Trends of all kinds can last for just one season or stick around for decades. This is true of wedding trends, too. While the white gowns, loving vows, and festive celebrations will likely remain unchanged, there are plenty of new ideas we can expect to see in future celebrations. To get a look at the wedding trends to come, we asked planners to share the ones they’re gearing up for in 2018.
Wedding food and drinks have been getting more and more unique each year, but Brandi Hamerstone, a wedding planner at All Events Planned, expects to see couples really go for it in 2018. “This trend is happening mostly by a push from the groom!” she adds. “Having a bar with several versions of bourbon (or whisky and tequila), special glassware, and a knowledgeable bartender is a fun concept for everyone. It’s best to have something like this only available through cocktail houror later in the evening as it becomes a focal point and will definitely pull people around and keep them engaged.”
“In the past few years, floral design has taken a completely different turn. Where we primarily saw arrangements on tables, we’re now seeing flowers suspended from the ceiling,” explains Alison Laesser-Keck, event planner and designer at Alison and Bryan. “This creates an ethereal ambience that’s unexpected and multi-sensory. It just transports people and has a huge impact.” If you love the idea of a hanging floral installation, Laesser-Keck says to make sure you hire an experienced floral designer since there are a lot of logistics and liability to think about. “Find someone who will help you visualize the right location in your venue for maximum impact,” she adds. “Installations can be very expensive, so choose a few key places to do them in and make sure it’s where you’ll be spending the most time.”
Gone are the days of all-white, strapless wedding dresses, says Laesser-Keck. “Brides today are forgoing tradition and choosing a dress they love. Some go classic for the ceremony then change into something super fun for the party,” she explains. “Either way, we are definitely going in a direction where brides feel like they can showcase their personalities through their outfit choices.” So if you fall in love a patterned dress or one in an unexpected color, wear it.
Resurgence of ’80s and ’90s Style
“If the runways at New York Fashion Week were any indication, we’re going to be seeing a major comeback of ’80s and ’90s fashion inspiration in weddings next year,” explains Leah Weinberg, wedding planner, owner, and executive planner at Color Pop Events. “From colors like turquoise and hot pink and patterns like splatter paint and geometrics, those decades will inspire bold ideas that will pop up in a variety of ways—on invites, table runners, day-of signage, and much more.”
Expect to see some glam events in 2018. According to Larissa Banting, President of Weddings Costa Rica and founder of The Lazy Bride, metallic color palettes will rule the 2018 wedding scene. “We’re seeing a return to luxe, with sparkling sequins overlays, chargers in every shade of metallics, and chairs in varying shades of gold,” she explains. “We’re seeing gold foil on invitations, menus, seating cards, wine glasses—everywhere!”
Stately, elegant marble will play a big role in upcoming weddings. If your venue already featrues walls or columns in the material, you’re in luck: Use these areas as a ready-made photo booth backgroup. If not, says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance, find other ways to bring the cool stone into your day. “Use marble patterns in smaller, more decorative ways, like on your invitations or wedding cake,” she suggests. “Marble drink coasters could double as place cards and favors, with names scripted in gold on each one.”
Incorporating Your Hobbies and Interests
“Keeping guests entertained and engaged is still popular, and things like open-air photo booths and lawn games are a great way to do that,” says Myriam Michel, owner and creative director of M&M Elite Events. “Couples can make this trend their own by incorporating their hobbies into the reception. For example, this past summer, our couple was big into hookah so we created a custom hookah bar lounge that was a huge hit with all her guests.”
Bold Floral Statements
Hanging installations of blooms aren’t the only floral statement couples will make in 2018. Lehman expects to see bouquet upgrades, too. “We’ve seen lush floral bouquets with large blooms and trailing greenery. This will continue into 2018,” she says. “The colors will be bold, and eclectic, rather than the soft pastels so often used. Oversized bouquets and table arrangements will take center stage, with smaller, more subtle accents of candles and ribbons. We will see more patterned floral gowns for brides and attendants, as well as blooms used creatively in hairstyles.”
Colored, Custom Tuxedos
Good news for the guys: You also have a trend to look forward to. Michel says that more grooms are making bolder fashion choices and will continue to do so next year. “Men’s fashion is stepping out big. They are making bold tuxedo and suit choices, choosing colors like burgundy, plum, and indigo and wearing slim fit cuts,” she says. “We also see grooms wearing custom bow ties and suspenders.”
