2015 Wedding Trends
Author: Kitty Bartell
Trends may change like the direction of the wind, but weddings will never go out of style. A proposal is made, and with a simple yes, kismet sets sail on the wonderful world of wedding planning. Historically, engaged couples were expected to follow a rather narrow path to the altar. Tradition, church, family, class, community, and often Emily Post-inspired etiquette dictated the when, where, and how of the nuptials. My how times have changed; thanks to the redefining of culture and family, and the advent of the burgeoning creative community on social media sites such as Pinterest and Facebook, wedding planning is now limited only by what can be imagined. What’s trending in weddings gives couples, designers, wedding planners, and caterers the seeds of inspiration for creating the most personal of celebrations where there are few rules to break.
So just what is trending for the upcoming wedding season? The colors for 2015 promise romance, a touch of elegance, along with a bit of bohemian, with a palette of cool, subtle blues and greens, corals, neutral tans, and ethereal metallics. One of the first and most influential decisions made when planning a wedding just may be the color scheme. It sets the mood and becomes the starting point for every design decision going forward. En Plein Air, translated as nature, is the name given to the color palette presented by Pantone® in their Fashion Color Report for spring 2015—colors now spilling into every area of design, including weddings. This softer color story is creating a “quiet zone” through color, said Leatrice Eiseman, color influencer and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. The soothing, ethereal tones are providing an escape from fast-paced, high-tech lives, where weddings are romantic oases.
En Plein Air is translating beautifully to wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, with styles ranging from romantic to bohemian, and in colors from classic white to the most on-trend painterly silver gray pastels.
According to theknot.com, the holy grail of wedding websites, several design trends are repeating themselves on runways everywhere: naked lace detail with soft lace set on a nude underlay; crop-tops showing a bit of midriff; lattice details with the timeless look of netting or basket-weave; light-as-air skirts with layers of silk and tulle; gowns with pretty, flowing capes; column beadwork with rows and layers of vertical beading; figure-hugging drop waists with full skirts; embellished backs with embroidery or lace appliques; and sexy plunging V-necks… ooh la la.
Classic white or ivory engraved invitations are always on-point and perfect for more traditional celebrations; however, many couples are going off-script and incorporating theme, color, and personality into their save-the-dates, invitations, programs, and place cards. Now a standard, the save-the-date announcement ensures that guests have the opportunity to make travel arrangements and get the big day on their calendars.
Whether printed on refrigerator magnets, incorporating unique photos, or sent via email, save–the-dates are including important information for potential guests, including the couple’s wedding website (a trending must), the event’s personal hash tag (again, trending big-time and required for sharing photos), and even a checklist for the guests to follow to make reservations, arrange for pet sitters, acquire appropriate attire, or where to purchase a gift for the happy couple. Once the invitations are mailed, skipping the R.S.V.P. card is trending. Guests are asked to respond on the wedding website, where even more detailed information is provided about the couple and the wedding events and schedule.
Flowers have decidedly shifted from being simply lovely accents, to a major player in the wedding décor, wedding attire, and the budget. The trending En Plein Air palette is being beautifully designed into bridal bouquets, bridal and attendant crowns, as well as decorating wedding and reception venues. According to Kelly Lack, editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, lush and luxurious arrangements are seen at both wildly expensive events as well as at more budget-friendly weddings. Romantic blooms such as hydrangea, hyacinth, and orchids, as well as massed bunches of wild flowers are trending, with foliage and stems intentionally tucked out of sight. The bride’s traditional throwing of the bouquet is on a downward trend with only 25 percent of brides making it part of their wedding. Instead, brides are presenting each of their bride’s maids with a breakaway bouquet styled after her own arrangement, as a token of appreciation, thankfully resulting in fewer humiliating videos of dress-up-over-your-head dives.
One of the most popular style trends from 2014 that is continuing into 2015 is the elegant-rustic wedding theme, said Tracey Mancini, wedding and event specialist at Celebrations Catering & Events on Hilton Head Island. Whether the wedding venue is in a home, hall, or ballroom, on the beach, in a barn, on a boat, or in a tent, the rustic farmhouse look of raw tables mixed with elegant linens, crystal chandeliers, burlap, and barn wood boxes or vintage bottles and jars filled with masses of wildflowers sets a romantic stage. White twinkle lights continue trending, creating starry-filled ceilings, along with gold and silver mercury glass candleholders and accents for table décor, said wedding and event specialist Jackie Brino of Celebrations.
Seating assignments have become a new way to interject some personality into the festivities. One trending approach is open seating, where guests select their own seat and mix and mingle as they like. For events with seating assignments, large, rustic, glass-paned windows have become a unique way to get the job done. Tables are rarely numbered traditionally (1, 2, 3, 4). Now guests may be assigned to a table commemorating a special vacation spot for the couple (the Hilton Head Island table), or activities they enjoy (the Kayaking, Golf, Tennis, or Juggling table). Windowpanes are being used to assign seats, display photos, and share stories.
Menu selection and service styles are trending away from the buffet, with more receptions leaning towards a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres vibe, or a seated-plated service. According to the wedding section of huffpost.com, cocktail-style receptions with rented lounge furniture and low, clubby lighting are creating modern, intimate events; and where seated service is chosen, the bride and groom are electing to pamper their guests a bit more. Of course the tiered wedding cake is still a classic choice. However, custom cake pops and decadent filled cupcakes are trending in a big way right now.
Some other out-of-the-box ideas appearing on the 2015 schedules of engaged couples and wedding planners include reception photo booths for guests to do a little mugging for the camera, sparklers instead of rice or birdseed for the couple’s send-off (great photos are a bonus here), and the genius-idea of scheduling a food truck waiting outside for guests to visit as the reception winds down—no one wants the party to end!
Like much of what’s trending for modern weddings, the guest experience is a big part of the planning. It is no longer only about the bride and groom, but how the couple can uniquely share their joy with the people who mean the most to them, all while designing an event where everyone has the time of their lives. Aren’t we all just a little grateful that weddings will never go out of style?