Forget the classics. Today’s couples focus on creating a lively experience for guests.
Hands attached to a hidden body pop out of a wall, handing out glasses of freshly poured Champagne as guests walk into a wedding reception planned by Jennifer Matteo, owner of Jennifer Matteo Event Planning.
This coming wedding season, local vendors say guests can expect to be surprised with similarly unique experiences.
“Expect the unexpected,” Matteo says. “Don’t go into a wedding thinking it’s going to be the traditional affair.”
Weddings have evolved over the years. Every new season brings changes in styles, colors and trends, whether those trends are coming back or are making their debut.
Brides are doing away with the traditions of their mothers and grandmothers before them, putting their own twist on their special day. Matteo is planning a boho, picnic-style wedding during which guests will take a seat on pillows and blankets on the sand. Another bride is entertaining guests with fire dancers.
“They want the wow factor,” Matteo says. “Whether that’s in florals or lighting or entertainment, they want it to be a party.”
And what a party weddings are becoming. Many couples are forgoing the traditional sit-down dinner and opting for food stands or food trucks, creating room for guests to mingle throughout the evening.
Guests, forget the standard of leaving a wedding at midnight. Next year, expect to stay longer than usual because after-parties are becoming a new hit.
“I’m seeing a lot of food when people leave, late night snacks and after-parties are big, too,” So Staged owner Beth Kompothecras says. “Those are two big trends we get asked more and more for furniture for. That’s why the club-type furniture is really good to have for the after-parties.”
The decor is straying away from traditions as well.
In the furniture rental business, doing something different with the same furniture can pose a challenge. Brides will often come in and say they liked what their friend had, Kompothecras says, but they want their own unique spin on it.
This means she has to keep a wide stock of items and work with the planners to create a unique look for each client.
“We try to have things that are more on the edge or ahead of what’s trending in our area that nobody has,” Kompothecras says.
Both Kompothecras and Matteo agree this season’s brides aren’t always choosing the traditional color schemes of blush, ivory and cream. Popular colors next year are predicted to be green and variants of the Pantone color of the year: ultraviolet. Black and white are also coming back into play.
“I’m thinking since the royal wedding we are going to see a lot more emphasis on the greenery and garden look,” Kompothecras says.
In addition to using greenery to bring in the increasingly popular shades of green, brides are dramatizing the traditional black-and-white trend with bold pops of color, such as navy or fuschia.
Matteo says these vibrant additions coordinate with the couple’s venue or personality.
Matteo has been in the wedding industry for eight years. Throughout her career, she’s seen big changes in trends and is glad to see how weddings are evolving.
“I like different,” Matteo says. “I’m happy people are steering away from the traditional and what they think they need to do and really doing what they think is right for them.”
Keeping that in mind, Matteo says she strives to create an event with layers.
“Every event we do we are trying to touch on every sense,” Matteo says. “You’re not just giving something visually appealing, but the food is good and the smells are lovely, and you’re touching good, quality paper.”
Weddings are an event to look forward to now more than ever. With food trucks, beautiful decor, snacks, entertainment and after-parties, nuptials are becoming more about the guests than the bride and groom.
“They’re catering, definitely, to their guests,” Kompothecras says. “I see a lot of extras for them.”
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