On Saturday, November 25th, 2017, my fantastic team of vendors and models descended upon the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Canton, Ohio, for a styled bridal photo shoot. I have been planning this event for some time. One of my favorite movies stars Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire – Funny Face. It’s the only movie they ever made together. My video partner, Joseph Testa Productions, filmed the whole day, and put together a great video! We would like to share it with you! Just click the link and enjoy!
It is with great excitement, that I am finally able to announce that the very first styled bridal photo shoot I produced in July of 2016, has been published nationally, in Southern Celebrations Magazine!! We are currently featured in volume 6, on pages 72 -75.
One of the first big decisions you’ll have to make after putting that shiny new ringon your finger is choosing where you want to have your wedding. For many couples, the choice is simple, but for others it can involve a long, drawn-out decision-making process that can months. If you’re not tying the knot in your hometown, your partner’s hometown, or the city you both call home, you’re likely having a destination wedding. Although they’re not for everyone, a destination wedding can provide a sense of excitement (it’s basically a vacation where all of your favorite people are invited) and relief (your second cousins once removed likely won’t make it to Aruba).
To help you decide if you’re the type of couple who should tie the knot away from home, wedding planners took us through the questions they ask clients who are considering a far-flung celebraiton.
Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, points out that, by definition, a destination wedding is one that takes place at least 100 miles away from where you currently live. That’s about the distance between New York City and Hartford, Connecticut. You don’t have to feel any pressure to have your nuptials in a tourist attraction, though they are popular choices for couples planning destination weddings. “You could get married at a somewhat local bed and breakfast or a charming winery,” adds Lehman. “The most important thing is to consider a destination that appeals to your personalities, dreams, and interests.”
Who do you want to be there?
Destination weddings are usually smaller than a hometown wedding would be, as guests have to travel farther for the event. If you’re okay with this, great! If you’re in a situation where you feel obligated to invite several relatives or family friends but don’t really care if they show up, then even better. But it is important to remember that some of your close relatives and friends might not be able to physically travel or afford a plane ticket and hotel stay. Before you book anything, make a list of guests you want by your side, and then see if that core group of people can make it.
Can you afford a wedding planner?
Having a wedding planner is extremely helpful in ensuring your destination eventgoes smoothly. “Hiring someone that has the expertise and experience will greatly help when making decisions on quality and trusted vendors,” says Cristen Faherty, wedding and event planner at Cristen & Co Event Coordination & Design in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “This person could either be a destination planner in your area or a local planner in your destination. Which ever you choose, you have to be willing to give up a little control and trust their recommendations.” Remember, you likely won’t have the luxury of meeting face-to-face with the majority of your vendors, so an on-site planner can represent you from afar.
How flexible are you when it comes to dress code?
Enforcing a black-tie dress code—a tux for men and a formal gown for women—is tough when you’re asking loved ones to pack their wedding attire in a suitcase and travel to what might be a totally different climate. That’s not to say it’s not allowed, but you should be comfortable with the fact that some of your guests might not follow suit (literally). If you’re okay with bare feet and flip flops on the dance floor (or sand), then go for it.
Are you willing to host more than one event?
When all of your wedding guests are traveling far and wide to be there for your big day, they expect that you’ll be hosting more than the ceremony and reception. Many destinations include welcome parties and daytime activities, like scuba diving or horseback riding, for their guests to enjoy more face time with the bride and groom.
Any wedding planner or person who’s walked down the aisle can attest to the fact that there’s no such thing as a wedding going perfectly as planned. There will be bumps in the road to planning and executing your big day. And, while many of the obstacles that may arise can be overcome, others may be completely out of your control, for example postponing a wedding due to weather.
Most winter brides, especially those located in northern regions, are aware that their designated wedding date comes with the chance of snow, but those getting married during the three other seasons usually don’t have the slightest concern over anything more than rain preventing their wedding bells from ringing.
As we’ve come to realize, however, especially in recent years, natural disasters are happening more and more frequently. For this reason, it’s important for brides and grooms, as well as their families and friends, to be prepared for the unimaginable—and uncontrollable.
“It’s important to have a backup plan year round,” says Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events in New Orleans, Louisiana. “You could be contending with any kind of weather on your big day—it really varies depending on the region and situation, so it’s wise to have these conversations about the possibility of postponing a wedding with your wedding planner or coordinator prior to your wedding date.”
While having a plan B, C and even D early on is helpful, not all brides and grooms will—or can—be completely prepared. So if you get to the point in your wedding where postponing your wedding is imminent, here are expert strategies for how to handle the situation.
