LulaKate designer Katherine McDonald likes to develop a personal relationship with the brides who will be wearing her wedding dresses. When they come into her King Street store, she’ll ask them how they got engaged, when they’re getting married, and where. “Most of the time, when she starts to look for a dress, she’s already picked out her location, and I think the location can dictate what kind of dress,” McDonald says. From there, they’ll explore styles, silhouettes, fabrics, colors, and details.

Since LulaKate designs and manufactures all of its dresses, a potential bride can come into the showroom and practically create her own dress (McDonald designs bridesmaid dresses too). “We have so many different silhouettes and a number of different fabrics and trends that a girl can pick from that she can really make her dress feel like her own,” McDonald says.

Production can take about 16 weeks on average, though, and McDonald has worked with clients as far as a year in advance. But don’t fret if you’re planning on eloping — it’s happened before, and McDonald can work on a time crunch.

The designer says that flowy, ethereal dresses are still popular these days, and while the front of a gown may be simple, the back will have a lot of detail. Peplum and lace are still in, while glitz and glamour are becoming trendier. And since the release of The Great Gatsby, the bridal world has been on a Roaring ’20s kick. “I’ve always liked the ’20s, so it’s kind of neat to see that trickle down into mainstream fashion,” McDonald says.

But regardless of what the trends may be, it’s important for brides to pick something that they love. “It doesn’t matter if anybody else loves it,” McDonald adds. “You have to love it because you’re wearing it and it’s your wedding day. Pick something that you know you’re going to look back on in 20 years and still love.”

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