NICEVILLE — Summer is here, the temperatures are heating up and weddings are in full swing along the Emerald Coast.
This season, many local wedding shops are busy preparing brides and grooms to walk down the aisle in style.
“When brides come in the store, they want me to tell them what to wear because I’ve dressed so many brides,” said Anna Distelzweig, owner of Anna’s Bridal & Formal LLC. “I always ask them what they see themselves walking down the aisle in. Every bride should have the dress of her dreams.”
Anna’s Bridal & Formal LLC and Red Raspberry Boutique are among the local wedding shops that offer wedding apparel and services. Both stores carry bridal, bridesmaids and formalwear dress brands such as Maggie Sottero and Jasmine Bridal. Tuxedos, accessories and wedding coordinating and direction services are also available.
Breezy, lightweight fabrics and shapes are all the rave this season, Distelzweig said.
“Lace and chiffon are in for the summer, not heavy satin,” she said. “The fit and flare style as opposed to the mermaid dress is also popular this season.”
Distelzweig added that beach weddings allow for more casual attire unlike the traditional weddings, which typically have large dresses, long trains and elaborate veils.
“Beach wedding dresses are usually simple and have a small train so that brides won’t drag it in the sand,” she said. “Also, most beach brides go for a floral headband instead of a veil.”
Choosing the right venue isn’t the only important step in finding the perfect dress. Cynthia Holobaugh, bridal consultant at Red Raspberry Boutique, said personal style and budget are also huge factors.
“Brides need to know what looks best on them,” Holobaugh said. “Also, I don’t suggest that brides try on dresses that are out of their budget.”
The time it takes to finish and deliver a dress depends on the manufacturer. Designers like Vera Wang can take up to a year to make and deliver a dress, Holobaugh said.
Distelzweig, however, said brides need to order dresses five months in advance because it typically takes dresses 16 weeks to arrive and most bridal shops only order one dress, whereas grooms have more leeway.
“Tuxedos are easy,” she said. “Gowns come with colors that have to be matched with bridesmaids’ dresses. Two weeks is generally recommended for tuxedo fittings.”
Another addition to help brides recommended by Holobaugh is a bridal director and coordinator who will come in handy for brides who are on-the-go.
“Women are busy nowadays, and just don’t have the time or energy to go out and find a perfect place,” she said. “A bridal director or coordinator takes your vision and makes it come through.”
The most popular destination for summer weddings along the Emerald Coast may be the beach, but Holobaugh also said the area offers several other less conventional venues.
“There are a lot of venues here that people aren’t aware of such as holiday houses, local farms and cottages,” she said. “The Emerald Coast is such a beautiful, scenic place to have a wedding.”
Regardless of the price of the dress or theme of the location, Holobaugh said the recollection of the nuptials is what matters most.
“A wedding doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. It is the memory of it that is most beautiful.”