The wedding trend


The new campaign from luxury jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co. made headlines this weekend. The ad features seven real life-couples who have all proposed, including a same sex male couple – a first for the lux brand.

The gay couple, two dashing New York City gentleman, are part of a push from Tiffany to showcase diverse love stories, a spokeswoman said.

This may well be the beginning of something beautiful.

The burgeoning American wedding industry is currently valued at around $51bn yearly and employs close to 800,000. With 2015 being the year that will see same sex marriages across 30 states in the US legalised by The Supreme Court, the wedding industry will be hugely impacted. As thousands of same-sex marriages become valid, May to September will benefit from a surge and savvy retailers will prepare for a bump in interest and a steadily increasing market.

Retail Gazette spoke to Katie Smith, Senior Fashion and Retail Market Analyst at EDITD.

“It‘s not just brands and retailers creating wedding dresses who can benefit from the boom in the wedding industry. While there‘s a maximum of two brides at a wedding – there‘s a whole party of guests to dress. Retailers should speak to this, promoting their formalwear earlier and more creatively this year, through engaging email newsletters, social media campaigns, in store layouts and well-curated online shopping sections which optimise spend across categories, not just dresses or suits.

Retailers will also want to pay close attention to wedding dress trends and filter those down into their own occassionwear – certainly things like co-ord sets, pocketed gown, greenery and foliage over florals and statement skirts will filter through to the dress category as a whole.”

Something borrowed

Wedding dresses to rent: an understated concept that reminds brides-to-be it‘s the wedding memories that are priceless. Smith cites that the wedding gown rental phenomenon is becoming increasingly popular.

“Many women want the design and quality of a high end gown, but can‘t justify the cost,” she explains.

“Rentals make sense, but shouldn‘t concern the industry: there‘s a rise in weddings, which will see expansion in all areas and business models. Rather than panic, non-high end dress retailers may want to pay close attention to trends in silhouette, styling and detail and emulate that at a price point more affordable for brides looking to keep their dresses.”

So what are the fashion trends for this year‘s weddings? Thanks to same sex marriages, there‘s an increase in the number of brides – which means an increase in different tastes and demands. Whether in the Hamptons or the Bahamas, there are plenty of options to choose from, as Smith outlines:

“The excitement this year is great for the industry, bringing a greater number of trends and increased creativity. Big news for 2015 includes pocketed gowns, simpler 90s shapes with spaghetti straps and seamless silhouettes, statement skirts worn with a simple top or tee and co-ord set in lace. Shorter length dresses will be popular as will flashes of unexpected colour in dresses and accessories. A focus on greenery and foliage as opposed to fussy florals is already being evidenced.”

She adds:

“Thanks in part to Angelina Jolie‘s doodle-embroidered gown, and a consumer desire to customise branded goods, there will also be an increase in personalisation of wedding attire, as well as monogramming for both brides and grooms”