We know you probably never want to hear the words “coronavirus,” “quarantine,” and “unprecedented times” again, but unfortunately The Rona is still among us. Corona brides across the world are lost when it comes to what to do now that their wedding has been postponed or canceled. The days of saying “I do” in front of friends and family and taking shots with your bridesmaids at the open bar seem so distant, but we’re hopeful that the investment towards celebrating this new chapter in your life is worth the wait. For those of you that have officially made the decision to share your vows with your S.O. in 2021, you’re probably wondering WTF to do with all of your plans now? Don’t freak out, because we’ve gone ahead and asked the experts to share their thoughts on what couples can be doing in the meantime to ensure that all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted before the big day.
Yes, you probably had everything planned out perfectly, right down to your personalized stationery before the virus happened, but now that your plans have changed, there’s some tricky re-thinking to do. “It goes without saying that trying to navigate the postponement of a wedding is mind-boggling, and it can be hard to know where to start, or better yet, figure out an organized way to keep track of your progress and your remaining to-dos,” says Lisa Bowser, Founder of Brite Lite, a company that makes LED neon signs. “Lists on lists on lists can be quite boring to look at, yes?” Um, yes! Bowser recommends the acrylic dry-erase Goals Calendar to eliminate your wedding stress. Bonus: you can still use it in your home after your wedding planning process is (finally) over.
Read Your Contracts
I know we’re all programmed to click “accept terms and conditions” without a second thought, but with circumstances constantly changing as our world adapts to the virus, it’s essential that you and your future spouse have your contingency plans up-to-date. As AJ Williams, Founder and Creative Director at Boston-based event planning company AJ Events, recommends, “When reading your contracts, make sure you have your planner and vendors develop a rescheduling contract or addendum, and to change the Force Majeure to include pandemics and decreased capacity due to government mandates.” This way, you won’t have to scramble to make things work any more than you’ve already had to.
See What Safety Precautions Your Vendors Are Taking
When you do end up walking down the aisle, you want to be sure all possible measures are put in place to ensure that your guests stay happy and healthy. AJ Williams reports that for all future events, his company “will require cleaning/sanitation measures from our vendors and venues working on our events and add sanitation efforts plus add supplies at attendee check-in to protect the safety of our work environment and your attendees while allowing us to continue to service our clients.” He adds, “We have created branded plexi walls on our bar and catering stations, adorable customized face masks with your favorite quote or funny message or emoji icon to include your signature style. Get creative while keeping safe.” So make sure you check with your vendors to see how they’re adapting to these (my brain: don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it) unprecedented times.
Enjoy Your Engagement
Though you’ve (understandably) been mentally designing your reception place cards since the moment you got a ring on your finger, take this unique opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy this extra time of being engaged to the love of your life. Of course, says Taylor Waxman of L.A.-based event design and production company KED & Co., “Changing your wedding date can be emotionally draining. Managing your friends and family travel plans, rescheduling your vendors to make sure everyone is available on the same day and overall reimagining a new date in a new year—you’ve been through it.”
When adjusting your wedding planning timeline, though, staying sane is essential. “Don’t over plan,” advises Waxman. “It’s very easy to focus on your wedding during this time, but our biggest advice is: don’t. Once you have your vendors and location rescheduled and all guests are alerted of the new date, take a step back to enjoy your engagement. Spend quality time with your partner, schedule outdoor picnics or Zoom dinners with family and friends, take this time to reconnect and appreciate what is around you.”
Make The Process Fun
Now that you’ve got some extra time to plan things out, you and your partner can hone in on achieving the wedding of your dreams. Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director at Colette’s Catering and Events, suggests that you “Cast aside what might be typical wedding traditions, and do what YOU really, truly want for your wedding. Explore bright colors, beautiful seasonal menus, wine flown in from your favorite winery, book a unique outdoor venue, mix and match your linen pattern choices, custom built backdrops from local artists, neon signage, etc. Now you have the time to really customize!”
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with pressing health concerns on top of your color scheme choices, “Making the difficult decision to postpone your wedding should be the hardest part. Once you’ve done that, try to make the rest of the process fun,” advises Matt Ramirez, Senior VP of Marketing at Generation Tux. “Look at new wedding trends, new seasonal colors, and opportunities to update your wedding plans! Everyone in the wedding industry knows this is a tough time for couples, and we’re here to work with you. Take this time with your husband to design the look of your wedding suit or tux again, order some free swatches, and get a free home try-on delivered to the groom.”
If you want to get creative without overloading your plate, Taylor Waxman suggests designing your own thank you notes online, finding custom postage for your wedding invitations, registering for gifts, working on your wedding website, finalizing your guest list, and choosing meaningful songs to be played during your ceremony. She also suggested pulling inspiration images (as if you needed an excuse to add to the wedding Pinterest board you’ve had since college.). “Focus on your style and look, try not to go too deep in detail,” she recommends. “Keep this light and fun.”
