feature story

wedding trends

The latest colors, themes and fashions
for the coming autumn and winter seasons.

by Kelsey E. Smith

Approximately 2.23 million couples made the walk down the aisle in 2005, the last year for which statistics are available. And although June is still a popular month for weddings, August and July have both surpassed it for the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, with 235,000 weddings taking place in August 2005. This late-summer month marks the coming of autumn's bounty, and many couples desire more than the "typical" summer nuptials. September and October have gained favor as well, claiming the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively.

Brides and grooms are personalizing their weddings by choosing their favorite season, and many people love the fall; it's got great color associations, cool weather and romance, notes Christa Vagnozzi, senior editor of The Knot. Couples also love to get married around the winter holidays because it's a great way to extend the family celebration.

Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, says the popularity of destination weddings also is a factor in the rising number of autumn and winter weddings. It's a great time to travel to warmer destinations, and often, it can be a more affordable time to marry, she explains.

The following trends are expected to be strong during the autumn 2007 and winter 2008 wedding seasons.

colors and themes
Traditional autumn and winter colors lend themselves nicely to a variety of themes, but the coming seasons will welcome a twist on classic hues. Brides and grooms love to do the traditional red, orange and brown palette with a leaf motif for fall, Ms. Vagnozzi explains, but we are also seeing couples mixing it up by using deep purples and various shades of brown for a modern look.

For autumn 2007 weddings, orange is all the rage, paired with anything from chocolate brown to scarlet, Ms. Vagnozzi says. She adds that after a few years of color, white is making a comeback for winter weddings, but with a modern twist, paired with metallics such as platinum and gold. Couples also are incorporating texture into their motifs and floral arrangements, with white-on-white patterns and unusual blooms, such as parrot tulips, garden roses and peonies.

Ice blue and classic red palettes also are popular for winter, lending themselves well to seasonal themes such as snowflakes or Christmas. Blues, shades of gold and classic black-and-white will be in demand for these seasons as well.

National retailer David's Bridal has introduced a number of trend-inspired colors for its Fall 2007 collection, which includes three distinctive themes.

Wine Country - Rich harvest shades of the season such as Persimmon (red-orange), Truffle (chocolate brown), Redwood (rust brown) and Champagne as well as fall favorites such as Cabernet (deep burgundy), Apple (vibrant red) and Serene (dusty blue).

Colorful Destinations - Warm Matisselike colors, with deep and vibrant shades of Azalea (bright pink), Blue Velvet, Clover (mint green), Burnt Orange and Regency (purple).

New Traditions - Calming neutrals and modern shades such as Marine (vibrant dark blue), Truffle, Ivory, Pewter, Titanium, Platinum and Bisque. A splash of color also is noted, and black is used as a key accent to add a graphic touch.

gown styles
For fabrics, Ms. Miller says traditional materials such as lace will be used in contemporary ways this autumn and winter. Taffeta and tulle also are present on runways. The fabrics create soft, feminine styles reminiscent of the 1950s, Ms. Vagnozzi relates. Think playful ball gowns with pretty, natural waistlines, bubble hems and circle skirts. Mixing fabrics such as lace and tulle also will be popular on wedding gowns.

In terms of styles, A-line silhouettes still are classics for weddings year-round, but trumpet styles are a hot trend, offering a bit of sexy flair while maintaining the traditional flared skirt at the bottom. Many brides opt to wear strapless styles no matter what season they are wed, but sleeves and wraps, such as cropped jackets and cap-sleeved shrugs, have gained favor once again for 2007.

Ms. Vagnozzi notes that styles for the coming fall and winter seasons have an abundance of sleeves, bustles and fancy backs reminiscent of the Edwardian era, and Ms. Miller adds that trains are making a comeback. Other trends include:

• Shorter front hemlines, longer backs
• Bateau necklines (boat necks), V-necks
• Short dresses
• Polka dots
• Strap details
• Layers (architectural tiers, pleated taffeta, fluid satin, diaphanous tulle and organza)
• Rich embellishments including intricate beading, embroidery and jewels
• Geometric motifs in ribbon, beading and embroidery
• Metallic threading and fabrics

(See Florists' Review, March 2007, Pages 54-57, for a comprehensive look at 2007 bridal and bridesmaid gown styles.)

You may contact Kelsey Smith by e-mail at ksmith@floristsreview.com or by phone at (800) 367-4708.

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