By: Tara Green
Tel: 770-973-0000


What’s the latest news in bridal fashions in 2005? Bridal salon owner Michele Shively offers a peek at the hot styles for the New Year. Michele, along with her mother Carol Terry, owns Bridesmaids Bow-tiques a stylish store in Alpharetta. The shop was previously located in Buckhead for 15 years and started in Vinings Jubilee in 1988. Her expertise in the business reflects a passion for helping brides find the best wedding gown that reflects the dream-wedding picture in her mind.

“Sleek and relatively simple styles” continue to be the most popular choices heading into the new season reports Michele. She also notes seeing more destination weddings held at beaches and other outdoor locations. Moncheri Bridals, a destination bridal line, offers wonderful chiffons for around $300. Waters & Waters, another popular designer, is priced from $340. – $2,000. While there is still a wide range of prices in bridal gowns, Shively stocks many incredibly elegant lines that are under $1,000.“Most brides today are very price conscious” she says, “They are working brides who are on a budget and want a lot of value for what they are spending.”

New bridesmaids styles include subtle overlays, organza and small plaids that tend, at a distance, to take on a solid tone. Details include a sash for dash of color or a ribbon at the waist. Upcoming styles also include dresses with a contrasting cuff or a contrasting bodice with a solid skirt. Elegant strapless and v-neck designs are sure to remain popular. The great news about strapless designs are that they tends to fit most body styles well. Typically, Michele says, “A girl’s arms are lengthened and slimmed down without a small spaghetti strap in the way.” Bridesmaids Bow-tiques offers attendants’ dresses that range from $140. -$300.

In the bridal accessory category, modern brides are choosing to keep their jewelry to a minimum. Delicately beaded tiaras and combs add a slight adornment with out being intrusive. The new look is sleek and chic. For bridesmaids the look is also simple and clean. Swarovski crystal necklaces and very light and airy cluster pieces in classic pearls and pearls with color are the top choices.

In other exciting bridal news, several companies such as Vera Wang, Lazaro, and Alvina Valenta are now offering complimentary styles from their bridesmaids line for junior bridesmaids. After all, it’s much easier to fit a younger girl in a child’s dress than to cut down an adult dress. The pre-teen junior bridesmaids can now find a better fit while still matching the bridesmaids dresses as much as possible. Price for these dresses range from $150. -$200.

More important than any trend, though, is the proper fit. Michele recommends scheduling alterations as close to the wedding day as possible. It’s common for a bride to gain or loose weight as the big day approaches; so several fittings are a must. She also advises brides to place their orders for themselves and their bridesmaids at least six

months before the wedding. Most dresses take between 8-14 weeks to arrive, she cautions, and it’s highly recommended to leave 6-8 weeks for alterations. It’s the best way to save on last minute stress!

Originally published in Atlanta Wedding Style Magazine Winter 2005