Can’t Wait? Go For It!
As Nike says, “Just Do It.” If you and your S.O. are itching to get married ASAP, Sarah Kuhlberg suggests having a mini wedding and eloping in your backyard, and then scheduling a reception for a year later so you can celebrate your first anniversary with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and feel free to “Create your dream celebration and know that this new wedding style is something we are all getting used to.”
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First comes love, then comes coronavirus, then comes the influx of Zoom weddings in 2020. If you’re a human existing on Planet Earth rn, congrats! Life majorly sucks. Jobs, lives, and financial stability are being ripped out from underneath us, and we can’t even have nice things like happy hours or big open bar weddings to alleviate some of that sadness. As more and more couples have had to ditch their original plans and scale wayyy back on their Pinterest-inspired nuptials, technological ceremonies are officially on the rise.
While hosting a virtual affair is one thing, attending a Zoom wedding is a whole other situation. Granted, this is a very new concept so the kinks are still being sorted out, but just like with a traditional in-person ceremony, ensuring you’re not being a d*ck at a streamed wedding is just as important. “Much like an in-person wedding, look to the wedding invite for clues—even if it’s an email invite or a quick text with a Zoom link,” advises Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot. That will give you an insight into how to move forward without making your pals more upset than they already are.
But to break it down further, we’re covering what to wear, whether or not to send a gift, and what you should (and shouldn’t do) to be the best Zoom wedding guest possible. Because honestly, if we can’t give our friends their dream weddings, the literal least we can do is not be total pieces of sh*t at their on-screen celebrations.
Do You Give A Gift?
One of the most upsetting parts of this whole “changing your plans” thing (IMO) is the lack of gifts. I love gifts. Everyone loves gifts. So, if events are being canceled or scaled back, there’s a chance gifts are as well, and for some engaged couples, they’re really counting on that blender/bar cart/contribution to their cash fund. Basically, if they’re scaling back and only having a small ceremony/celebration, send them a gift as usual, whether or not you’re actually attending their event.
If they’re having a minimony now and a party later, consider splitting your gift amount in half and giving them something for both occasions, if you can afford it. “I’d recommend giving something now and something later,” advises Kay. Some of the best options for a gift amid the pandemic are things off of their registry that they can use, like board games or a cocktail set so they can practice their mixology skills (or drink their sorrows) at home. “A ‘now’ gift softens the blow of a postponement/virtual ceremony ever so slightly, and what better time to learn a new skill?” notes Kay.
What TF Do You Wear?
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remember when our hardest decision was who to invite to our weddings? Now it’s which online streaming platform to use.😫 beautiful lake house corona elopement story submitted by @waverlyrood: “Our big wedding was planned in Savannah for April 18th but we had to postpone due to corona, so we had a tiny ceremony at my groom’s lake house – his brother officiated and just our parents were in attendance & friends over zoom!! We are so happy and can’t wait to celebrate with everyone in September.”
By now, most of us are so used to showing up ugly on video chats, we don’t even think twice about our appearance. Greasy hair, stained pajamas, and pimple cream dotting our faces is the new WFH uniform. While it might seem silly to dress up just to stay home and watch a glitchy ceremony on your laptop screen, the effort you put in will go a long way for the couple. “Check the couple’s wedding website to see if they mention anything about a preferred dress code,” suggests Kay. “When in doubt, air on the celebratory side. Dress as you might have for the postponed celebration—even if it’s only from the waist up.”
Dress to impress, because if all else fails, you’ll at least get to see if you still remember how to put makeup on and can pop off an Instagram where you look somewhat like the former self who used to get dressed and do fun things. If not for love, do it for the likes.
What’s The Tech Etiquette?
“You’re tuning in to celebrate the couple, so keep the focus on them,” reminds Kay. Even though you’re sitting at home and not at a fancy venue, it doesn’t mean all etiquette is out the window. Mute your mic, speak only if asked/when it’s appropriate, respect any requests to avoid photography, and choose a background that fits the theme but isn’t in-your-face. No matter how much the couple likes The Office, this isn’t the time to whip out a picture of Michael Scott. “Find a simple background (think: no distractions) with good lighting so your excitement can be seen by the newlyweds,” suggests Kay.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
“Virtual weddings are still fairly new, so there aren’t any hard and fast rules. That being said, be a good guest—much like you’d be in person,” says Kay. Which is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you think virtual weddings are an excuse to be an asshole, here’s your official notice: they’re not. “Log on at the designated time and follow any requests of the couple (think: attire, “bring something to toast with us,” etc.). Be attentive and respectful, making your congratulations known to the couple at the appropriate time,” she advises.
