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Millennials making new choices for weddings rather than sticking to trends
A colorful wedding bouquet on Thursday, May 3, in Gainesville, is created by RLM Affairs for a wedding last weekend. Young people are embracing trends in the wedding industry, including more colorful bouquets and dresses. - photo by David Barnes

Trends and traditions come and go. That’s the case when it comes to weddings, and as wedding season begins to pick up in May, wedding planners and vendors are seeing some shifts in what brides want for their big day.

Dannella Burnett, owner of Oakwood Occasions/Encore Elite Events, said more than anything, millennials are choosing to do what they want for their weddings as opposed to sticking with tradition.

“Today’s millennial is not looking for the cookie-cutter wedding,” said Burnett, who has been in the hospitality business for 35 years. “They’re definitely looking to build memories and most of us planners enjoy that.”

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Outdoor pews on Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Gainesville, offer a more natural feel to weddings, which young people are increasingly adopting. They are also embracing more colorful bouquets and dresses. - photo by David Barnes
Wedding planners typically work about six to 18 months in advance, and Resia McFarland, creative director with RLM Affairs in Oakwood, said from what she’s seeing, brides are heading for a more romantic and natural atmosphere at their weddings.

The romance comes out in the colors: metal tones like copper and brushed gold. The natural comes out in everything else: outdoor weddings and seating.

For couples who don’t want to completely stray away from tradition when having an outdoor wedding, McFarland said church pews are where a lot of people are turning. Burnett, who also owns Lanier Tent Rental in Gainesville, said the company recently bought a set of church pews to accommodate weddings they have coming up.

“All of the weddings are very nature involved,” McFarland said. “So I think (couples) have just found a way to incorporate the marriage bond while still incorporating some of the natural elements of the church and bringing that to a more open element for everyone.”

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Wedding dresses with colored linings, vintage on the left and blush on the right, on Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Gainesville, at Christopher's Tuxedo & Bridal. Blush is a new color that young people are incorporating into wedding dresses. - photo by David Barnes
And when it comes to colors to go with the natural, earthy weddings brides seem to be choosing, Burnett said those romantic colors aren’t just coming out in bouquets and decor. She said brides are breaking from tradition and incorporating those colors in a more noticeable way.

“We’re seeing shades of pink, lavender or even light blue in dresses,” Burnett said. “So that’s definitely a trend. I think overall, what I would say is a trend is brides are no longer afraid to let their personalities show.”

And they’re gaining inspiration from around the world, too. Burnett said brides are no longer only limited to what they’ve seen their friends or family do. They have access to the entire world through social media to see what different cultures do for weddings.

“They’re not breaking tradition because they’re rebellious, but they’re certainly breaking tradition because they know what they like and what they want,” Burnett said.

McFarland said geometric shapes like prisms and even geodes, large rocks with colorful crystals lining the inside cavity, are making their way into weddings. She said “anything earthy” seems to be the trend right now because “brides are more conscious of the environment” so it shows up in the decor at their wedding.

“In some ways I feel like there’s almost too much access,” Burnett said. “We deal with a lot of bridal overwhelm where they’re just inundated with too much from Pinterest or social media. But it’s good they are able to just explore and not be afraid to do something that makes sense to them.”