When the big day finally rolls around, brides and grooms are adding a lot of personal flair to their weddings, and it’s creating a few trends.
According to wedding professionals in Gainesville, the past few years brides and grooms aren’t looking for the usual traditional ceremony. They are trying to find a way to branch out.
Rhonda Sheppard, professional bridal consultant and owner of Waters Mill Wedding and Event Facility in Dahlonega, said couples are offering guests more of an experience than in years past.
“People are seeking more nontraditional places to get married,” Sheppard said. “They’re not getting married in the church as much anymore. We’re seeing more destination weddings. They’re making (the ceremony) a whole weekend.”
Sheppard said she’s seen couples offer everything from games of cornhole to roasting s’mores before and after the wedding.
In keeping with the outdoor-theme wedding, many trends in decor and fashion are centered around a “shabby chic” or more natural feel.
“I think it’s more of a natural look that people are going for, more of the hippy-bohemian style that’s in right now,” said Emily Clay, manager and stylist at Matthew’s and Co. Salon in Flowery Branch. “A lot of clothing, too, (has) fringe and wedding dresses have, to match with the hair, a lot of lace and a lot of fringe.”
Clay said most brides are requesting braids for their formal hairstyle.
She laughed as she ticked off the multitude of braids she’s done for brides in the last season, styles such as fish tales, french twists, waterfalls, rope and twist braids.
Clay said the trend began last fall but steadily became more popular during the spring. She expects it to continue.
Gloria Yook, owner of A-Z Alterations at Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville, said she’s altered dresses in every shape, size, color and cut in her 28-year career. The styles this year, however, have taken a turn from the more traditional to “cute” styles.
“This year it’s more like taffeta material and organza materials,” Yook said. “There’s more of a cuter style with ruffles at the bottom. It’s all very light looking. It used to be more heavy, like satin material but, especially this year, it’s more light, cute, soft, lacy look.”
After the wedding, Fox Gradin, photographer and owner of Celestial Studios in Gainesville, said she’s noticed many brides are having a “trash the dress” photo shoot.
“Once the wedding is over, instead of storing the dress, then you would do a ‘trash the dress’ session,” Gradin said. “You can get the photographer to go out and do the more adventurous photos that you might want for your wedding portrait but you don’t want to mess up the dress. I’ve done them where brides wear their dress and walk under waterfalls, on the beaches and out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. ... If you’re just going to store it anyway, why not get some really cool images. It’s really awesome. It’s what the sort of funkier brides are doing now days.”
Cakes are also taking a cue from bridal wear.
Kristen Brousseau, owner of Memorable Creations Cake Shop in Gainesville, said brides often request their wedding cake be made to match the rosettes on their wedding dress.
Brousseau said she’s enjoying the more nature-inspired requests as well.
“I’m seeing a lot more rustic-feeling cakes,” Brousseau said.
“There are so many people getting married in barns and wineries. Tree stumps are pretty popular for the look, they’re taking slices of logs and placing the cake on top.”
Weddings are also offering more options on the dessert front. Instead of large cakes, many couples are providing cupcakes and small treats at dessert bars.
Brousseau said grooms today seem to be much more involved in the planning process than in the past.
Groom cakes, she said, are taking on a more personal style to the groom and often showcase the groom’s favorite pasttimes.
While wedding professionals are generally pretty enthusiastic about catering to trends and ideas the couple might have, a few should be avoided.
Yook said she wishes brides would throw out the idea of needing a corset, unless their body type requires a great deal of smoothing. In most instances, the thick fabric and bones inside of corsets create the opposite of the desired smoothing.
“Corsets are just marketing,” Yook said. “Most wedding dresses have liners. Corsets are not necessary.”
Yook also advises brides to avoid shopping for their dress online. Many times the measurements and descriptions are not accurate and dresses don’t fit the way they’re intended to.
Gradin said she’s noticed a “vintage” trend among wedding photographers. Couples are often documenting their big day with vintage-inspired filtering, like sepia.
“I think for photography that’s the big trend,” Gradin said. “I would warn people against using a lot of trendy photography. Once that trendy stuff runs its course, you still got the pictures, and what you want with the photography is really the solid, classic images that don’t rely on those filtering techniques.
“Things like Instagram are kind of leaking over into professional photography. But people just want to watch that and make sure that’s not used too much in the photography so they still have those classic images for later on down the road.”