While it might seem like this new take on weddings means you get to be less present (or give fewer presents), give your friends the same courtesy they gave you when they shelled out thousands just to hook up with some drunk groomsmen when it was your turn.
Images: SHTTEFAN / Unsplash
As we’re forced to face facts that coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon and brides and grooms start scaling down their weddings to elopements, minimonies, and microweddings, it’s clear that some changes need to be made. What might work for a standard 200-person affair probably isn’t the right course of action for a socially distant wedding. In addition to the obvious areas that are being reimagined (big bands are a no-go and buffets may become a thing of the past), some brides are finding that the big, poofy wedding gown of their dreams no longer fits with their scaled-down 2020 plans.
Whether you’re postponing your wedding altogether (but still looking for a way to celebrate your OG date), hosting something small now and delaying the big party to a future point in time, or scaling the whole thing back to just a few members of your inner circle (plus or minus all your would-be guests who you’ve invited to tune in on Zoom), your fashion doesn’t need to be fancy to be wedding-worthy.
We chatted with a number of experts in the wedding arena to talk about wedding gown alternatives. Restyling a dress from your closet archives, buying something that’s much more pared-down than a gown, or considering a couple trend-forward looks for the informal fête at home and the bigger bash to come post-COVID are all viable options for wedding wardrobing these days.
Recycling Something You’ve Worn Before
Repeating an outfit isn’t exactly how every bride imagines the wear for her wedding day, but then again, did anyone imagine that a virus would be getting in the way of people exchanging vows this year? Probs not. If style icons like Kate Middleton and Elaine Welteroth (Project Runway judge and best-selling author) can pull something out of their closet and make it new again, so can you.
Elaine Welteroth and Jonathan Singletary’s May wedding on their Brooklyn stoop quickly went viral, and Welteroth wasn’t shy about where she got her dress. She told Vogue that she chose not to overthink her dress, going with “an old, white, label-less dress from my own closet.” She said, “I hadn’t worn it in over three years. But it was the first idea that came to mind when I envisioned us getting married on my stoop.” Yes, that’s right, this trend maven recycled something for her wedding day, and it’s something that all brides (not just ones who are figuring out their dress details during a pandemic) might want to consider.
Nicole Sheppard, co-founder of the super curated, modern, and inclusive dress destination Wander Atelier, thinks that brides who are over this quarantine and just want to get married can absolutely do it in something they’ve worn before. “If you decide to elope ASAP, there’s nothing wrong with pulling from your own closet and adding a few bride-specific accessories à la Elaine Welteroth,” she says. Elaine’s dress was something old, but she made the look into something new with some custom-made shoes, and also incorporated something borrowed—the veil her mother wore at her wedding, which happened to match her dress.
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Sheppard notes that in addition to the many fun veils to try these days, “capes can also be a great way to layer without having to make the commitment of a veil.” Sheppard also loves “the idea of a headpiece: trade out a flower crown or a more traditional embellished headband for a dried flower piece.”
Opting For Something Simpler For Your Setting
You can also just lean into the comfort of casual if you’ll be having a city hall ceremony or a more intimate one at home. Sheppard says that many of her brides right now are gravitating towards simpler, more casual looks. The samples in her shop that she qualifies as simple are “chic, clean-lined silk gowns that are lightweight and breezy,” while her favorite casual picks include “jumpsuits with a wide leg or more modern, streamlined silhouettes.”
According to Savannah Miller, a designer who helped put elevated bohemian style on the map after spending years working alongside British fashion titans like Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, a bride doesn’t need to sacrifice her bride card if she gets married in a more under-the-radar fashion. In fact, her own wedding day was the epitome of easy, breezy, bride behavior: “My wedding day was a prime example of low-key. We had to get legally married the day before the ceremony for our friends and family, and I was tearing around in a kaftan with a baby on my hip trying to coordinate everything,” Miller recalls. “We ducked out to do the official ceremony and it was the most meaningful part of the whole weekend, because, ultimately, a wedding should be just you and your partner looking into each other’s eyes and promising to love and cherish each other forever. That’s what it’s all about.”
Savannah Miller Lottie Dress
So a little white dress, a jumpsuit, a crop top and skirt, or some seriously trendy separates suit this new (wedding) normal. Many brands stocked in authorized bridal boutiques and shops, like Savannah Miller Bridal, are moving up their timelines and offering a leaner selection of their styles, in limited sizing, for brides getting married this summer. Some others have even launched quick turnaround collections online to appeal to the overwhelming number of COVID-affected brides. And it doesn’t have to be tagged bridal to be bride-worthy, either—you can scout out special-occasion options through your favorite ready-to-wear shopping sites.
