(This article originally appeared in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)
Weddings can call to mind such timeless moments and elegant couples as Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III in 1956, or Lady Diana’s nuptials to Prince Charles in 1981. Though we can’t all be royalty, for one special day every bride is a princess and every groom is her Prince Charming.
Over the centuries some traditions have lasted while others have faded away. Warding off evil spirits is a thing of the past but, as Jane Fonda comically depicts in the 2005 film Monster-in-Law, dealing with the in-laws is forever.
Before saying the ‘I Do’s’ are some Dos and Don’ts of 2017. According to Vogue, there’s a fine line between trendy and tasteless at receptions. Trade out a rustic vibe in place of mountain-elegance, it’ll have a longer lasting effect in pictures. In line, kick off the cowboy boots or sneakers and keep fancy footwear.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen date back to Ancient Rome as decoys for jealous suitors. Today, have your friends at your wedding but only your closest friends in the bridal party, there’s no need for several best friends. Despite what your tipsy maid of honor may tell you, as ‘cutetini’ as your drink name may be, keep cocktails to something recognizable, like a Moscow Mule, Pimm’s Cup, or Sidecar.
Remember that time dancing to your favorite song only to be interrupted for your steak, salmon, or chicken dinner? It’s time to change the beat. Switch out formal dining fare for familiar fare, a meal that will keep the energy alive and lighthearted like the music. And while food trucks are still acceptable they are a ticking time bomb towards becoming outdated, put those gears in reverse.
When it comes to the cake, like the rest of the wedding, it shouldn’t be naked. Dress it up with simple accents and tiers. Lastly, the tradition of the bride’s family paying for a wedding dates back to dowries. In an age where marriage is equal, so should the bill paying.
Themes and unique locations are the fun of weddings of today. Off the beaten path destinations are on the rise. Adios, Cabo and hallo, Iceland. Faith Cowell, the Banquet Sales Manager of East Wind Long Island in Wading River, continues to notice a green theme. “We are seeing a lot of couples decorating using lanterns and votive candles and a hot trend in wedding favors is to give out succulent plants.” Having trees in a venue location is also common.
The days of all white weddings could be well behind us as color is making a comeback. According to BridalGuide.com, the color of the future is ‘blush rose’ pink, along with touches of copper, rose gold, and pewter metallic. Brightly lit accents across a relatively neutral toned theme are representative of the bride and groom. Floral designs of peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, dahlias, and soft petal flowers across the tables or hanging above guests heads are becoming popular. The emphasis in modern floral design is the appearance of effortless imperfection.
“Couples are often accessorizing their tables using mason jars filled with flowers to complete the rustic look. Vintage themes with lace, blush pinks, and light grey colors are also hot. Using a lot of candles both high and low with crystals hanging from them as centerpieces adds to this elegant look,” Cowell said.
Brides.com expects wedding décor to take on new heights with tall tapers in glass trumpets and low lighting. “Couples are getting very creative and customizing their wedding for a look that matches their style,” Cowell informed. Pinecone fire starters are a new wedding favor designed to share the flame of love.
The days of walking into a room with simple rhythmic clapping are in the past. Elaborate entrances with attention-grabbing stunts, such as choreographed dancing, are starting the party immediately.
“At East Wind we encourage our couples to be creative as they like. Whether it is The Estate, The Grand Ballroom, The Veranda or The Cottage, each room is a blank canvas for them to create into anything they’re dreaming of for their big day,” Cowell explained.
In moving towards the future, 2017 will be a tech savvy year. Virtual planning, online registries, drones, live-streaming, 3D printing, transitional dresses, Instagram phrases, and Snapchat geofilters are all part of millennial weddings. Hashtag #TheFutureIsNow.
Whether you’re in the midst of planning your fairytale ending or still writing your story, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”