The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

February 3, 2013

Holy matrimony!

A pre-show preview of wedding advice from the experts

With Valentine’s Day eleven calendar squares away, love is in the air.  But with June, the biggest bridal season, just down the aisle, it’s in the air … and the hair, the fabric, the flowers, the food bar and the pictures.  Whew! It’s enough to keep a girl on her stiletto-ed, wait, barefooted, no — specialty flip-flopped toes.

Like it or not, each year’s wedding styles are influenced by elements from runway colors and weather patterns (according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac and lore, if it rains on the day you wed, it’s a sign of the many tears you’ll shed) to what’s worn at the Academy Awards to current movie themes.

Bridal shows across the country see record attendance because of all the decisions faced in planning the big day and their ever-fluctuating nature. The 14th Annual Bridal, Prom & Special Occasions Show at Tamarack Conference Center Feb. 23 is no exception, with 150 to 200 brides-to-be and their ceremonial sisters expected. Beginning with a ticketed brunch and vendor preview at 10 a.m., brides will convene throughout the afternoon in search of the perfect everything.

A few of the experts preparing their show displays, from fashion and jewelry to elaborate floral bouquets and out-of-the-box photography, share their best predictions here for what brides will grab in 2013, in addition to their choice groom’s hand.

Gowns, hot and not

Bloggers webwide are abuzz over yellow and gray pairings, over mismatched patterns in reception fabrics and wedding party attire, over reception lounges, over-the-top food stations — even wedding dresses with pockets.

For decades, the experts at Harvey’s Fashions and Bridal have tracked trends in formals and brought back what they believe will suit the tastes of southern West Virginia brides. What arrived back in their fashion trunks this year?

Loads of timeless lace and “modern” vintage, says Bobbi Harvey, styles enduring longer through big screen and television returns to ’20s-era themes, like The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey. “Also ruffles, layers of tulle and embellishments — crystals, little flowers or bows.”

While white gowns are still the standard, softer diamond shades are preferred to pristine whites and Bobbi predicts hints of color for the underpinning — the tulle slip. Subtle blue is the most popular hue of colored tulle tiers, peeking out when the bride lifts her dress to walk or ties it to dance, Harvey explains.

“That’s their ‘something blue.’”

Patterns in attendant attire make an appearance, but more popular are dresses to suit each individual’s body shape, and versatile enough to be worn to later formal occasions. Bridesmaids are also the color pop to ceremonies, with dresses popular in hot pink with black, purple with pink, and singular colors coral, yellow, turquoise or teal.

“They’re not the bridesmaid dresses of yesterday,” Harvey admits, where the bride's choice was greeted by a unanimous groan. “They’re trendy enough that you’ll be sure to wear them again.”

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