Here are some buy-now offerings for corona brides getting married at home that are simple, beautiful, and still totally bridal.
The Little White Dress
Bride-adored brand Amsale recently debuted its Little White Dress collection, and it’s replete with crisp, modern, and polished options for brides who want a very aisle-appropriate aesthetic, but aren’t feeling a gown. They also have a brand-new virtual try-on feature to help brides imagine how they’d look in each dress, since in-store appointments still aren’t the safest bet. Items typically arrive within a 4-6 week shipping window, however, some dresses are available immediately. The Amsale team always goes above and beyond, too, to make sure these expedited deliveries happen without a hitch.
Amsale LW143 Stretch Crepe Dress, $425
Amsale LW138 Faille Dress, $385
One of Amsale Design Director Margo Lafontaine’s favorite features are the super comfortable, yet sophisticated stretch crepe fabrications that most of the designs are made from. We’ve been at home for so long that luxe loungewear has become the universally accepted fashion of the moment, but for your wedding day, even if it’s at home, you need something that’s equal parts comfy and stylish. This first jumpsuit, for instance, has pants that a bride will quite literally “want to live in,” according to Margo. Can’t argue with that!
Amsale LW161 Cami Neckline Jumpsuit, $550
The Jumpsuit, And Other Unconventional Couture
Nadine Merabi Hailey White Jumpsuit, $400
Nadine Merabi, luxury womenswear designer and minimony bride herself, just debuted her own collection of looks that are perfect for I Dos done simply. The White Collection is full of ready-to-ship styles that don’t feel too over-the-top, which is great for brides who want to tone down the formality, but not the fashion statement. We’re especially into the jumpsuits and midi options, because they can be worn down the aisle and then out of the house… when it’s safe for us all to get social again. Also, totally something you’ll want to throw into your suitcase for your honeymoon… whenever that happens.
Nadine Merabi Victoria White Dress, $335
The Ready-To-Wear Looks That Aren’t Bridal, But Can Be
Olivia von Halle Issa Ivory Slip, $400
As we mentioned before, your outfit doesn’t have to be bridal per se to work for your wedding , especially with elopements and limited-guest gatherings becoming the norm right now. There are so many ready-to-wear options, and spoiler alert, there are lots of great benefits to shopping modern and contemporary for your unique occasion. First, you won’t have to spend as much on your look as you would if you went through traditional bridal channels. You can also get away with purchasing something a little more edgy or alternative (sexy slip dresses, brave crop top combos, etc.), since the pressure to dress for a crowd isn’t really part of the equation. Finally, you can really have fun with your accessories, and either go more bride (with classic accoutrements like a veil, a cape, or a bouquet) or more anti-bride (choosing something that’s not ivory/white, smoking out your makeup a little more, or throwing on a leather moto jacket).
Allen Schwartz Raine Bustier Dress, $485
Even with all these ideas in mind, you don’t have to go back to the drawing board if you don’t want to. Nicole Sheppard, who was actually a wedding planner and owner of All Who Wander Event Design before she opened up her Caldwell, New Jersey dress shop, sees a lot of her brides staying the course and wearing their original, pre-pandemic gowns, even for smaller weddings. “But,” she says, “there are a lot of others who are getting creative, especially when doing a smaller wedding or ceremony in 2020 and a larger-scale event or reception in 2021.”
She adds, “Many brides are looking to their designers or even similarly minded contemporary fashion houses to find something that mimics their gown, but in a more casual, understated way.” Sheppard suggests, “a little white dress iteration or a dress that pulls in some of the most recognizable design details from their dream dress” that allows brides to “honor their original dress in a more low-key setting, but save the real deal for their party in 2021!”
People are also taking the opposite route, and Sheppard tells us her favorite “is a bride wearing her original gown for her 2020 date, as anticipated, but getting a new, even more fun gown for her 2021 celebration. We’re looking at puff sleeves, beading, a total mood, even bigger than before!” Basically, people are doing a million different things, and there are no wrong answers.
Savannah Miller reminds us that whatever details you decide on, it’s all about feeling your best on the big (or not-so-big) day. “I believe that every bride should feel like the best version of herself on her wedding day.” In 2020, “That may mean dressing in a slightly more laid-back way than you have initially anticipated, but it doesn’t mean you will look any less fabulous.” In such a crazy time for weddings (and life in general), this is exactly the mindset we all need right now.
