There’s no doubt that weddings have undergone some big changes in recent years. As couples are waiting longer to walk down the aisle, they are more in control of the kind of wedding they have. Older, more experienced couples simply have more resources, more support and more drive to create their own personal Perfect Day. As a result, we’ve seen some major changes to how weddings look when compared to traditional ceremonies of previous generations.
With that in mind, 2017 is poised to be one of the most dynamic years yet. With LGBT weddings going mainstream, blended families incorporating family members into the service and inter-faith and cross-cultural couples stepping out and celebrating their differences, this year offers plenty of opportunity for couples to express themselves.
We have combed through posts on websites, blogs, forums and magazines to check out the newest trends and figure out which are the best for divers, inclusive couples. So settle in and get ready to plan your Dream Wedding.
Real Life Rainbows
Gay weddings aren’t the only ones sporting plenty of color in 2017. While LGBT couples have a long history of incorporating the rainbow flag or its individual colors into their weddings, the trend for more color has become popular for all couples. Major labels and designers like Theia, Kate Spade and Vera Wang all designing colorful wedding gown options. Men’s suits have been a bit slower to catch on with bright colors but we’ve seen a big upswing in colorful designs from Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren and Omar Farooq. This year, we are likely to see brides, grooms and extended wedding parties exploding with color. From rainbow rings, beautifully colored wedding sets and, of course, dresses and tuxedos that positively pop with color. Couples can maintain a sense of uniformity and unity by choosing the same style, using coordinating colors or incorporating other common threads or themes.
Custom Cultural Touches
Some people balk at using the word “ethnic” but it works as a good catch-all for embodying the myriad options you have when to comes to including little touches from your own cultural background into your wedding. Even for couples who haven’t always been big into embracing their heritage find that incorporating aspects of us into their wedding gives them a newfound respect and understanding for where they come from. So If you’re looking for a way to make your wedding both a celebration of a new beginning while honoring where you both come from, why not look for religious, cultural or even familial traditions you can work into the service or celebration.
Like the just about everything else in this world, the Internet has changed the landscape of wedding planning forever. There are dozens of applications, websites and forums that can help couples with every step of the planning process. Pantone Studio, for example, helps couples choose the right color palate by taking the guesswork out of which colors compliment others. Once you’re ready to begin the actual planning, there’s even more online help. Couples who have an etsy shop they especially love can request custom jobs from vendors. Handyman, clerical and other routine tasks can be parceled out to bidders on websites like Task Rabbit and Fiverr. Best of all you can keep track of your own lists, resources, links and to dos on LadyMarry, a project management app geared specifically for weddings. Don’t let the gender-assignment name put you off – sure it’s pink but it offers an easy to use interface that puts everything you need in once place.
Cloud Based Collaborative Planning
Since planning online is now so common, it makes sense that ways for people to share information and responsibilities. Cloud based apps for sharing links, messages, documents and To Do lists have multiplied in recent years and couples can choose from several options based on their needs.
- BaseCamp – Basecamp weighs in as the single most robust task and document sharing system that is simple, streamlined and easy to use – for a price. With plans starting at around $50 a month, couples may want to consider how important it is for them to be able share and communicate with the wedding party. But for those willing to spend a bit of coin, you’ll have access to the same project management software used by major companies and organizations.
- Remember The Milk – Remember the Milk is one of the more well-known task management apps – and for good reason. It gives users the ability to tag tasks by location and plan sequential tasks which makes map plotting and time management almost easy.
- Google Hangouts & Docs – Sometimes we can underestimate free tools but for all intents and purposes, the Google Hangout & Docs tools give groups pretty much everything they need in order to get things done. It lacks some of the extra features and bells and whistles the other platforms have but it gets the job done and doesn’t put a dent in your budget.
Locally Sourced Menus
Farm to table restaurants and a new generation of food trucks have made using local vendors for food not only stylish but downright delicious. For many couples, it’s as easy as approaching their favorite small plate diners or food truck professionals and asking about catering options. For couples who are still exploring the local food scene, check out the local eats and recommendations on travel websites like Trip Advisor and LocalEats.
Wedding favors have come a long way since the days of personalized matchbooks and hard candy mints in custom wrappers. Couples can choose from a huge variety of favors and keepsakes guests will love to take home. From custom made hot sauce and love potions to handmade soap and mini gardens, the possibilities are almost endless.
Some may say that the internet has ruined written communication, but there’s a whole new wave of stationers who would beg to differ. Since invitations are the first impression guests will have of the upcoming nuptials may couples choose to set the tone for the theme of their wedding right away. For some that means opting for a more traditional approach of invitations printed on luxurious cardstock or linen while for others it means opting for invitations with a comic twist or keepsake invitations.
Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola was an amateur archaeologist. In 1875 he began exploring the Altamira cave in Spain. For four years he explored the cave hoping to find something – ANYTHING – that was worth sharing. His daughter, Maria, would often ask to join him but he turned her down. After four years of searching, however, he finally relented and that changed everything. As they entered the cave with their torches his daughter gasped and said “Look, Papa, Bulls!” Sautuola followed his daughter’s gaze to the ceiling above which was covered with images of bison. In all those years, he had never looked above his head.
Many couples have found that using vertical space wisely can invoke that same sense of childlike wonder in their guests. By using floral chandeliers, Edison bulbs and other quirky lighting and ceiling decorations, couples can truly transform their venue into a whole new world.
Inspired by Mother Nature
If the recent trend in reconnecting with Mother Nature has taught us anything, it’s that there is true beauty in imperfection. Natural bouquets are rarely symmetrical and don’t have the same ‘tied and tidy’ look as planned bouquets but they are coming increasingly popular. These bouquets are perfect for couples who want something that looks natural and organic – something that shows their connection with each other and the world around them.
It used to be the only way couples could encourage more guest interaction was by getting creative with the seating chart for the reception. Today, couples are more likely to get creative when it comes to ways for guests to break the ice and get to know one another. After all, how often are you going to have the chance to introduce your Uncle Isa to the college roommate who introduced you to the pleasures of high-quality whiskey? Options for easy and fun ice-breakers for guests include interactive food stations, life-size Jenga sets, yard games and even unique entertainers like fire-breathers in order to get guests talking.