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Modern brides break tradition

No bridezillas: Lismore Bridal owner Micheal Gates watches store assistant Emily Sexton model the latest 1950s-style new season bridal design.
No bridezillas: Lismore Bridal owner Micheal Gates watches store assistant Emily Sexton model the latest 1950s-style new season bridal design. Jacklyn Wagner

THINK Stepford wife meets Grace Kelly ... in the nicest possible way. “Still a princess...” as proprietor of Lismore Bridal Michael Gates says.

That's the latest look in bridal gowns that hark back to a more golden age, but includes hemlines that are going up and away.

According to bride's bible, Bride to Be, shorter skirts are part of new bridal fads. The magazine has released a list of trends that range from rising hemlines to surprise weddings, backyard nuptials and a growing number of “experience” honeymoons – “darling, why don't we trek Africa!”

Clearly, today's bride is not the blushing virgin of yesteryear. She knows what she wants and how she wants it.

“All of our customers are lovely,” said Mr Gates, “except for maybe one a year.”

No, no bridezillas, he said.

He added that the most unusual request he has responded to was for a maroon velvet gown with blue beading.

“And champagne, oyster and ivory are the popular colours for older brides, or those going down the aisle for the second time,” he said.

Or, perhaps, the third ...

So what does Mr Gates, who has had the bridal salon for three years, think of shorter skirts?

“I like them, especially for the hot weather,” he said. “It takes the heat out of November weddings.”

He added that the average bride spent around $3000 on her dress and those of the bridesmaids, no matter where the hemline was.

Wedding planner Deon Demouche, of Atmosphere Events in Byron Bay, said today's bride and groom were putting their own twists on both the ceremony and the reception, incorporating small rituals such as the reading of a poem, or changing the menu from a traditional wedding cake to a cheese wheel or having an ice-cream bar.


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