By: Deborah Witt for Bridal Guide
There's a strong spirit of individualism in the air this new year, with couples keen on infusing their ceremonies and receptions with personality — their own.
"Couples want to communicate who they are," says Allison Laesser-Keck, of Viva La Diva Events in southeast Michigan. "They, of course, want their wedding to be elegant and Magical and still very fun for their guests. But they also want all of the details to reflect who they are as a couple, their tastes. The result is a wedding that feels very personal and unique."
How does all of this individuality come together? In the details, of course! Here are the most noteworthy wedding trends we've got our eye on this year.
1. British invasion. Credit the unwavering appeal of Princess Kate and Downton Abbey for the influx of stylish details that bring to mind afternoon tea and garden parties. For this look, dining al fresco is a popular choice. Tables are often uncovered or simply adorned with a vintage lace cloth. Lush garlands get turned into runners and loosely styled floral centerpieces hang from above.
2. Top blooms: English roses, ￼peonies, hydrangeas, dahlias and ranunculus continue to be go-to favorites among brides. "They're dramatic, they're romantic and they're versatile, so they look perfect whether you're planning a traditional affair or something more relaxed," says New York City event planner Shawn Rabideau.
3. Gaga for greenery. "My brides can't get enough greenery," says Laesser-Keck. Herbs like rosemary and mint, lemon leaf, magnolia leaf, ivy, smilax and maidenhair fern are being strung together and used in surprising ways — as table runners or chair swags, to frame cocktail menus, to redefine tent ceilings or to give chandeliers a soft edge.
4. Buttons and ribbons and gems.Couples will be generating excitement for their celebration by wowing guests with an invitation suite that's delivered in attention-grabbing style: wrapped in shimmery cellophane; boxed in decorative paper; tied up with ribbon, leather rope or baker's twine; studded with crystals; or adorned with dried flowers.
5. Selfie-sational. "Couples are spending money on fun, professional engagement photos so why not use more of them?" says Angela Ferrara, of Pear Tree Greetings. She's noted a significant uptick in couples choosing invitations and save-the-dates that feature photography — anything from formal portraits to action shots to quirky set-ups.
6. Champagne with a twist. Champagne towers have returned — big time — for formal affairs. A more casual, colorful option: mixing in fruit purées to create a signature cocktail that matches your palette.
7. Smaller sips. Be the flights of craft beer; shots of different bourbons; wine samplings; sangria that goes from white to pink to deep red; or even a lemonade or fizzy soda bar, couples are letting guests sample an array of beverages. These types of different drink stations are yet another way to let guests peek into your personal tastes, with the added bonus of helping you keep your bar budget in check.
8. Family-style dining. Guest interaction is a big goal for today's couples. And nothing gets a conversation started quite like a meal served family style, with guests passing beautifully plated entrées and sides. "It's relaxing and works well with both upscale and laid-back settings," says Dan Stacy, executive chef of Royal Fig Catering in Austin, Texas.
9. Just a taste, please. Tasting stations have taken over the cocktail hour, with couples showing off their favorite foods in manageable portions. From oyster shucking stations and mac 'n cheese bars, to make-it-your-own taco stands to local food trucks pulling right up to the patio, the idea is to surprise your guests with an unexpected assortment of party food.
10. Tempting-to-touch texture, especially ruffled and tulle looks, will be very important for cakes in 2015. Lace patterns, pleats, and textured buttercream frosting also remain strong trends for brides going for a vintage or soft, romantic feel. For a modern wedding, the texture might be a three-dimensional lattice, herringbone or other geometric pattern. Another tactile approach is to have your designer roll out black fondant and hand-paint it to look like a chalkboard.
11. Special flavors. Couples are choosing cake flavors that are rooted in their hometowns or family heritage, where they began dating or a favorite destination. Honey lavender, coconut, and zucchini lime are just a few that Rachel Teufel, the owner and designer of Intricate Icings Cake Design in Denver, offers. Elsewhere across the country, we're hearing about blueberry, chai tea latté, aztec hot chocolate, caramel apple cider and more. Yum!
12. What's old is new. Couples are requesting updated renditions of wedding classics. Instead of Etta James's soulful "At Last," for example, they might choose the acoustic version by Jason Mraz. Or swap Elvis's "Can't Help Falling in Love" with indie-pop sensation Ingrid Michaelson's re-interpretation.
13. '70s style bands, aka "yacht rock." Think Hall & Oates, Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers. What started as an underground music movement based on the comedic TV/online series "Yacht Rock," this musical genre is gaining major play at weddings. "We're not the typical wedding band," says Nicholas Niespodziani of Atlanta's Yacht Rock Revue (Yrr). "But the dance floor is always full." Like Yrr, most of these style bands dress in period garb, complete with polyester suits and Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Party on!
14. Edible favors will reign supreme. Not just mini-jars of jam, but food kits — boxes stuffed with all the fixings for a yummy late-night snack or a morning-after brunch. Check out 25 edible favors your guests won't leave behind
15. Framed for the occasion. An artisanal, artistic twist on the photo booth, couples are hiring an onsite silhouette artist. Guests can pose for a short sitting and leave with a very personal memento.