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Images: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash; wanderatelier / Instagram; Savannah Miller; Amsale; Nadine Merabi; Shopbop; Allen Schwartz
Ever since I got engaged nine months ago, I’ve noticed a strange trend. I mean besides the constant “It’s raining on my wedding day” nightmares that keep me up at night and the ever-present fear that by the time I’m hitched I’ll have less than $10 in my bank account. I’m talking about the constant messaging telling me I need to start “shredding” or “shedding for the wedding”. Every day I see a new article about pre-wedding juice cleanses and wedding diet plans, and I’ve pretty much had it. The idea that women need to hit a certain weight or look a certain way on their wedding day in order for it to be “the best day ever” is an outdated concept rooted in sexism. Here’s why I’m 100% OVER shedding for the wedding, and why you should be too.
It Feels Like Society’s Beauty Expectations Of Women, On Steroids
Women have been held to unrealistic beauty expectations since the beginning of time, but since getting engaged, I’ve found that this expectation of having the perfect body (whatever that means) is on a whole other level. Whenever my friends got engaged they would all say, “My wedding diet starts now”. They were literally getting engaged one day and counting calories the next. I didn’t quite understand their reaction, but now, I totally get it. I’m constantly inundated with wedding content about workout regiments, foods to avoid and skincare routines (apparently I’m months behind on this). It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re engaged, if you’re a human woman who goes online, you’re no stranger to the expectations society has for us. The only difference is that when you’ve got a ring on your finger, there’s an impending deadline to achieve the aforementioned perfect body, and it’s your wedding date.
It Feels Like A Prerequisite For Getting Married
Look, I understand wanting to look and feel your best on your wedding day, I know I do, but that means different things to different people. You may have a goal weight you’ve been trying to hit and the wedding day is a good motivator, or you may feel perfectly comfortable in your own body and not feel the need to do anything (more power to you). But whatever your situation is, losing weight shouldn’t feel like a prerequisite to getting married. Content about what you should and shouldn’t be eating before your wedding and articles that claim the hardest part of wedding planning is your fitness routine (has this person ever made a seating chart?) might make you question if something’s wrong with you if you’re not dieting or amping up your workout (myself included). If you find yourself thinking like that, try to block out all the social media noise and focus on doing what makes YOU feel like your best self. I know it’s easier said than done, but maybe unfollow the #weddingworkout hashtag for a while. Don’t worry, you can still get a marriage license even if you’re not going to bridal boot camp.
Designers Are Becoming More Size-Inclusive
You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to drop weight in order to fit in a wedding dress. Cookie cutter dresses are a thing of the past, and bridal designers today are making wedding dresses for all body types and sizes, not just the stick-thin models who debut them on the runway. Supermodel Ashley Graham recently teamed up with Pronovias to launch her own size-inclusive collection, while Fame and Partners launched a capsule collection for the modern woman with David’s Bridal and new wedding dress company Floravere has gowns up to size 26, ensuring women of all sizes they’ll be able to find something that makes them feel like a million bucks. If you’re worried you’ll have to lose weight to find a gown that fits you, you can kick that fear to the curb, because it’s become much easier in recent years to find the perfect gown, no matter your body type.
Grooms Are Held To Different Standards
After being inundated with ideas of ways to change the way my body looks in time for my wedding, I asked my fiancé if he noticed anything similar. He hadn’t. I can’t say I’m surprised that there’s not this insane pressure on men to look a certain way for their wedding day, but it was disappointing to hear nonetheless. I wanted to see if there was any content out there aimed at the groom’s physical appearance on the wedding day. Come to find out, there is, but it’s scarce. I found a list of things grooms should do leading up to the wedding, and the only appearance-related tip was for them to get a haircut. And on their 12-month checklist? Apparently all they need to do is whiten their teeth. No gyms advertising groom boot camp or weight loss tips for men before they go tux shopping. Sure, not all men care as much about their appearance as Tom Sandoval, but why are only the brides being told they need to shed for the wedding in order to “look our best”? I’m exhausted just thinking about all of the things I’m supposed to be doing to my body to get it “wedding ready”, meanwhile my fiancé’s downing fried chicken and playing video games not worrying about what the f*ck he’ll look like six months from now. Ugh, to be a man.
It’s Time To End The Madness
Look, I’m not saying that dieting and exercising before your wedding day is a negative thing, but I’m tired of reading articles that imply feeling your best on your wedding day means you have to be working out and dieting beforehand. Shouldn’t you feel your best on your wedding day because you’re marrying the love of your life? Or because you’re about to attend the best party of all time? Why is weight loss so intrinsically tied to how we feel about ourselves, and why is that link only reserved for women? Your physical appearance might be a part of your wedding day journey, but it shouldn’t hijack what the day is really all about. So, let’s shatter the notion that those surface-level things are in any way the key to having a happy and joyful wedding day. It’s time to say f*ck it and halt to a stop on our never-ending journey towards unattainable beauty standards. The best way to get “wedding day ready” is to be 100% you.
