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Trends and Classics for Wedding Day Attire 

Dress Your Best

click to enlarge A cushion cut ring by Sasha Primak. Available from Hummingbird Jewelers in Rhinebeck.
  • A cushion cut ring by Sasha Primak. Available from Hummingbird Jewelers in Rhinebeck.

Every bride and groom wants to sparkle and shine on the big day, but looking good is different for everyone. Strapless dress for the bride? Top hat and tails for the groom? It all depends on your style. Sartorial experts of the Hudson Valley provide some pointers on getting dressed.

The Blushing Bride (And Her BFFs)
Thanks to Jessica Biel's cotton candy-colored wedding gown, brides are literally blushing. A hint of color has them walking down the aisle looking pretty in pink. Barbara Kerner, owner of Style des Reves Custom Dressmaking in Accord, says that pink's not the only color that is trendy now—the boldest brides are choosing aqua, a brighter extension of blush and ivory. In addition to color, Kerner is seeing more brides asking for a classic silhouette with strong ball gowns and slim-fitting sheaths with lace overlay (also a trend for bridesmaids and moms) and a trumpet skirt—higher and fuller than the mermaid—all with luxe fabrics. She also mentions that shoulders now are being covered and sleeves are coming back. You can thank Kate Middleton for that. Kerner points out that these are not your grandma's sleeves. "These gowns have stretch tulle with key-hole openings in the back—there's a sheerness with bare skin." And the peplum trend that's been seen so often in ready-to-wear has made its way to bridal and adds beautiful curves to a wedding gown.

Kerner's designs are all custom-made, so brides literally get to create their dream wedding dress. "If brides want the Goth look, we'll make it dark, and they end up with something completely more majestic then they ever imagined. It they want the skirt from one dress and the bodice of another—we'll make it happen, too," says Kerner.

For the wedding party, brides want their ladies to be able to actually wear the dress again. Cocktail-length bridesmaid dresses in more stylish fabrics make this possible, according to Gladys Portalatin, owner of The Bridal Cottage in Kingston. "Brides often choose a color and let their ladies pick the style," she says. "The average woman is a size 16, so if she prefers sleeve or strapless—this idea fits the bill." For the Man of Honor (another trend), Portalatin says that he will often bridge the gap with the groomsmen and bridesmaid with color. Portalatin says that moms are also becoming more progressive, looking for less traditional dresses and opting for something more playful and stylish—often black and worn with a fun shrug or bolero instead of a more structured jacket.

The Dashing Groom
Let's not forget the gents. Pete Esposito, owner of Esposito's Tux Shop in Kingston, says that black tuxedos still reign as the most popular option for men; but the guys are dressing it down with a long tie instead of a traditional, and more formal bowtie. The ease of colored accessories is what makes black such a easy choice. Esposito says that men often wear vests that match the wedding colors—which changes according to women's styles and seasons. Fall brings burgundy, wine, cinnamon and chocolate, while in warm weather months a color palette of lavender, mint, and periwinkle make an appearance. "One new trend that we're seeing is a steel grey tux—a good alternative to black," says Esposito. Grey or black—how to choose? Either way, both the bride and groom are involved in the decision, according to Esposito. "Women tend to have as much input as the groom, but if push comes to shove, it's the bride's decision on what he wears." Perhaps it's to ensure that they're wearing something they don't regret down the road. "That's for prom," says Esposito. "If you're looking for a Dumb and Dumber tux, we don't do those."

click to enlarge The back view of a custom-made gown in ruched silk taffeta with a bustle of gathered tulle, and embellished with a custom-made silk flower “bling” at waistline, by designer Barbara Kerner of   Style des Reves Custom Dressmaking in Accord.
  • The back view of a custom-made gown in ruched silk taffeta with a bustle of gathered tulle, and embellished with a custom-made silk flower “bling” at waistline, by designer Barbara Kerner of Style des Reves Custom Dressmaking in Accord.

A Little Bit of Pomp
When it comes to 'dos, brides are letting their hair down. While many still love a classic updo, a natural blowout has brides feeling their best for the big day. According to Janet Ruggiero, owner and master makeup artist and esthetician of Giannetta Salon and Spa in Beacon says that their Gianneta signature blowout—a style created by wrapping hair in a curl and treating it to create full, sexy waves—is incredibly popular. Mother of the brides love it, too. As for the 'maids, we can thank the wedding gods they're no longer required to wear matching French twists. "Bridesmaids have their own style now and it's almost always an updo," says Ruggiero. As for makeup, Ruggiero say that brides, "wants to look like themselves, only more beautiful." She helps them to achieve that by meeting with the bride-to-be six months to a year prior to the big day. They work together on prepping the skin and shaping the brows (a Ruggiero signature treatment) to create the perfect look for the wedding-day makeup. She's seeing a huge trend toward airbrushing and recommends high-definition airbrush makeup to all of her brides. "We call the stuff flawless makeup because the wedding photos always look better when we use it." And let's hear it for the boys. Men are coming in more often than ever—even if the bride prompts it. Ruggiero says that it's important for the guys to get their skin and brows in order for the big day. "Before the wedding, he'll often have a nice (yet, very masculine) manicure." But it's not all work to look this good—her spa is popular for wedding pre-parties where bridesmaids often gather for manicures and pedicures, and to spoil the bride-to-be with the works. Ruggiero says that brides are often given a body polish treatment in order to have glistening skin for the honeymoon.

And Don't Forget The Sparkle
The wedding ring—a circle with no beginning or end—symbolizes eternity. While the band was traditionally a gold metal, times have changed. Bruce Lubman, owner of Hummingbird Jewelers in Rhinebeck, says that white gold and platinum are now the predominant color metals, but palladium is becoming a new alternative (especially if price is a concern). This metal comes out of the earth white and holds up very well over time—which comes in handy when you plan on wearing it forever. Still, it's certainly not all about the band. Engagement rings are just as important, and finding the right one is now a two-person job. "It is a rare and courageous young man that comes in alone and actually chooses a ring without feedback from the intended bride," says Lubman. He points out that brides prefer larger diamonds in yellow, champagne, and black with unique shapes like a cushion or asscher cut, and custom creations are being done more than ever. "Custom work is a process that can be very satisfying when two people create something unique together that won't be seen on anyone else's finger," says Lubman. Ethically sourced stones and environmentally conscious mining practices are also increasing, and everything at Hummingbird is made in-house with harmony gold and comes from a refiner that uses only recycled gold and palladium. It's not only a bride who'll appreciate this kind of thoughtfulness. Lubman says that jewelry has always been a popular gift for the wedding party. You can't go wrong with handsome cuff links for the guys and lovely initial pendants for the ladies. A dress they'll actually wear again and mindful jewelry? There's no better way to honor your best buddies.

Resources
The Bridal Cottage
Kingston (845) 331-6596

Style des Reves Custom Dressmaking
Accord (845) 626-5353

Esposito's Tux Shop
Kingston (845) 339-8899

Giannetta Salon & Spa
Beacon (845) 831-2421

Hummingbird Jewelers
Rhinebeck (845) 876-4585

  • Sartorial experts in the Hudson Valley provide tips on what to wear for the big day.

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