“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
—When Harry Met Sally, 1989
It’s happening. It’s going to be the biggest day of your life. It’s the day you’ve been dreaming of, anxiously anticipating since you were a teen. You can picture your dress, taste the cake, see the beautiful decor within the venue. Then that true love of yours gets down on one knee with a tiny box, places the diamond inside your champagne flute at a fancy restaurant, fills your workplace with 1,000 yellow daisies, performs a musical number with a flash mob, or holds up a sign with that one simple question just before skydiving…
Will you marry me?
The flutter of post-engagement excitement begins. You can’t stop staring at your ring finger as it sparkles in the sunlight. The news is told to the most important players. Then, after the shockwave simmers, it is time to plan, for real. Suddenly it seems overwhelming. What is the best theme? How many guests should I invite? Does that perfect dress actually exist? Why in the world does Pinterest have so many ideas?! Some brides then make a whirring noise and simply shut down. If you’re stuck and stressed, take a few deep breaths, sip the alcohol of your choice and see what trends suite you best for 2017:
SET THE MOOD
The theme is essential to starting off the planning process.
Whether you decide to have your wedding in a garden, forest or indoors, surrounding yourself with plant-life and greenery will tie you to nature and give you that supple, earthy vibe.
Kick It in the Country
Nothing is more warm and inviting than a rustic ceremony and reception. You can beautify a simple barn with wooden stumps, lanterns, burlap, lace and gleaming white lights dangling from the rafters.
You can’t go wrong with ageless fashion. Go for a Great Gatsby feel, complete with head-pieces, sequins and feathers, or go for a more homespun 1940s look. Don’t forget the lace and pearls.
It never fails to have that carefree feel. Bohemian-themed weddings are on point and show that you can have the casual element and still be classy. Free-spirited and pretty.
Happily Ever After
Once upon a time you may have thought that having a fairy tale wedding is a cliché, but this is the one moment when strewing the aisle with flower petals, having the Cinderella-inspired gown and over-the-top decor is acceptable.
TRIM AND TRUE
The dress is what will be remembered. Brides have not always worn white. “In biblical days, blue (not white) represented purity, and the bride and groom would wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire (hence ‘something blue’),” according to brideandgroom.com.
Add Some Volume
Don’t hesitate to spring for some cascading ruffles, and fully tiered skirts, which pair well with beachy waves, a wedding hairstyle that never goes out of style, according to Brides.
Stunning in Sleeves
Long-sleeve dresses are still in vogue this year, with just a little more flare. Bring on the bell sleeves and puffy bishop sleeves.
PIECE OF CAKE
You can have your cake and eat it, too; that is, if you’re not too busy dancing! The dessert can be a great way to express your individuality and bring an added element of magic to the reception. “Originally, the cake was not eaten by but thrown at the bride! It developed as one of the many fertility traditions surrounding a wedding,” according to brideandgroom.com. “Wheat, too, is traditionally a symbol of fruitfulness and was among the earliest grains (predating rice) to be ceremoniously showered on the bride and groom.”
A little color never hurts, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with your favorite shade at the base of the cake and have it get lighter and lighter and eventually turn to white at the top. It makes the color pop even more.
Make a Split
Marriage is all about compromise, so why not start with the cake? Half for the bride and half for the groom, which probably will mean that one side is creamy and elegant, and the other is populated with a favorite sports team logo, superheroes or something with a little more flavor. It doesn’t just have to be the exterior that mismatches: It’s in vogue to do half chocolate praline, with the other half strawberry cream. You make the rules.
In the Nude
Never been a frosting fan? You’re in luck. Naked cakes are still an amazing alternative. It might be hard to fathom a cake without that sugar-filled outer coating, but these creations are breathtakingly chic, simple and sophisticated.
Taste the Rainbow
If you’ve always had a soft spot for Funfetti, why not bedazzle your cake with rainbow sprinkles? It’s a fun, whimsical approach that never fails to send smiles across the room.
