Events expert Juliet Shenderey from Shenderey Events explores how to make your wedding day your own, with the top trends for 2019.
Last year has seen a big move away from the traditional wedding, as couples try to make their big day more alternative and most importantly, more fun. Traditionally parents would organise the big day and the bride and groom would have very little involvement. As attitudes have shifted, and social media apps such as Pinterest have exploded with DIY wedding tips, couples are much more involved in the process with very distinct ideas about what they want from their day.
Weddings now are a reflection of the couple and their families as opposed to adhering to a set style or upholding tradition – it’s a lot more about them. Some people start off with the familiar glitz of the big white wedding in mind, before realising it is not for them. Everything is a lot more personal now as couples are really trying to make their mark and imbue the event with their personality.
As we’re becoming increasingly aware of the impact events can take on the environment, couples are seeking to bring an eco-approach to their big day. Whether it’s sourcing local organic food, recycled paper for the menus and invitations or going plastic-free, sustainability really is key.
Instead of having big flower arrangements, a lot of people will go for things that can be re-used like candelabras, or plants and trees that can be replanted following the event.
Sustainability is on the Menu
There’s a real interest in the provenance of food and there’s more choice than ever in that respect. Vegan and vegetarian dishes are becoming less of an obligatory aside, and now will often take centre stage on the menu. Not only is it better for the environment, but it caters for guests with a range dietary needs (as well as giving a cost effective option for kashrut fulfilment) to ensure no one feels left out.
Taking Advantage of Tech
People often forget the impact of technology to really take their wedding to the next level. There’s an incredible amount of events technology on offer, and people are taking advantage of things like drones, projection mapping, and live hash tags to augment their guest’s experience.
Keeping Bridal Wear Simple
There’s a real simplicity coming back with a move towards less ornate wedding dresses and flowers.
The Duchess of Sussex has a lot to answer for with her wedding dress. People are opting for practicality and though it is not a word fashion conscious brides would like to use, there’s certainly been a shift towards the functional, with the additions of simple things like pockets on dresses. We’re seeing less of the conventional bone structure wedding dress, as women are putting more emphasis on comfort, seeking a dress that can carry them all through the day and evening.
Fruitcake is a Thing of the Past
There are two extremes – you’ve got the push for huge, ostentatious cakes and the trend for subverting the whole tradition with comic cakes with caricatures on top, or little cupcakes that everyone can share. You even see many couples choosing not to do a cake at all.
These days you’ve got so many alternatives to the iced fruitcake. There’s been a huge demand for cheese cakes – as in tiered wheels of actual cheese. Naked cakes, with no icing are also popular, celebrating the beauty of the ingredients within the cake.
Too Much a of Good Thing?
Social media unsurprisingly still has a huge part to play in weddings. But not in the ways you might think. Many couples are pushing back against the tide, asking guests not to post any photographs until after the wedding. They want people to enjoy themselves and be immersed in the ceremony and the party rather than focussing on their filling their timeline with selfies.
It’s Hip to Go Square
Many people are opting for a less traditional approach to the meal, with people experimenting with the shapes of tables and the layout of the room. Long banquet tables are definitely more on trend than the customary round variety, but this obviously depends on the shape and size of your venue and what is most suitable for you.
However seating plans don’t look to be disappearing any time soon. People often enjoy putting a lot of thought into manufacturing the setting to ensure their guests get on well with each other. When you’ve got 200 people or more, it’s a tried and tested way to bring your guests together (or keep them apart!).
Finding Venues that Reflect You
People often ask me what the most popular venue is. There is no such thing. It is completely dependent on the personality of the couple and what they are trying to make their wedding. People will often have a theme or a style in mind and when you’re after a pared back atmosphere, a five-star hotel isn’t going to lend a rustic feel, just like you’re not going to achieve that post-industrial chic in a barn. It’s entirely down to your style choices and there’s a real divide at the moment between those looking for a natural feel, and those who want the super bling.
Discovering your own Style
Photography is a very subjective thing, with a range of styles on offer from reportage to informal to traditional. When couples are looking for a photographer, I’ll send them shots from eight different photographers with completely disparate styles. 99% of the time they will choose a style that the photographer they thought they wanted doesn’t do. What they think they like (or believe is ‘the done thing’ to have) is not necessarily what they actually want.
More than just the food for thought!
For more event inspiration, visit Shenderey-events.com.