I’m a wedding blogger—it’s my job to pay attention to industry trends. I know what’s ‘in,’ ‘out,’ and timeless. But the biggest catch 22 of this industry happens when a bride follows them. How can you be unique—the highest recognition a woman can receive when planning her nuptials—and be on-trend? If you follow the fads, you’re no longer one of a kind. If you don’t follow them, you’re not “modern” or “fashionable.”
What’s a bride to do?
Twist them. Make every craze your own. I started compiling a list of the latest wedding trends. When it was done, I challenged myself to come up with variations and alternatives for each one. Tricky—yes—but not impossible.
The wedding I highlight in this post (incredible photos by Ali Kvidt Photography) show how personal and unique a big day can be. Kelly and Ben really showed off their creativity, don’t you think?
Photos by Ali Kvidt Photography
Unique Twists on the Latest Wedding Trends
1. Mason Jars: If I see one more mason jar in the middle of my dinner table…
Listen, I understand that shabby-chic décor is still a must-have, but can we come up with a new centerpiece? Instead of placing daisies in those Mason Jars, try your signature cocktail. Then let your guests take their jar home as a favor.
For your centerpieces, try mismatched vases, oil lanterns, antique milk bottles, or unlabeled wine bottles. You could even place taper candles in the wine bottles and allow the wax to drip down them for an organic touch. All of these alternatives still scream rustic.
2. Photo booths: Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you dispose of this idea entirely. Photo booths are an easy way to get fun shots of your guests. But why do they have to be taken in a cramped booth that can only fit two people? Instead, create a colorful backdrop with props that match your theme (furniture, candles, flowers, etc.) and make it large enough to accommodate groups.
Or trade those snapshots for some live action. Videography is a fun replacement for photo booths. There are even vendors who specialize in slow motion!
3. Sparklers: Occasionally a sparkler sendoff can result in some unbeatable photos—but this is rare. Most of the time they just show newlyweds running through a cloud of smoke next to a group of frustrated faces. Not only are they dangerous (I know, I know…I’m lame), but they’re almost impossible to coordinate, especially when your personal attendants have been drinking for the last 3 hours. The couple has to say all of their good-byes, the semi-drunk guests need to be gathered, and the sparklers need to be lit—fast. Why not replace this difficult sendoff with something just as creative? Try confetti, glow sticks, bubbles, or just a bunch of smiling faces. Rent a cool getaway car or motorcycle, and take off in style.
4. Trash the Dress: I admit, for a while I thought this was really cool. I saw a couple of nifty photoshoots and thought the idea was worthy of its praise. But then I heard about brides drowning, getting 3rd degree burns, and more. Why not save your dream dress for a future daughter, niece, or even to reminisce?
For $159, you can get your gown cleaned and preserved so it’ll last 100 years or more >>
5. Morning-After Photos: This is another unnecessary add-on, in my opinion. In case you haven’t heard of them, some couples take photos the morning after their wedding night. They often look a tad disheveled, and the poses lean towards risqué. For less money and time, you can take these photos yourself. Why not spend more cash on the memories you’ll never be able to capture again?
6. Bridesmaids Baring Their Butts: Yes, I am serious. For some reason—not quite sure why—photos are being taken of bridesmaids tucking the bottom of their dress into their underwear…Sometimes the bride joins in. Do I need to say more? The alternative: Don’t do this.
7. The Peacock Theme: The colors are stunning, but this theme can quickly turn cliché. Suddenly everything is purple, teal, and covered in feathers. Subtlety is the easiest way to differentiate a trend. Pick just one of those vibrant colors and complement it with a neutral shade, like grey. Or choose tones a few shades away from the bright purple and teal, and let the metallics shine. Use feathers for the guys’ boutonnieres or your hairpiece, but that’s it. It’s all in the details.
8. Cliché Colors: Speaking of themes, there is no reason you need to pick the obvious colors when your wedding lands on a holiday. Just because you’re tying the knot on Halloween or a week before Christmas, doesn’t mean you need orange and black or red and green splattered everywhere. Remember what I said about subtlety? Consider the season when you pick colors and décor, rather than the holiday. This will keep you on a more modern track.
9. Candy Buffet: To whomever came up with this idea, props to you. It’s an adorable fad that’s affordable and delicious. However it can lose flair when you pick up some Smarties and M&M’s and put them in glass bowls. Most candy buffets serve as both the dessert table and favor, so they need to make an impact. If you want to serve some candy, place it in bowls on the center of each dinner table. Your guests will appreciate the after-meal snack.
For dessert, a little personalization is in order. If your soon-to-be-hubby loves peanut butter cookies, make a batch! Serve them beside those homemade Special K bars you adore, and WHAM—you have a one-of-a-kind dessert bar.
Fun Fact: Traditional desserts are ‘in’ again. Three-tier, ivory wedding cakes are making a delicious comeback. Crazy, huh?
10. Facebook Status Updates: Changing your status to “Married” is one thing, but doing it at the altar? Let’s stay off the grid until the end of the nuptials, shall we?
11. Dress Changes Galore: I understand a reception dress, but doesn’t a third look seem excessive? I’ve seen quite a few brides take a third look on, and it just turns into unnecessary stress. I’d rather you pick out one incredible gown that reflects your personality and style, and maybe a second one for dancing.
12. Baby’s Breath: This one is so hard for me. Ask anyone on my team and they’ll tell you I’m obsessed with Baby’s Breath in weddings. Since many brides are opting for Baby’s Breath bouquets, try using it somewhere else. Small bursts of it in your hair (a new, popular beauty detail on the runways), your guys’ boutonnieres, or even on your cake. Avoid the popular bouquets and you’re already doing something different.
13. Burlap: Yes, burlap is But why be that obvious? First of all, it’s really messy. It’ll literally shed all over your guests. Replace those burlap table runners with soft, simple tablecloths. Pinterest is proof that this is a new trend, and you can even make them unique by creating a colorful ombré on the ends with dye. Or skip fabric altogether and highlight the wood dining tables. The definition of “rustic,” if you ask me.
14. Overplayed Songs: I’m not going to diss anyone’s favorite song, but we all know that a few tunes are overplayed. They’re classic for a reason, so why not try a cover?
Here are 15 of my favorite renditions >>
15. Gatsby: Leonardo DiCaprio brought the billionaire back to life in 2013, but I think it’s time to send this theme back to the 20’s. It’s not that glitz and glamour are done, but a more subtle approach should be taken. Rather than dressing your ‘maids in flapper attire and feather headbands, mismatch sequin or metallic gowns and style them with loose, wavy hair. Instead of all-gold accents, combine metallics like bronze and rose gold. A softer touch to this popular trend will result in a roaring party Gatsby would love to attend.
16. Photoshop: As funny as those Photoshopped pics are—you know, the ones where the wedding party is being chased by T-Rex or the bride is squishing the groomsmen with her shoe—they’re not my favorite. To each their own, but I believe your wedding photography should showcase your love in a real, candid way.
17. Barely-There Bridal Gowns: Every woman is sexy in her own way, but do you have to be half-naked to prove this? Instead of choosing a dress that shows as much skin as possible, showcase one feature you love. Use a plunging neckline, back, or even a cocktail dress. If you show your shoulder blades, choose a higher neckline. If you let the girls peek out, cover up your back or try long sleeves. You’d be surprised how sexy you’ll look when you leave a bit more to the imagination.
Which of the latest wedding trends are you ready to say “good-bye” to?
These ideas are trending for a reason, but a little creativity can go a long way. A small tweak here and there can make every fad your own.
What crazes do you find crazy? What’s ‘in’ that needs to be ‘out’? Share your comments with me!
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