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BY Sharon Naylor
During Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, a number of the top bridal gown designers, including Monique L'Huillier, Anne Barge, Ramona Keveza and others, create runway displays of the wedding gowns that will be en vogue that year. For spring 2013, the overarching trend is soft, romantic and more demure than sexy.
To help you find your dream dress, here are the top five trends for spring wedding gowns:
;">Lace: Duchess Kate is still the reigning influence on wedding gowns, with her iconic lace wedding dress ushering in a variety of lace uses.
Kate opted to cover her arms and shoulders with lace, and the look continues with a variety of lace styles used for sleeves, for the entire length of the skirt and for coverage of the chest and shoulders alone in sleeveless dress styles.
Bridal gown designers have innovated a look called "nouveau lace," in which the art is in the patterns of the lace that may cover the bride's shoulder blades in the back, for example, or festoon the dress itself.
Conservative brides who wish to cover up, or whose houses of worship do not allow bare arms, adore the lace-covering look, which ties into the spring 2013 trend of romantic, feminine, with an Old World feel.
;">Color: Color on the bridal gown runways is bold and chic, with the Vera Wang red wedding dresses that received so much attention during fall's runway shows still a top trend with brides.
Blue is the vibrant color of choice this spring, in a range of hues from sapphire to Caribbean blue, and blush-colored pinks and greens are also top choices.
Maggie Sottero is one designer showing an eye-catching blush-pink dress made even more special with a rhinestone belt for sparkle and a pink, ruffled mermaid skirt.
Gowns in color are more popular now, since many brides find that their skin tone works better in colored dresses than in white, which can wash out pale brides.
;">Portrait backs: The bride is seen from all angles during her wedding day so the design of the dress's back has become just as important as the front.
Top styles in designer dresses include backs entirely covered in lace for a romantic look.