Nicole Polizzi is on the hunt. Under other circumstances, that might have us worried. The petite, pretty (and pretty darn vocal) TV fixture, who made a name for herself -- and a nickname, Snooki -- on MTV reality shows "Jersey Shore" and "Snooki & JWoww," now has a more sophisticated matter in mind. Namely ... her wedding.
Polizzi, 26, has been fairly tight-lipped about the affair, slated for this fall. Granted, she and fiance Jionni LaValle have had some distractions (the couple had baby Lorenzo in 2012 and are expecting a second child this fall, just before tying the knot). She's announced on her website she's going with a "Great Gatsby" theme, and her wedding colors are gold and black. At press time she'd gone hunting for gold and black bridesmaid dresses and picked some that are "beyond gorgeous," she writes.
Whether she chooses a gold wedding gown, too, is yet to be seen, but if so she won't be alone. Metallics on gowns are increasing in popularity of late, inspired by the vintage style of hit films such as last year's "Gatsby," and influenced by a slew of haute heavy metal on the red carpet.
A recent Brides magazine poll of 200 just-married brides who opted against white found that nearly half (46 percent) chose champagne and 6 percent went for the gold.
"It's more for the vintage bride, someone having a wedding at a mansion like Oheka Castle, who's looking for that old-world charm," says Charles Procop, co-owner and designer at Princess Bridals in Farmingdale.
What's somewhat surprising about metallics, say experts, is just how versatile they can be.
"If she finds a fully metallic gown too unapproachable, a bride can opt for a delicately embroidered bodice, or try accessories in metallic tones," says Lori Conley, senior bridal gown buyer at David's Bridal. "A splash of shimmer does wonders."
Just how shiny are we talking?
We don't mean to imply that hordes of brides are marching down the aisle wrapped in foil. This is the bridal world, where white -- technically, ivory these days -- rules.
But there are lots of variations on gold -- not to mention silver, pewter, platinum, copper and bronze.
Take Maggie Sottero's Victoriana, a strapless, drop-waist gown with ornate embroidered bodice. It's several seasons old now, and still a hot seller at Bridal Suite of Centereach. But how to describe the color?
"It's gold," explains Bridal Suite manager Kathi Cotty, "but not shiny, and not champagne, which is more muted -- this is deeper, it has color to it -- but it's not bright!" she adds.
It's a soft shade, akin to newer Sottero designs this spring, such as the twinkly Tuscany (gold embroidered lace over a champagne sheath) or creamy gold Admina (in glam stretch satin).
Then there's Jenny Packham, whose upcoming Spring 2015 line includes a platinum dress that shines like moonlight; an ivory Grecian gown crisscrossed by gold satin ribbon; and an off-the-shoulder chiffon number in matte coppery-bronze.
The take-away here -- we're a far cry from looking like an Oscar statuette or bowling trophy. The shine is, for the most part, hinted at, whispered, seen through a mist.
And most designers offer gold in small doses.
"Metallic details complement a variety of styles," says Conley. "Delicate embroideries in rose gold and burnished tones play nicely off rich fabrics such as satin or Mikado."
Claire Pettibone offers a modern take on opulence with the Alchemy gown, featuring gold bullion lace atop a blush silk dress with scalloped hem. Badgley Mischka adorns its ivory mermaid Ginger gown with a bodice of gold lace. And Jean Ralph Thurin experiments with gold satiny awning stripes.
Some designers go all-out gilt, like the flowing chiffon strapless from Pnina Tornai for Kleinfeld, while others mix the best of both worlds, notably Romona Keveza and her golden nude strapless swathed in a gossamer-sheer wrap of silvery dewdrop crystals. NASA may want one -- it's celestial.
Given that silver is a cooler shade, the look it conveys is sleek, chic, assured.
"I am seeing a trend toward silver and pewter metallics, specifically in beading, woven thread and lace," says Kleinfeld fashion director Terry Hall.
Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld offers a crepe strapless dripping in silver-beaded fringe. And Monique Lhuillier's Willow trumpet gown (for fall) is entwined in glorious embroidered silver vines.
Then there's Hayley Paige, who's "a rock star in bridal," says Kristin Forgione, owner of Thea Tora Bridal in Sayville. "Her gowns are like ... fire. The girls love them."
Paige's spring collection features a silvery stunner with massive flounced skirt and crystal-encrusted halter that can provide full coverage or be cinched up at midriff. If you dare.
A word to the wise
"Metallics can overwhelm a look and overshadow the bride," warns Kleinfeld's Hall. "When in doubt, less is more."
Designer Val Stefani agrees.
If you're leaning toward bold beading and accents on your gown, then downplay accessories, she suggests. Think diamond solitaire earrings, and maybe a simple cathedral-length veil.
Or skip the flashy gown and go glam with metallic accessories, like L.K. Bennett's strappy silver sandals or Alexander McQueen's Skinny & Sexy metallic sandals with gold and black straps. (Hey, somebody text Snooki.)
Some brides may not want to heed this advice, and, ultimately, how heavy into metal you go is up to you. If you're going for bust, don't be shy.
After all, says Stefani, "there's no better time to shine than on your wedding day."