It takes a certain aplomb to look fabulous at a wedding and not show up the bride. Here are a few tips on how to succeed. But a word of warning: Follow these tips closely and you're bound to be invited to every wedding on the calendar.
Wedding Guest Fashion Trends for Her (from Kim Alexander, owner of Willow 506)
* Black is the dress color of choice. Most popular is the embellished, bias-cut, below-the-knee dress of silk or burn-out velvet. Look for lots of beading and a fancy hemline. In times past it was insulting to wear black to a wedding; today it is appropriate.
* Pants are favorites, too, especially heavily decorated black low-ride denim, silk or satin in either the cigarette leg or with a wide flair leg.
* Shawls and wraps are a must.
* Strappy sandals all year-round.
* Metallic hues for shoes, gold, platinum, bronze, copper.
* Add an Asian influence in jewelry and dress decoration.
* Adopt a vintage look, especially in dress styles and patterns that reference the '30s and '40s.
Gift Registry Trends (from Burdines consultant Jean Kronenbach)
Burdines consultant Jean Kronenbach says it's not just about brides anymore. Nearly 70 percent of couples choose their items together. Here are some more registry trends.
* After years of not bothering, couples are again registering for fine silver, good china and costly crystal. Luxuries are back.
* Registering for a honeymoon and letting guests contribute to the trip.
* Registering at a big home improvement store for tools and such.
* Co-ed wedding showers.
* Theme showers such as kitchen, bath, bar or lingerie.
* Men generally choose plateware that is white or devoid of much surface decoration. They're intrigued by odd-shaped plates and gravitate to square ones with rounded corners. Most women want patterned china, but white china with a plain gold or silver rim is making a comeback.
* Couples register for chargers to slip under china. A few years ago most people didn't even know they were supposed to own chargers.
* Trendy colors for bed linens and towels: soft sage, pale yellow, khaki, chocolate brown. Metallic colors such as bronze, matte gold, platinum and copper are in.
* Probably because of all the cooking shows on TV, couples are aware of quality cookware and utensils. Grooms-to-be love to pick out the knives and they always register for ones more expensive than the bride-to-be would select.
* Couples don't see registering as intimidating. Surfing the Internet and the fact that many couples are older, professional people makes them at ease with how they intend to ornament a married lifestyle.
To lfind more wedding trends and find places to have your wedding, read Pat Haire's wedding planner on page 94 of the February 2003 issue. Available on newsstands now.