Beach-bound brides have a sea of options
Finding the right wedding dress is a lot like finding the right man. More often than not, it takes trying on a few of the wrong ones.
“When it’s the dress, a feeling comes over you,” said Connie Dryden, who owns Nefertiti Bridal, 202 25th St. in Galveston. “It feels right on your skin, like it’s a part of you.”
Set to open this summer, the by-appointment shop is stocked with custom designs.
“The collection that I’ve gathered mostly consists of handmade gowns from France and Spain,” Dryden said. “They’re not something that you could go to any salon and find.”
The impetus for the salon stemmed from what Dryden saw as a glaring gap in the market. Galveston lacked a posh and private bridal salon where women could try on dresses with only their nearest and dearest around.
“Brides are easily influenced by outside factors, even strangers,” she said. “It can really get into subjectivity. So, we concentrate on one bride at a time.”
The dresses in Dryden’s shop run the gamut, from long-sleeved lace gowns with a modern Victorian vibe to fit-and-flare frocks with coral-like detailing.
“Galveston is a wedding destination,” Dryden said. “There are so many beautiful places to get married here. I wanted to select garments that would fit well at both modern beach weddings and more traditional affairs held at historical venues.”
When brides don’t have a clue what to wear, Sandy Walther, who owns Something Blue, 211 N. Velasco St. in Angleton, starts with the style.
“I bring them five dresses: a ballgown, an A-line, a fit to flare, a trumpet and a sheath,” she said. “Once we know the shape she wants, it’s easy.”
Walther’s store carries more than 300 different dresses from designers such as Allure, Maggie Sottero and Sophia Tolli.
“I’m a fabric snob,” she said. “I go to market twice a year, and when I’m there, I look at each one of the dresses. I touch them. If they feel cheap, they don’t come back to the store.”
Something Blue offers brides on varying budgets a place to shop for unique and beautiful gowns. The shop has more modest selections for church weddings and others for beach brides.
“If someone is getting married on the beach, a lot of times, they’ll do something a little more flowy like a chiffon,” Walther said. “Lately, we’ve gotten a good number of bridal separates that also work really well.”
When you’re getting married outside during the summer, the material doesn’t matter as much as the construction.
“Generally, it’s not so much about the fabric,” Walther said. “What makes a dress heavier and hotter is the number of layers. If they’re going to be outside in the summer, then a sheath doesn’t have as many layers, so it’s not going to be as hot.”
For beach weddings, brides are leaning toward a more romantic look, Dryden said. Think ethereal, lightweight fabrics such as chiffon and lace with intricate details, paired with delicate accessories.
“One thing we deal with is the sea breeze,” Dryden said.
A close-fitting garment works best for the beach, she said.
“The neckline can be very open and we can show a little skin,” she said.
Whatever your final look, let the focus be on you.
“Our brides are from everywhere, they come in all sizes and everyone is gorgeous on her day,” Dryden said.
Beauty and the beach
Hairstylist Allison Weatherly has noticed that brides are leaning toward more natural looks for beach weddings.
“They are wearing simple buns and knots,” she said. “Braids are being incorporated in new, more elegant ways.”
Beach waves may be the go-to hairstyle if you’re on vacation, but they’re also a popular wedding ’do, especially when accessorized with the right headpiece.
“Antique clips are a huge trend in bridal hair, especially anything generationally owned,” Weatherly said. “Delicate crowns, especially made out of natural elements such as seashells and tiny starfish, are so beautiful and very popular.”
If you’re getting married on the beach, don’t forget the essentials. Humidity sprays, like Weatherproof by Big Sexy Hair, are a must, Weatherly said.
“And, as a backup, you should have a cute clip on hand,” she said. “Sometimes, you just can’t beat the heat.”
For beach makeup, Weatherly suggests steering clear of heavy foundation and using an illuminator instead.
“It will give you that sun-kissed beach look,” she said. “Also, never underestimate the power of a good blush. It’s an easy way to look refreshed instantly.”