“The trends I’m seeing are more ‘anything goes,’ the traditional wedding cake is going by the wayside, and couples are doing what they want to do,” said pastry chef Rachel Marchetti of Rachel’s Sugar Shop, on Budlong Road in Cranston. Marchetti said couples are moving away from cupcake weddings and toward comfort desserts, things like pies, donuts and cookies. “Cookie bars are a huge thing too,” she said, referring to a buffet set up with trays of beautifully decorated cookies.
Choosing a sweet option that defines a couple, their personal style and story is a trend Marchetti is seeing with cake design requests. She said she takes the time to learn about the couples before creating their cakes.
“What were your groom’s cakes are now becoming your wedding cakes. Maybe their first date was a movie, so they will incorporate that into their cake. Vintage is also a huge trend, incorporating something old or a family heirloom like a broach cake-topper,” Marchetti said.
Additionally, Marchetti is seeing a move towards a more natural look in the wedding cakes being requested, with more blues and pale pinks and champagne hues.
“Naked cakes are something that people are asking for,” she said. These are cakes with “not as much decoration” that let the cake speak for itself,” she said. Others ask for trays of desserts, and order only a small cake to cut.
Natural and simple elegance has expanded into the bridal gown industry as well, according to Laura Zabbo of the Spark Bridal Outlet in the Knightsville section of Cranston.
Zabbo said brides want something light and flowing, “not heavy, and not obstructive,” She said they are prioritizing that trend as they order stock for the store, and that they will always carry traditional gowns too. “Some trends go out of style, but there are some styles that are classically made designs and those never got out of style.”
The brides Zabbo sees are looking gowns that have a blush tone. “It’s just that one step away from ivory, but a little bit different,” she said. “I get fewer and fewer requests for pure white. Most people don’t want that stark color right now.” She said the store carries a selection of white gowns because some brides who are planning a traditional religious ceremony want to wear the symbolic white dress. Zabbo, said her mother, Kim Palana, chooses each and every gown for the store. “We don’t hold contracts with designers for a certain quota of dresses each season,” she said. “We pride ourselves in the fact that we have a lot of wonderful designers here that are not necessarily as well-known. We have pieces for our brides that no one else has.”
Donna Morrissette has owned The Bridal Shoppe & Flowers at 1719 Warwick Avenue in Warwick for almost 40 years and has seen her share of wedding trends come and go. She too, believes that there is a distinct difference between a fashion trend and a classic style.
“Fashion trends tend to change, whereas style is classic and timeless,” Morrissette said. “Lace, for example, is always in style, always sought after, no matter what the current trends. It can be simple, it can be traditional, it can be beaded and embellished.”
Morrissette sees the couples of today’s weddings doing more to personalize their weddings, creating more themes, from Disney-themed, to nautical, to BoHo to Rustic themes.
She said couples today are trying to express their own style “and that’s really how it should be,” she said. “Today’s bride is a very specific bride, very informed, very intelligent and tries to be considerate of everybody, but the day still has to remain her day.”
Morrissette said she is also seeing more blush tones, along with pinks, champagnes, and moscato colors. She sees some of the bigger fashion trends reflected in what brides are looking for, from the fashion runways such as an off-the-shoulder look, a plunging back, illusion back or keyhole back, along with a different neckline than the traditional sweetheart necklines of the past.
“Brides tend to do a tremendous amount of research before shopping, but their mind is always open, and there is no right or wrong in this business,” she said. “They really know what works for them though, in terms of their figure, their comfort and in terms of having the ease to enjoy their day. It’s a wonderful thing when they’re able to relax, flourish, and to really enjoy their day.”
Morrissette says local bridal stores have an edge because they offer intimate customer care. “We understand our brides, we’ve been through it ourselves,” she said. She said they store dresses and do alterations. “ There will be bumps in the road when planning a wedding, but we’re here for you and we want your experiences with us to be as stress-free as possible.”