Long gone are the days that brides have to follow the rules and make their way down the aisle wearing a stark white wedding gown. Today, brides have options, and the biggest trend option this year is color.
"Brides who want a gown that is different and memorable have lots of beautiful color [options]. Colors range from neutrals like champagnes and silvers to true colors like pinks and lavenders," stated Michele von Plato, senior vice president of design and product development for David's Bridal.
Regardless of the dress style, color is an easy way to incorporate your personality into your gown and is a true catalyst for emotion, despite your age or taste. Consider brides in Asian countries, where bridal wear has been a beautiful display of color for years.
"This trend can work for any type of bride," said Jennie Ma, senior fashion and beauty editor at The Knot. "The bride that really wants to be out there and make a bold fashion statement. For the more conservative bride that still wants to be on trend, try picking from subtle, barely there colors that we are seeing in blush and blue.
"Vera Wang sent bright pink wedding dresses down the runway. They were very bold, daring and saturated with color, which was one end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum were really light colors that were barely there that you are almost unsure of."
Gowns with the most subtle touches of color on trend include soft pastel of sugary pink, baby blues, mint green and even golden hues, offering the simplest way to be trendy but still come across bridal.
For the all-over-color apprehensive bride, "you can try color in a belt or the detailed embroidery of the dress," said Betsy Robinson, owner of Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection. Baltimore Bride tends to be very open to color, according to Robinson, whose bridal boutique is in Pikesville. "Try it, and see what dress looks good on your skin tone," she said. "Sometimes, you don't even realize the shade of the dress," notes Robinson.
While there will always be room to build on a classic gown, bridal wear has moved to a new day.
For the groom, think outside the black box
Often a groom gets lost in the shadow of the bride on his wedding day. But as the groom prepares for wedded bliss, he wants to look good, too and hopes to explore style options like his other half. For this year, it's pretty simple: Reconsider the basic and opt for a navy blue tuxedo.
"You don't have to think black for tuxedos. I'm not saying wear orange, but blue is a very cool color," said Ma. "On the [Oscars] red carpet we saw guys show up in dark navy blue with lapels in rich black. It's a subtle way to make things a little more interesting."
From A-list celebrity style to red carpet trends the simplistic navy blue tuxedo has merged into the spotlight, giving men the opportunity to add a touch of personality and change to their look. For the conservative groom, navy blue allows one to stay on trend without being too over-the-top, and it can be dark enough to appear black. Try it in a dinner jacket or explore another texture, like velvet. At this year's Oscars, celebrities including Kevin Spacey moved away from the basic black suit wearing a stunning Burberry navy blue tuxedo and made several best-dressed lists.
While the color of the tuxedo may change, the body conscious appeal of a "good fit" is a standard.
"Nothing is boxy this year, everything is cut to perfection," said Joseph Abboud, chief creative director for Men's Wearhouse. "Garments aren't a full or two oversized. Everything is moved much closer to the body and that has translated into tuxedos, formal wear and evening wear for men.
"You could take a very simple black fabric or dark gray suit and one could argue that it is pretty basic but it really is about the fit and tailoring."
Thea Washington, award winning clothing stylist and bride-to-be, agreed. "The fit is very important," said Washington, who ties the knot in fall 2015. Washington believes that "if a tuxedo is well-tailored it takes the look to another level and will almost always come across polished, no matter what color the tuxedo is."
Latease T. Lashley is the founder of Creatively Speaking, a public-speaking company specializing in fashion commentary, and a national award-winning professor and fashion journalist. Follow her on Instagram @LashFash or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.