This Magic Moment

Bride and groom kissing in beautiful scene

Photo by Ian Borgerhoff Photography


From the very first glimpse of the bride, her wedding gown sets the tone for the entire event. It often dictates and influences all the other visual elements, from hair and makeup to flowers and even the cake. Finding just the right frock can be overwhelming with all styles and silhouettes on display in bridal boutiques. Anne-Marie Colling, marketing manager with Marie Gabriel Couture and Brides by Young, explains three ways to maximize eye-catching appeal.

A chic, classic, and timeless look can be achieved through simple elegance. Solid fabrics and minimal embellishments eliminate distractions, so guests can really see the flattering shape of the dress and tailoring details.

“We love that our brides understand that sometimes less is more,” Colling says. “Whether you have a very decorated venue and you want to stand out with the simplicity of your gown, or your everyday style is just more clean, we always love a good minimalistic dress.”

While strapless sweetheart bodices never go out of style, brides are exploring different options for necklines and sleeves. “One of the most popular requests right now is a long sleeve or off-the-shoulder look,” explains Colling. “An off-the-shoulder gown has a very feminine and romantic look to it. There are also many types of sleeve options, from full coverage to minimalist lace.”

Another feature that makes a bold statement is a long, elaborate train. It creates a wow factor not only from the front when you walk down the aisle, but also from the back.

“Brides have realized now that if they have a long train, it needs to be manageable and lightweight enough so that they can easily bustle it and dance the night away,” Colling says.

Initially, all eyes will be on the bride. But eventually guests will scan over to see what the groom and his party are wearing. You can’t go wrong with a simple black tux, but new hues, textures, and styles offer options to inject some color and personality into the men’s wardrobe.

“Tuxedos are going all over the place these days, but you can pretty much put 99 percent of your weddings into one of four buckets: blues, grays, traditionalists, and individualists,” says Tom Buczynski, vice president of retail operations for Louie’s Tux Shop.

Both grays and blues come in different shadings and look great in popular rustic settings like wedding barns. The traditional black-tie customers look right at home in more industrial and upscale venues.

“Suits are big for less formal weddings. Charcoal gray has been huge in this department because it goes with so many bridesmaids’ colors, especially the multi-color rainbow or jewel-tone trend.”
– J
oann Ambriz, Formally Modern Tuxedo

“The individualist category is growing rapidly,” says Buczynski, pointing to “grooms who want something unique, whether it be velvets, paisleys, or jewel tones such as hunter green, plum, rose, or gold.”

Joann Ambriz, president of Formally Modern Tuxedo, is also seeing a range of styles, from formal and classic in full-dress ensembles to very colorful, contemporary coats.

“Suits are big for less formal weddings. Charcoal gray has been huge in this department because it goes with so many bridesmaids’ colors, especially the multi-color rainbow or jewel-tone trend,” says Ambriz. “The newest possible trend that I see—and I really like—is the groom wearing a black tux for the ceremony and then changing into a white or ivory dinner jacket or a jacket of coordinating theme color for the reception. That way, you still have the formality for the church and pictures, and you can have something fun for the reception.”

Featured photo courtesy Ian Borgerhoff Photography.Photos courtesy Stacy Able Photography, Formally Modern Tuxedo, and Louie’s Tux Shop.


Brenda Sotolongo of Pro Soto Beauty Studios makes up a picture-perfect bride.
Brenda Sotolongo of Pro Soto Beauty Studios makes up a picture-perfect bride. Photo courtesy Pro Soto Beauty Studios.

As the belle of the ball, you want to put your best face forward on your wedding day. Taking care of your skin leading up to the event and hiring a professional makeup artist to accentuate your best features can certainly help you achieve a fresh, glowing visage. Jennifer Carmack-Brilliant, director of marketing and communications with ClarityMD, has a suggested timeline to make sure your complexion is at its best when you tie the knot.

Six to eight months before the occasion, schedule a consultation to map out a personalized treatment plan focusing on the skincare goals you have for your special day. Begin a monthly facial routine and professional-grade skincare regimen at this point and have laser treatments to smooth out skin and reduce redness.

“ClarityMD offers Laser Genesis, a non-invasive laser treatment that can safely, discreetly, and effectively treat fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, uneven skin texture, diffuse redness, acne, and scars,” says Carmack-Brilliant.

