With every new year comes an abundance of new and exciting trends, and as many of you know, nothing excites me more than a good wedding. Despite having already tied the knot and now being very happily married, I’m still hot on all things wedding related; the young girl in me can’t quite let that go. I still have a handful of beautiful friends waiting to make those very special vows, and of course my beautiful readers need inspiration and help, so really I need no other excuse!
Recent years have seen brides recreate something straight out of the movies, but traditional was very much the way things were still being done. 2016 brings a new sense of fun for wedding planning, as it’s now so much more about personality and showcasing what makes you a couple rather than something straight off a generic Pinterest board. With weddings still being top of many loved up couple’s priority lists, it’s all about making it an experience your guests have not yet had, giving couples a chance to create their own personal spin on romance and their own special day.
So what are they saying we should be doing to capture the romance of it all this year? Ambience is everything apparently, and weddings have a tendency to get a little crowded. Despite originally saying you’d like it to be an intimate affair, there’s always one long lost cousin and his family that you can’t not invite. Lighting is key for making sure your mood is not lost amongst the madness. The same way you’d light a cosy dinner party with your nearest and dearest, use lighting to create the intimate affair you envisage. Barns are still a hot venue, rustic chic is a definite yes, so let out your inner boho. Use candles, whether they are real or you source electric candles which let out a very warming moody glow, both are still very effective. Hanging lanterns are another great way to create an intimate cosy affair, and will be talked about by your guests.
I’ve often thought the traditional layout for receptions and weddings is far too similar to that of a conference. At my wedding, we opted for a much less formal layout by placing people on long tables, which allowed for much more interaction between the guests. It also helps to avoid any possible awkward conversation between those who you didn’t quite know where to place, so put them all together on the last table remaining if you’re stuck. With a more relaxed and informal style of seating arrangement comes a similar trend in regards to eating; Gueridon style service is back in a big way, and perhaps this is a natural transition with the more relaxed seating concept, as it is no longer mandatory to provide a formal three course meal. This style is perfect for foodies who love to pick at lots of tasty little bits, for example; salads, customisable appetisers, various meats and appetising sides. It encourages people to really get stuck in whilst also allowing them choice, something that has been very rare in the traditional wedding food on offer. Again this really feels like the kind of mood and set up you’d ideally have for a dinner party, a celebration of those you love and a feast for everyone to get stuck in and enjoy with no pressure to be too ‘formal’.
As much as we love seeing our beloved friends get married, as guests our first thought is often on that fun part in the evening. Yes, the party! After travelling to the other side of the country and forking out for a hotel for the weekend, it’s important to really make the most of the evening entertainment. As planners it’s time to get a little creative with your evening options, similar to your meal seating plan and lighting to create a homely relaxed environment, look to continue that vibe with a lounge area, reminiscent of one that you’d expect to see in a nice cocktail bar or lounge. To me, it makes perfect sense to create environments that both you, your partner and friends will all love. Why not capture those moments by creating a feeling of familiarity? As for the alcohol itself, personalised options are set to be big in 2016. Attention to detail and personal touches will never go unmissed.
Whether you decide on two styles, a his and hers combination, or cocktails that represent certain moments in your lives together so far, it is a beautiful little touch and worth that extra attention. A personal hate of mine is weddings that do not cater for those who are not on the alcohol. Remember the pregnant ladies, children and those who are driving. Mocktails are a great option here or even better, grown up popsicles. Yes, frozen delights that are sure to be well and truly devoured on those hot summer afternoons!
The real message here is that it’s OK this year to break traditions; it was most likely OK last year but finally Pinterest and the online wedding world have confirmed it for us all. Say yes to a more relaxed, personal wedding that encompasses everything both you and your loved one represent. Say yes to hand-picked wild flowers, include fresh herbs within your table decorations and your foodie guests are sure to take advantage. Be fun and playful and it should all fall naturally for you. Do check out my earlier post this month on how to choose the best wedding venue for you, it’s sure to add further ideas to your ever growing mood board.