Wedding Trends

Here are some hot new trends for this upcoming year.

Retro-Chic Weddings

Retro-style weddings — at a hotel, in your parents’ backyard, or even at a restaurant — are huge right now, and we’ll continue to see a lot of the style in 2010. It’s really no wonder: A wedding filled with vintage details, whether from the 1950s, ’60s, or even ’70s, can make for a meaningful heirloom-filled, back-in-the-day vibe, and the decor options are limitless. Use a turquoise-and-raspberry color combo, get milk-glass cake stands for your dessert table, dress the tables with pretty eyelet runners, and ask your florist to arrange your centerpieces in small porcelain vases or silver pitchers. Even your menu options can get in on the action with pigs in blankets and punch (served up in glass punch glasses, of course) at the cocktail hour.

Dinner-Focused Receptions

Say good-bye to informal buffet lines and light hors d’oeuvres stations and welcome back the sit-down reception dinner. Think of it as a re-creation of a dinner party in your own home: lots of food and a comfortable setting are both key. To achieve this level of comfort, order starter plates to get guests munching and chatting from the get-go and choose a dinner menu of the meat-and-potatoes variety. Have the meal served family-style so that all the food, wine, and iced tea or lemonade is set in the middle of the table for guests to help themselves, just like they’d do at their own homes. Do it this way and you’ll encourage conversation and create a more intimate atmosphere.

Innovative Ceremony Setups

This year, it’s really all about comfort, so whether your ceremony takes place in a church, at a farm, or in a ballroom, consider adding elements that make your guests feel right at home. Skip the common aisle-down-the-middle arrangement and create a living-room vibe using a mix of couches and chairs, replace all those chairs with hay bales covered with quilts, or even spread blankets on the ground right in front of the altar for the kids. The best part is that anything goes just so long as the details create an intimate feeling.

Shorter, Tea-Length Dresses

From ball gowns to slim, structured sheaths, a shorter-than-floor-length style will make a huge resurgence on ceremony aisles this year. And you don’t have to have a casual wedding to pull it off, either — the key is in the fabric. Find one made with cotton or layers of airy tulle for an outdoor spring or summer wedding, get a silk-satin gown for a more formal wedding, or go for heavy silk with a soft bolero or even an overcoat for a wintertime wedding.

Classic White Wedding Cakes

While dessert tables and candy bars have been popular for the past few years, wedding cakes have made a comeback. But instead of the colorful two-tiered styles we have seen, this year it’s all about the classic white wedding cake. Order a simple, round, three-tiered cake frosted with white buttercream or covered in white fondant and finish it with an antique cake topper (from your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding), a few fresh flowers that match your bouquet, or leave it clear of add-ons for an even simpler look.

Textural Flower Arrangements

The typical tall centerpiece, overflowing with roses and calla lilies, has given way to low, textural arrangements that call to mind a springtime garden, crisp autumn foliage, or a snow-covered evergreen. To throw extra color and texture into the mix, have your bouquets wrapped with lace or patterned fabric, or line your flower-filled vases with birchbark sleeves. As for the centerpiece vases, ask your florist to use small planters, classic pedestals, vintage-inspired vases, or even rustic apple crates.

Turn Table DJs/Specialty Music

Everyone loves a live band, but DJs are resurging in popularity — and we’re not talking about the old iPod-and-speakers setup. We mean skilled turntable DJs who can create a unique mishmash of music tailored to your guests, guaranteeing you a packed dance floor all night long. If it’s in the budget, hire a specialty band that speaks to your relationship or wedding locale (like a jazz trio, bluegrass band, or even funk group) for the cocktail hour.

Souped-Up Photo Booths

The photo booth trend is so not going anywhere — it’s just becoming more personalized. If you’d rather not rent one, make one. Create your own backdrop using a piece of patterned fabric, a simple curtain, or even paper streamers. If it’s an outdoor wedding, pin the fabric to an arbor or trellis; otherwise, use a wardrobe frame to secure your fabric. If you’ve rented more of a traditional wedding space, ask your site manager whether they have in-house “pipe and drapes” that you can use (a fancy term for a stand-alone bar with a curtain attached). You could also make a completely custom photo backdrop out of wood, cover it with wallpaper or paint, and then decorate it with fun frames or anything else you can think of. Cut out circles for your guests’ faces, or encourage everyone to get comfortable together on a great couch placed in front of the backdrop. And don’t forget the funny props, like hats, fake mustaches, and glasses!

Themed Engagement Photo Shoots

Just like your dress and reception decor, your engagement photo shoot should be completely “you.” Follow that line of thinking and you’ll understand why couples are coming up with the most creative themed engagement photo shoots, from Mad Men and Breakfast at Tiffany’s to more obscure 1950s backyard barbecue shoots. Not into the theme idea? Tone it down with a couple props, like colorful balloons, umbrellas, or a tandem bicycle.

Wedding Videos

While classic cinematic wedding videos are still an in-demand style, couples are also asking their videographers to use motion picture in new and creative ways. A few ideas we love: short wedding Super 8 wedding videos for that grainy, vintage look (which can later have music dubbed in), the one-minute wedding video, a fast-motion version of the dance floor throughout the evening, or an ultra-creative save-the-date video.

Grand Exits

I’m not saying you should blow the budget on fireworks, but having a formal ceremony or reception exit is not only fun for you and your guests, it’ll make for great photos. Alternatives to bird seed: paper airplanes, ticker tape, sparklers, and eco-confetti.

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