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NEW YORK — A wedding day free from surprises — such as the bride tearing her dress or the maid of honor spraining her ankle — is typically a very good thing. But the same cannot be said for the bridal business.
Brides-to-be buying several wedding dresses each, bridesmaids dressing in mismatched colors and wedding gowns designed more in line with ready-to-wear trends are some of the more surprising moves underfoot, according to a dozen industry insiders.
New York-based florist Nico De Swert, whose creations include the entire ambience, not just flowers, and can set back a bride and groom $40,000, said he has noticed that wedding dresses are more trend-driven. “They are much more sleek, modern and hip. It’s almost as though the wedding aisle is becoming a fashion runway,” he said. “They are really changing in a positive way.”
He was one of the trendsetters honored by Modern Bride last week at a dinner at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park.
Another honoree, celebrity wedding photographer Terry deRoy Gruber, said one of his recent assignments made him do a double take. Aside from the 300-foot table the Cracker-Jack Wedding Planners set up for a reception in the New York Public Library, he was floored by the bride, who had eight outfits and changed four times. He did note that changing more than once was in keeping with the bride’s Moroccan heritage. But the lensman, whose company shoots 100-plus nuptials each year, has noticed more brides changing into different outfits.
Vera Wang, another award winner, said she’s been struck by two things — brides wearing more than one dress during the course of their weddings and receptions and destination weddings.
Melania Trump and Tiger Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren — two of the better-known brides she has dressed in the past year — did both. But all in all, more women are opting to have two or three dresses for the ceremony, the reception and the send-off. Unlike Asian brides, who change for reasons related to their culture, “this is changing for a fashion show,” Wang said.
Caterer Serena Bass said she raised an eyebrow at a Boston affair she handled, where the bridesmaids wore all different colored dresses — some bright, some pale. “It looked a bit like a gaggle. You need a certain amount of ceremony at a wedding,” she said. “I wouldn’t really recommend it. Would you?”