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Most popular wedding dress trends 2016-2017

We’re seeing more illusion backs in gowns,” says Courtney Foreman, owner, Weddings With Joy.  An illusion back is netting on the back of the wedding dress, so you can see through to your skin. It’s usually embellished with beading or appliques and buttons. A plunging neckline is more on trend. Another trend Courtney is seeing is the blush color – not traditional ivory -- more of a blush undertone with ivory overlay – lot of light pink.  Blush can be described as a very light pink. It’s one of Pantone’s popular Spring 2016 colors.

Other dresses that remain popular: Lace wedding dresses, low back and strapless. While dresses with lace are popular, Courtney says, ”The brides don’t want to look like a doily or their grandmother’s tablecloth, they don’t want whole dress to be lace – only some lace. If lace on whole dress – needs to be a nice pattern not look like an olden day tablecloth.”

When to shop for a wedding dress

Start looking for a dress at least nine months before your wedding. Be ready to purchase a wedding dress between six to eight months before your wedding. “It takes about four to six months to have your dress made by the designer,” explains Courtney. Then you need time for personal alterations. “Ideally you want the dress in your hands two months before your wedding,” says Courtney.

Schedule your wedding dress appointment

Most brides-to-be gather their friends, their maid of honor and perhaps their mother to go wedding dress shopping with them. Often they shop at several bridal salons to find their perfect dress.

“When brides-to-be schedule appointments at several stores in one day, they get overwhelmed with choices,” says Courtney. “It’s hard to be present in the moment, when you are concerned about your next appointment. You are making it harder on yourself. Give yourself time. Schedule lunch between appointments so you can relax, discuss the dresses, and not rush off to the next place.”

Courtney recommends that you schedule only one to two appointments in one day. Or schedule shopping on two different days.

“Remember how you felt in the dress,” says Courtney. “If you find the dress you love, then why go somewhere else?”

Appointments are generally for one hour at Weddings With Joy. Sometimes, during off-season, they can spend a little more time with you.

Weddings in the South Sound

The busiest wedding season in this area is from May through October because of our mild weather. Most outdoor venues list their peak season as June through August.

Summer wedding dresses

Most South Sound weddings are in the summertime. Brides-to-be are choosing a variety of styles for their summer wedding. “A lot of people want a wedding dress that won’t be very heavy; they want a light dress because it will be hot outdoors,” explains Courtney. Manufacturers are starting to make the dresses with English net – a lightweight, soft and elegant fabric. The weight of a wedding dresses depends on the style of the dress and the fabric. The summer wedding dress styles depend on the venue, the wedding theme and the bride’s preferences.

The mermaid wedding dresses are not very popular with South Sound brides. “Most people don’t want them,” says Courtney. She recommends if you want that look, go for the fit and flare because it’s more subtle. The wedding dress is fitted through bodice and hips, then flares out. “It’s a great option for someone who wants to show off her curves,” Courtney says.

Most wedding dresses are one to two sizes larger than a regular-sized dress. There is a great need for plus size wedding dresses. Most of her shoppers are plus size –size 18 and larger. “The A-line is most flattering for any shape or body types,” explains Courtney. There are a variety of plus size wedding dress styles.

The Great Gatsby – 1920s – look is very poplar. Vintage wedding dresses are popular and Courtney gets a lot of requests for them.  “We have some Gatsby-inspired dresses that feel vintage and have the perfect amount of lace and applique,” says Courtney. “There’s a new one at the store with an open back and long pearls draping the backless dress; it’s stunning,” says Courtney. The new-vintage feel is best of both worlds – you get a new dress with today’s sturdy and beautiful fabric, sizes and designs. For those who want to wear an authentic vintage wedding dress, remember that people were smaller years ago, so often the dress won’t fit today’s bride. The fabric can be fragile and tear easily. Plus the vintage dress styles don’t match up with today’s styles as the new vintage-inspired dresses will.

There are a few women who want a simple wedding dresses. Oftentimes, the bride-to-be can get a simple bridesmaid dress and customize it. “We can add beautiful accessories, making it look more like a bride,” says Courtney. “We accessorize the dress based on her personality and style.” Or there are some simple wedding dresses at the store that she can try on.

For brides-to-be who prefer a casual look for their destination wedding, park wedding or backyard barbecue wedding, they may select short wedding dresses. Second-time brides often prefer a short wedding dress.

Beach wedding dresses are very popular, especially for destination weddings. They are usually simple, but at the same time a bit extravagant. The sheath style dress is popular for that. It is straightforward – not over the top – it is elegant and perfect for beach wedding dress.

The tea length wedding dresses were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, but they aren’t very popular now. They are commonly worn at smaller, more casual weddings.

Wedding dresses with a keyhole back is declining in popularity.

Weddings With Joy has a few wedding guest dresses, if you are looking for a dress to wear to a wedding. The bridesmaid dresses would make a cute wedding guest dress.

Cheap wedding dresses

If you are shopping for cheap wedding dresses online, be forewarned: “If it seems to good to be true it is,” says Courtney. If you search for “cheap wedding dresses” will find dresses made in foreign countries that may look like the dress you want. Why? They steal photos from websites, put them online as the dress you will receive, but it’s not. Sometimes brides-to-be don’t receive any dress. Buyer beware!

“There’s a lot that goes into designing and sewing a wedding dress,” explains Courtney. “There are lots of layers of fabric and the dress construction is thoughtfully designed.”

There are many stores that have great sales. Weddings With Joy in Olympia has regular sales for $599 and under and sometimes 50 percent off sales. They also take their wedding dresses to wedding events and offer deep discounts. At all of these, you can try on the dress with professional wedding dress fitter. Sometimes a bridesmaid dress, which costs less than a wedding dress, can be accessorized to make it into a wedding dress.

East Coast trends

While the East coast trends are about two years ahead of West coast trends, a new trend on the East coast is two piece dresses where the midriff is exposed a couple of inches – a crop top with a skirt.

Talk to Courtney Foreman at Weddings With Joy about your wedding dress needs. 360-943-9860.

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Published on March 17, 2016.

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