This past weekend I attended the San Francisco Wedding Fair at the Four Seasons and was able to chat with a variety of wedding biz pros about what's trending in the world of I dos. Professionals involved in everything from wedding planning to invitations to cupcakes to dress designing gave their insight on what's going to be hot this wedding season. So if you're planning your big day or helping out someone who is, we've got the scoop on this year's big wedding trends!
Wedding dress designer Jin Wang said she's seeing less strapless mermaid gowns and more A-line and ballgown-ish dresses with straps and sleeves (like Amy Smart's gorgeous frock, pictured). But Jin shies away from using the word "modest," saying brides still want to look sensual, just unique from the sea of strapless dresses. She added that the royal wedding may be responsible for influencing this touch of elegance.
Using real flowers to garnish small cakes and cupcakes is gaining popularity, said Stephanie Scheff of Kara's Cupcakes. She added that other cake trends that are sticking around include customization with monograms etc., rustic and indie styles, and DIY.
Photographer Jim Vetter said wedding photos are becoming more about showing real emotion between the happy couple and less about perfectly posed shots. It's all about the relationship between people and not so much about the background and the scenery.
Lia Lafreniere and Christina Loff of Hello!Lucky said one of their most popular designs is their cityscapes (pictured), especially since more and more couples want to add their personal touch through icons and monograms that can be used on all their big day paper goods.
One of the big new food trends at weddings is to have a simple dinner and then late-night food for the last ones standing, said bridal consultant Amy Nichols. But whether it's a food truck, sliders, or tacos, Amy adds to make sure you serve it well after dinner.
"Gray is the new black" when it comes to weddings this year, said Alicia Falango of Alicia K Designs. And don't be surprised if you see bright oranges and yellows and some '80s inspiration at big days in 2012, she adds that with '80s fashions coming back, weddings inspired by the decade are soon to follow.
Many were shocked about bridal boutique chain Priscilla of Boston closing at the end of last year when its parent company decided to focus all its efforts on David's Bridal (dress by David's pictured), but designer Jin Wang says it's just a sign of the times. She said we live in an era of disposable clothing, with a new generation of H&M and Forever 21 buyers choosing to buy cheaper wedding dresses for practicality. The tradition of making a big fuss over visiting a boutique with your mom who buys your dress is a thing of the past, she adds, as today more and more working women are buying their own dresses and often reselling them after the big day.
While red velvet's popularity isn't going away anytime soon, the ladies from Sibby's Cupcakery (pictured) dished that one of their newer popular flavors is dulce de leche. They also added that gluten-free cupcakes are gaining momentum.
Wedding photographer Elizabeth Hurley said the type of photos her brides want is editorial and lifestyle shots. These aren't overly processed and include a lot of natural light. She adds that couples are more discerning now about the quality of their photos and are willing to spend a lot of time to get great shots.
Photo by Elizabeth Hurley Photography