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Images: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash
Calling all Bridezillas who get off on cutesy winter wonderland vibes: the WeddingWire Winter Wedding Trends list is now available to the masses! Because we want to help you make the least offensive wedding decisions possible, we’ve shared our opinions on which trends to follow and which ones to avoid like the plague. Maybe print this out for future reference.
WeddingWire says: From getting-ready attire for the wedding party to cozy blankets for the guests, this pattern is an on-trend winter staple.
We say: Methinks that if my first thought after seeing this “buffalo check” pattern is “oh, that reminds me of the flannel the dad in Making A Murderer was always wearing,” it’s probably a hard no for your wedding. This pattern is literally like, the JCC youth basketball team of fabrics. It’s nothing to be proud of and CERTAINLY nothing I’m down for my mother to photograph.
Elevated Yet Cozy Fireplace Mantels
WeddingWire says: Guests will feel like they’re at a five-star ski lodge while sipping drinks by the fireplace.
We say: I’m actually into this. Have you ever noticed that when people are sitting around a hotel fire, they don’t talk? Like, everyone collectively stares at the fireplace as if they are waiting for it to do something? I have, and I definitely see myself appreciating
an antisocial corner a fireplace when I’m tired of trying to make small talk with the strangers at my table.
Fil Coupé Detailing
WeddingWire says: Shimmery thread is being woven into eye-catching patterns on dresses from designers like Lazaro and Alexandra Grecco.
We say: Despite being totally uneducated when it comes to expensive fashion, especially expensive wedding fashion, I’m going to go ahead and trust WeddingWire that these “Lazaro” and “Alexandra Grecco” people are “admired in the industry” or whatever stoic fashion people say. Crazier wedding fashion risks have been taken (looking at you, see-through corset dresses), and the shimmery thread is a nice festive touch, so long as you don’t take it overboard and look like you got stuck in a spool of tinsel or stuck aluminum foil to your dress.
Custom Iced Sugar Cookies
WeddingWire says: Whether they’re served at the wedding, given as favors or included in welcome bags, they’re the perfect personalized treat.
We say: Sugar cookies were always THE dessert I’d flock to at sleepovers back in the day, so I’m happy to see that adults are not above them. I will literally shove anything (well, anything edible) into my mouth after a few cocktails, so I’m scared of what might happen when faced with my favorite childhood dessert. And the personalization aspect is cute and right in line with the general trend towards personalized weddings that we’ve been seeing lately. The only caveat I will give this trend is that if you’re serving it at the wedding, it’s got to supplement the cake and not replace it. What? I’m hungry after all that
Padded Headbands & Pearl Embellishments
WeddingWire says: Hair accessories are going glam this winter, adding glitz to dresses and suits alike.
We say: Right after we thought we’d put our Blair Waldorf days behind us, headbands are back in style again. Go figure. The trend seems to be “the more extra, the better”, so there’s a strong chance your kids will be asking why you were wearing a mini-helmet at your wedding, but that kind of goes for anything. At least it’s not a tiara or a flower crown.
Hot Drink Bars
WeddingWire says: Replacing the mimosa bar, hot toddy and hot chocolate bars will keep guests warm as temperatures drop.
We say: Let’s calm down with the “keeping guests warm as temperatures drop.” You know what will keep your guests the warmest? Keeping them inside. Can you imagine being freezing and then having someone trying to assure you with, “don’t worry, there’s hot chocolate!!!” No, bitch. I’m still cold. Nonetheless, it’s a cute and fun idea, just not an excuse to have your entire wedding outside in sub-zero temperatures.
Rusty Brown and Emerald Green
WeddingWire says: Nothing says winter quite like deep earth and jewel tones on attire, table linens and florals.
We say: I actually love this aesthetic for a wedding. The term “rusty brown” doesn’t exactly elicit classy, beautiful vibes, but that’s why you need to trust the experts sometimes. I mean, the pictures speak for themselves.
WeddingWire says: Iridescent décor elements incorporate an icy look on invitation suites, chargers, tablescapes and more.
We say: No, no, no, guys. Just because it is winter does not mean we are suddenly Elsa and Anna from Frozen on our WEDDING DAY! Iridescent “icy” designs are cute for like, your bachelorette party, but I cannot imagine who is incorporating this into their wedding planning unless their wedding also happens to be unicorn or mermaid themed (and if that’s the case, I’m not coming).
Maximalist Wedding Gowns
WeddingWire says: Minimalistic dresses are taking a backseat this winter while puffy sleeves and embellishments steal the show.
