So much is changing for next year’s bride! Weddings are getting morphed into experiences rather than keeping in line with the traditional format. I gotta say: I’m loving it.
If Fashion Week NYC in April told us anything, it’s that the dress is getting a make-over. Simplistic embellishments and extensive use of floral lace has dominated the runway. Everything from complete lace front panels, to draping applique details, to completely lace gowns, and everyone is doing it.
The bodice is getting lower, but lots of designers are using the sheer panels to keep it a family event. Sequins is out; lace has taken over. Though there isn’t too much for the ballgown or the princess cut, the fitted gown is definitely gaining in popularity. Don’t be fooled, I don’t mean mermaid tails and deciding to go the evening without breathing. The dresses are becoming more comfortable. Though I will never say a negative thing about shape-wear, the gowns this year seem to be more ‘forgiving’ if you opt out of Spanx.
One other accessory that seems to be shining its way back into the bridal spotlight: Tiaras. Everyone is wearing them from the flower girl to the bride, tiaras are definitely in.
Let’s not forget about the men, though! It’s been a while now since bridesmaids started mix and matching their gowns. Men are feeling left out and now mix/match groomsmen are all the rage. They want a look that’s as unique as they are. Different coats, different shirts, different colors; this new look is a refreshing change.
Color, Color, Everywhere!
2019 is going Grape. All shades and tints of purple are coming up everywhere. Mostly deeper, more vibrant purples and indigos. Plum is one of my personal faves. These colors aren’t just in bridesmaid dresses or corsages. Entire themes are being engulfed in this brilliantly festive and royal hue.
Themes and Decor
With 2018 heading out, one of the big differences between now and the past: Consistency. There still needs a feel of unity and harmony, but couples are now expanding their ideas to include the ‘go together.’ Mix and match everything is completely in. From groomsmen to table settings, couples are finding the unity in differences.
One of the biggest things we’re seeing this year is the connection to nature. But gone are rustic, in the woods type weddings. Couples are all about bringing the outside in. Lots of greenery everywhere. And the popular flower? Dahlias. They come in such a large range of colors, it’s hard to miss with this beautiful bud.
While bringing nature in, the presentation of the flowers is changing. Couples want their guests to be completely consumed by the decor, meaning it’s more than centerpieces. Couples are hanging their greenery from the ceiling, from the walls, everywhere, to completely hijack their guests’ senses in order to transport them into their own little dream world.
Also, 2018’s Rose Gold/ Gold scheme has been replaced with the glitter of Silver and Chrome. Mixed with the heavy greenery and sparkles, there’s a brilliant ambiance that’s created, giving the warm feel of family and closeness.
There’s so many great things that can be said about the information age. Staying connected is easier than ever. However, couples are putting their foot down when it comes to their ceremony. More couples are opting for an ‘Unplugged’ ceremony, requesting their guests not take pictures with their phones or tablets, and just enjoy the ceremony. Though it’s marketed to the guest as being for their benefit, the couple gets a big benefit too: Their photographs won’t have any damn tablets blocking their most important moment. As a courtesy, when you’re a guest, try not to interfere with the photographer. They’re expensive!
While talking about photographers, another big thing showing up across the wedding landscape: Drones. It’s very tech-y, true, but lots of photographers are using them to catch the one-of-a-kind view of the wedding ceremony and subsequent reception. They are handy little things though not cheap. Review the cost benefit before adding one to your photography package.
It’s all about immersion and change. There are two major changes in the reception: Meal presentation and Centerpieces.
When most people think about the food for a reception, they think of chicken or fish, plated or buffet. My, how far we’ve come. This year, couples are ditching the big plated sit-down dinner. They are moving forward into 5 and 6 course meals with smaller plates, more options, and you don’t have to wait in the buffet line. Though this trend is gaining a lot of traction, it can potentially cost more since you will need more service staff for the presentation and distribution of the food, and for the collection of the used plate ware.
It’s also the Year of the Bar – Food Bar that is. Couples are opting for ‘food stations’ when they’re choosing a buffet. So, you would have a chicken station, a sides station, a dessert station. You get the picture. It’s not on a long table in the middle of the room. They’re separate areas all around the perimeter of the room, generally speaking. This is another option that takes a little more staff to pull off, but it can have a very rewarding impact on your guests.
Another big ticket food option is the family-style presentation. Couples, wanting to immerse their guests in wonder, are opting to hang their centerpieces from the ceilings in lieu of having individual centerpieces. Those hanging pieces are typically much larger but there are fewer of them. Sometimes, they are decorated with tiny string lights, adding to the dreamscape. This opens up a lot of room on the table. With a round table, a large lazy Susan can be put in the middle with the food on top, then the guests can take what they’d like. Though your wait staff may need to be beefed up, it shouldn’t be a significant increase in price.
And I mentioned those centerpieces, right? Yup, couples are moving them to the ceiling to help with the drowning of the senses. You look up, flowers. You look around you, flowers. Designers use fabric very similarly, to help transform a room or area into the environment that the couple wants. Flowers can be much more difficult in care and expensive (dahlias are usually pretty reasonable) than the fabric so make sure you cost it out before getting your heart set on the 13-foot long, all blooms, flower wall.
Another point in dinner is, following along the mix/match line, the settings are being mix/matched. It’s a very eclectic feeling. Plates that don’t match, silverware that doesn’t match, glassware that doesn’t match. But somehow, it all seems to flow together, giving a great sense of unity. You want the feeling of harmony (I know I’ve used that word a lot today, but it totally fits), not the feeling like your guests are at the Mad Hatter’s wedding to the Mad Hare. It’s a delicate balance. Over-do it, and you’ll leave your guests feeling overwhelmed.
The Interest Piece
For a long time, the cake table has been the focus point of any reception. The last few wedding seasons, we’ve seen a steady decline in the use of traditional wedding cakes and the growth of having alternative dessert options. That being said, weddings have adopted for a new focal point for the reception: The (placement) Card Table.
Couples all over are taking extra time and care to create a brilliantly unique placement card station. For those who are unfamiliar, this is the area where guests go to find their table assignment. I have seen a lot of brides say that they aren’t going to do assigned seating, saving themselves the hassle of a seating chart, and allowing the guests to sit with whom they wish. Well, bless your heart, but …
Don’t do that.
No, seriously. Just don’t.
Having a guest seating chart guarantees seating for every guest. It makes things easier for your wedding planner, the wait staff, and the bussing crew. We’ll chat more about that in another post. Just know that it’s way better to hash it out in the planning phase than it is to hash it out regarding rented tables and chairs.
Back to the placement cards. Couples are trying to make every aspect of their wedding more interactive; more of an experience for the guests. They want their guests to be wow’d, awe’d, and of course, talking about it for the next couple weeks. A popular one is where there’s a clip board with everyone’s card and table assignment on it. When you get your card, you replace it with a Polaroid photo of yourself with the provided camera.
Make the experience unique but keep in mind how hard it’s going to be for your guest to find their name. You don’t want a long line at the Card Table. People want to find their table and start to mingle!
As a Reminder
It’s a lot of work to plan your own wedding. But keep in mind the reason you want a wedding and not just elope at the courthouse: You want to share this day of love with your friends and family. Though the ceremony is all about you, the reception, the celebration part, is really all for them … A way to thank them for their love and support. Remembering that will help guide your decisions along the path of planning.