Wedding Trends – Past, Present and Future

Today at 4pm (MST), we are doing a segment on 9 News discussing past, present and future wedding trends! We are talking about everything from dresses to linens to food, flowers and decor. Here are photos and highlights from the segment.

What’s Out:

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Five to ten years ago, wedding blogs weren’t nearly as popular and well known as they are today. For inspiration, brides relied heavily on wedding magazines and on websites such as the knot.com for inspiration photos. Wedding day coordination just started to become a common service offering from wedding planners. Wedding day coordination helped brides pull together everything on the day of the wedding and have a professional resource to ask for vendor recommendations.

The hot color palettes for weddings from 2004-2007 were chocolate brown with baby blue, chocolate brown with pink and chocolate brown with green.  Monograms were very popular along with chair covers, floating candles, floating flowers and hanging paper lanterns.  For dessert, cupcake towers were a huge wedding trend and often replaced the traditional wedding cake at weddings. If a couple still chose a wedding cake, it was often the topsy-turvey style. “Whimsical” was one of the most popular style words for weddings during these years.

Food trended toward traditional plated meals (aka rubber chicken style dinners) and buffets with chafing dishes. You may also have seen a standard carving station at weddings with a chef in traditional chef clothing.

Wedding gown styles were a-line or ball gown silhouettes with elaborate beading and crystal work.  The “pick-up” style dress with fabric bunched together throughout the skirt of the dress was very popular.

Other wedding details that were popular during this time included signature photo frame guest books, napkins in the water glass, layered wedding invitations with vellum, “I DO” wood accent letters and loads of organza.

What’s Hot Now:

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With the ever increasing popularity of wedding inspiration blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Mile High Bride and Couture Colorado, weddings are more creative than ever. Along with these wedding blogs comes increased pressure for brides and grooms to have a highly styled and personalized wedding. With these new inspirations and expectations,  busy professional couples are looking to event planners more than ever for full service planning and event styling. Wedding studios such as StudioWed (also called wedding collectives) are just starting to take hold in the marketplace and influence the way brides and grooms plan weddings.

The hot color palettes for 2012 include the accent color of gray – charcoal gray, light gray and any shade in between. We have seen a lot of charcoal gray paired with yellow or orange.  In our featured table shown above, we paired it with shades of purple and plum. Long banquet tables, often called “kings tables” are all the rage this year for guest seating at receptions. Chivari style chairs are as popular as ever.

The hot trend word for this year is vintage. Mixing vintage elements with modern accents is hugely popular and has resulted in specialty event rental companies such as A Vintage Affair in Colorado where you can rent vintage decor elements. On the flower front, ranunculus, hydrangea, succulents, garden roses and peonies are at the top of the list for many brides this year. These blooms fit very well with the vintage inspired wedding trend. Colorado brides still love aspen bark accents along with white milk glass in centerpiece arrangements.

Dessert bars are the go-to trend this year for wedding dessert. Couples may still have a well designed cake or they may have 2-3 smaller cakes mixed with bite size desserts such as mini pies,mini cupcakes, petit fours, macaroons and milkshake shots.

Food at weddings is much more creative and inspiring. We are bringing the chef out of the kitchen and putting him on action stations to “wow” guests.  Ethnic food stations are hugely popular such as a pad thai station. Indian-inspired cuisine, family style Mexican and upscale Italian are also trending this year at weddings.  Gourmet comfort food such as buffalo sliders and gourmet mac-n-cheese are still popular choices for cocktail hour and dinner stations.  Late night snacks and food trucks are trending big this year for Colorado weddings and events.

Current wedding dress trends are all about the lace. With the influence of Kate Middleton’s royal wedding gown, the return to romance is ideal for Colorado’s rustic/vintage mountain bride. Cap sleeves and sashes are also very popular this year.

Other popular wedding details for this year include photo booths, wedding websites, unique guest books, chalkboards, pocket-style napkin folds, letterpress stationery and ribbon accents.

What’s In For the Future:

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In the next five years, wedding inspirations and blogs are going to continue to grow exponentially. The attention will become more focused on the guests and creating a personal experience that truly reflects the bride and groom.  Most couples will look to a professional planner and event stylist in some capacity to plan, design and coordinate their wedding weekend. Wedding planning studios and wedding collectives such as StudioWed are going to be the standard way that many couples plan weddings.

Mixing unexpected colors and patterns is going to be the future trend in the next five years of wedding style.  Color blocking is going to take hold in Colorado and inspire many wedding designs. We also expect brides to mix different materials such as glass, acrylic, wood and metal. The popular vintage look will slowly fade out of style for weddings in the next few years. We are going to start seeing unique floral design details such as hanging centerpieces and one-of-a-kind vases.

For wedding desserts, cakes are going to make a comeback as more and more creativity influences the trends.  The style in the next few years will be tall cakes with multiple textures, patterns and materials. Cake are going to be a decor element and focal point instead of just dessert.

Food is going to keep growing as a dominant part of the reception fun. Watch out for entertainment-style catering, molecular cooking, mixologists and more.  We expect to see moving food stations, more food trucks, table-side cooking and unexpected menus with a wide range of food styles. We also expect to see multi-course plated dinners such as 8 courses of tapas with wine pairings.

The future of wedding gowns in the next five years is a sleek, modern silhouette. You may see special features on gowns such as detachable tulle overskirts. Dresses that can be worn one way for the wedding ceremony and a different way for the reception are also going to start trending in the next few years.

Wedding details we will start seeing more of include flip book booths, video booths, Facebook pages instead of wedding websites, live streaming of weddings, live Twitter feeds for weddings and mixing of table shapes for guest seating.

We would like to thank the incredible vendor partners who helped us create these tables designs and gave their input about trends in their specific category:

Floral Decor and Design: Statice Floral Design

Catering: Footers Catering

Cakes, Cupcakes & Desserts: Intricate Icings

Wedding Gowns: Little White Dress Bridal Shop

Bridesmaid Dress: Bella Bridesmaid

Planning & Design: Save the Date Events

Linens: Chair Covers and Linens

Event RentalsEvent Rents

Photography: Revert Photo

Cinematography: Pure Cinematography

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