I was 12 when I discovered my parents' dirty little secret. After 22 years of marriage, they had forgotten the events of this once happy day and never realized just how dreadful their mistakes were. Initially I found it difficult to look in the eyes of people whom I have always respected and loved. At the tender, impressionable age of 12, I caught my first glimpses of my parents' wedding album. The horror that lay between those pages? My father's robin's egg blue bell-bottomed and ruffled tuxedo and my mother's shapeless hippie dress she made from scratch with three panels of pastel colored polyester on the skirt. Evidently my mother and father have forgiven themselves for their fashion blunders because, when I confronted them with the incriminating pictures, they simply laughed and shrugged their shoulders exclaiming, "It was the seventies!". While my dad may have thought that he looked cooler than The Fonz, he has since admitted that he wishes that he would have just worn a black tux, sans ruffles and flared legs. As you plan your wedding and are tempted by vendors offering to preserve your bouquet or choreograph a bridal party dance down the aisle, keep something in mind: trends are fleeting, but classic styles are timeless. How do you recognize which trends you should ignore and which are here to stay?
This is a difficult problem to sidestep, especially when wedding dresses imitate fashion and there are countless bridal magazine touting the new colour du jour. Recently, volume in fashion is back in a big way and wedding dresses are no exception. In her Fall 2009 line, Vera Wang included billowy dresses in odd shades of yellow and beige that were so voluminous they made models look human sized. Unfortunately, "hot" colors come and go with each passing season; we will probably bid adieu to brown as a bridal color just as quickly as we passed over Vera's purple gowns in 2008. Brides will inevitably choose to wear dresses that actually show off their figures and designers will succumb to this demand in due time. Like my mother's prairie dress with panels of pastel colors, stylish items always go out of style. Make the foundation of your look classic and amp up the modernity by playing with bling and shoe trends instead.
Feel free to succumb to trends if it will save some serious dough or if the trend in question only affects a minor part of the wedding. If financially sound advice also happens to be quite "hip", then it might be worth considering. Using an iPod playlist as wedding music instead of a dj is a virtually free maneuver that will also help personalize your day. Instead of favors, donate money in the guest's name to a favorite charity. However, be wise when sacrificing the fundamentals. Build the bricks and mortar of your wedding day on standard practices and experiment with details that don't matter in the grand scheme of things. When you look back on your wedding in 30 years, all that will have remained is your love and your wedding album. Important decisions like the venue, decorations, guests, and fashion will live forever in your pictures. The food, music, and superfluous details like favors will be long forgotten. Play around with the smaller details to create your own mix of style and timelessness, and you'll be sure to have an unforgettable day that you will cherish for a lifetime.