Tips to remember about bridal, formalwear from area experts

Organza, tulle, Chantilly lace, trumpet and mermaid, shawl lapels and pocket squares are just a few words you might run into when approaching the style world of a bride and groom.

If you are stumbling over these terms and shouted, “Yes!” to the love of your life hopefully reading a few tips from local experts will simplify your wedding gown and tuxedo shopping experience.

Before heading out to local salons, brides should gather pictures of gowns they like to guide consultants in style, color and lace.

“Everyone normally comes in with an idea in mind,” said Shannon McDermott, manager at Amber Rose Bridal and Formalwear, 123 W. Fourth St. “Pinterest is big. And most brides are open to switching it up because sometimes style-wise those dresses just can’t be found.

Amber Rose carries dresses from a size 0 to 30. Depending on the designer bridal gowns tend to run about a size smaller.

Amy Heckman, owner of Amber Rose, recommends shopping for the perfect dress “at least” nine months early and does not recommend ordering online.

“Many brides bring us dresses to fix because they ordered online and it doesn’t fit or it’s not what they thought because it’s cheaply made,” she said.

Nine months is a guide because of ordering and alterations. Normally there are two to three appointments for alterations and they are not included with the price of the gown. Amber Rose offers alterations although many shops do not and tailors can be hard to find.

Another question the bridal shop consultant will ask is “What is the price point you are hoping to work with?” McDermott said. “If their budget is $500 the last thing we want to do is put them in $1,500 dresses. It is unrealistic to think with a $500 budget you can get a long, beaded gown unless you luck out on the sale rack.”

Bridal accessories can add up also which include a headpiece or veil, jewelry, shoes and makeup.

Head pieces are more popular but some brides who don’t want a veil find that it finishes the look, Heckman explained. For after the grand event Amber Rose provides cleaning and preserving of the gown.

The gown can be taken out of the box with specialized gloves but not worn because the skin-to-skin contact causes for the yellowing of material, explained McDermott.

After you have pictures of gowns and a price point ready, don’t forget to make an appointment for one-on-one assistance. The appointment will last normally an hour and half.

“In five out of 10 brides the first or the last dress they try on is the one they choose,” Heckman said. “And 50 percent of the time they choose the one we pick for them which is nothing like what they thought they wanted.”

Don’t worry about taking shoes or specialized underwear. McDermott explained shoes just get in the way because you are in and out of long dresses and the gowns are structured for support and cups can be added.

Popular bridal trends include lace, long sleeves and lace cut outs, according to Heckman. Bridal dress colors are ivory, champagne and blush pink.

“The lace cut outs are amazing and look classy,” she said. “They are so beautiful on the brides.”

Whether it’s adorned with lace or sequins, the style of the bridal gown fits each body type differently. Various wedding gown silhouettes include A-line, trumpet, column, mermaid, tea-length and ball gown. A-lines have fitted bodices and flow to the ground like an uppercase “A.” A trumpet gown is fitted through the body and flairs at mid-thigh. Column is a narrow shape that flows straight down from neck to hem. Mermaid is sleek and fitted on the body from chest to knee, flaring out close to the knee. Tea-length means the skirt falls above the ankle and below the knee. Ball gown is a princess dress which has a fitted bodice and full skirt.

After the overwhelming choices in bridalwear a groom might think choosing his outfit is a piece of cake. But grooms are speaking up and asserting their individuality and personality into their choice of ties and jacket linings and maybe skipping the jacket altogether.

Black tuxedos, which were invented in the late 1800s, are not being chosen as popular colors include navy, grey and brown for grooms. Vests also are upstaging the look of suspenders, according to Francis Ciccarelli, owner of The Clothier, 138 W. Fourth St.

“In my opinion vests are a little dressier. The groom can wear a coat, pants and vest and the groomsmen drop the jacket and wear just the vest as long as you maintain continuity between them all,” Ciccarelli said. “Vests should have the same material on the front and back.”

Pants also are being hemmed shorter to show off “fun” socks and some grooms are skipping socks altogether, Ciccarelli added.

Whether you are picking a bridal gown or suit, vest, the area’s experts are here to help you feel great and look your best for the big day.


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