Heart of NC Weddings Fashion Editorial 2023

2023 Wedding Dress Trends and Wedding Fashion Trends

Our Heart of NC Weddings 2023 fashion editorial took place at a picturesque Raleigh wedding venue this past summer. Throughout this blog post you’ll find the scoop on 2023 wedding dress trends, formalwear trends, bridesmaid fashion and plenty of inspiration as well as wedding dress budget info.

We’re proud that our fashion editorial features wedding gowns from some of the top wedding dress boutiques in Raleigh and across the state! From Bridgerton-inspired ballgowns to fitted modern silhouettes, our 2023 fashion editorial features a range of wedding day looks.

How to Budget for Your Wedding Dress and Formalwear

Before we get to exploring 2023 wedding dress trends and fashion, let’s start with the nitty gritty. You’ll need to know how much of your wedding budget to set aside for fashion. Don’t forget about accessories and hair and makeup, too. Keep reading to learn what to expect when it comes to your wedding dress and formalwear budget for NC weddings.

2023 wedding dress trends
UC Models’ Grace Harrington and Eion Dockery wear a jacquard Truvelle gown with a side slit from Gilded Bridal and navy suit from Bernard’s Formalwear, respectively. Grace’s jewelry is from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry.

Wedding Dress Cost in Raleigh and NC

COST: Wedding dresses in NC, on average, cost about $3,000. However, wedding dresses can range from about $800 to $20,000. Tuxedo and suit rentals start at around $170. This includes a coat, pants, vest, shirt, tie and shoes. Purchasing formalwear starts at about $250 for a suit and $325 for a tux, and goes up from there. Custom suits start around $1,500.

Bridal hair and makeup can cost anywhere from $150 to $600 with a trial run. Hair and makeup for wedding party members typically runs $95 to $250 per person.

CONSIDER: Purchase your wedding gown 10 months in advance of the big day. Allow a minimum of two months for alterations. Purchase or rent your tuxedo or suite three to four months out. We recommend that wedding party members follow the same time frame due to high demand.

BUDGET: Don’t forget to leave room in your budget for shoes, accessories – including socks, ties, bow ties, pocket squares, headwear, veils, belts, suspenders and more – jewelry and additional services such as nails, skin care treatments and spa services.

2023 wedding gown trends open back
Adrienne wears an Ellen gown by Pronovias from Thornbury Bridal paired with jewelry from Diamonds Direct and hair and makeup by Reign Beauty. She poses inside Heron Hall at The Meadows at Firefly Farm Preserve.

A gentle breeze winds its way through tall grasses and past a grove of trees that enclose a ceremony site at The Meadows at Firefly Farm Preserve. It’s welcome relief, as temperatures push 90 degrees on the mid-September day while vendors, models and our Heart of NC Weddings team members hustle back-and-forth from Aerie House to Heron Hall and among the venue’s other spaces on its 115 acres of pasture and forest south of downtown Raleigh.

Heart of NC Weddings editorial shoot director Becca Taylor’s vision board this year was a carefully curated collection of rusty orange, cream and blue shades, and romantically flowing gowns that embody a certain effortless bohemian style. This editorial captures 2023 wedding dress trends like detachable sleeves, floral lace and bold ballgowns.

the Meadows raleigh wedding venue
Brendetta wears a Clementine dress from Vow’d Weddings with jewelry from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry.

Several of the models in this editorial are often on the other side of the lens or the makeup chair, working as stylists or event organizers to help local couples turn their wildest visions into reality on their wedding days. These pros know better than anyone how it takes a village to create a day that’s more meaningful than any other, and we are elated to represent these local vendors as well as real couples on these pages.

Heart of NC Weddings 2023 Fashion Editorial Captured by Fancy This Photography

While the Reign Beauty team prepped, blow-dried, styled and perfected each of our models’ hair and makeup – all while keeping spirits high by rocking out to an energetic playlist – Nikki Whitt Belch and second shooter Sarah Gillie of Fancy This Photography scoped out photo locations across the property. We embarked on a busy day of shooting under a beaming sun that did, thankfully, succumb to the cover of clouds as the afternoon tipped into golden hour.

2023 Wedding Dress Trend Alert – Detachable Sleeves

“The White of Raleigh gown with detachable sleeves made me feel like a garden fairy princess! I love that you can wear the sleeves for photos and the ceremony and detach them for the reception and dancing without taking away from the beauty of the dress.” – Linda Nguyen

Detachable sleeves are one of our favorite 2023 wedding dress trends. Multiple wedding gowns featured in our 2023 fashion editorial offer sleeves that can transform the look and style of a wedding dress instantly.

Wedding Jewelry and Engagement Ring Trends

Above, model Brendetta Huffman wears a pair of ethereal 14-karat rose gold earrings featuring 2.40 carats of pear-shaped opals surrounded by a double halo of brilliant diamonds. These are paired with an 18-karat rose gold engagement ring that showcases “Tacori craftsmanship at its finest,” says Diamonds Direct Marketing and Merchandising Manager Tessa Kitko. The ring “features round brilliant-cut diamonds channel set in Tacori’s iconic crescent shape and accented by delicate metalwork and milgrain,” Tessa says.

These jewels complement a delicate A-line gown from Thornbury Brides with floral beaded embroidery and a subtle scoop neckline.

Dominick DiGirolamo and Laura DiGirolamo are the husband-and-wife team behind Forever & Company. This pair have been hosting wedding shows in the Raleigh area for more than 25 years. And, fun fact: Dom and Laura have modeled for Heart of NC Weddings more than once! They modeled parents of the couple fashion trends for our 2021 fashion editorial.

“I really liked the darker navy suit with red tie combination [from Bernard’s Formalwear]. It was comfortable, and the colors accented each other quite well. The red tie gave the whole ensemble some pop.” – Robert Rowe

Brendetta wears a ballgown from Dany Tabet’s You Bisou collection, which is inspired by Brigitte Bardot.

“My favorite look was the dress from Gilded Bridal. The bold blue pattern and sleeves were absolutely gorgeous!” – Nathan Wellman

Linda Nguyen models an emerald-cut bezel set crystal ring and Phillips House white gold infinity tassel necklace from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry with a halter-neck rust bridesmaid dress from Vow’d Weddings. Grace’s dress, also from Vow’d Weddings, illustrates a trending mismatched style in a complementary mauve tone paired beautifully with a gold Marco Bicego Lunaria cocktail ring from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry. Vow’d offers a range of mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses ranging from $118 to $190 in addition to wedding gowns.

The delicate lace gown that Linda models shows off a look that’s trending this year.

For more wedding dress budget advice and 2023 wedding dress trends, visit our guide to selecting wedding gowns in NC!

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