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Color, Texture and Finish Trends for Wedding Dresses and Décor


Color and bling are turning up in some new and surprising places in today’s weddings, the experts say. “Weddings used to have just a hint of color here or there, in menu cards or napkins,” Ferris says. “Now a lot more color is being incorporated throughout, and many couples are using more than one color.”


Ivory and diamond white—a subtle shade between white and ivory—are gaining favor for bridal gowns, Lawrence says. “We’re also seeing gowns that have an ivory overlay with a champagne, café or light gold underlay. It’s subtle and very, very pretty.” Among the newer looks carried at Jennifer’s Bridal are gowns with tone-on-tone stripes, even pinstripes, Hauser says.

Texture is showing up more often, in bridal gowns and reception linens. Lace continues to be popular for gowns, and there are so many unique laces that the bride can be “different but still traditional,” Hauser says.

Designers are also using a lot of layering in wedding gowns, Jaymand says. They might mix taffeta with organza, for example, and designers are playing with ruffles, having them go diagonal or vertical instead of horizontal, she says.

Brides who choose simple gowns often opt to add interest with a beaded bridal belt or an ornate necklace. Colored shoes are gaining favor with brides who like the surprise of a pop of color under their gown. The shoes might be the bride’s “something blue,” they might be dyed to match the bridesmaids’ gowns, or they might be an electrifying color like hot pink or red.

Most grooms still opt for black tuxedos, but chocolate brown is gaining favor, as is navy blue and gray. Tan tuxes are popular for beach weddings.
Though bridesmaids are most often wearing the same or similar shades of the same color, some brides are mixing it up. They might distinguish the maid of honor by having her wear a different color dress, or a sash of a different color. Ferris planned one wedding in which each bridesmaid was dressed in a different pastel shade. Tablecloths at the reception were a similar rainbow of colors.


Some couples set a colorful tone before the wedding with their invitations. They might have a double-layered card with the bottom layer in color and RSVP or direction cards printed on colored paper. Another way to add color to the invitations is to print the couple’s names in color, with the rest of the invitation printed in black.

“We’re also seeing a lot more shimmer with invitation papers, too, rather than the plain white, and that shimmer is extended to the programs, the place cards, the linens—throughout the whole wedding,” says Karie O’Neill, owner of Simply Perfect Weddings in Middletown.

Just as shimmer adds interest to the linens, so do doses of color or texture.  Brides with lacy gowns will sometimes continue the elegance with lace runners on the tablecloths and lace napkins in rings. Lace can also be added to programs and place cards to make them more distinctive. Bakers can even add a lacy look to the frosting on the cake.

“I had one wedding where the tables were covered in a variety of damask, satin and polka dot, all in the same hue of celadon,” Wayland says. “The colors didn’t match exactly, but that’s what brings interest to the room.” Brides who prefer white tablecloths can opt for colored napkins that match the bridesmaids’ gowns.

Colorful, shimmering touches can be added to centerpieces, too. O’Neill recalls one wedding in which the florist put LED lights in tall vases, then topped them with marbles. “The color reflected up and stayed lit throughout the reception,” she says.

From clothing to linens, color, shimmer and texture make the entire wedding more distinctive and festive.

Today’s weddings range from the ultra-formal, black tie to outdoorsy and casual. With the ability to customize everything from invitations to centerpieces, brides and grooms can find many ways to beautify their wedding and make it truly unique.

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