Off the Beaten Path
These days it’s trending to veer completely away from tradition and do something bold. Why not go for tiers of stacked deep-fried donuts? They can be different types with an assortment of toppings or clad in a uniform romantic glaze. Either way, they are a giant crowd pleaser.
If you really want to catch the eyes of your guests, go with a geode cake. These masterpieces are covered in edible rock candy crystals and truly are a sight to behold.
Love is in full bloom. How do you select floral arrangements and bouquets that will flow with the rest of the nuptials? “Before the use of flowers in the bridal bouquet, women carried aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs, and grains to drive evil spirits away as they walked down the aisle,” according to brideandgroom.com. “Over time, these were replaced with flowers, symbolizing fertility and everlasting love.”
Dainty and Delicate
Softer color palettes with creams, grays and some greenery mixed in, with a blend of bolder hues such as hot pinks, reds and purples are trending.
Peonies, anemone, ranunculus, garden roses and spray roses are the cream of the crop selections, according to shefinds.com.
Don’t worry, it’s completely cool to add plants, vegetables and fruits to your center-pieces. And nutritious, too!
Leaf It Alone
Don’t be shy to fill your arrangements with pine cones, rocks, sticks, and leaves. Let Mother Nature take her course.
Into the Wild
Try a more rustic blend. According to the latest Flower Trends Forecast, throw together ranunculus, garden roses, coneflower pods, eucalyptus sprigs and asparagus ferns.
LET’S GET IT STARTED
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are an essential rite of passage. “More commonly known today as the bachelor party, this celebration in the groom’s honor was originally called the bachelor dinner, or stag party. It first came about in the fifth century, in Sparta, where military comrades would feast and toast one another on the eve of a friend’s wedding,” according to brideandgroom.com.
Girls Gone Mild
Spend a relaxing weekend sharing a beach house and soaking up the sun.
Take to the ski slopes, hike at a national park, or head to a quaint B&B.
The Big Apple
The bright lights, hopping night clubs, and amazing eateries of New York City are just a train ride or cheap flight away.
Head to Las Vegas and soak in the flashing lights, gaming tables and pool parties in the land of zero sleep.
Buds and Bros
Tour of a brewery, gear up with some craft beers and take in a game with the boys.
Take a Hike
More men are choosing to ditch tradition and head to the country with 12-packs, fishing poles and hunting rifles. Outdoor adventures are becoming all the rage.
Selecting the dresses for your bridal crew can be a stressful task, so arm yourself with these useful tips. “For a long time, bridesmaids wore dresses much like the bride’s gown, while ushers dressed in clothing that was similar to the groom’s attire. This tradition began for protection against evil rather than for uniformity; if evil spirits or jealous suitors attempted to harm the newlyweds, they would be confused as to which two people were the bride and groom,” according to brideandgroom.com.
Pick a color and let each of your bridesmaids wear different hues. The results are gorgeous photos and happy ladies. Win, win!
Tulle Me About It
A timeless classic is to have your girls clad in tea length tulle. Just say yes.
MOH, Please Stand Up
Want your Maid of Honor to stand out from the rest of the pack? Make her dress dissimilar: a patterned gown amongst solid shades, the glittery touch of sequins, or a completely different color. Can’t go wrong.
We are in the midst of a ‘90s revival, so naturally, velvet dresses are back and better than ever! Works well for weddings that take place during the chilly months of the year.
Flowing and Fabulous
Flutter sleeves are both feminine and flattering. Perfect touch if you want that boho chic style.
Crop tops with a skirt never hurt. This is a fresh, young look that really lets the bride’s dress stick out. Whatever the attire, traditions and trends, just make your wedding your own and enjoy your big day. Celebrating love, family and friends is what it’s all about.
After earning her Master’s in Journalism from NYU in 2014, Molly Congdon planned a wedding of her own in 2016. She and her husband Darrin are now expecting twins and reside in Ballston Lake. See Molly’s blog and photos of her Lake George wedding at http://www.saratogaliving.com/departments/style/happily-ever-hundson.