Luke Aaron

Luke Aaron went from Boston to Broadway and back again. The Tufts grad stitches ready-to-wear and bespoke gowns at his Beacon Hill shop, and the self-described modern romantic says he finds a lot of different factors influence his style: “I’m inspired by history, nature and fine art, interpreted with a modern edge.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Richards

What trends are you most excited about? Nontraditional silhouettes and colors. Brides want to express their unique fashion sense rather than choose the expected formal gown.

What’s your most memorable commission? We did three gowns for the same client to carry her through the rehearsal dinner, wedding day and brunch the next morning. We got to do three very different silhouettes, from highly structured and formal to a more fluid, bohemian look. The different dresses spoke to the location and color palette of each event.

Photo Credit: Patrick Sporleder

What’s the most interesting feature you’ve seen at a wedding you’ve attended? One couple held their reception at the zoo and had various animals brought out to meet the guests throughout the evening.

Any tips for a bride beginning her search? Keep your everyday personal style in mind. If you dislike wearing rigid, tight clothing, you probably won’t want to be stuck in an extremely structured, fitted gown on your wedding day.

Do you ever think about what you’d wear to your own wedding? No. I would most likely be too focused on the playlist for the party and end up digging out an old blazer from my closet the night before—the same blazer I wear to every event. 

David Josef

Tapping into lush fabrics and ultra-feminine silhouettes, gown guru David Josef has been designing custom dresses for more than 40 years. He tries to add a feminine touch to every one of his creations, often incorporating a mix of textures. “The most interesting part of every wedding gown is the fabric combinations,” Josef says. “I love mixing lace and tulle.”

What trends are you most excited about? The death of the strapless. I adore sleeves, necklines, appliqué shoulders with button backs.

What did you wear for your own wedding? My husband Daniel Forrester and I got married on our 33rd anniversary. We were adorable. [We] both wore blue sports jackets and navy trousers. … If I could change anything, I would have spent more time shopping for my pants—my damn pants were so tight I could barely get up the stairs.

Photo Credit: Barbara Clarke

What’s your most memorable commission? Jennifer Schmitt. After an initial search for laces, Jennifer told me that her fiance was Steve Belichick. I was kind of floored. What an honor for a designer, but what a hard dress to make. We waited till very close to the wedding for final fittings because Jennifer’s body kept changing from breastfeeding, running, being a professional lacrosse player with the Boston Storm. She was the definition of elegance, beauty, femininity and total hotness.

Any tips for a bride beginning her search? Think of the pictures in 10 years. No one wants to look back and wonder what the hell they were thinking. Do not go trendy; stay refined and elegant. There’s nothing more horrific than looking back at those 1980s puffy sleeves.

Firas Yousif

Designer and boutique owner Firas Yousif is always after the classic bridal look, using European fabrics and laces to stitch together a timeless gown. But he’s not above catering to a client’s whimsical request, even sewing a small piece of a childhood blanket into the hem of one gown. “My designs are classic yet unique with modern elements,” he says.

What’s the most interesting feature of a wedding? The bride and her gown. There is nothing more exciting than to see all of the work that goes into making a custom gown come to life on that bride. Aside from achieving the perfect fit, the final gown always mirrors a bride’s personality.

What trends are you most excited about? I am mostly excited about blush, even if there are just subtle touches.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Richards

What trend do you hope never goes out of style? Classic elegance, with a twist of modern embellishments that reflect current fashion trends.

Any tips for a bride beginning her search? Listen to the professionals that she is working with, regardless of her expectations as to which gowns she should be wearing.

Candice Wu

While she’s always eager to add custom beading or embellishments to her high-end dresses, fashion designer Candice Wu has a grander theme in mind when creating a bridal gown. “[It’s about] incorporating elements of fantasy and glamour that make the bride look and feel like a princess,” she says.

What trends are you most excited about? The dramatic combination of black and white for bridal gowns.

What trend do you hope never goes out of style? Princess and ballgown wedding dresses.

What’s your most memorable commission? The wedding dress for my first client. Her grandmother had sadly passed away before her wedding, and she wanted to incorporate her grandmother’s necklace into the detail on the back of her dress.

Any tips for a bride beginning her search? She should stay true to her personal style throughout—for the dress, wedding location and theme.

What’s the most interesting feature you’ve seen at a wedding you’ve attended? At a Korean wedding I attended, the bride put a red dot on her cheeks to repel evil.

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