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Formal Wear Tips
March 02, 2016

If you’re engaged, a wedding day is most likely in your near future.  If you haven’t yet asked yourself, “What am I going to wear?” that question is probably on the horizon.  How will you find THE dress?  What will HE wear?  Does it matter what your mother’s wear?  Who makes the decisions on the wedding party attire?

Decisions regarding formal wear can be extensive.  Determining who wears what can also play a big role in the style of your affair, your theme and color scheme.  And let’s be honest, seeing you in YOUR DRESS is the most highly anticipated event of the day!  Luckily, to assist with your formal wear decision checklist, we’ve gathered a few local, formal wear experts to provide their expert advice on wedding dress shopping, choosing your tuxedo, and what’s currently trending in the formal wear industry.

You have a RING.  You have a DATE.  You have a VENUE.  Now you need THE DRESS!  Many brides begin their dress search online, oftentimes via Pinterest to get an idea of what you might like.  Jen Mayers, owner of the Wedding & Tuxedo Connection agrees, “When we have brides come in to the store shopping for gowns we try to get a feel for what they have in mind or a photo they may have saved on their phone (thanks to Pinterest most brides have several if not a whole board of gowns).  We ask price point (max) so we don't put them in a dress way out of their budget and then they fall in love with it.  I always tell a bride who hasn't tried gowns on before that it's easy to figure out what you don't like first than narrow it down to what you do like and go from there.”

If you’ve done your research and are armed with a Pinterest board of ideas, it’s time to schedule those appointments and hit the bridal shops!  Carrie Johnson, owner of Carrie Johnson Bridal shares a few tips to keep in mind when you’re ready to shop,

“1. Think about who you really want at your appointment and don't bring too many "opinions" with you.

2. Do research on the average cost of wedding gowns.

3. Be opened minded and never say never.

4. When you’re ready to shop you need to be ready to buy.”

Cindy Battleson, of Rapids Alterations & Repair shares another great tip to keep in mind, “Don't buy a dress that is too small.  When ordering on-line order the size that is the biggest part of your body, the day of ordering, not what you hope to be in 6 months.  Many times dresses run small. It is much easier to take in a dress than let one out, as many designers leave very little material inside of the dress.”

Cindy continues, “Rapids Alterations job is to make your dress absolutely and beautifully fit you.  We do everything from small tweaks to major overhauls.  Having a dress that fits you and is comfortable is very important, since you will be wearing it all day long.  We can also add customization.  Such as the bridal gown that we added camo satin to the skirt and straps.  Straps are the most added feature.”

Carrie Johnson shares a few of the trends they are currently seeing purchased in-store for wedding gowns, “Modest necklines, gorgeous backs and the timeless ball gowns.  Also “sexy coverage;” brides want sleeves or a more modest look but they still want to look sexy.”

Jen Mayers shares the wedding gown trends they are seeing, “We sell more ivory than white gowns and lately have been doing more color like ivory over light gold, ivory over champagne, blush and we’ve even done black lace for bridal gowns.  We are seeing more brides ask for straps over strapless too.”

Carrie Johnson shares a little more about the services they offer at Carrie Johnson Bridal, “We are a Bridal store who focuses on customer service and providing a warm and comfortable atmosphere. We are trained to listen to the bride and focus on what she wants vs. the needs of her guests.”

Jen Mayers shares what makes the Wedding & Tuxedo Connection stand out in the industry, “One thing that makes us stand out from our competition is we are a ONE stop shop offering everything from formal wear to flowers to decorating services.  We also carry lines that allow us quick delivery for that last minute bride.  We can get some gowns to ship in weeks vs months even for bridesmaids.”  

Any of our professional wedding dress vendors would be thrilled to assist you in finding the perfect dress for you!  For a list of experienced wedding dress vendors in Central Minnesota, visit http://www.idoido.org/vendors?category=Tuxedos%20%26%20Dresses#header_row_bottom.

She has the RING.  You have a DATE.  You have a VENUE.  She’s working on THE DRESS!  What will HE wear?  Kacie Weber, Regional Manager for Tip Top Tux was thrilled to provide her professional expertise in the tuxedo industry.  Kacie shares a little background information on Tip Top Tux, “We are the only locally owned tuxedo specialists in St. Cloud with locations all over the Midwest. Tuxedo rental is our specialty. It's what we know and what we train our teams to be good at. Our focus is customer service and getting our clients what they need. Our mission statement is "Make a Difference" and that's what we strive to do every single day.”

Kacie shares her advice to couples shopping for wedding tuxedos, “If possible, bring in a swatch of the bridesmaids dresses. That is a great start. Pinterest is how a lot of our couples are finding inspiration for the formalwear in their wedding. This helps many of them get an idea of what they are looking for. Unfortunately, some of the images found online are not available in the United States, let alone for rental. We're finding the images link to a website in the UK, the sites are no longer available (outdated images), or the items are luxury suits/tuxedo styles never made for rental. We have so many styles to choose from that we typically can get close to what you are looking for.”

Jen Mayer owner of the Wedding & Tuxedo Connection adds, “When looking to pick out a tuxedo one thing to keep in mind is cost.  Trying to find the best deal for what you want.  We offer lots of promos and complete package deals to make it easier for the grooms.”

Jen continues, “One of the trends for tuxedo's we are seeing this year is the navy or slate blue tuxedos for weddings and more wedding parties are going with purchasing suits too.  Again thanks to Pinterest we are seeing colored/printed shirts for the guys, suspenders and bow ties.”

Kacie Weber, Regional Manager for Tip Top Tux adds, “We are getting a lot of requests for slim fit tuxedos specifically. Tuxedo designers are focused more on fit and comfort than they ever have been and this is important to our clients. Light grey and dark grey tuxedos are definitely at the top of the list with a new special request for navy blue. Our clients are looking for something a little more unique to show their style. Of course, black never goes out of style. For accessories, solid vests with patterned ties have been very popular. And bow ties are making a comeback!”

Photo Credit: 99 Perspectives Photography

Photo Credit: 99 Perspectives Photography

Now that you have some ideas and tips from the experts, be sure to check out this list of professional Central Minnesota tuxedo vendors when you’re ready to make your menswear decisions!

Now that we’ve talked about HER and we’ve talked about HIM, let’s briefly talk about what the experts are seeing for everyone else.  Jen Mayers owner of the Wedding & Tuxedo Connection shares the color trends they are currently seeing for bridesmaids, “We are seeing more navy, mint and gold this year vs the purples [we’ve seen previously].”

If you’re shopping for a bridesmaid dress, mother’s dress, or flower girl dress, Cindy Battleson from Rapids Alterations & Repair shares a few tips, “Don't buy a dress that is too small.  On-line dresses seem like a deal, but you get what you pay for.  We have seen some great dresses come from on-line, but have had more horror stories. Research where the dress is coming from (overseas, the size charts can be very different) and what their return policies are in case the dress is not what you hoped for.”

Carrie from Carrie Johnson Bridal also recommends that “you have a color and style in mind before shopping. Also, check with the bride to see if she has any color requirements or length you should be wearing.”  Carrie adds that they are seeing, “less flower girls apart of the wedding” and that “mothers are looking for something very simple.”

Hopefully the insight provided gives you some helpful tips on how to get started with the formal wear decision process as well as some interesting feedback from vendors on what they are seeing on the market currently.  A huge thank you to Carrie Johnson Bridal, Rapids Alterations & Repair, Tip Top Tux, and Wedding & Tuxedo Connection for taking the time to share their advice and insights!  We’re thrilled to have such dedicated wedding professionals in the Association as well as the Central Minnesota area!