Four to six weeks prior to your nuptials, you can incorporate hydrafacials for radiant skin. This is great a few days before the celebration, says Carmack-Brilliant. Additionally, Botox and injectable fillers can smooth out wrinkles.

Your now camera-ready canvas is fully prepped and ready for a special makeup application. Brenda Sotolongo, owner of Pro Soto Beauty Studios, sees 2019 makeup looks trending toward flawless-looking skin. The makeup artist, esthetician, and instructor says, “Mousse and illuminating foundations are light and dewy, providing a healthy, glowing skin tone. Brides have been asking for bronzing and peachy colors for the cheeks with a wash of highlighter to add glow to the upper cheek area.”

To bring out the eyes, Sotolongo recommends applying shades of rose gold, bronze, and champagne on the lids with well-defined eyeliner. “Brides like eyelash extensions or false lashes for the day of instead of mascara to prevent it from running due to sweating or crying,” she says.

Skincare shouldn’t be limited just to your face, though. Carmack-Brilliant recommends back facials to smooth and clear the body—especially if your gown is backless. Cool Sculpting treatments can help refine trouble areas and exercise-resistant fat to make you feel confident and beautiful in your dress. Other services to consider include tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and microblading.


Fresh blossoms add organic beauty and texture to the overall look and theme in bouquets, reception centerpieces, garlands, and flower crowns. The colors are captivating, and the fragrances intoxicating. Colleen Sanders, owner of Bokay Florist, mentions some of the latest trends in floral arranging.

“We are seeing a lot of greenery in this year’s weddings. It is a strong emphasis in the bouquets, as well as the settings. For example, we have done a large number of floral/greenery chandeliers. Some are all greenery and some have beautiful accents of fresh floral. The look is very natural as well as soft and  romantic,” she says.

JP Parker Flowers also calls upon nature to produce its arrangements—in a very literal way. The florist sources blooms from its bountiful flower farm, located on owner Pam Parker’s family homestead near Franklin. In this pastoral environment, acres and acres of teeming sunflowers show their golden faces—cheerful, even on a cloudy day. The seasonal yield is about 300,000 sunflowers per year, which go into wedding bouquets, decorations, and farmers market bundles along with complementary flowers, greens, and other accents.

If vibrant yellows, reds, and oranges don’t fit your color scheme, JP Parker grows and acquires plenty of other varieties. During peony season, many shades of pink and white are abundant in the fields. These fit with a more muted palette, a frequent request for Sanders.

“We are also seeing a trend toward softer colors. This week we are creating a soft blue and white, and a dusty mauve with blush,” she says.

Photos courtesy Chloe Luka Photography and JP Parker Flowers.


Moyer stacked sapphire wedding bands
Stack of sapphire wedding bands from Moyer Fine Jewelers.

No wedding look would be complete without the glitter and gleam of a girl’s best friend.That rock that’s been sitting alone on your left hand is ready to be accented and embellished by a wedding band or two…or five. Piling on multiple bands and wearing assorted metal colors, shapes, and stones can draw extra attention to your ring finger. It also allows for some flexibility in your everyday life after the event.

“The beautiful thing about stacking is that you can mix and match depending on your outfit and personal style,” says Lauren Bauer, marketing director for Moyer Fine Jewelers. “Choose from an array of basic diamond looks, geometric shapes, and ornate designs to accessorize your engagement ring and make your own dynamic look.”

When creating a combination of rings, you don’t have to stick with only one shade or hue of gold. You don’t even have to match the metal of your engagement ring. Mingle yellow, rose, and white golds to add interest. Colored gemstones between diamonds can also lend a unique twist to your stack.

Not sure how many rings to wear at once? “We recommend pairing your stacks in odd numbers. Whether you’re wearing three or five [including your engagement ring], make sure that you have variation of thicknesses and patterns. As long as you love the way your final combination looks, you’ve successfully mastered the stack,” says Bauer.

Once you’ve selected wedding bands for both the bride and groom, you can also look at jeweled accessory pieces such as earrings, bracelets,  tiaras, and cufflinks. A V-shaped diamond necklace, such as the ones shown above from Distinctive Diamonds, can accentuate the neckline of your gown and direct all eyes toward your face. A few sparkling touches like these will make you shine brightly on your big day.