Everyone I talk to—or every site I visit online—predicts one word when it comes to wedding dresses for spring 2013: lace.

The slightly flared, almost sheath-like lace dress is in almost every collection. Alençon, Chantilly, gros point—there are as many types of lace as there are brides who wear it. Lace is going to be the biggest trend in wedding gowns for 2013. The look is modern, yet timeless.

Lace hardly is a surprise to wedding dresses, yet somehow, all the 2013 collections make this iconic fabric look new again. Lace can be used as an appliqué, a trim, an overlay or to make the entire gown. One nice thing is that most of today’s brides can wear their mother’s wedding veils, as lace was big in the ‘70s and ‘80s (when most every veil was lace).

Marchesa is almost exclusively using lace with a see-through shoulder and sleeve look—oh yes, sleeves are back in a big way: cap sleeves, elbow length, ¾ and full sleeve.

Another look—a bit more radical than lace—is color. You don’t have to wear a white dress anymore. And I’m not talking ivory or blush, but full, strong color. The trick is to find a color that’s flattering to your skin tone.

Now, for the surprise: a sexy back. Usually, the back is just an afterthought. This year, the back is making a bold statement with head-turning styles that will make your dress sexy, but never vulgar.

In St. Louis, we have the full gamut of wedding gown vendors, but brides are doing more and more online searching and buying than ever before (20 percent of brides report buying their dresses online). The numbers also show that orders for 2013 wedding gowns include 15 percent that are in color.

Another trend—that seems like a waste of money to me—is that 20 percent of all brides plan to wear a second dress to the reception, usually a sassy, shorter look.

Designers who are big this year are a bit of a surprise: Ines Di Santo’s collection was well-received on the runways, as was that of Austin Scarlett, the outrageously flamboyant designer from a few seasons back on Project Runway. Scarlett’s collection was picked up by Neiman Marcus in Dallas and is breaking sales records, especially for his full ball-gown looks.

“Brides show off their bums in skinny jeans every day. This is their chance to feel like a princess,” Austin said in an interview after his show that had Anna Wintour of Vogue giving a standing ovation to every single gown he sent down the runway.

There's always Carolina Herrera's quiet quality, combining luxury with taste; and it seems Monique Lhuillier has eclipsed Vera Wang, taking over as the queen of wedding dresses…But look out, Monique, because Austin Scarlett is hot on your tail.

More Weddings & Engagements articles.