Dare to be different
The most anticipated moment of any wedding is, undeniably, seeing the bride - and the dress that she's wearing - for the first time. The dress says so much about the bride's personality and style that choosing the right gown can take months of searching. And, because grooms can spend nearly as long choosing their outfit, we turned to the experts for tips on this year's trends and which wedding looks never go out of style.
'Since last year, tulle has been really strong. It has an airy feeling, yet it's still very elegant,' says Carolyn Chow, a partner at Central Weddings and Occasions. 'We are also seeing some organza that has been made into 3D detailing. Vera Wang has structured organza folded and draped over tulle.'
Other designers, such as Monique Lhuillier and Christos Bridal, have incorporated details such as lace and small floral embroidery. For brides who dare to be different, New York-based Wang showed black wedding dresses in her autumn 2012 collection followed by varying shades of red for spring 2013. 'She went for strong colours, not just white, but black and nude-coloured dresses,' says Chow of the autumn 2012 looks. 'Black is not a traditional dress colour for Asians, so Vera Wang really made a statement there, as she always does.'
While one-shoulder dresses have been making an appearance, Chow says strapless gowns are still the most in demand. 'Strapless dresses have been popular for a long, long time. It's flattering no matter if you're big or flat-chested,' she says. 'And Asians like to wear jewellery, so this style shows it off.'
According to Dana Trang, co-founder and director at HITCH! in Sheung Wan, a variety of necklines are now in vogue. 'We have seen a lot of necklines, off-shoulder, strapless and boatnecks. Many designers are also doing lace sleeves, which seems to be influenced by the royal wedding last year,' Trang explains.
Another new look is the illusion neckline, Trang says, which resembles a strapless dress. However, the top of the dress is covered in a sheer fabric such as tulle or transparent organza, as shown in bridal wear by designers Rivini and Lela Rose.
For the trendy bride, ruffles and texture are detailing must-haves. 'They are always popular, but this year they are very girly. The ruffles are innocent and dreamy, like an irregular marshmallow that gives you a lot of texture,' Trang says.
The capelet is another style trend that is walking down the aisle. Trang describes the feature as a detachable cape or one sewn into part of the dress. She says: 'Many capelets are made of tulle with some embellishment. It gives the illusion of a cover-up but it's still quite sheer.'
If you want to show some skin, Trang says revealing backs are in. 'Really low backs and some cowl backs are showing up in collections. These dresses are high in the front, but when you turn around you get a surprise and think 'Oh wow'!' she says.
These types of dresses are usually made of a lighter fabric, such as chiffon or satin crepe, which makes them easy to travel with and less formal for destination weddings.
The biggest change in wedding attire for grooms has been colour. At Tai Pan Row in Central, designer and marketing associate Kitty Lam says grooms are wearing more colourful suits and tuxedos.
'They are choosing more extravagant colours, such as shocking pink, royal blue or some really sharp shiny-coloured jackets,' she says. 'During the day grooms are wearing traditional colours such as black or grey, but at night they want to wear something different.'
In terms of the silhouette, Lam notes the cut is 'very skinny with broad shoulders to make the body look more masculine'. And if you're undecided about the number of buttons on your tuxedo, the designer says the two-button jacket is in fashion.
'Sometimes it's one button, before it was three, but in the past three to four years it's two.'
Eddie Tam, founder and image director of MODE Wedding Tuxedo, says most grooms still favour a formal, elegant style.
'The classic yet simple look is in vogue,' he says. 'This look has a sleek silhouette and is a nod to 1950s and '60s style.'
In terms of colour, black and red remain the most popular for wedding banquets, while many local grooms opt for an all-white look for church ceremonies.
'In summer, they may choose flamboyant patterns such as checks, while in winter they prefer satin as the material,' Tam adds. To complete the look, he recommends tying the knot, as it were, with the bride-to-be.
'We suggest grooms use a bowtie to mirror the wedding gown. For instance, if the bride's gown is made of lace, the groom's bowtie can be made of lace as well.'