Hot Wedding Trends for the Summer

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Modern and Memorable While the institution of weddings is a tradition that dates back centuries, recent years have seen brides excitedly scrolling through Pinterest and Etsy pages for inspiration, researching to ensure that their weddings are up-to-date and unique. Before temperatures rise and days lengthen, prospective brides hurry to send out Save-the-Dates to secure the perfect summer night for their special day, ushering in our favorite time of the year: Wedding Season. This season’s trends provide brides with an endless array of opportunities to customize every detail of their weddings for a poignant and emotional ceremony. Here are some of the latest wedding ideas you can expect to see walking down the aisle this summer.

Non-Traditional Catering Instead of a classic sit-down dinner or buffet, this summer will introduce the food-cart catering trend. Brides can style a series of carts where guests can serve themselves cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. Brides can even incorporate their favorite food trucks, fast-food joints, or delicious home-cooking into their big days. Food trends, such as fine wine and cheese bars and healthier fruit-infused centerpieces, are making their way into the pre- and post- ceremony arrangements as well.

Breaking Away from the White Wedding Cake Forthcoming summer weddings will see smaller cakes infused with the bridal party’s favorite flavors, instead of the traditionally large and decorous wedding cake. Chances are, there may even be donuts in store for wedding guests! Couples are leaning towards uncommon pairings of designs, frostings, and flavors for desserts. If you’re not tied to the traditional white wedding cake, opt for something a little more fun and unique—how does a cake made entirely of cheese sound? These latest wedding ideas are not only unique, but are personal and distinctly memorable.

The Cocktail Trends Champagne has been a wedding staple for decades, often essential when toasting to a newlywed couple. This summer, the latest wedding ideas include fresh cocktails accented with stems of floral decor. Newly invented cocktails, representing the personalities of the wedding couple, are often concocted by the bride, groom, and a mixologist. Often, the chosen cocktails are prepared in batches, so guests can serve themselves. Trending colors such as copper and rose gold also make their way into the color schemes for cups and cocktail mugs.

A New Take on the Bouquet While in most weddings, the floral arrangements are made up of several different types of flowers whose colors match the chosen wedding colors, this summer’s brides have made single bloom or personalized bouquets with only their favorite florals a desirable alternative. Brides have also started choosing the more subtle and hands-free option of wrist corsages for their bridesmaids. While a more casual ceremony will have an arrangement of stems in various hues, formal celebrations may feature lush two-tone blooms and greenery bouquets, like ivy and seeded eucalyptus for a more natural look suitable for an outdoor celebration. Many couples are taking advantage of the latest wedding ideas by extending the floral decor to the guest favors, by creating handmade, baby succulent arrangements.

The Casual Bride While it has been traditional for a bride to wear an elaborate hairstyle and more makeup than usual in an effort to look amazing for photos, summer brides may opt for a more casual and subtle appearance. The latest wedding ideas may feature a more natural looking bride with fuss-free hair and makeup, possibly even in an elevated braid. Some brides are even opting out of one of the oldest and most well-known traditions and choosing a non-white wedding dress or jumpsuit in place of the white wedding gown. Summer brides will ditch classic wedding heels to embrace their inner boho babe and arrive barefoot, in chic flats, or in comfy sneakers.

...And Casual Groom While a groom dressed in a tuxedo and matching dress shoes has become a timeless standard for weddings, this summer’s weddings may feature a more modern and contemporary look. In place of classic dress shoes, grooms and groomsmen may be wearing their favorite pair of semi-dressy leather sneakers. Additionally, although traditional grooms have been expected to be clean shaven for wedding photos, this summer’s wedding may feature grooms with subtle stubble or full beards.

The Bridesmaids Bridesmaids have long been expected to wear the same color, cut, and brand of dress on the day of the wedding. It has also been tradition that bridesmaids gowns should be contrasting colors to the bride’s white wedding dress. This summer, bridesmaids have been encouraged to abandon this tradition in favor for adapting some of the latest wedding ideas, which include choosing their own dresses. While hot pink and strapless may look incredible on one of your besties, it may not suit your cousin. Allowing each bridesmaid to choose her own dress ensures the entire wedding party looks fantastic. While white has traditionally been reserved for the bride, this summer’s latest wedding ideas allows for white bridal parties with a bride’s non-white wedding dress. Still, many other brides are replacing dresses completely and have even shifted towards elegant crop tops and long, chiffon skirts for the ceremony and reception as well. Since many brides often have trouble deciding on one specific color, some have opted for two or even three-tone dresses. Some brides have also purposely chosen to highlight their Maids of Honor in a multicolor dress to contrast the solid colors worn by the rest of the bridal party. Furthermore, instead of focusing strictly on gender, couples have changed the norm by inviting bridesmen and groomsmaids to their wedding parties.

Revolutionizing the Ceremony As we adapt to new advancements in technology, fashion, and culture, new traditions and rules can be evident in the modern wedding celebration. To keep their day special, unique, and interruption-free, some of the rules implemented require phone-free guests, unique lakeside and beach venues, and breaks from conventional wedding decor. In place of traditional churches or temples, bride-to-be’s are also choosing to decorate their venues with Tuscan-inspired design moments, circular ceremony seating arrangements, or even comfortable, lounge-style floor seating. Also, instead of a priest or a religious figure to preside over the ceremony, many couples have chosen close friends or family members as their marriage officiants. These are unique ways to not only customize your special day, but are prime examples of how the latest wedding ideas involve foregoing tradition.

