Long ago are the days of tulle-lined aisles, guys wearing boutonnieres as big as their heads, and guests bustling from a quaint church to a big banquet hall. Those things that used to scream “WEDDING!” are now just out dated, and even unnecessary. Trends come and go in this industry, but traditions “evolve”.
“Turn your head to the side, line up, tallest in the center….” Posing is OUT. Traditional wedding albums are a bore, and photographers have become ingenious at creating a picture you never knew happened. Creative locations and backdrops, active “poses”, and intimate engagement and boudoir sessions have replaced the traditional wedding poses of the bride and groom and their wedding party and families.
LET THEM EAT CAKE!!!!! Let’s face it, not everyone gets excited about a 5 tier, white fondant frosted cake. With caterers constantly upping their game with innovations, the wedding cake can be replaced with more guest friendly cupcakes, seasonal dessert stations, or even pies.
Weddings are more “designed” and personal than ever. Each element is carefully selected to create a cohesive design scheme that reflects the bride and groom and what is important to them. Receiving lines have been replaced by guests holding sparklers, tulle draped down the aisle has been replaced by vases full of submerged orchids, traditional ceremonies have taken a backseat to an intimate marriage conducted by a family friend or relative. Brides are more aware of what the wedding means to themselves rather than upholding a tradition.
Flowers will always be a must at a wedding, but corsages and boutonnieres are becoming a thing of the past. Mom doesn’t want a wobbly thing on her wrist all night, and websites like etsy.com have come up with creative ways to forgo the traditional boutonniere. Even using a bold, brightly colored pocket square looks classier. Church decor has dramatically decreased, and is often forgone, because brides want their budget to go toward making the reception fabulous. Couples really want to create that “Wow!” factor at their reception. So, say goodbye to aisle runners, elaborate unity candles, wreaths on church doors, and yes, tulle.
Budget is more important than ever because mommy and daddy don’t always foot the bill anymore. More and more couples are paying for their own weddings. And the groom’s parents don’t always host a rehearsal dinner, provide transportation, or pay for portions of the flower bill. Brides need to be really creative in how they want to create the wedding of their dreams. They need to select vendors who are helpful in this mission!
If a couple, or their family, doesn’t belong to a church, or is looking for a way to be a bit more economical, they will most likely have their ceremony and reception in the same location. Reception venues have done a tremendous job at creating a ceremony that can still feel intimate and traditional, and then completely transform the same space into a hopping reception in no time. Couples can trim their budget by having their centerpieces serve as double duty for ceremony decor, and cut down on transportation costs for the bridal party and close family. The trifecta is when you choose a venue that is also a hotel. Perfect for a couple who have a lot of out of town guests.
Invitations used to be selected out of a book or bought at a store. Nowadays, everything is custom. “Just for you” is the mantra the wedding industry puts forth, and brides and grooms eat it up. You want your wedding to be all about you, unique, different, special. Just the opposite of “traditional”. You still can’t send out e-vites for your wedding, but you can forgo some of the traditional etiquette of using inner and outer envelopes, addresses can be printed and not hand written, and you can use a post card as a response card. And there is a magnificent stationer available to custom create all your save the date cards, menu cards, place cards, invitations, and thank you cards, to have a “branding” that reflects the bride and groom perfectly.
Typically we think of bands and DJ’s providing the entertainment at the reception. But nowadays, bride’s are looking for something more dramatic to surprise her guests. The couple might include a simple cigar rolling bar, or a late night hot dog vendor, or having a photo booth at the cocktail hour to entertain guests. We have seen fortune tellers, magicians, and even hot air balloon rides to give guests a real taste of excitement at a wedding.
What is the take away from all this? Tradition has been replaced by “custom” and the bride is all about creating a day that is a reflection of herself, well designed, run smoothly, is economical, and surprises her guests. Weddings have become EVENTS!, not just rites of passage.