Wedding trends come and go, and sometimes they go—and then come back again.
Expect this year’s weddings to be shiny, surprising, sweet and lingering.
For sparkle, brides are going metallic — from flowers to cakes to table settings. And forget just one awesome wedding gown—surprise!—some brides are changing dresses as many as three times during their wedding day. And, just when you thought wedding cakes couldn’t get fancier, now they’re joined by an entire dessert table. Also, forget waving goodbye to the bride and groom while the band is still playing—couples now are hitting the after-party along with their friends.
Shiny and new
Metalic decor, according to celebrity wedding planner David Tutera, is huge this year, and has staying power.
“Metallics are a color trend on the rise right now,” Tutera said. “For 2011, I expect to see them everywhere from linens to floral vessels and from table decor to bridal bouquet accents. Metallics are a luxurious touch that also add a bit of luminous texture.”
Local wedding planner Jennie McManus of Details Details agreed.
“It’s a trend in fashion, so you usually see it pop into weddings within a year or two,” McManus noted. “Metallic linens in table cloths, runners and napkins. Crystals hanging from chandeliers or a candelabra on a table for sure.”
For bride-to-be Jacquelyn LoVullo of Williamsville, it’s metallic and more. The 25-year-old started planning her September wedding the day after she was engaged this past July. One of the first things she chose? Gold painted Chiavari chairs for her 320 invited guests.
“I like bling,” she said. “I like crystals. I like big flowers with a bunch of warm colors—very elegant yet traditional with a splash of flair.”
In addition to sparkle, this year expect to see more of the bridal change-out dress, a trend that broke in 2010 and was practiced by many celebs, including Carrie Underwood and Ashley Simpson.
“Creating the unexpected doesn’t mean you have to throw a lot of money at something,” said McManus. “People are very selective about where they want to spend their money. In Buffalo your money tends to go 30 percent further. That’s why people are coming back here from New York, San Francisco and Boston to get married.”
Wedding after-parties came into fashion some years back, but Tutera predicted their popularity will grow in 2011.
“A couple will invite all, or a select few, of the guests to continue their celebration into the night in a more relaxed party setting,” Tutera stated in his newly published book “My Fair Wedding.” “With all the planning and anticipation that goes into a wedding, it’s no wonder why couples choose an afterparty as a way of extending their big day.”
In Buffalo, wedding planner Dawn Schregel of Distinctive Occasions noticed more wedding parties taking the fun back to a hotel or out to a club, including Social, a nightclub located in the Chippewa entertainment district with outdoor lounge seating, bottle service and proper dress required.
“Last year I saw brides wear a gown for the ceremony, a short dress for the reception and a mini-dress for the afterparty,” Schregel said. “As the day progressed into night, the bride’s dress got smaller.”
At the reception, many of our local brides inject the element of surprise into their wedding landscape. One recent reception at the Ellicott Square Building, for example, transformed the massive lobby into a romantically serene scene.
“We piped and draped the perimeter, and added uplighting so all you could see was the floor, that beautiful staircase and the tables,” recalled McManus.
At the Buffalo Club, McManus introduced fresh entertainment to a staid setting, created a Miami nightclub in one of the meeting rooms.
“It was nothing like anyone who had ever been to a wedding at the Buffalo Club had seen before,” she said.
Surprise could also be served up, suggested McManus.
“Normally you have dessert after? For one wedding we went out and got Anchor Bar chicken wings to serve to the guests after dinner,” McManus said. “That was completely unexpected.”
And while a cake remains a wedding staple, this year’s version may be paired with a selection of small gourmet treats served up at a dessert station or a monochromatic candy station.
Usually about 46 percent of the overall wedding budget is spent on the reception location, rental and food, according to the Wedding Report, a market research publication. Music is an essential element, with to-day’s tunes being played by a variety of artists.
LoVullo plans four types of live music for her wedding day, which will begin with a string quartet or guitarist at Canisius College’s Christ the King Chapel. A jazz trio will perform during the cocktail hour at Country Club of Buffalo, followed by a bagpiper and an eight-piece band at the reception.
In addition to cake, LoVullo’s wedding dessert table — officially termed Viennese Table —will feature miniature creme puffs and jam pastry hearts, caramel apple pies, mini eclairs and cheesecake bites.
“I didn’t want to lose the tradition of the cake,” LoVullo said, “but I also wanted to do something new. I thought a dessert table was a little more up-to- date.”
In Western New York, dessert tables include small cellophane bags of sponge candy tied with ribbon that matches the bride’s colors, which in Lo- Vullo’s case will be blush tones.
“Western New York is still into wedding cake, but small bites is what everyone likes to go after, and they’re after three or four at a time,” said Trish Mullaney of Dessert Deli. “We have so many of our brides coming back to get married — they like to treat their guests to something that is Western New York, and sponge candy is one of those things.”
Mia Salvaggio of the Wedding Agent in Kenmore invested big time in clear resin Ice Chiavari chairs after her clients noticed them on a television reality wedding show.
“The influence of all those wedding shows is making weddings more of an event,” Salvaggio said. “Even though those weddings are way out of reach for many brides in this area, people come here and want it. I’ll find it and figure out how to bring it here cheaper.”
Michael Forster of All Season Party & Tent Rental called the Chiavari chair one of his most popular items over the past six years, delivering 1,200 to 1,500 each weekend from May to September. This year, the barely there clear acrylic Ghost Chair may give the Chiavari some competition.
“If you really want to stand out and sparkle,” Forster said, “it’s hard to use a traditional wooden chair unless you decorate the chair correctly. The wrong chair at any table can ruin the look.”
If a wedding reflects the bride and groom’s style and personality, spend some time mulling over flower choices, suggested Timothy Walter of Flowers by Johnny, who adds bling to his tablescape with cascading fuchsia phalaenopsis orchids, lime green Bells of Ireland, silver-sprayed seeded eucalyptus and crystal beading set in a 31-inch tall nickel candelabra.
“Brides need to make their wedding all about them,” Walter said. “By choosing their favorite flower they help form their style.”
McManus recalled one bold bride who wore bright pink shoes under her gown.
“At the altar, you could see this shock of pink,” McManus said. “It was super cute. Expressing yourself with color is pretty fabulous.”