Find Your Perfect Wedding Gown
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Find Your Perfect Wedding Gown

At some point, every little girl dreams about her wedding (some more than others), but time gives way and our childhood dreams become reality. The day every girl dreams about is suddenly here, and it’s actually time to say yes to the dress!

Finding the right gown that meets all your wildest dreams can take a lot of time. Every married woman knows that once you find the dress, a sensational joy overcomes you and you feel like a little girl in a fairy-tale world.

Tayne Fast had been dreaming of the day she would get to say “I do.” When the time finally came for Fast to wed, she couldn’t find the gown she had always dreamed of. After much searching, she found Shannon Renee’s Formal Wear and Accessories, which helps brides custom design their own wedding dresses.

Owner Shannon Beemer opened the store in 2012 because she wanted to work with happy people.

“I love making my job about making people happy,” she says. “I want to see customers smile and light up, so I thought, ‘Brides are full of joy.’ It just made sense to open up a bridal boutique.”

When Fast found Shannon Renee’s, she felt a sense of relief after not finding any dress that fulfilled her dreams.

“I had a picture in my head of what I wanted, but I couldn’t find anything similar that was reasonably priced,” she says.

Want to custom design your dress? Allow yourself eight to 12 months for a custom-made dress. This process includes brides writing a specification, a sketch artist and a couple of consultations. The bride also is able to try on different silver prom dresses that have similarities to what she is wanting to ensure she likes the fit or material she orders. The design is then sent off, made and shipped back in plenty of time to ensure it fits properly.

“It is a fun process getting to see the bride filled with joy, but the most important thing in ordering a custom-made dress is that the bride is confident in her decisions,” Beemer says.

If you’d rather go off the rack, both Shannon Renee’s and Bridal Boutique in St. Joseph offer plenty of options.

Even though there are constant changes with the never-ending trends in bridal gowns, there are always a few that gain much popularity and attention. Lace, chiffon and sleeves are three statement pieces that are extremely popular.

“This year you will continue you see a lot of lace with more detail and beading on illusion backs,” says Leigh Anne Swarts, owner of Bridal Boutique. “Sheath slip occasion dresses are still popular, but I would say the only change with that style would be that they are starting to have more fullness in the skirts.

“The trend toward a sleeve of some sort is continuing, but instead of being a long sleeve, like I thought we would see, we are continuing to see a lot of the tank strap. Almost every dress that is strapless is available with the option of a cap sleeve, or keyhole-back-type strap option.”

Beemer says she’s seeing some similar trends.

“Brides are wanting a combination of lace, straps and sleeves in their wedding gowns,” Beemer says. “(Brides also like) a tighter-fit dress with a lighter material to make it more comfortable. It might seem simple, but the details on these dresses are breathtaking.”

Swarts says there is an unexpected trend is coming back.

“I have seen the addition of capes and detachable trains coming back. We haven’t seen this in bridal since the ’90s, at least not in the same extravagant fashion,” she says. “I remember them from when I was younger working in the store. I really didn’t think that trend would ever come back, but we’ll see how it is received this spring.”

White is still the traditional wedding gown color, but Beemer sees more ivory than white gowns. And every bride wants a little bit of bling to her dress, but many are going for just a little bit of beading or sparkle. Big ball gowns, excessive tulle and large jewel embellishments are losing their excitement.

Bridesmaid dresses

For a bride, bridesmaids dresses are nearly as important for the big day. Bridesmaid dresses typically are the bride’s favorite color, and she will want to put a lot of thought into what her best friends will wear.

“Long bridesmaids dresses are growing in popularity. Short bridesmaid dresses are still in, but they aren’t as popular as the long bridesmaid dresses,” Beemer says. “However, shimmer dresses are making their way into the bridesmaid world very quickly.”

Swarts says bridesmaids dresses have improved over years past.

“There is a lot of lace, detailed beadwork, sequins and tulle. The bridesmaids are more formal and overall, the styles are much more likely to be something that a maid could wear again,” she says. “Also, pastels are overall the most popular colors. I’ve had additions to every company’s swatch card that includes more pastel colors, and they have discontinued some of the more bold colors.”

Brides also are loving chiffon material for bridesmaid dresses. The light, soft material has a classy look to it.


Street Talk

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