Bridal image consultant Monte Durham has been helping brides-to-be find their perfect wedding dress since 2010 on TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta." The show's fashion director, Durham had careers in fashion merchandising and hair styling before delving into the bridal industry. On June 22, he will join Richmond Bride magazine at the annual Artful Wedding event. We caught up with Durham from his home in Alexandria to talk trends, traditions and tricks of the trade.
Richmond Bride: What interests you about bridal fashion?
Monte Durham: It's the traditions connected to bridal fashion. It's one of the most important days of a woman's life. Some women have been dreaming about this since they were 9 or younger. I think it's that connection of tradition and family.
Richmond Bride: What are the most popular trends you've seen recently?
Durham: Strapless, sweetheart [neckline], natural waist, soft skirts, lightly embellished, no elaborate beading — it's just a very organic feel. The trends in receptions are playing a big part in that, with the advent of more barn and outdoor garden weddings. Even the girls marrying in family churches — they're small meadow churches. Everything's a much more relaxed feel.
Richmond Bride: What are key things to look for in a dress?
Durham: You want to make sure there's not a lot of beading around the rim of the edge of the dress because that can really chafe if you're dancing and the beading is underneath your arms.
Richmond Bride: What will you discuss at Artful Wedding?
Durham: We're going to talk about things we see on the runway versus what we see on the bridal showroom floor. We're also going to talk about hair and make-up, long versus short in bridesmaid gowns, and shoes.
For more info and to secure your tickets, visit richmag.com/artful . SPECIAL OFFER! Use promo code "MONTE" to get your pair of tickets for $30 instead of $40!