Anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows the devil is in the details — and the details are plentiful. In most cases, it starts with a ring and a question and explodes from there. Once a date and a venue are determined, a wedding dress and a color scheme with decisions about the wedding party’s attire are not far behind. Gone are the days when a bride’s attendants were always asked to wear — and pay for — identical dresses that may or may not be flattering or to their taste. Similarly, wider variety of choices are available when selecting attire for groomsmen. Like the wedding dress, attendants’ attire depends on the time of year, the time of day, and the venue. The wedding color scheme and overall vision are also important considerations.
Making sure everything works together seamlessly is a delicate dance resulting in a beautiful wedding day.
A popular and mutually agreeable new trend for bridal attendants is to choose dresses that do not match in style or even necessarily in color. While each one adheres to the wedding color scheme, every dress is unique. For instance, a summer bride with a lemon and sky blue color palette might ask her attendants to select any floor length dress of either color, or one that combines them both. Especially for spring and summer ceremonies, floral dresses are in vogue. A bride can also invite her attendants to choose any dress style they like from a particular designer, while designating the desired color and length. Some brides single out their maids or matrons of honor with a special fabric, such as sequins, to set them apart from the other attendants.
Color trends for brides’ attendants in 2021 include mint green and vibrant, dark Caribbean blue, as well as watercolor-inspired pastels. The earthy shades of sunset are also popular, especially for fall and winter weddings. Cinnamon, terracotta, sienna, and rust are beautiful choices. These colors have the added benefit of flattering every skin tone and beg for gold-toned jewelry. Neutral colors like champagne, nude, and ivory are smart choices for the bride who favors a simple, modern look.
When it comes to style, there is no doubt that slip dresses are having their moment. Naturally lightweight and airy, the slip dress is perfect for any South Carolina wedding from spring through late fall, as well as warm climate destination weddings. Fabrics used for slip dresses are shimmery and look beautiful in any light.
Cowl necklines are back from the ’90s. This universally flattering and church friendly neckline is elegant and timeless. Add a special pair of studs, and the bridesmaid is ready to walk the aisle. Other popular necklines for bridal attendants are the halter and the mock turtleneck. These styles work with most fabrics, and they pair particularly well with statement earrings and an updo for a glamorous finish. Spring and summer weddings beg for the sweetheart neckline. It looks good on every girlfriend and adds a touch of romance to a Lowcountry outdoor wedding.
Finally, there is the bridesmaid’s dress that is not a dress: the pantsuit. Pantsuits are comfortable and endlessly danceable. They work well for the casual or micro-wedding and, with the right fabric, at more formal affairs, too.
Fabric is another consideration when a bride is choosing attire for her bridesmaids. Here again, the time of year is an important influence. Light, breezy chiffon in solid or floral patterns is nice for spring and summer weddings. Chiffon works beautifully in tiered ruffles or for a tulip hem. Luxe fabrics like satin are very popular for bridesmaid attire, especially when used for a slip dress. The luster sets a classy, formal tone and looks stunning in candlelight. Velvet is another popular seasonal option. This endlessly touchable fabric is a go-to choice for fall and winter weddings. Eternally elegant, velvet drapes well and flatters any body style.
If tempted to think girls have all the fun, think again. Today’s groomsmen have more choices than ever before. Their attire can be customized to blend with the overall wedding scheme as much, if not more so, than bridesmaids. Once limited to this or that tuxedo or asked to purchase a particular suit, today’s groomsmen have a myriad of affordably rentable options. As an added bonus, these rentals are well tailored with flattering, trim lines. Grooms can get creative with their groomsmen’s attire and perhaps have a little fun along the way.
A formal wedding will always call for a tuxedo, but it does not necessarily follow that the tuxedo must be black with a white shirt and black bow tie or follow all the other standard formalwear rules. Take the traditional up a notch with gifts of specialty feather bow ties or unique cufflinks, or opt for a patterned bow tie. For the groom wishing to add pizzazz to his formal wedding, brocade is in. That little bit of texture is a surprising twist on the traditional and is available in other colors besides black. As with bridesmaids’ attire, velvet is trending for men. Perfect for a formal wedding, it works well for less formal affairs, too. It can even be used in early spring. A camel velvet blazer adds unique texture when worn over a white shirt and floral tie for a garden wedding.
Tweed makes an interesting appearance in men’s wedding attire this year. Most often used as the vest in a three-piece suit, the nostalgic fabric also appears in ties and bow ties. Double-breasted jackets are another trend for groomsmen. Worn pinstriped with a white shirt and floral tie, the look is nice for a late afternoon wedding. Yet another interesting trend is the check. Checks and plaids of every shape and size are in. Topping off a navy three-piece suit with a plaid blazer makes for a snappy look.
From these choices to less formal ones, it is all about showing the bride and groom’s sense of fun. Pink suits in shades from blush to rose look great on a fashion-forward groom and his best men. Other trending, yet unconventional, shades of men’s wedding dress include lilac, silver, red, tangerine, gold, and burgundy. For the groom and groomsmen willing to show their appreciation of nature, floral suits and suit jackets are a stylish choice. Florals also appear in suit linings, ties, and pocket squares. When the venue is in the country or another rustic setting, a lucky groom and his best guys may get away with wearing denim under their floral blazers.
Men’s best opportunity for wedding-wear embellishment is at the ankle and below. Patterned socks of every description are popular groom’s gifts, adding flashy or playful touches to their wedding attire. Nothing sparks fun in a wedding like the groom wearing Batman socks. Then, some guys forego socks altogether. It is all about that flash of ankle. To pull off this look, pants are hemmed to just above the ankle and the right shoes selected, such as a handsome pair of brogues or loafers.
With so many options for color, fabrics, and styles, choices for the wedding party have never been so plentiful. Bridesmaids can wear dresses they like and that they are likely to wear again. Touchable fabrics and flattering colors make each one feel beautiful. Grooms let their personalities shine like never before, dressing their groomsmen in ways that especially complement the scheme of the wedding. When the big day arrives, the impeccably dressed attendants join the bride and groom for an event that is perfect in every detail.