I dont really know any other profession that asks people to jump in and start running when they've never had any experience at all in the field. And that is what planning a wedding is like. how many times has someone thrown a party with a full dinner and entertainment for 50-500 people before? and everyone wants their wedding to be beautiful and stylish and unique and a reflection of their personalities... but it is a lot to juggle, especially if this is your first time.
You may have seen cute little things floating on pinterest that seem like good ideas, but then fitting all your ideas into one cohesive event can be a challenge. Or, through the process of planning and designing you decide half-way through that what you liked 6 months ago is not necessarily your true style. It was only through immersion in the wedding industry did you find out what you really like.
So, here i am to give you a fairly comprehensive list of style trends for 2015. What is deader than a doornail, and what is up and coming.
Mason Jars. Mason jars with cutesy striped straws. Mason jars with straws with flags. mason jars with candles in them, mason jars hanging from wire, mason jars of any kind shape or form of any kind of function. Unless you are getting married in a barn or in a mason jar factory, lets let the mason jar fad fade away.
Shabby Chic. this includes distressed dressers, collection of mis-matched shabby vintage items on display, etc
'vintage'. the actual word 'vintage' is technically used to describe any time in history, however in the wedding industry it's used synonymously with 'shabby chic'. As in 'I'm getting a vintage typewritter for my guestbook', or "I think I'll use vintage mason jars for centerpieces'. or 'i got a bunch of vintage picture frames i want to hold up and peek my head through while you take a picture.' the 'vintage' trend has thankfully been replaced by a more refined old-time glamour (think downton abbey or The Great Gatsby instead of Sweet Home Alabama)
barn weddings. because things like shabby chic, vintage, and mason jars fit so well with barns, and because people are now tired of those same things, barn weddings have fallen out of favor
cupcakes. it's no secret, i love me a good cupcake. but, i'm also a traditionalist. the cake is SUCH a beautiful work of art and a focal point of the wedding reception. it's like your own personal sculpture.... THAT YOU CAN EAT. Though cupcakes can give lots of variety, cakes can too. Cupcakes take up lots of un-necessary awkward space, and they lack the impact a beautifully designed wedding cake has. save your cupcakes for a bakery treat that you can get any old time, and appreciate a beautifully designed wedding cake. when else are you going to treat yourself to a cake like this?
strapless gowns. CAN I GET AN AMEN?! look. i don't have anything against strapless. I do, however, have some beef with the weird skin rolls we all (admit it, all of us) get with skin pooches rolling over the top of the dress by our armpits. and the fact that we have to keep hiking them up all day long. and the fact that there have been, on multiple occasions, wardrobe malfunctions with a little slip-of-the-nip that happens during the reception. This is how it typically goes: "hi, i think you may have gotten a photograph with my bridesmaids nipple exposed.. is there a way to photoshop that out?' it's been a long run with these strapless wedding gowns, and i bid them (and nip-slips) adieu.
satin gowns. i dont know why it took so long for them to die. it was like the 80s went straight into the 90s and it just.kept.going. they're being replaced with flowy gowns that you can move in AND look gorgeous. more on that later...
bridesmaids wearing the same dresses. In what other time or place are we like 'lets all dress exactly the same, regardless of our personal tastes or body types. that would be awesome!' .
knick-knacks. i'm not sure why this trend started (is it part of being shabby chic?) but for a time there were all these extraneous 'knick knacks' for decor at weddings. like little vignettes of randomness throughout the day. i'm so happy to see a focus on the essential and meaningful items of the wedding now.
Trash the Dress sessions. oh holy hannah hallelujah! nothing spells classy like rolling in the mud in your strapless wedding gown. i still love doing a little photoshoot the following day of the couple if it is a destination wedding and we want to get a little more local flavor imbued in the photo gallery, or perhaps the timeline didn't allow for photos the day-of, but i'm seeing a real resurgence in the photojournalistic aspect of wedding days play the most important role- instead of the one-upmanship of how crazy/out there/unique a photographer can get with a creative idea.
WHAT I WISH WERE ALREADY DEAD:
Boudoir Albums as Wedding Gifts: I could not possibly come up with a more awkward situation in the entire world than giving the groom an album of sexy boudoir photography on the day of his wedding when he's surrounded by his groomsmen and dad and asking the photographer to photograph it to get his reaction. For his sake, for my sake, for everyone's sake.... get him a classy present for the wedding day. save the boudoir album for your first night on your honeymoon.
the wedding adjectives. 'whimsical, ethereal, bohemian vintage with a modern twist'. lets call a spade a spade and remember that this is a ceremony, a party, a reunion, and a union. Lets not take ourselves too seriously and use over-flowery adjectives to describe an event that just focuses on the style of the wedding. lets remember what it is really about.
super-saturated colored uplighting in reception ballrooms. This one is still hanging around, but i'd like to see it fade into more natural lighting. Stylish weddings all have one thing in common- understated timeless elegance. and, blue and magenta uplighting in your ballroom says more 'fish bowl mixed with rave party' than 'timeless elegance that will never go out of style'
naked cakes. i'm sad to see this one go (i think they are so beautiful!) but, in true practicality there is nothing worse than an un-frosted cake. you put an un-frosted cake out on display and within 15 minutes that thing is dried out and nasty. the reason cakes have frosting is to seal the moisture inside, creating not just a beautiful display, but also a tasty one too. lets love our cakes and put some clothes on them. no one likes an immodest cake (the shame!).
