Bridal Section: Personalization ‘something new’ for brides in 2005

When it comes to “something new” for their wedding day, most brides start with the all-important wedding dress. The latest news in finding the wedding dress of your dreams is to seek a look that expresses your special personality and style.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the belle of the ball; make sure you try a variety of silhouettes in various fabrics to find a gorgeous dress that is uniquely you,” says Diane Forden, editor-in-chief of Bridal Guide. Reading bridal magazines and surfing bridal Web sites is a great way to get a feel for the latest trends and to start thinking about the styles you like. However, says Forden, “Just because a gown looks great on the model in the photograph, doesn’t mean it’s the best ‘fit’ for your figure or your personality.” Her advice: Be open minded about trying different looks, especially those suggested by your bridal consultant.

Trying on a range of styles can be simplified by choosing a store such as David’s Bridal that offers a wide selection of gowns that reflect all the newest trends in wedding dresses as well as classic styles. Local bridal shops often offer more unique options. Meanwhile, larger, national stores often have a continual stream of new designs for brides.

“Affordable luxury” is a buzzword for today’s brides, who want an upscale look without the couture price tag. Try shopping at a store that has a great selection of wedding dresses in a variety of price points and that carries a wide range of sizes in stock. After all, if you’re a size 18, you don’t want to have to squeeze into a size 8 sample dress and try to imagine what it will look like on you. Addressing this issue, David’s Bridal has a great selection of the latest looks, available in all sizes, including an entire collection of gowns tailored specifically for plus size brides.

What’s new?

“2005 bridal fashions evoke a more romantic feel than recent years,” says Jeff Moore, senior vice president of bridal product development at David’s Bridal. Dressing up and feeling fabulous is back in style, with ladylike silhouettes that are both classic and dreamy.

“If you’ve been reading the bridal magazines or surfing the net, you know that sweetheart necklines and updated halters are everywhere; strapless gowns continue to be a bridal mainstay as well. All of these necklines offer great opportunities for accessorizing, which once again allows you to personalize your look,” says Moore.

A-line silhouettes, which complement just about every body type, are a perennial favorite. Ballgowns and sheath style dresses, both in keeping with the trend toward romance, are also popular. One of the newest silhouettes is also among the most figure-flattering—side-drape dresses, which look graceful and gorgeous, while hiding any figure flaws. For more intimate or destination weddings, choose from among a great selection of tea-length dresses, in lace as well as other “packable” fabrics.

You’ll also see a bevy of elegant embellishments on bridal gowns in 2005. Traditional embellishments such as lace, pearls, appliqués and hand-beading adorn many dresses. Embroidery using metallic thread is putting an updated twist that lends a sparkling effect to the latest designs.

If you’re wondering how you’ll ever find your perfect dress among all the options out there, Moore has two pieces of advice. “First, bring along a friend or relative when you shop so you have someone to help you compare the dresses you try on. Second, trust your bridal consultant. They work with brides every day and have an innate sense about what will look good on you. Plus, they know the store’s selection inside and out.”

Dressing the bridal party

Allow your bridesmaids to showcase their individuality as well. Make a Match separates from David’s Bridal allow you to select a color scheme, and your bridesmaids to create their own unique combinations from a choice of several styles. “Our unique Make A Match collection allows each bridesmaid to choose a look that is their own and fits them best, while remaining true to the theme and color chosen by the bride,” says Ramona de la Rosa, senior vice president of bridesmaids product development at David’s Bridal. Complete the bridal party look by accessorizing with color-coordinated shoes, matching purses and complementing jewelry.

This spring, bridesmaids’ silhouettes are updated with alternative lengths and asymmetrical hems. With brides leaning toward utilizing more color in their weddings, bridesmaids’ dresses can now be found in a varied color palette—from soft pastels to warm, bright hues. In accordance with bridal trends, bridal party dresses also include embellishments such as flowers, ribbons, bows, sashes and beading.

Today, it’s common for bridesmaids to be scattered across the country. Brides should take this into consideration when selecting a store at which to purchase their bridal party dresses. With 240 stores across the county and a state-of-the-art Web site, David’s makes it easy for brides and their bridesmaids to coordinate their dresses, even if they’re not in the same area.

Accent on accessories

Bridal accessories go way beyond the veil this year as jewelry, gloves, handbags and more all play an important part. The softer look in bridal dresses is reflected in the gentler drape of veils this season, and veils carry through the trend of embellishment as well. You’ll see veils bejeweled with crystals, gold thread, fresh water pearls and rhinestones in addition to classically simple scalloped veils.

The embellishment theme is also reflected in wraps and handbags, for example, with a beautiful floral pattern on a handbag. The sophisticated look of pearls and gold will also be strong, especially in tiara and jewelry collections. The classic string of pearls is always appropriate; for something trendier, consider sparkling rhinestone chandelier earrings.

Gloves are making a comeback this year, in keeping with the romantic direction of bridal fashion. You’ll find them from wrist-length to over-the-elbow, in 2-, 12- and 16-button styles, and even gauntlets are making a return.

To find the David’s Bridal nearest you, and to view the latest bridal fashions, visit

From the April 27-May 3, 2005, issue

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