If you think every lovely bride is still wearing white, it’s time to wake up to 21st century wedding fashion.
“Generally speaking, there isn’t a lot of color in bridal dresses, but there are many more color variations today than there were a few years ago,” asserted Karla Boettcher, a co-owner of Fairmont’s Blue Box Bridal since 2010.
“Ivory is the most common color, but golds and champagnes have also been popular lately,” Boettcher shared.
“We’ve also had new dresses in a color called ‘romantic,’ which is a little more on the champagne side, and some in ‘cameo,’ a nice blush,” she added.
“Color options are definitely out there.”
Contemporary brides are also inclined to add pops of color with shoes and belts, Boettcher mentioned.
And while the strapless style continues to be a good seller, it’s no longer the only game in town.
“There’s a great dress in our front window with pearl beading and a little sleeve,” noted Boettcher.
“Straps and sleeves are becoming much more popular, but we still see a lot of strapless gowns.”
Boettcher’s bridal boutique offers a full range of fashions and services for every bridal party, but she counsels that the process works best when it begins with the most important person involved: the bride.
“We recommend the bride look first because her dress sets the tone for the rest of the wedding,” advised Boettcher, who said her shop happily accepts appointments for brides, mothers-of-the-bride, bridesmaids, groomsmen and more, in whatever grouping works well for each party.
“The bridesmaids’ dresses play off of what the bride chooses, and it’s the bride’s dress that really determines the wedding’s style and degree of formality.”
Blue Box Bridal works primarily with three companies that supply bridesmaids’ dresses; the store also has junior bridesmaid styles in girls’ sizes 8 to 14.
“We have plenty of nice options if there are younger people in a wedding party,” assured Boettcher.
And if you’ll be a guest at multiple weddings in the coming year, don’t expect to see each bride similarly coiffed.
“Brides can put a lot of personality into something really bold and fun when it comes to headgear,” observed Boettcher.
“Some brides want to be more traditional but there can be a lot of variations—a veil and a headpiece, or just a veil—there’s not one particular look, and it’s one area where brides really like to make it their own,” she noted.
“Headgear can depend, too, on how a bride is wearing her hair, and of course most brides want to play up their individual features the best they can.”
When it comes to the other end of the spectrum — footwear — Blue Box Bridal is also on the job.
“We have shoes and can custom dye shoes right in the store,” said Boettcher.
“Even if a bride has purchased her dress or bridesmaids’ dresses elsewhere, she can still bring them in and we can dye shoes to match.”
Mothers of brides and grooms need to set aside wedding planning details long enough to remember that they, too, will also be on display during their children’s big days.
“Mothers shouldn’t wait until the last minute to select a dress,” advised Boettcher.
“A lot of moms still mostly purchase dresses off the rack, but if you need a special color or size, keep in mind it can take 12 to 14 weeks to get something ordered,” she said.
“It seems like moms tend to put themselves last, but to have the best options available, shopping early is better.”
On the men’s side of all things wedding-related, Boettcher is enthusiastic about a new tuxedo program her shop will debut at the Saturday bridal show at the Worthington Event Center.
“It’s called ‘Suit Up,’ and it offers customers the option of managing their entire tuxedo party online,” explained Boettcher. Features of “Suit Up” include submitting measurements online and having the tuxedos home-delivered a week or more prior to the wedding.
“People are busy and wedding parties are spread out over many states, so this is an easy way to be sure that everyone looks perfect on the big day without the last-minute stress of getting those tuxedos fitted,” commented Boettcher.
As Boettcher’s staff moves into what she says is the start of a bridal and prom boutique’s busy season, she happily reflects on what makes being in this business most satisfying to her: relationship building.
“We love seeing girls who have gotten married come back in to shop with other friends for their dresses, or to let us know they’re now expecting, or to share that everything worked out well with their weddings,” revealed Boettcher.
“It’s so fun to see them a year or so after a wedding, and know that they had a positive experience with us — enough so that they recommend Blue Box Bridal to someone else.”
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