We say: I mean, wedding dresses always were and always will be “maximalist” simply considering, you know, that they are huge white gowns costing $5,000 and you’ll only wear it once—but yeah.
Florals Spray-Painted With Metallics
WeddingWire says: A nod to New Years’ favorite color palette, metallic paint adds dramatic shine to a bouquet or centerpiece.
We say: Can you imagine finding your place card at the wedding, sitting down, thinking “what’s that smell?” and then realizing it’s the bouquet of flowers in front of you because they are spray-painted the same way that offensive song lyric was spray-painted in that weird alleyway? DIY is cute for that kind of girl but I just…thought we were better than this.
I wish all of you winter wedding betches a lifetime of marital bliss. Sans the buffalo check, I hope!
Why is wedding planning so stressful? I mean, a lot of reasons, like the fact that weddings are expensive, your family members are probably difficult, and wedding trends are constantly changing. Like, I’m sure the first few people to put tea lights in a mason jar for their reception were seen as super thrifty and inventive, but now you can’t even breathe the words “burlap” during the wedding planning process. So before you make a wedding faux pas, we spoke to Kristen Maxwell Cooper, Editor-in-Chief of the nation’s leading multiplatform wedding resource, The Knot, about what new wedding trends we should look out for in 2020. Get your notebooks out and pay attention, because according to The Knot’s Annual List of Wedding Details to Watch Out For, these are going to be the top wedding trends of 2020.
1. Eco-Conscious Sustainability
If there’s one thing I learned from the AP Environmental Science class I took in high school, it’s that the Earth is like, in trouble. And I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the news, but caring about the environment is cool now. Even though your wedding is supposed to be all about you, you don’t have to totally trash the planet in the process. With that said, the first new 2020 wedding trend is…drumroll…going green! (Not the color, obviously.) Sustainable weddings are on the rise, and honestly, it’s about time. According to The Knot’s list, couples have been asking wedding catering companies and bartenders to bring reusable drink stirrers and straws to avoid using plastic. They’ve also been asking decorators to install gently used lounge furniture for guests to chill on, sourcing local food, choosing stationery with fewer designs and invitations using soy-based ink. I get that that’s kind of a lot, so if that’s too much for you, have no fear! There are lighter versions of being eco-friendly, like reusing flowers and decorations from the ceremony and bringing them to the reception as centerpieces or cute table decor. That’s seriously so smart. Who even pays attention to the ceremony decorations? Everyone’s too busy getting drunk and looking at the bride, anyway. Also, I feel like reusing decor saves a lot of money, and, let’s face it, nobody ever looks back at their wedding and wishes they’d spent more. Everybody wins.
2. Inclusive Menus Everyone Can Enjoy
Since everyone has suddenly decided to become vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or just be allergic to everything, one new wedding trend has couples covering all of their guests’ dietary needs. Think super creative menus with food options for even your most
unbearable unique guests. Couples have also been thinking of ways to make the culinary aspect of their wedding more interactive. Appetizers on conveyor belts and dessert stations that freeze handpicked flavored creams on-site using liquid nitrogen, anyone? I asked Cooper what she thought might be the next trendy wedding dessert, and she says we’re in for a literal treat. “We’ve been seeing tons of dessert shooters—think mini parfaits in shot glasses—which we anticipate to continue into the new year, as they can incorporate a variety of different flavors and textures,” she revealed. “Plus, they’re a quick dessert option that won’t take guests away from the dance floor for too long.” Sweet.
3. Guests Are Serving Themselves at the Bar
Ever dream of being a bartender? Me neither, but one of the newest wedding trends this year is to basically become one. Wedding guests are starting to serve themselves at the bar, and I don’t mean pulling Mango White Claws out of the cooler. Instead, this new wedding trend includes things like wall-mounted dispensers and margarita bars that allow guests to mix their own drinks all night without having to waste 20 minutes trying to get the bartender’s attention. Not to mention, you can’t complain that the pours are weak.
4. New Types of Bold Lighting
Creative couples are incorporating new types of lighting to set a different kind of wedding vibe. If you think there isn’t that much you can do with lighting, think again. Couples have been trying out new bold LED cocktail bar fronts, tube lighting draped on ceiling beams, and even creating visual art using lights. If you feel like creating a comfy, homey feeling outdoors in tents and reception areas, you can—this new trend incorporates decorative hanging lights beyond the chandelier including basket lights.
5. Florals… But Groundbreaking.
Florals are going beyond the bouquet this year, as couples have been using edible flowers in salads, ice cubes, water infusion, on desserts, in drinks, and basically anything else. If you’re obsessed with flowers like I am, this trend is probably a favorite. Florals now have couples exploring different flowery textures and shapes for a more monochromatic wedding look. By grouping similar-colored flowers, couples have been loading up on the same color petals, but mixing up different textures to create a high-end looking installation you can put on the bar or on reception tables.
