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Wedding trend watch
Get inspired with expert tips for planning your perfect day


February 2013

Design the day of your dreams thatís on trend and so very you, taking your lead from Milwaukeeís fashion and event insiders on the best of all things bridal. As always, moderation is key. "Start with what is intrinsically you," recommends David Caruso, owner of Dynamic Events. "Approach trends in a simple way, and maximize your budget with big statements."

Follow a Beauty Regimen

"Weíll see very sheer, glowing makeup with burgundy or nude lips and a lot of sparkle in the eyes," says Jhousy Leon, owner of Blush Beauty, Milwaukee and Mequon. She recommends skincare preparations beginning at least six months in advance of the big day, including facials, body wraps, high-frequency treatments and brow shaping. Nails sparkle too, with lots of little diamonds or Swarovski crystals. "The look is totally different than last year," Leon says.

5 Hot Hairstyles for the Bride

Jennifer "Hailey" Buetow of Bella Lei Salon & Spa, Mequon and Cedarburg, lists five big styles for 2013: French twists, Old Hollywood glam, braids, buns and ponytails. Statement side parts are also very in. Be sure to balance your hairstyle, dress, veil or headpiece, and jewelry. An "undone" or structured style depends on season and location, and especially personal preference. "You have to be true to you," Buetow says.



Add Color to Your Gown

"After years and years of strapless gowns, weíre finally seeing different necklines," says Kate Iggens of Stone Manor Bridal, Cedarburg. Choose from tank tops, v-necks, boatnecks, and sheer or lace illusions. Dramatic backs are also big, featuring a cutout, keyhole or low V. Some dresses have a removable illusion element for "the look and feel of two dresses. Itís exciting," Iggens adds.

Other new shapes include cap sleeves, a more fitted silhouette and shorter hemlines. The most noticeable trend is colored gowns. Instead of white or ivory, these dresses are red, cafť and blush. "Itís very fresh and beautiful," says Marina Kuhn of Zita Bridal Salon, Milwaukee. For a more subtle variation, try a pop of color in the sash.



Print Your Memories

Modern portraiture has more of a photojournalistic style to "capture who you are," says Matt Haas of Matt Haas Photography. "The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more likely youíll have a natural smile, laughter or tears in front of the camera." Many couples are returning to physical albums instead of digital copies to cherish their memories. "Print lasts a lifetime," he says.

Think Earthy and Natural for Bouquets

Terri Madison at Bayside Floral Design, Bayside, customizes flowers with "a cluster of colors, varieties and textures." In a hand-tied bouquet, "We let the flowers do the arrangements" for a more natural look. Boutonnieres have transitioned from a single rose to a cluster of berries and leaves. Another trend is the use of earthy elements and natural fibers. "This look is a little less elaborate," Madison says.




And for the Guys?

For him, sophisticated colors and patterns can fit the wedding theme, in the classic look of a bow tie and cummerbund or more contemporary combination of long ties and vests. "Itís important to feel comfortable," says Dennis Ervin, manager of the Squire Brookfield boutique. "We want you to look great and have a great time."

Squireís unique rental fashions are provided by Jimís Formalwear. For "ultra customer service," a tailor can make immediate adjustments.

Grooms are also appreciating greater options in rental tuxedos. "The enhancements in 2013 will better mimic what goes on in the retail realm," says Tim Ryan, owner of Harleys: The Store for Men, Shorewood. The contemporary fit is slimmer in shirts, trousers and jackets. "The retail side always has a little more variety, but rental now has more distinctive selections," he says.

Cupcakes Out, Three-tiered In

"Cake concepts are trending back to simple, elegant design," says Alicia Strackbein of Rochester Deli, Waukesha. Traditional three-tiered cakes feature scrollwork and flowers in butter cream icing, and are personalized with colored ribbons or cake toppers. "These are important items in the couplesí lives that show off what they mean to each other," she says. Cupcakes are less prevalent, but pies might be the next big thing.

Reginaís Bay Bakery, Whitefish Bay, often prepares a sweets table with its signature French pastries to complement a smaller tiered cake. "A lot of brides incorporate bold and soft colors," says Robin Krajcik, easily achieved in an ombre cake. Elegant adornments include sugar flowers, crystals and pearls, and monograms; equally popular is more rustic design with pine cones, birds or fresh flowers. Cake pops make fun party favors.


