowers could also be beaded or replaced with clusters of beads, which can be matched to the dress and still bring out a nice sparkle. “The way you arrange the flowers on the veil depends on how you’re wearing your hair, so it’s a great opportunity to really make a statement,” she says. “It’s a good way to pull attention to the style and color you’ve chosen, and to pull attention to yourself.”
Other types of hair accessories are making their presence known, as well. At Fantasia, many brides are turning to headbands instead of hair clips because the bands can be made in a multitude of designs and colors, and they serve well to hold all your hair in place without being as constrictive as a tiara. At Simon’s, clips are still in, but Lawrence warns to keep in mind how your hair will move throughout the occasion. You don’t want the sparkle to get lost.
All of these accessories have one thing in common: While they may still be a little unconventional, they draw lots of attention to your look and your theme. Accessories can often bring a whole look together, so don’t be afraid to try something a little different. —P.R.
Bridal party traditions are changed in Delaware
The unfortunate tradition of bridesmaids wearing gowns that will be forever consigned to the back of the closet is blessedly over.
And who wears the frock—if a dress is worn at all—is changing, too.
More brides are choosing male friends or mentors to stand up for them on the big day, says Erin Proud, principal of Proud to Plan Weddings and Events in Wilmington.
One bride chose a male friend to be an attendant, along with her closest gal pals. Proud is currently planning a wedding in which a man of honor will attend the bride and a best lady will stand by the groom.
Junior bridesmaids, flower girls and ring bearers have long been part of the processional. Today, attendants also might include a maid who is a generation older than the bride, such as a beloved aunt.
“We’ve had moms as matrons of honor and dads as best men,” Proud says. “What’s more important than maintaining traditional bridal party roles is ensuring that the people closest to you are up there, standing by your side, helping to create wonderful memories of your wedding day.”
Brides also are preceded down the aisle by fewer attendants these days, says Paula Waters, manager of Simon’s Bridal Shoppe in Dover.
Instead of dozens of cousins or a houseful of sorority sisters, brides are sticking to those nearest and dearest, “three or four girls at the most, usually sisters and close friends,” Waters says.
In keeping with the shorter line of maids, hemlines are shorter, too.
“Short dresses, at the knee or above, is what everyone is going for,” Water says. “It’s youthful and fun and the girls are happy because they have a nice dress they can actually wear to parties after the wedding is over.”
Fitted bodices and flowing skirts look ladylike floating down the aisle—and hot on the dance floor at the reception. The most fashionable fabrics are satin, taffeta and chiffon.
“Sometimes girls will order tea-length dresses with chiffon skirts and have them cut to a shorter length,” Waters says.
So what are the yummiest colors? Chocolate brown, a recent fall fave, is now being worn year-round.
There also is a wave of clear, cool, turquoise-kissed blues. Picture nature-inspired hues that complement a variety of hair colors and skin tones.
“Marine blue is beautiful for outdoor weddings, especially if it’s on a beach or by the pool,” Waters says. — E.S.D.
Buying a bridal gown in Delaware
“We see girls who fall in love with a dress they see on a hanger or in a magazine,” says Pat Davis, owner of The Bridal Boutique Ltd. in Milford. “But the perfect dress is the one that makes the bride look so beautiful that all eyes are on her instead of just the gown.”
Platinum and pastels are fading as brides return to traditional neutrals. But instead of stark white, Davis often suggests ivory or diamond white, a slightly warmer shade that is midway between ivory and icy white.
“Ivory is softer and much easier to wear because it is so flattering to just about every complexion,” Davis says.
It might run counter to logic, but a strapless gown is a good choice for a busty bride. “That strapless bodice will pull her in and make her look glamorous rather than top-heavy,” she says.
A flawless figure gives a bride a multitude of options. So why not flaunt what you’ve got with a form-fitting sheath or mermaid-style gown? Charmeuse, a soft, slinky satin, is a favored fabric for brides who have nothing to hide.
“Girls with great figures also look super in short dresses that let them show off their legs,” Davis says.
No curves? No problem, says Hope Mitchell, owner of Brides 2 Be in Lewes.
An A-line dress that skims the body creates a smooth line that doesn’t give away what’s beneath it. Conversely, that ladylike silhouette also is a good match for brides who are thick around the middle or have a pear-shaped body. Fabrics can be structured, as in crisp taffeta, or fluid, as in chiffon.
“The empire waistline or an A-line also flatters the décolletage,” Mitchell says. “It draws the eye up and toward the bride’s face.”
A bride with a big bottom might ask her fairy godmother for a Cinderella-style ballroom skirt.
“A fuller skirt is great on a bride who is a little hippy, especially if she has a small waistline,” she says.
Many houses of worship dictate that the bride not show bare arms and shoulders during the service. Mitchell recommends checking to see if a veil that covers the shoulders is acceptable.
Otherwise, a trim, bolero-style jacket with full- or three-quarter length sleeves will suffice, with or without a collar.
“It can be shear or lace, just as long as the skin is covered,” she says. —E.S.D.
Designer wedding gown sale in Wilmington, Delaware
Brides-to-be are sure to find great deals on designer wedding gowns and accessories during the three-day Designer Bridal Gown Sale in early March.
More than 850 bridal gowns will be available at what organizers call “drastically discounted prices” at the unique event, scheduled for March 2-4 at the Sheraton Wilmington South Hotel.
Proceeds will benefit Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition programs.
“It is truly a community effort,” says Vicky Cooke, DBCC’s executive director. “Designers, bridal shops and brides from across the country have donated wedding gowns to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.”
Making Memories, a breast cancer organization based in Portland, Ore., donated the gowns to DBCC after holding its Brides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser. The event collected thousands of bridal gowns from bridal shops, designers and brides, then sold them all over the United States.
The price of the gowns will start at $100. The sale will include exclusive designer gowns valued up to $20,000 but sold at a fraction of the original price. Gowns will come in different styles and range in size from 2 to 22. Accessories, including slips, tiaras and veils, will also be sold.
The event will include wedding professionals like photographers and videographers, as well as representatives from salons, bakeries, travel agencies and florists. The Sheraton will offer package upgrades to brides who book their weddings there.
The event kicks off on Friday, March 2, with an exclusive preview sale from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Advance online registration is required at debreastcancer.org/brides. The cost is $20 for the bride and one guest, with additional tickets available for $15. The event is free and open to the public on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and March 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (debreastcancer.org/brides, 866-312-DBCC ext. 10)