6. Live Entertainment and Experiences
As if spending thousands of dollars on a wedding venue, dress, invitations, and catering isn’t enough, this new wedding trend has couples providing live entertainment and experiences for their guests at the wedding. This is the most surprising trend Cooper has witnessed so far. “One trend that surprised me at first, but that I’m excited to see more of, is live entertainment that goes beyond a band or DJ… like a magician or champagne stations,” Cooper said. “While couples have been increasingly prioritizing guest experiences over the years—the average guest count has decreased in recent years, while the spend per guest has increased; $258, up from $194 in 2010—this trend takes guest experiences to a whole new level.” As a guest, I’d be totally into this. Entertain me! But as a bride, this might be too much. Can’t we just stick to hairspray and mints in the bathroom? Apparently not, because we’re seeing more couples do make-your-own scent bars, and, yes, champagne stations in lounges outside of the restroom to make sure
you get blackout drunk the party doesn’t stop, even off of the dance floor. I’m sorry, is this a wedding or a bar mitzvah?
7. New Fashion
For our lucky number seven 2020 wedding trend, we have couples using wedding fashion to showcase personality and attire preferences. What does that even mean, you ask? Couples have been looking for fashion that fits their own personal style and sense of expression. Rather than the usual white, this trend calls upon the unconventional: jumpsuits, bolder wedding dress colors, unique textures, exaggerated sleeves, and dramatic ball gowns. I actually love this so much, considering I can barely tell one wedding dress from another and would love to see more exciting gowns. Brides and grooms have also been wearing clothes with personal and cultural significance, or twinning in “till death do us part” custom leather jackets similar to Hailey Bieber’s Off-White wedding gown.
8. Barrettes and Combs Are Having A Moment
You guys, barrettes are back, and now they’re adorned in pearls, rhinestones, and colorful enamels. “Barrettes are definitely having a moment right now and we love it—they’re a great added touch for a classic or simplistic style much like tiaras were in past years,” says Cooper. I probably wouldn’t use a barrette for my first look going down the aisle because my mother-in-law would slay me, but this could be really fun for a second reception look. Don’t worry, veils aren’t going anywhere, but this new trend comes as a cute and trendy addition.
9. Wedding Registries to Last Forever
incase anyone was confused, the best gift to give for a wedding is cold, hard cash
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) November 14, 2019
Couples have been using their registries to share more about their future plans together, as well as their values and interests. They’ve been looking to popular pop culture shows like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones to inspire registry asks such as flights to Europe or New Zealand to see where the shows were filmed. Says Cooper, “Creating and managing a wedding registry has evolved to become more digital over the years. According to The Knot‘s 2019 Registry Study, nearly two in three couples (60%) set up their primary registries online (up from 33% in 2013) and almost all (97%, up from 81% in 2013) manage their registries digitally. Couples are particularly loving all-in-one registry tools like The Knot Registry to manage all of their registries in one place, including cash funds so their guests can contribute to upcoming finances the couple is anticipating for their newlywed lives.” So basically, using tools like The Knot Registry, couples can add items from their favorite stores and tactfully ask for what they actually want: cash.
10. Unplugged Honeymoons
if I don't use my phone on my honeymoon how am I gonna know how many likes my wedding posts are getting
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) November 13, 2019
One in three couples ask guests to limit their cell phone use during the wedding ceremony, and now, since this trend keeps gaining momentum, couples have been unplugging for their entire wedding day and on their honeymoon. Unplugged honeymoons sound so good. Yay, pay attention to just me the whole time! We don’t have to go all out though, says Cooper, “At the end of the day, remember that unplugged weddings and honeymoons don’t have to be ‘all or nothing’, as you can ask guests to restrict cell phone usage just for the ceremony or even limit your phone usage to an hour per day on your honeymoon without restricting it entirely. We recommend couples opt for whatever works best for them and their partner.”
Wedding trends come and go, but we can at least expect these ten to stick around for the coming year. “As with any trends, popular wedding elements tend to fluctuate based on a variety of factors, from celebrity weddings and impactful moments in society to social issues and innovative new ideas from industry pros,” says Cooper. She adds, “Each year we release the most popular wedding details our team of experts love and anticipate to be popular in the year to come, however there’s always room for additional wedding details to become popular as the year goes on.” We’ll keep our eyes peeled and our wallets out because if there’s one thing that’s never going to change, it’s that having a wedding is expensive AF.
Images: Alasdair Elmes / Unsplash; The Wedding Artists Co. (5), haileybieber, betchesbrides / Instagram; betchesluvthis, betchesbrides / Twitter