Special/Signature Issues » Bridal Style

Passion Fashion

Popular trends for brides this fall include exquisite vintage-inspired designs, strapless gowns with chic cover-ups such as fur capelets, lace jackets and boleros and an array of simplistically elegant gowns that feature eye-catching halters, stunning V-necks, and everything from spaghetti straps to full-length sleeves. In addition, lace bustiers, embroidered bodices, and sweetheart necklines, paired with corseted backs, sleek skirts or ballroom gowns, add a sensual look to some of today's most alluring wedding ensembles.

Other noteworthy trends for the fall bride include dramatic, high-style designs, such as the bubble hem (similar to that of the mermaid gown but with more volume, as its name implies) and dresses with hints of color (think subtle, colored panels, sheer overlays or accent bows). Shorter skirts - the better to show off some leg or a fabulous pair of shoes - are also gracing weddings with their gorgeously draped, asymmetrical or tailored designs. Everything's coming up roses on wedding gowns in the form of floral-inspired accents, accessories and appliqués. Rounding out this season's signature look for brides are delicate bows and bold sashes that add color, romance and flair to a wealth of head-turning gowns.

Typically, wedding gowns are white, be it a brilliant true hue, cream-colored, champagne shades, or ivory. Silver and gold accents and other hints of color in the form of jewelry, beading, ribbons and accessories add style and personality to these gowns. For second weddings, many brides choose gowns in light pastel colors. Besides the popular lightweight fabrics of summer (lace, chiffon, tulle, or organza), the fall bride can choose gowns made of heavier weaves, such as satin, jacquard, brocade, taffetas, and velvet. In keeping with the warm, rich colors of the season, the palette of choice for fall weddings includes wine, pewter, lilac and chocolate hues. Dramatic color combinations, such as deep browns and oranges, gold and red, and black, white and red, also help create a dazzling and dynamic backdrop for many a wedding this fall.

Bridesmaids take the cake this season as well in stunning gowns replete with ruching, halter and strapless necklines, elegant bows, and rising hemlines. Style abounds for these fair maids with contrasting mid-sections, colorful accent bows, and classy two-piece ensembles that feature an array of luxurious hues and designs. In addition, monochromatic spaghetti-strapped sheaths and slip dresses allow bridesmaids to rise to the occasion with striking sophistication. With this delightful selection to choose from, today's bridesmaids are destined to be the picture of perfection as they walk down the aisle in flattering identical gowns or ones that are unified by style and/or color.

Dressed in fabulous jewel tones, neutrals, and subtle color ensembles, mothers-of the bride and groom celebrate their children's big day with class. Whether going for glamour in a ballskirt gown or simplistic elegance in a stunning sheath, today's mothers are a sight to behold as they opt for flattering fashions that adroitly combine their individual style and personality with that of the wedding. Tailored suits, shawls, and jackets are also popular choices for many of today's well-dressed moms. Less continues to be more for mothers-of as they use subtle design accents, such as beading, embroidering, and crystal buttons, and one or two pieces of jewelry as focal points.

In keeping with tradition, angelic-looking flower girls in fairy-tale gowns continue to embody the essence of innocence at many of today's weddings. Whether short or tea-length, white like the bride's or the same color as the bridesmaids', these beautiful gowns make every little girl look and feel like a true princess. Light fabrics, such as silk and cotton, are ideal for destination and warm weather weddings while rich ones, like velvet and taffeta, are perfect for cooler temperatures. With their floral head wreaths, ballet-slipper inspired shoes, miniature bouquets - even fairy wings and wands - flower girls are a heavenly addition to every wedding ceremony.

It's all in the details for the men in the wedding party, as trends such as long ties, vests, individualized boutonnieres, and customized ties update the look of the ever-popular tuxedo. Bow ties and cummerbunds take a back seat to these styles, which emphasize what's worn with the jacket, as well as the suit itself. For more casual ceremonies, some grooms are opting for khaki pants paired with matching blazers for their groomsmen. Others coordinate their groomsmen's outfits with the bridesmaids by having their ties the same color scheme or fabric as the women's gowns. Using nature's fall palette as a guideline, many grooms and groomsmen are wearing ties and boutonnieres that celebrate the season's rich, vibrant colors.

Ring bearers continue to look regal in tuxedos with relaxed elements such as mandarin collars and open jackets taking center stage on the fashion front. Velvet, satin or lace ring pillows embellished with beads, ribbons, monograms or even a special message add the crowning glory to these young princes' royal ensemble.

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