Let Your Computer Do the Addressing

The invitations of 2013 will be white or ivory with an updated look. "We can customize the typestyles, ink, lining, motif, paper Ö an invite can become more or less formal on typestyle alone," says Beth OíConnell of Three Wishes, Whitefish Bay. New trends include font mixing, eco-friendly inks and paper, design motifs and two-color text. With the rise of digital printing, "Brides can do an awful lot without extra cost."

Another big change is the transition to machine addressing rather than handwritten cursive or calligraphy. "There are so many beautiful fonts, itís becoming more common," says Allison McWilliams at Touch of Whimsy, Delafield. While contemporary styles are appealing, "Weddings are elegant affairs and more brides want a traditional look ó that in no way means old-fashioned," she says. Pearlized, tone-on-tone papers and gold ink are simple and beautiful.

Live Music Makes a Comeback

Live bands are popular again, but disc jockeys are still important to a festive event. "We can provide more with package pricing," says Matt Antoniewicz of ACA Music & Entertainment. In addition to music during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, auxiliary services such as custom uplighting and photo booths are also offered. "You donít have to deal with multiple vendors," he says. "We put it all together."




Personal Space

"People want to put a personal spin on their registry, and we make it really special," says Jessica Arendas of Susan Fredman Design Group. The At Home collection includes luxury items to complement purchases from big-box stores. Display pillows that "say what you feel," embrace eco-chic with natural and emerald elements, or even register for one-on-one interior design expertise.

The statement pieces at Xenia in Mequon go hand-in-hand with current fashion trends, says Amy Maxwell, owner. The look now is feminine and soft, but sophisticated and simple to appeal to both men and women. Coral, amethyst and mint mix with bold patterns of chevron, stripes and polka dots. Gold accents and contrasting textures also are gaining popularity. Blend existing pieces with new elements to create your personal style.

Put Your Signature on Your Reception

Ken Hudak of Canopies says, "Brides and grooms are looking for originality, not a cookie-cutter wedding." Each venue can be transformed with a distinctive configuration. Table variety is a big thing, including square seating arrangements, taller chairs, long farm tables and fabric treatments at the head table. Lounge furniture provides a comfortable "getaway" space. "Small changes create something a little different," he says.

Splash Some Color

"Color is at the top of the list in 2013," says Caruso. Incorporate navy blue or pastels such as violet, mint, dusk blue, nectarine and linen. "I personally love the combination of mint and sunburst yellow," he says. Emerald is the color of the year, described by Pantone as "a lively, radiant, lush green."

Personalize Your Bling

Schwanke Kasten Jewelers, Whitefish Bay and Milwaukee, is the exclusive dealer of Forevermark diamonds in Wisconsin. "These are really beautiful, rare diamonds, and itís a feather in our cap to carry them," says Tom Dixon, owner. In this economy, men are purchasing smaller stones of higher quality set in white gold. Halo jewelry features a center stone surrounded by smaller diamonds. "It keeps the cost down in per-carat price, but adds a lot of brilliance," Dixon says.

Custom jewelers such as Steven Paul Designs, Delafield, provide an opportunity for couples to shop together. Some men will purchase the stone first, which is placed in a temporary solitaire mounting for "a surprise proposal and her perfect ring," says Matthew Willert. Vintage-inspired and classic styles are popular. For a trendier look, round-cut colored stones such as sapphires, rubies and yellow diamonds are set with pavť side stones.

Mary Seramur, owner of East Towne Jewelers in Mequon, often repurposes heirloom jewelry into new designs. Many of her clients have a "more mature taste," perhaps a preference for a beautifully set diamond band to a large center stone, or two rings that donít follow the same contour. In custom jewelry, "Anything goes. Itís very individual," Seramur says. "This is her signature piece."

Customize Your Meal

"Food accommodations are becoming more prevalent," says Beth Shully of Shullyís Cuisine & Events. "We custom cater to your heartís desire." That includes vegetarian, organic, farm-to-table, gluten-free and other food allergies, kosher and other religious needs. Food stations that showcase chef preparations, hors díoeuvres and small plate items are very popular, as are late-night snacks, especially deep-fried cheese curds, mini sliders, pizza, and milk and cookies.


This story ran in the February 2013 issue of: