PUBLISHED: 11:04 23 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:46 20 February 2013
This season's wedding gown collections are simply engaging...
A stunning gown with a wow factor has to be the most important feature for any bride-to-be as the big day draws near.
As we launch into a fresh spring and summer wedding season in a new decade, it goes without saying that the choice of dresses is bewildering, but for the right reasons. Its all a matter of finding the right gown and feeling a million dollars in it.
There are hundreds of collections from young and upcoming designers through to long-established, top-end names, so the selection of gowns is simply scrumptious and extremely diverse.
A tried and tested way of discovering just what is out there is to go along to some of the scores of wedding fairs. That way, brides can get a taste of the latest styles.
The new seasons collections offer a mouth-watering array of gowns from simple, elegant sheath dresses for those with fab figures through to luscious, ballgown designs with huge skirts and tiny waists for Gone With The Wind romance.
Among the bridal trends to watch out for this time round are brooch-style features, one-shoulder gowns, glitter-encrusted shoulder straps, boleros covered in sequins, lots of beadwork, shimmering fabrics and gossamer-fine shrugs.
And for an added touch of luxury, some designs are embellished with Swarovski crystals to create extra shimmer and shine. In fact, shimmer is the operative word this season since collections spotlight opulent fabrics that just throw out rays of sparkle and glitter.
As for vintage, the choice is even wider these days as designers have gone all-out with retro touches like velvet waistbands, bejewelled buckles, bows, oodles of ruching and swathes of fabric. Todays brides are lucky in that a wedding gown inspired by almost any era in fashion will still look hot at their ceremony.
The aforementioned one-shoulder dress has made a big impact in collections this time. Its elegant and particularly appropriate for those brides who dont want a bare look on their big day.
As an alternative to strapless and one-shoulder dresses, some designers have opted to use removable straps, either spaghetti or wider versions, or theyve added little cap sleeves.
Tight fitting mermaid-inspired gowns are another big trend, again with a 50s influence. So too are tea-length frocks which look the business teamed with some fabulous heels.
Grecian-style gowns in floaty chiffon or figure-hugging silk are another option, but obviously only for slender figures.
The colour spectrum is as diverse as the designs around. As well as the usual white and all shades of ivory, the more show-stopping tones include blush, silver, taupe, champagne, gold and blue.
On the accessory front, headwear remains as important as ever. Many brides opt for a veil (usually tulle) topped off with a crystal, jewel, bead or pearl tiara. There are plenty of alternatives, however.
A tiara looks equally as elegant worn on its own without a veil obscuring the face, while other ideas from wedding fashion experts include a fascinator-style head piece, a jewelled hair pin or slide, or feathers.
Meanwhile, bridal attendants, be they adult bridesmaids or young flower girls, have a vast choice of colours and fabrics to browse through in the new collections. Shades range from the deepest of blues to sorbet tones of pink and cream, while fabrics tend to be satin, organza, net and tulle.
Strapless dresses with wrap-effect bodices and skirts seem a favoured style for older bridesmaids. Pretty, full-skirted dresses in one colour or two toning shades are among the designs around for younger bridesmaids.
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