Artfulness and the Ceremony Brides have begun to impress their invitees with artistic and elaborate mailed wedding invitations featuring designs such as customized calligraphy. The latest trend in stationery has featured a pop of neon accents on a classic letterpress wedding invitation or a laser-cut detail in bright neon color. On the day of the wedding, guests will be kept engaged with interactive guestbooks and may even receive calligraphy thank you notes following the ceremony. If you’re feeling the bright colored trend, add some neon to your program fans, menus, or farewell confetti. Impress their guests with branded and personalized decor and wedding favors, like marbled pillows, hand-dipped in the wedding’s colors. Additionally, artists will be hired to paint illustrations of the couple, guests, or scenery, as well as the customary wedding video and album. While flowers have been deemed traditional wedding decor, some brides have expanded their horizons for a wedding decorated with playfully colored tassels. To incorporate the latest wedding ideas into your special day, add a personal touch to your wedding decorations with tissue paper garlands or tasseled thread cake toppers.

The Vintage Jewelry Trend Instead of traditional white diamond adornments to match their dresses, trending brides have began to opt for more unique bridal jewelry. Brides have been seen wearing crest and nature-inspired engagement rings. Sporting rings with a fox, a lion, or a spray of flowers has become a way for brides to stand out. This season will also feature brides in pieces of heirloom jewelry that will make wedding days rich with familial history. Vintage pieces like these 18 karat white gold Waterlily Earrings will add a delicate foliate design to a bride’s look. Some brides have chosen to add vintage crowns and gem-encrusted headpieces to add an extra layer of sparkle to their ensemble. Lace trimmed veils have been abandoned for dramatic and regal crowns that add sophistication, elegance, and class. Brides have even gone so far as to layer tulle with crystal head dresses that can be re-worn on another occasion.

Mixed-Metal Engagement Rings Non-traditional engagement rings are progressively trending, like brides choose to add hints of gold into an otherwise platinum halo engagement ring paired with mismatched bands. Instead of strictly white gold or platinum, brides have requested rings with mixed colors and metals. The Manhattan, for example, is a popular choice from the Edwardian era with 18 karat yellow gold and platinum together. Similarly, the Overlake is an authentic Retro era, silver-topped, 14k yellow gold ring.

Unique Gemstone Engagement Rings Princess Diana and Kate Middleton are prime examples why colorful, gemstone engagement rings are so popular. The sapphire and diamond ring they both wore has shown brides that they have more vibrant and colorful options. Gables, for example, is a great choice for a timeless and authentic Victorian Era, 14 karat gold ring featuring a step cut emerald, accented by a halo of ten old mine cut diamonds. Similarly, Malibu is a mid-century platinum ring with a single, bezel set, cornflower blue, 3 carat sapphire flanked on both sides with six baguette cut diamonds. Alternative Wedding Registries Many couples have begun to alter the intention of their wedding registry. The latest wedding ideas don’t end with the ceremony, it extends its creative reach afterwards as well. The honeymoon registry, for example, is a popular choice that asks guests to financially contribute to a post-wedding getaway. Alternatively, brides have registered to crowdfund, contributing to a particular cause they find particularly meaningful or compelling. As a wedding usually signals the start of a life of cohabitation, brides have chosen registries to help cover the immense cost of living expenses. Registry money has recently been dedicated to  down payments for a new home or house renovations to help newlyweds start their new lives together.

The Honeymoon While the Bahamas or Hawaii have always been popular honeymoon destinations, the current getaway trend has shifted towards more unusual and exotic honeymoon destinations. For example, newlyweds have begun to plan boat trip honeymoons to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, or the Oberoi Zahra—a week-long luxury cruise on the Nile River. Other options for non-traditional honeymoons include adventurous honeymoons. Newlyweds can venture to the Galapagos Islands and spend time among tortoises, sea lions, and pelicans. They can also honeymoon at eco-friendly resorts. Kingfisher Bay Resort in Queensland, Australia, for example, allows newlyweds to get close to kangaroos, wild dingoes, and humpback whales—all without disturbing the ecosystem. These latest wedding ideas forego traditional hot spots for exotic destinations that are imaginative, adventurous, and wild. Two Honeymoons Couples have recently opted for shorter and less expensive “mini-moons” directly following their weddings and have chosen to save the longer trips for a later date when the stressful and hectic post-wedding activities have passed. These shorter honeymoons often include exploring a domestic locale for hiking, white-water rafting, or fishing. Sometimes, couples simply check into a nearby hotel for couple’s spa treatment, days lounging by the pool, romantic candlelit dinners, and unrestricted room service.

Customize Your Day While tradition is comforting and may be vitally important to some families, be sure that every detail of your wedding—from your bridesmaids’ dress colors to the flowers of your bouquet—makes you happy. Many brides become so entrenched in the idea of their wedding that they fail to enjoy the actual event. If you love the older wedding traditions, you should create your own paradise; but if you prefer to follow the latest wedding ideas, use these tips for a stylish and modern ceremony!

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