It's wedding planning season, and there are plenty of decisions to be made on vows and rings, gowns and reception venues. Let's see what's trending in nuptials this year.
Pictures PerfectPopular right now in wedding photography is a vintage feel and aesthetic, says Jody Zorn of Zorn Photography in Denver.
That can mean using vintage cameras — one couple recently requested the Zorns use an old Polaroid, in addition to their state-of-the-art digital cameras — or by adding vintage after-effects or album design elements.
Couples are also asking for more than the traditional, posed shots, Jody Zorn says, adding they want "fashion-forward" and artistic photos, as well as more free-flowing images that "really tell the story of the entire day."
Party PlacesThe trend in venues is all about the nontraditional.
Think unconventional locations, said Kerri Butler, owner of A Touch of Bliss Events — warehouses, rooftops, vacation rental homes, "the more unique the better."
Art galleries, small restaurants and breweries can also make great venues, said Lauren Smith, owner of Hourglass Productions. Going nontraditional can also reap financial benefits, Smith said — such venues can be more affordable, especially if you book them before they get too popular.
Bridal bouquets are coming up lavender (and purple) this year, according to Chuck Graham, a designer at Bloom in Denver.
Bouquets are also trending away from the "wildflower feel" popular in past years and toward a little more formality and structure, he said.
"It's more of a countryside feel — English garden or French country," Graham said. "Roses are coming back big, especially garden roses and heirloom roses. Jasmine vines, olive branch, herbs — just things you'd find in your grandma's garden, lavender, lilac, things that are almost nostalgic."
On the MenuIt's a big reception question: Buffet or plated dinner?
Many couples are forgoing both, according to Donnah Phipps, an event planner at Three Tomatoes Catering.
One popular alternative is interactive stations, with foods like mac-and-cheese or sliders and choose-your-own toppings, Phipps said.
When Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker and singer Jessie James wed last year, their reception featured a make-your-own-grits station, catered by Epicurean Group.
Another fun, cost-effective option is to hire your favorite food truck, said Nicole Lowery, co-owner of Hey Party Collective.
At smaller receptions, guests can mingle while they order at the truck. At larger gatherings, runners can bring custom menus to the tables, with pick-up at the truck.
Have your CakeA few years ago, it was almost a sin to put color on a wedding cake, according to Rachael Teufel, owner of Intricate Icings Cake Design. Now, it's all about bold colors, textures and patterns.
Metallics are becoming more popular. So is color-blocking with a bold color like fuchsia, aqua or purple on the bottom tier.
If you don't want a traditional cake, dessert bars are still popular, and the sky's the limit when it comes to options, according to caterers. Ideas include donuts and frozen yogurt with toppings.
With this RingPassing diamond rings down through the generations is a wedding tradition that many couples find appealing today, which is sparking interest in what jewelers call "heirloom" designs. "People want something that might have belonged to their grandmother — or look like it might have," said Susi Altman, general manager at Hyde Park Jewelers in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Engraving, openwork and other details give contemporary rings a vintage look, she said, adding that rose gold also has the patina of age and continues to be the hot metal.
All that GlittersWhen it comes to decor, gold is making a "huge comeback" in reception decor, said Debbie Orwat, owner of Save the Date Events.
Think gold mercury-glass vases and gold chevron table linens, she said. The same goes for glitter, Butler said — it makes a great accent on menus, escort cards and guest books.
Designer Dresses — for less
The average price for a wedding gown nationally might be $1,355 but the reality is that many brides who want a designer dress pay much more than that. Which is why it makes sense to at least look at the offerings that big-name designers Vera Wang and Zac Posen are doing more affordably for retailers like David's Bridal. Posen's new collection of seven gowns is priced from $850 to $1,350 and includes such designs as a fit-and-flare style with a corset bodice, as well as more classic looks in lace and tulle.
Party PosingPhoto booths are still a fun option, but there's a new booth in town gaining traction, according to Orwat. "Slo-mo" booths record super slow-motion video of your guests letting loose with such props as silly string and confetti. Afterwards, you get a 3- to 5-minute montage video set to music.
Pure Cinematography and Cinepro Studios offer the service locally and said the booths run between $1,200 and $2,000 for two to four hours of, ideally, late-night entertainment.
Raise a Glass
Another on-trend option is to hire a creative bartender, Butler said. "Gone is the signature cocktail, replaced by the 'emotional' cocktail,'" she said. "Tell the mixologist your mood, and he will whip up a custom concoction just for you."