Monday, April 18, 2011

To formal or not to formal, that is the question.

I was talking to a bride recently who was feeling a little lost about the type of wedding she wanted. Formal, traditional, informal, modern. The variety of choices and things that are affected by the level of formality was a little overwhelming.

Now, really, in this day and age anything goes. If you are a totally relaxed person and don’t care if your wedding has a major mixture of styles, then go for it! But, if you are a bit of a control freak, like I am, some things need to just look right. Meaning a formal wedding needs a formal wedding party. And that all starts with the gown.

I will jump in here and say these suggestions are just that. Suggestions that reflect my opinion and I might be totally off my rocker.

If you want a casual, relaxed look to your wedding, go with a simple flowing gown. A beautiful ‘destination’ gown like this gown by Mon Cheri fits the bill perfectly:

This is also a wedding style option for the bride who wants a short gown. Check out Jordan Fashion’s Little White dress.

Bridesmaid gowns would be shorter and the men would be in suits without a tie or dress pants and vest with no jacket.

For the princess bride, the cathedral wedding bride, the bride who’s dream gown involves mile long trains, lots of detail work and fabrics like satin. Like this stunning style from ADK

A formal groom wears a Tuxedo and bridesmaids are in floor length or midcalf length gowns. For a groom who wants to wear tails, formal is the only way to go. Now, you might like to know there is a difference in men’s wear for ‘daytime formal’ and ‘evening formal’. Evening formal is a standard tux with a vest and tie and also includes bow ties or tails. Daytime formal is where those beautiful, oh so British, ‘morning suits’ come in.  What is a morning suit? Prince William will demonstrate:

Somewhere in between/semiformal:
The great thing about the modern wedding is you can do a little bit of mix’n match without throwing things all wonky. For example, a bride in a gown with a sweep train instead of a long train, but heavy on the beading or fabric style. Back to Mon Cheri again, where the sweep train and stunning detail work on this gown really put it a notch above an informal gown:

Bridesmaids would generally wear cocktail or tea length gowns and the groom would not be in tails but your standard tux will look fine here, as would a nice a suit.

Now, like I said, these are my opinion only. And it’s YOUR wedding so you need to do what you want. Some ideas of combinations that work well are:
-          Sweep train with a cathedral veil is totally formal.
-          A satin gown without a train and no veil, semiformal or even informal depending on how everyone else is dressed.

If you are looking for totally unique, check out this link!

Although, I have to admit, I think these couples may have gone too far.

But really, anything really can go. It’s your wedding and in the end you’re the one that needs to be happy with your photos. 
Happy planning!

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