Simplicity is in style for wedding dresses, rings

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    By HOLLY DURFEY

    Wedding dresses of the 1960s are becoming classics in the ’90s. Brides are choosing simplicity over frills in both dress and ring styles.

    Judy Johns, who was married in 1964 and has been in the wedding industry for 12 years, said the ’60s and ’70s have made a big comeback in the last year and a half.

    The empire waist and A-line cut for wedding dresses are very popular, she said. The simple, sleek styles of these dresses were popularized by Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s. Their straight lines and simple accessories are elegant, Johns said.

    Dresses with large tulle skirts are also evidence of the ’60s revival, Johns said. Brides are wearing fitted dresses with tulle skirts. The dresses are simple, but the tulle adds a romantic look, Johns said.

    Katie Parker, a junior from Merced, Calif., majoring in public relations, was married Dec. 21, 1998. Parker’s wedding dress had a fitted bodice with a full tulle skirt. Parker said she wanted a Cinderella-style dress.

    Brides of the ’80s and early ’90s leaned toward a fancier look than brides of the ’60s and ’70s. The ’80s and early ’90s’ style was full skirts and a lot of beadwork.

    “Less than half the brides (today) want beads anymore,” Johns said.

    The ’80s and early ’90s’ wedding dresses had fuller skirts, trains and sleeves.

    Erin Palmer, a BYU graduate from Bothell, Wash., who was married Dec. 27, 1994, said her dress was traditional. It had a full skirt, a V-waist, and cut-outs in the material. Palmer said the style in 1994 was long trains, poofy skirts and curly veils.

    Heidi Tyler, a housewife from Trabuco Hills, Calif., was also married in 1994. Tyler’s dress had full sleeves, although she said the trend was begining to move away from puffy sleeves.

    Wedding dresses are a tradition among American brides, but circumstance, not trends, often determines what a bride will wear. Wedding dresses were not always worn during the 1940s.

    Gayle Corier, a retired pre-school teacher from Edmonds, Wash., was married Aug. 4, 1946. Corier said money was scarce because of World War II. Corier was married in a black dress and wore a pill-box hat with a black veil.

    “I just got out of the service. We didn’t have any money. I needed a dress that was versatile,” Corier said.

    About seven out of 10 brides during World War II did not have a wedding dress, Corier said.

    Rowena Snell of Spanish Fork was also married in 1946. Snell said she was not married in a traditional wedding dress, but the dress style of the time was simple, satin and elegant.

    Elegance and simplicity are becoming trends for wedding rings as well as dresses. Brian Patch, owner of Goldesign, said the trend for wedding rings is bezel set diamonds, which are set lower in comparison to traditional four or six-pronged rings.

    Parker has a bezel set diamond in a tension set ring. This style is very popular in white gold or platinum, Patch said. Parker chose the ring because it doesn’t catch in her pockets or scratch people.

    “It fits my active lifestyle,” she said.

    Patch, who has been in the jewelry business for 25 years, said the bezel set trend was initiated by the platinum industry. Bride magazines are full of advertisements sponsored by the platinum industry, showing bezel-set diamonds in platinum rings, Patch said.

    Patch said brides are choosing bezel sets because of fashion more than convenience.

    Rings are also getting wider, Patch said. Couples are opting for one ring rather than a traditional engagement ring and wedding band. The trend is a brilliant or princess cut diamond with no accent diamonds, Patch said.

    Palmer said she remembers looking for rings in the early ’90s and said she had a hard time finding a simple ring. Patch said the ’80s and early ’90s had many accent diamonds.

    The trend in the late ’80s and early ’90s was a central diamond with many baguettes.

    The wedding rings popular in the 1940s were much simpler in design than the 1980s. Snell remembers the ’40s wedding rings as having a solitaire diamond with etched designs in the band.

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