Today I'm happy to welcome Laura Michonski of NewYork.com to my wedding blog with her Top 7 picks of the Hottest Wedding Trends for 2015. While she focused on the trends in the NYC area - I'm seeing these trends across the US so no worries if you are outside the NYC area. Please leave me a comment as I would love to know what your favorite wedding trend is.
>>> 1. The DIY Wedding <<<
The DIY wedding has become very popular in the past couple of years in NYC. By “DIY” I don’t mean that the bride and groom are doing absolutely everything themselves in terms of pulling together the wedding, but that they’re taking over or assigning to their friends elements that were traditionally reserved for specialists. For example, you see many couples these days creating their own playlists on iPods, going down to the flower district and doing their own flowers and giving out handmade gifts as favors (baked cookies for example). I attribute this trend to a couple of things: the first is that New York City is one of the most expensive places in the country to get married (you can expect costs here to be roughly triple what they would be anywhere else in the country), and tackling some of the most expensive elements (flowers) is a great way to cut down on costs. The “rustic” wedding trend has been going strong for several years now and this is a takeoff on that idea – it has become “cool” to DIY your wedding. It allows couples to tap into the “local” trend, too – by doing everything yourself, you’re keeping things local.
wedding cookie credits: Individually Boxed Wedding Favors from Whimsical Cake Company Diamond Engagement Ring Cookie Wedding Favors from Linda's Edible Art, Mason Jar Monogrammed Wedding Cookie Favors from Truly Scrumptious Cookies, Mini Heart Cookie Wedding Favors from Marinold Cakes
>>> 2. Return to Old-World Glamour <<<
The rustic chic trend has been going strong for several years now and in the past year or two the trend has started to transcend the “rustic” in favor of the “chic.” Instead of Edison lightbulbs, for example, brides are starting to incorporate chandeliers into their barn weddings. There is also a movement toward all-out glamour as a backlash to this movement. Brides are starting to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of burlap bag and mason jar weddings and are longing for something more classy and glamorous. Not that all brides aspire to be Kim Kardashian, but she certainly set a tone with her Versailles reception on May 24, 2014.
>>> 3. Green <<<
Rustic, glamorous, DIY or otherwise, one trend that seems to be consistent is the use of greenery in décor. Brides are opting to incorporate greenery in all of its form – tree branches, moss, plants – to add flourish to their big day. I’ve even seen a couple go as far as trying to recreate Central Park in the Plaza Hotel with box hedges and trees!
>>> 4. One wedding, two parties <<<
The idea of getting married and throwing one huge reception is changing, especially as prices for that reception continue to rise (2014 saw the highest wedding costs yet, with the average wedding costing $31,213; in Manhattan, the average wedding costs $76,328). Some couples are opting to throw two or even three parties – one small, intimate party right after the ceremony for their closest friends and family and then a huge low-key bash for all of their friends – this bash can be as simple as a picnic in the park or a shindig thrown in their apartment. It’s a great way to ensure that costs don’t get in the way of celebrating with everyone that you love. I’ve seen the third party come in when the bride and groom are both from different, distant cities and want to celebrate with relatives and friends but can’t see everyone they care about making the trip. In that case, they’ll do the wedding and a small party and then two shindigs, one in each of their hometowns.
>>> 5. Multi-course dinners that guests can enjoy <<<
It used to be that the cocktail hour was the highlight of the wedding and few guests left the dance floor long enough to focus on the actual meal (in part because couples wanted to maximize the party, and in part because everyone was stuffed to the gills from the cocktail hour). Some couples have embraced this with cocktail-and-hors-d’oeuvres-only affairs but I’m hearing about more and more couples who are going the OPPOSITE way and opting for lighter cocktail hours in favor of a multi-course dinner that guests can actually sit down and enjoy – and then dancing. This also allows the couple to personalize the menu more with favorite childhood comfort foods, meals from first dates, etc.
>>> 6. Two (sometimes three) wedding dresses <<<
As more couples from different backgrounds wed, we see a desire to bring in elements from both cultures. This often results in brides changing from a traditional white wedding gown into a wedding gown that nods to her (or her groom’s) culture. But even brides from the same cultures as their grooms are choosing two wedding dresses – one that is more classic and geared toward the ceremony, and one that is shorter and trendier and designed for dancing.
>>> 7. A move away from traditional elements <<<
Gone are the days of the bouquet toss, the garter toss, and the family announcements. And fast upon their heels is the idea of selecting one gown for all bridesmaids (in fact, some couples are doing away with the bridal party altogether!). Some couples are even eschewing the ceremony in favor of focusing on the party. In part, this is due to the fact that more and more couples are delaying marriage until later in their careers and footing at least part of the bill themselves (on average, couples now pay for 43% of the wedding themselves). At this stage in the game, these couples know what they want and they don’t have the same pressure from their parents since they’re sharing the burden of the costs.
Laura Michonski is the Site Director of NewYork.com and a nationally recognized travel expert. Laura is often called upon to speak about trends in the travel and publishing industries and makes regular appearances in the media via outlets such as NBC, CNN, ABC News, NPR, Peter Greenberg radio, and the BBC.
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