Adding a cape, wrap or jacket to your wedding gown is a top bridal trend for 2014, with many renowned designers showcasing cover-ups that add a layer of detail to the design of the dress. A bride may wish for a jacket or wrap if the wedding is during winter, and she wants to stay warm. Or the couple could be getting married in a house of worship that doesn't allow bare shoulders. A jacket would not only be in line with the guidelines of the church, but would also make the bride look ultra-trendy and refined.
Stylish wraps and capes are among the top wedding trends for the embellishment opportunities they provide, which could be either subtle or dramatic, in accordance with the bride's style. Here are some of the top cape, wrap and jacket trends sure to appear in 2014 weddings, having appeared already down the aisles in 2013:
--Romantic lace. For a light covering, a delicate all-lace jacket with full or three-quarter-length sleeves may be worn over a full-lace or lace-embellished dress. For the reception, the bride can choose to keep it on or remove it to reveal her strapless dress underneath as her second look. The bride might wear an all-lace jacket or one in sheer, soft netting with lace accents at the neckline and sleeves. In dramatic style, Alfred Angelo showed off a poncho-style lace cover-up, worn over the bride's shoulders, extending down.
--Fur edges. A sheer jacket in A-line style, extending out from the body to provide movement, can have faux fur accents at the wrists and around the outer hems -- a stylish look for winter brides wanting to put a modern spin on the 1960s faux fur full-jacket and muff look.
--Feathered edges. A light, flowing, sheer and netted jacket again extends outward at the waist for some movement. Long, loose sleeves dance with the edges of the jacket, which are accented with feathers, this season's hottest embellishment.
--Embroidery. Painstakingly created, jackets are embroidered with ornate stitching in floral or greenery patterns.
--Beading. A 1920s "Gatsby" look, as well as the top-trend vintage effect, hand-sewn beading in ornate, intricate patterns adds a wow factor to any jacket. Again, it may be the overlay of detail giving life to a simple, unadorned dress.
--Capes. They're the new look on runways and bridal blog features, with long fabric capes attached at the bride's shoulders, extending down to the floor. Capes may be elegant lengths of unadorned fabric, as seen in Angel Sanchez's standout collection, or they may dazzle with thousands of hand-sewn beads or crystals. A cape by designer Theia wowed fashionistas with its sheer fabric base and patterned, textural styling.
--Gold. One of the shining looks on 2014 bridal runways is gold accenting. Jackets and wraps can be made of sheer netting with gold appliques or even from gold lace itself. In some cultures, gold is a traditional wedding-ensemble shade, so brides can incorporate their heritage into their wedding look by donning a gold-touched jacket or wrap.
--Retro jackets. These are like the jackets your great-grandmother wore to her wedding - made of heavier fabric, A-lined and collared with fabric-covered buttons, as Carolina Herrera showed in her collection. If you plan to get married during a cold winter month, this type of jacket may be your cover-up of choice, especially for outdoor photos in the chilly air. When you remove your jacket, the gown beneath will stand out as a second look.
Jackets, capes and wraps add functionality and style to your in-transit ensemble, and may even be your going-away outfit after your reception, when the outside temperature has dropped. No need to catch a cold before your honeymoon!
So, whether lightweight or heavy, jackets and wraps embrace you in style, and capes make you look like a goddess. One tip from the editors of Bridal Guide magazine: If you choose to wear a jacket, wrap or cape, select a shorter veil that won't compete with your chosen cover-up style -- a birdcage or blusher veil (chin-length) is ideal.
Sharon Naylor is the author of "The Bride's Guide to Freebies" and three dozen additional wedding books.