Choosing a wedding 'style' that is so-not-you but you saw it on pinterest so you did it anyway. were you raised on a farm in alabama? is your home decor burlap and grandma's lace? no? you actually live in Manhattan and your home decor is ultra modern and your preferred clothing of choice is a suit? well... lets not have a barn wedding then, just because it's on pinterest.
Treating the wedding day like a senior photography photoshoot. the point of hiring a photographer is not to get as many posed portraits of you and your fiance in every beautiful location in the city. Tt's to photographically tell the story of your day, so that your album reads like a visual book with a cohesive beginning middle and end, instead of a set of disjointed images that dont work together as a group.
floral crowns. i really really do love floral crowns. but i think this is going to be one of those things we look back on and say 'gosh, i feel kind of silly' - especially if you're not a bohemian type of girl and are actually a type-A personality business woman.
bowties and vintage clothing for guys. guys are being less 'cutesy vintage' and more Don Draper Dapper (say that three times fast). I think this comes from the desire to have a 'timeless' wedding that looks like it could be from yesteryear. the problem is... timeless means 'without time period'. and when you dress in a clothing style from a certain era- it tends to look more 'costume' than 'timeless'. so choose a traditional tux instead- something that has always been in fashion and will remain so.
the garter toss. Always an awkward tradition while grandma is sitting next to you watching this all unfold
the bird cage veil. I love a good bird cage veil- but sometimes it can look 'costume-y' and there are so many other beautiful veil options... see below.
Bridezillas. enough said.
Using your wedding day for good causes. Companies like Black Sheep Bride are celebrating weddings that give back and educating brides on ways they can utilize their day (and the massive amount of money that is spent on one day) for charity.
gowns that flow, have sleeves, are lightweight, and beautifully elegant. check out what Ellie Saab, Claire Pettibone, and BHLDN are doing this year. backless is in style and anything that moves in the wind. as a photographer, this makes me very, very , very happy! here are some of my most favorites
understated elegance: floral designs that have asymmetry and texture that feels effortlessly thrown together instead of perfectly manicured spheres of flowers. like all of these incredible displays
outdoor receptions lit with candlelight and long tables that go on for ages like these examples
Calligraphy instead of type- the more elegant the better. check these out by clicking here
a focus on the food- not only are we seeing more platted dinners with food elegantly displayed, but brides are paying attention to things like calligraphed menus for each guest at their place setting. midnight meals (hello food trucks!) are being featured when the guests need a break from dancing and celebrating .
Mixologists. along with the greater attention on food, it's presentation, and the design that goes along with it- drinks are getting the same kind of love. Companies like The Grand Bevy are taking drinks to the next level- creating art pieces in and of themselves.
Destination weddings. with family members spread out across the US and having to buy plane tickets to attend a wedding regardless, it makes sense to have the wedding venue in a beautiful destination. And, with wedding vendors specializing in destinations and traveling, you can have everything you wanted for your wedding at your new destination. gone are the days of having to hire local wedding vendors. check out these venues by clicking here
Cakes as art pieces- check it out here
pyrotecnics- the basic sparkler has been replaced by some seriously awesome effects. sparkler exit? how about fireworks going off as the getaway car drives away. though not technically pyro- confetti bombs will be big this year and to come during the first dance. HALLELUJAH! please, though, seriously.... one of my brides... can you do a confetti cannon for your first dance? preferably with metallic confetti so the light catches it just right..... you can see it all by clicking here.
WHAT I WISH WERE IN:
Veils. you guys.... i mourn inside my heart every time i photograph a wedding where the bride doesn't wear a veil. there are SO MANY BEAUTIFUL OPTIONS, and at no other time in your life will you have the option to wear a veil. and it's SO beautiful in photos. lets bring this beautiful traditional style back in, even if it's just for the ceremony. click here to see all the different ways you can style a veil
Bold Statements: who says weddings have to all be blush, gold, and white? Where my Frida Kahlo's at? don't be afraid to introduce a bold pattern or color or statement piece into your wedding. Click here to take a look at some of the art installations you could do.
Headpiece Crowns. Not like a 'i bought this at Claires for my Junior Prom and i feel like a princess' kind of crown- but more of a headpiece. check it out here
artists who paint the reception or ceremony scene right there at your wedding like greg kalamar
Honoring your heritage and culture and imbuing age-old traditions in your ceremony. i have lots of pinterest boards for different cultures weddings, go check it out by clicking here.
A focus on the photojournalistic aspect of wedding photography instead of being perfectly posed and placing the emphasis on the photographer photographing the wedding decor instead of the connections between people. read this if you haven't already
laughter. i mean, i love the quiet moments of the wedding day as much as anyone. but i'm tired of the straight faced super model poses and long for heartfelt belly laughs and genuine emotion. lets make that happen in 2015 shall we?