During Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, a number of the top bridal gown designers, including Monique L'Huillier, Anne Barge, Ramona Keveza and many other revered trendsetters created runway displays of their top wedding gown looks for spring 2013, and the overarching trend is soft, romantic and more demure than sexy. To help you find your dream dress, here are the top five trends for spring wedding gowns:
Duchess Kate is still the reigning influence on wedding gowns, with her iconic lace wedding dress ushering in a variety of lace uses. Kate opted to cover her arms and shoulders with lace, and the look continues with a variety of lace styles used for sleeves, for the entire length of the skirt, and for coverage of the chest and shoulders alone in sleeveless dress styles.
Bridal gown designers have innovated a look called "nouveau lace," in which the art is in the patterns of lace, from delicate, small lace patterning to larger, more graphic florals made of lace that may cover the bride's shoulder blades in the back, or festoon the dress itself. Conservative brides who wish to cover up, or whose houses of worship do not allow bare arms and shoulders, adore the lace-covering look, which ties into the spring 2013 trend of romantic, feminine, with an Old World feel.
Color on the bridal gown runways is bold and chic, with the Vera Wang red wedding dresses that received so much attention during fall's runway shows still a top trend with brides. Blue is the vibrant color of choice this spring, in a range of hues from sapphire to Caribbean blue, and blush-colored pinks and greens are also top choices. Maggie Sottero is one designer showing an eye-catching blush pink dress made even more special with a rhinestone belt for sparkle and a pink ruffled mermaid skirt. Gowns in color are more popular now, since many brides find that their skin tone works better in colored dresses than in white, which can wash out paler brides.
The bride is seen from all angles during her wedding day, especially during the ceremony when she's walking down the aisle and during her first dance, so the design of the dress's back has become just as important as the front.
Top styles in designer dresses include backs entirely covered in lace, as a more subtle and romantic look than the sexier all bare backs of last season's dresses. To add just a flash of skin, the lace back may incorporate a "keyhole" effect exposing just a small section of the bride's back, and the cut of the dress back may create a lace frame effect.
If you're not familiar with this term, a peplum is a skirt effect beginning at the waist and extended out over the hips, defining the waist and creating a couture, sculptured effect. The peplum may extend down for a draped effect, and may be a softer fall or a more structured, stand-up effect.
With celebrity brides wearing one dazzling designer dress for their ceremonies and another (or two or three) for their receptions, brides have become interested in having a "second look" for their own receptions. This trend has given rise to a new world of dress designs with removable elements, such as a lace jacket that can be "peeled off" to create a second, sophisticated look for the celebration. Designers have turned their dresses into Transformer-like creations, with long skirts that can be unfastened at the waist and removed to reveal a chic shorter skirt underneath that allows for more comfortable movement and dancing, yet still in high-fashion style.
Also in the second look category is the addition of a sparkly, rhinestone belt, as Duchess Kate wore for her post-ceremony celebration. The bride simply affixes it for an easy and inexpensive second look and is in top trend with her new, sparkly accessory. Or the bride can put on a cashmere jacket coordinating with her dress for a comfortable wear at an outdoor wedding in the cooler evening hours. And brides also slip into more colorful, sparkling shoes to add a dash of color to even the most traditional, white wedding dress.
For more information on spring 2013 bridal gown trends, visit the top bridal magazine websites to view their image galleries from the October Bridal Fashion Week runway shows.