Hottest (and Wackiest) Wedding Trends
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Bid Adieu to Boring I Do's1 of 16
By Elizabeth Jenkins
Gone are the days of stuffy, staid weddings. Now, pretty much anything goes, including having a close friend marry you, wearing two gowns and more. Here's a look at the industry's 16 hottest trends, brought to you by some of the nation's top event planners and matrimonial pros.
Keep On Truckin'2 of 16
With the rapidly growing popularity of food trucks in big cities like New York, Los Angeles and Austin, it comes as no surprise that they are rolling their way into wedding receptions, too. California's beloved burger chain In-N-Out made an appearance at one wedding that bicoastal planner Christina Pappas orchestrated. "Offering the couple's favorite food truck brings personality, flair and a unique wow-factor," she says. Other popular choices include Krispy Kreme for late-night donuts, as well as old-fashioned ice cream trucks for sweet treats.
Artists In Training3 of 16
Engaged couples are beginning to embrace the young children of family friends invited to their celebration. "Kids are such fun at weddings," says Northern California event planner Kristi Amoroso. "I always enjoy arranging a really nice area for the children, something that looks gorgeous, is lots of fun, and entertains them in a way that enables the adults to relax. I have found that arts and crafts are a hit, as are yummy treats like a mini candy buffet. Centerpieces in the same colors of the wedding can have a twist, too. Instead of flowers, use stickers, colored pencils and Crayons."
Say Cheese!4 of 16
Photo booths have become almost expected at wedding receptions these days, complete with creative backdrops and funny costumes. Event planner Carolyn Chen of The Special Day, says the newest twist is ShoutOutBooth, "a service that allows guests to record a video message, saying how they feel in that moment, with congratulatory messages and personal, special wishes. The messages are then edited together for the bride and groom, so they can share it with their family and friends after the wedding... or keep it to themselves if it's for their eyes and ears only!"
Say It Loud5 of 16
"Wedding trends follow fashion," says A Perfect Event's Debi Lilly , "and this year is all about color: bright, beautiful, bold color. Pink, in particular, is hot when combined with varied soft and jewel toned hues of pink, as well as with chartreuse green, apricot and vivid orange." At one client's reception, shown here, Lilly showered the tables with pink, wrapping the chairs in ruched fabric, draping the tables with polka-dot patterned cloths and combining both low and high floral arrangements, all in shades of what is traditionally considered a feminine color.
All The Trimmings6 of 16
"Ribbon details are huge right now," says Abby Larson, founder of the popular wedding blog Style Me Pretty. "Draped off the back of Chiavari chairs or hanging in a colorful line from a dessert table, ribbon is a cheap and gorgeous way to add that pop of color." At this wedding in Sonoma, Calif., more than 50 ribbons in shades of pink, yellow and orange were hung in a row from the cake table, making far more of an impact than a tablecloth ever would.
Tasty Treats7 of 16
Offering merely cake for dessert is a thing of the past. Over the years, late-night snacks have included everything from bar food staples like hamburger sliders and fries to sweets tables filled with candy and more. The latest fad is donut pops, according to Larson. "Donut pops are making their way into wedding coffee bars everywhere," she says. "They are the perfect little late-night snack to enjoy with a hot cup of joe."
Take The Stage8 of 16
No couple wants their wedding day to end, which is why after-parties have become the norm. Whether guests gather informally at a hotel bar or the whole party relocates to another venue, the celebration often lasts into the wee hours. "For one client, we created a bar atmosphere for the after-party, with live band karaoke," says New York City planner Ann David of David Reinhard Events. "They wanted music, but not just a band or DJ, something that would be more engaging for the guests."
Old Soles9 of 16
When it comes to wedding shoes, the choice used to be simple: white or ivory. But nowadays, brides' footwear ranges from blue Manolo Blahniks to worn-in cowboy boots. Even sneakers have become acceptable! "This couple definitely loved their orange Converses, and I loved that the shoes matched the orange flowers and playful polka-dot cake, " says photographer Meg Smith. "I really appreciate that they didn't change who they were on their wedding day. And it added a lot of levity; all of the guests were laughing and clapping when they walked out with their sneakers on."
Instant Heirloom10 of 16
Whether you're eco-conscious or budget-conscious, you may want to think outside the bloom and design a bridal bouquet using something lasting, such as silk flowers, ribbons, music sheets, feathers, crepe paper or even jewelry, like the one shown here by Fantasy Floral. "Vintage brooch and jewel bouquets made from everything from family heirlooms to flea market finds to thrift store treasures are repurposed, recycled and permanent keepsakes to both carry on your wedding day and later pass down to friends, family and future generations," says Chicago planner Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event.
Signs Of The Times11 of 16
Signage has become huge at weddings and comes in all forms—from menus written in chalk to removable wall art featuring the couple's joint monogram. "My clients LOVE the 'Yay!' signs that Joyful Joyful makes," says planner Cortnie Purdy of Canvas & Canopy. "They're a fun alternative to pillows for the ring bearers, especially because most ring bearers aren't trusted with the actual rings. Guests always love when the little boys are walking down the aisle waving such a happy flag."
Wow Factor12 of 16
Every couple is looking for that one thing that will make their wedding reception stand out from any other. Southern California event planner Lisa Vorce of Oh, How Charming! thinks that master silhouette artist Karl Johnson is one way to make a memorable statement. "In a matter of minutes, he can create two copies of a guest’s silhouette, one for the guest book and one for the guest to take home," she says. Typically, Johnson will mount one copy to a 5-inch-by-7-inch matte for the guest to keep, and then the other copy will be placed in a beautiful scrapbook for the couple.
Light It Up13 of 16
Rice, confetti and bubbles have all had their moment as the go-to accessory for the traditional newlywed exit, but now sparklers are all the rage. "Sparklers at the end of any evening wedding add an incredible finale and fabulous photo op at a very reasonable cost," says Santa Barbara planner Merryl Brown, who orchestrated the fiery celebration shown here. "Just be sure to plan carefully how you will light them all, get all of the guests to line up, and make sure the bride and groom are both ready to walk through the guests while the sparklers are still lit! The results are breathtaking."
Winding Road14 of 16
Unless you tie the knot in a venue with permanently placed rows, you can dream up any seating configuration you wish. One option is a ceremony in the round, in which the guests surround the couple on all sides. Another even more inventive layout is a spiral formation. Says San Francisco planner JoAnn Gregoli of Events of Distinction, who designed the wedding shown here, "Make a statement that keeps guests on the edge of their seats! The standard rows and center aisle are predictable, so surprise them with an innovative experience like a spiral aisle of ottomans."
Over The Rainbow15 of 16
"Some people think that couples have to pick one or two colors and base their whole wedding off of that," says Los Angeles-based wedding publicist and blogger Leila Khalil, "but a new wedding trend is to incorporate every color and have a rainbow-inspired wedding. From the bridesmaid dresses to the flowers, from the decor to the groomsmen's ties, no longer are weddings bound by the traditional color combos." If you have more than six bridesmaids, like the bride shown here, then you'll have to expand your definition of ROYGBV for each one to wear her own unique hue.
Advertise Your Love16 of 16
While traditional newspaper announcements still exist in some communities, more and more modern-day couples are spreading the news of their nuptials via Facebook, Twitter and the like. In Nashville, one joyful couple made a very public display of affection, buying a billboard on a heavily trafficked route to announce their marriage. "The reaction from the people in Nashville was phenomenal," says their Dallas planner Steve Kemble, who suggested the grand gesture. "Both the bride's and groom's phones rang non-stop for one month!"
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