Say yes to the…

Story by Julie Schillings

A bride will be 
most stunning in a gown that is true to her personal style.

A bride will be most stunning in a gown that is true to her personal style.

From the moment a bride becomes engaged until she is whisked away to the honeymoon suite, planning an idyllic wedding is at the forefront of her mind. Wichita area experts share their observations and wedding planning advice.

“Couples often feel like they need to adhere to pre-determined wedding expectations,” commented Ashley Moore, Owner of Events by Ashley, “I love being able to show couples a fresh perspective and help them create a wedding that represents their unique relationship and personality.” One of the leading wedding trends that Ashley has observed is personalization. Couples want to create a sentimental and memorable event for their guests.

Some brides hand craft their own centerpieces and reception décor to achieve that one-of-a-kind style. Ashley utilizes inspiration boards to help couples articulate their style. She then inserts her creative eye and attention to detail to achieve their vision.

Dress

Selecting a wedding gown is one of the first things brides do when they become engaged. All eyes will be on the bride and she will be most stunning in a gown that is true to her personal style making her feel confident and beautiful on her wedding day.

Wedding gowns are affected by fashion trends, Hollywood and, of course, the royal wedding. Strapless dresses and one-shoulder styles are most popular, but local bridal stores are getting a few more requests for dresses with straps and cap sleeves. “We continue to see gowns with luxurious textures, played out with lace, ruffles and flowers,” explained Kristi Mouser, Owner of The White Dress in New Market Square. Brides are incorporating details from their dress into their headpiece, creating a unique and individualized look. “The ball gown is making a comeback,” reported April Huang, Owner of The Dress Gallery. She concurs that local brides are asking for ruffles and plenty of dimension.

White and ivory continue to be the dominant color choices for gowns in Wichita. Some dresses incorporate a hint of color with embroidery or a sash. April, at The Dress Gallery, suggests that a gown in the palest blush of pink may be a contender for the bride who is seeking a spin on the traditional white dress.

Bridesmaid dresses for spring and summer are popping up in a variety of colors and lengths. Purple and pinks continue to be popular color choices, but sunny yellow and greens are gaining momentum.

Pockets and belts are two ways that brides individualize dresses for their bridesmaids along with knee length options. “Classic black dresses always are a sophisticated option,” pointed out Kristi from The White Dress.

When brides want to add a custom feature such as a bustle or lengthen the train on their gown, Juliana Chary at Quick Stitch is the local expert with 15 years of bridal alteration experience. Juliana customizes nearly 1,500 wedding gowns each year. “Every bride wants to keep it unique,” pointed out Juliana. Brides appreciate Juliana’s expertise and attention to fit and functionality. She understands that brides will be dancing, sitting and standing in their gown and how the perfect fit will enable them to effortlessly move throughout the celebration. Appointments with Quick Stitch can be conveniently made on-line.

Both formal affairs and rustic, natural celebrations are popular in 
Wichita.

Both formal affairs and rustic, natural celebrations are popular in Wichita.

Reception

Next to choosing their wedding gown, much of brides’ efforts are put toward planning the reception with her groom. During the nuptial celebration couples focus on entertaining and honoring their guests. Professional event planner, Ashley Moore reported that most of the weddings she helps plan include a meal at the reception.

“In the heart of the Midwest, steak is the most common entrée served at dinner receptions,” noted Mike Issa, Owner of Hereford House at Terradyne Country Club in Andover. One of the area’s most popular wedding venues is the patio at Terradyne overlooking the rolling Scottish style links course. The clubhouse is a majestic architectural backdrop and paired with the exceptional quality and tradition of Hereford House, Terradyne offers couples all the amenities needed on their wedding day. Groups of 250 guests or fewer can be accommodated on the patio. Events with up to 300 guests often select the “Prime Room” banquet hall on the lower level. The most intimate events with 50 to 60 guests often choose the “Hearth Room” with its soaring ceilings, stone fireplace and golf course scenery – an elegantly cozy venue. Hereford House’s Banquet Coordinator, Morgan Ouimette attends to all of the reception details so couples, their families and guests can relax and celebrate.

Brides and grooms visualize their wedding as an event that reflects their individuality. Whether the wedding is a formal affair or a celebration with a rustic, natural feel – both trends are popular in Wichita. A recent survey conducted by theknot.com concluded that one in three brides seek the capable assistance of a professional wedding planner. Others choose to manage the details themselves.

One area that couples should not undertake on their own is preparing all of the food for their reception. Wedding professionals universally agree that hiring a caterer is an important expenditure that allows the bride and groom, along with their families, to celebrate on the day of the event. Special event caterers are one option and many Wichita area restaurants offer catering as well.

Larkspur Bistro & Bar, located in Old Town, has built their reputation for having an inventive menu and comfortable yet classy atmosphere. Larkspur is also one of Wichita’s most popular caterers. Couples can select from a variety of menu items and professional services with the flexibility of celebrating at the location of their choice. Larkspur can provide dinnerware, silverware and professional servers in addition to the delicious custom menu. Shawna Sphar, Banquet and Catering Manager at Larkspur, is experienced in fine-tuning the services offered, “Larkspur can customize any catering event. We have full service or we can simply deliver the food…whatever the bride wants.” Larkspur can accommodate small receptions, showers and rehearsal dinners in their private banquet room for groups with 80 guests or fewer. The iconic patio at Larkspur is a popular location to rent for small private parties. Larkspur is the exclusive caterer to the Courtyard by Marriott at Old Town. Situated in the center of Wichita’s entertainment district, the banquet room can accommodate up to 225 guests. Shawna is available to help couples create a special Larkspur menu and provide the service they need for their upcoming celebration.

 
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