Planning a wedding can be a year long process that can be filled with do’s and don’ts, traditions and new styles. Some wedding trends last for years (vintage themes and mason jars anyone?), and others look out of date in the blink of an eye. Here are some classic wedding trends that are making a comeback with good reason:
1. Wedding Favors I’m not talking about a bag of jordan almonds, mini tubes of bubbles, koozies, or personalized chocolate bars. Classic wedding favors were a gift from the bride and groom as a thank you for witnessing and taking part of your wedding day. There’s no need to personally select individual gifts for every guest. Nobody’s got time for that! The gifts should be something your guests could use every day: a cork coaster set, personalized glasses, a cheese knife, or wine stopper. When personalizing, remember that less is more; your guests aren’t going to want to keep a glass if it’s got you and your significant other’s names in four-inch-high letters all over it! Simple, understated, and your guests will hold onto it forever.
2. Bouquets for Everyone When I say the word corsage, do you think of prom? So does everyone else. Corsages are awkward and heavy; I usually try to pin them onto a bra strap so they will stay upright all night. Dial the clock back 40 years and every woman in the bridal party had a bouquet! Your mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and even your favorite aunt were given small ‘posy’ bouquets. This is a way to remind them of their own wedding days and the joy they felt. To really make them special, have the florist make posy bouquets using the same flowers of their original wedding bouquets.
3. Morning Ceremony, Afternoon Reception Who didn’t watch Prince William and Kate get married in 2011? It has long been an English tradition to have the ceremony in the morning and then share a ‘Wedding Breakfast’ with their guests. Since the 1970s, ceremony times have been pushed back later and later in the day, but earlier ceremonies are making a comeback! It’s now quite common to see a 2 or 3pm ceremony start on an invitation. Why not 11 am? Have a large brunch reception, take a nap with your new spouse, and then go out with friends that evening.
4. Groomsmen in the Processional It used to be tradition that when a bride chose her bridesmaids, the groomsmen would be their ‘dates’ for the evening. During the ceremony processional, the groomsmen would escort the bridesmaids up and down the aisle to the altar. This is a great way to change up the traditional bridal entrance.
5. Receiving Line Receiving lines are a great way to greet and speak to all your guests without tracking them down all over the reception! As guest lists expanded in the mid 1990’s-2000’s, receiving lines have fallen out of favor because who wants to stand there for 45 minutes greeting each guest? As guest lists shrink with the idea of creating a more personal experience for your guests, it is once again feasible to greet and thank everyone. As a plus, everyone knows that interactions in a receiving line are to be kep short, so you don’t get stuck in a 30-minute conversation with Great Aunt Myrtle! Ask your wedding planner to create special time (at the beginning or end of the reception) to have a receiving line.
6. Champagne Toasts Travel back in time to any wedding in the 1950s and 60s and every guest sipped on champagne; but during the 1980’s and 1990’s and it was only served for the toasts. Why? Champagne became very expensive when, in the early 1990’s, many Californian vineyards were almost wiped out due to disease. Great champagne once again because a luxury item, and it became tradition for guests to toast with their choice of beverage. Lately, champagne and sparkling wines have come roaring back into style, with Californian, Italian, and Argentinean vineyards pumping out hundreds barrels of bubbly in dozens of styles. Additionally, the rising popularity of Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine), which can be more economical and just as tasty, corks are popping again! Which brings me to number 7.
7. Champagne Towers There is almost nothing more eye-catching than a huge pyramid of crystal coupe champagne glasses towering over your guests and the delicate cascade of golden champagne trickling from glass to glass. If you want to make an elegant statement at your reception, this is it. When I build a champagne tower for my clients, I feel like a drum roll is needed. Everyone holds their breath and bursts into applause when it is completed! I also often encourage my clients to have a Prosecco tower for their guests, and save a very nice bottle of Champagne for themselves.
8. The Honeymoon Change Another advantage of having an early wedding is that you can leave for your honeymoon that evening. If you do, you’ll need to change clothes. Can you imagine trying to get through airport security in your wedding dress? It sounds like an SNL skit! Do The Honeymoon Change! At the end of the reception, you and your significant other change into fashionable (and comfortable!) travelling clothes and head out. Leave the dress and shoes for your wedding planner to pack up and leave the reception feeling 20 pounds lighter.
9. Last Dance The last dance has been popular for a few years now, it is a quiet moment for you and your significant at the end the night. Some guests may stay and watch you, but it’s also a great opportunity for your wedding planner to get your guests arranged for your exit. Talk with your wedding planner and DJ (or band) about the last five songs of the night and discuss your last dance song. It’s almost as important as your first!
10. Decorate the Getaway Car The getaway car has not been too popular because of safety concerns. You and your significant other have plenty to drink and no one should be driving! More and more couples are offering shuttle services for their guest to keep everyone safe. Not to mention that tying cans or shoes to the back of your car can quickly become litter, and streamers can be a distraction. There are still great ways to decorate the car! Window chalk, small balloons, temporary car wraps, or glitter poured on the bumper so when the happy couple drives away it flies off. There’s lots of fun and safe ways to surprise the couple the next day.
Photo by Richard Israel.