Step One: Ask for help
Even the most precise, organized and by-the-book wedding has its share of missing components. This means you likely won’t be able to handle all the tiny to-dos yourself. And this is especially true when dealing with something as catastrophic as a natural disaster. “If you are also personally affected with the crisis of a weather-related scenario (like we had here in Texas recently where bride’s home and her wedding venues were under water), you’ll need to enlist supportive help,” explains Cheryl Bailey of Yellow Umbrella Events in Austin, Texas. “Ideally, get the help of someone who’s not in the same situation as you, like your wedding planner or a friend or family member outside of the affected area, who can help you make decisions and start emailing and making calls.”
“The sooner a couple gets in touch with their venue, the more options they will have surrounding the cancellation and hopefully not lose out on their deposits,” says Wendy Collins of Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Remember that your venue is at the very center of your big day, as it will virtually house all of the rest of your vendors, like your DJ or band, florist, officiant, etc. Bailey suggests working out a plan with your venue in regards to how you should move forward when it comes to postponing your wedding. For example, moving your wedding to the night before or the next day. If this option isn’t available to you, Bailey recommends choosing an entirely new wedding date and time. “It’s important to try and secure this new date immediately, as other weddings will likely be in the same situation as you and the next available dates may fill up quickly.”
Step Three: Contact the rest of your vendors
Once you’ve established a plan of attack, and have a new wedding date secured, email all of your vendors and make them aware of the situation. “It’s easiest to email the entire group of vendors at once with a blanket statement about what is happening and then all vendors can be in the loop,” says Bailey. “Most vendors are very understanding when it comes to a weather-related situation that’s out of your control and will be very accommodating if you need to reschedule, as long as they have your new date available.” Do remember, however, that some of them may be booked on your new date, so you may lose your security deposit. “If you should need to book new vendors, such as a DJ or a photographer, your wedding planner can help you find the right ones quickly through their extensive network,” adds Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio.
This one will likely be the most time-consuming, since you’ll likely have to reach out to certain friends or relatives via telephone as opposed to easier methods like email or social media. Bailey suggests starting by including as many guests as you have emails for on one email with information regarding the cancellation of your wedding and including information for a contact person they can reach out to in case they need further assistance.” Don’t hesitate to use your social media network, too. “Social media is your friend when postponing a wedding” she says. “You can always post on Facebook to let guests know what’s happening, or even start a private Facebook group where you add all of your guests, and even vendors, with the details of the cancellation and the reschedule date and details.” And be sure to update your wedding websitewith any updated information.
Step Five: Take a deep breath
By this point, overwhelmed doesn’t come close to describe how you and your partner are feeling. But, Bailey points out that the most important thing is that you and your guests are safe and out of harm’s way. “Stop, breathe deeply and calmly and focus on yourself and your partner and the fact that you are both together and able to handle this situation as a couple,” she says. Hold hands, hug, cry, laugh, pray—whatever you need to do to get by until you finally get to say say “I do!”
I am simply blown away by Lauren and Brandon’s gorgeous styled session! A real couple who were the perfect fit for this surprise engagement brunch with friends and family on the side. Lauren loves bold, and bright colors so a Lilly Pulitzer theme was perfect for this brunch. The color scheme of pink, magenta, and marigold really added to the overall classy and sophisticated vibe of the garden setup in Sippo Lake Park, Ohio. That adorable table setting that matches their bridesmaid’s gifts is also noteworthy! Brittany Shelley Photography did a great job of capturing the essentials of this styled engagement brunch, so if you want to see it all, scroll away!
We’re All About the Details!
The Lilly Pulitzer Themed Table
Lilly Pulitzer prints have always been the star of vibrant fashion and merging it with the outdoor brunch design and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous inspiration.
Lauren loves bright and bold colors and this themed design is simply perfect! Filled with gorgeous flowers and printed table runners, this design would fit your desire for a vibrant themed outdoor brunch.
Lauren wore a blush embroidered dress that looks great with Brandon’s white long sleeve and his printed bow tie.
The Bloom Sign
The bloom sign is just a wonderful addition to their decorations. Literally saying that with this engagement their love is simply blooming towards forever.
About the Photographer
I’m a fine art portrait photographer for couples who are in love and what to show it through freezing time located in Clinton, Ohio. I specialize in engagement portraits. I value my clients and the love they have. I don’t just capture their love. I make it shine through the lens. I believe that love is the most powerful thing and my goal is to show how powerful it really is in imagery. My clients usually invests $300.00 for my services. If I sound like the right fit to capture your fairytale you can reach me at 330-209-0501. I love forward to hearing your story.
Take this Advice
Don’t stress about it! What is there to stress about? Love is all you need. Details aren’t as important as you two sharing your first kiss as a married couple. ~Brittany Reed/Photographer