Expert Advice from Bridal Salon Owners

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2010

Elle Warren & Cecilia Flores-Barron, Bridal Salon Owners
Dallas, Texas

Known for: Fashion-forward designer gowns and helpful, knowledgeable service

How to find them: Warren Barron, 214-526-8400

What are the big dress trends you're seeing?
Lately, we're seeing fuller skirts with soft, gauzy layers and natural waists. And even though the one-shoulder gown trend is growing, strapless styles continue to be our most popular sellers.

Why do you think that is?
Strapless gowns are flattering to most body types, and their silhouette is both classic and versatile. You can get many different looks from a strapless gown, from romantic to modern.

What's your take on color -- are today's brides ready to go beyond white?
We think so. Brides today really want to do something that will make them stand out memorably, so some are willing to try a pale pink or a soft gray. Of course, the majority of our brides still opt for the classic white or ivory wedding gown -- it's tradition, after all.

How about accessories? Are brides going for big and bold or more subdued?
It depends on the bride, really. It's always best for you to express your own personality. If you're the kind of bride who wants to be the star of the show, go for feathers in your hair and a chunky necklace. If you're more of a demure bride, wearing your mother's studs will be the perfect look for you.

How many people do you recommend brides bring dress shopping with them?
It's so important to stay true to yourself and your style, so we usually suggest a bride bring in only the most important people in her life: her mother, her sister, or her best friend. Everyone has a different idea of what makes a beautiful bride; shopping with fewer people can cut down on a lot of the overwhelming confusion that comes from conflicting opinions.

What are some good ways for a bride to score a deal on her dress?
Luckily for brides today, there are plenty of gorgeous gowns available at every price point in every style. But if you're really after a deal, do your research and find trunk shows and sample sales in your area; they're usually held in the late summer and late winter.

Top Tip: "Remember to keep an open mind while dress shopping. Sure, you're going to tear out pages from magazines of gowns and accessories you love on the model, but that's not necessarily what will look good on you or work for the formality of your event. Think of the whole image. The lace on your veil doesn't have to match the lace on your dress perfectly. Play with colors and styles that complement each other for a more unique, personalized look."

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