One of the biggest spring 2011 trends wedding planner Lori VanMeter from Springfield, Ill., sees is brides refusing to be limited to one or two colors. “They’re breaking away from that,” said VanMeter, who co-owns Magical Events with Maggie Sanderfield.
“Bridesmaids are all wearing a different color. It’s easier; you don’t have to settle on one color. You’ll have bridesmaids of different coloring, and they get to pick their own (dress) colors.” Gloria Stauffer, wedding planner and owner of Affordable Weddings in Clinton, Ill., said she is seeing bright colors on the plate for her spring weddings. Charcoal paired with yellow, fuscia or bright oranges, along with peacock and peacock colors, are popular this spring, she said. Black bridesmaid gowns are continuing to be popular, too, along with typical spring colors, said Rae Roberts-Griffith, owner of True Colors Floral Artistry in Springfield, Ill. “We’re seeing a lot of fresh greens and melon colors, like a melon-y pink that is lighter than watermelon,” she said. “It’s a very pretty color. I’ve been reading in trade magazines that this is going to be the year of pink.”
The flowers Hand-tied bouquets are big, with smaller bouquets for the bridesmaids — “more of a clutch bouquet, not large,” Roberts-Griffith said. She estimated about 90 percent of brides are opting for the hand-tied bouquets versus the cascading style. To coordinate with the black and spring gown colors, many brides are choosing hues in the one color scheme, she said. “There are a lot of brides this spring that want monochromatic bouquet — different flowers but in same color range,” she said. “If they are going with a pink dress, they might do darker or lighter pink but with the flowers all in the same color. In my shop, I like to use more unusual flowers, like flowers from Hawaii. Hydrangeas and orchids are also still very popular.”
The accessories As for attire, belts on wedding gowns are making a big statement this spring, “from simple satin ribbon to jewel encrusted belts,” Stauffer said. “I’m seeing a lot more pockets in wedding and bridesmaid dresses, and tiny clutch purses to match the dresses are also very popular,” she said. “Girls are going with feathers or crystals on their hairpieces as opposed to long veils. And I’m noticing more gloves coming back. That’s been really different and a surprise to see.” The dress Candice Blindauer, owner of Candice’s Bridal in Springfield, Ill., said fitted and flair gowns are emerging as a 2011 trend. “Fitted is really in. There are a lot more brides showing their figures,” she said. “Even the fuller ball gowns are more fitted. A lot of it is because destination weddings are so popular. Layers and scallops on gowns are really big, too.” Blindauer has noticed more brides opting for hairpieces and headbands over veils, especially headbands with flowers. “We’re seeing a lot of big flowers now in the (dress) skirts and in the hair; it’s really big,” she said.
The reception Planners in Springfield, Ill., say they expected to see the number of invitees dip down into the 100-200 range because of the economy this year, but that isn’t necessarily happening. “There are still quite a few weddings in the 300-range,” Stauffer said. “We’re still seeing a lot of the larger ones.” At the reception site, brides are more interested in decorating the venue, whether it’s paper lanterns or drapes hanging from the ceilings or more backdrops and lights at the reception hall. “We’re doing one wedding where we’re draping the entire ballroom in white satin fabric; it’s gorgeous, to die for,” Stauffer said. “We’re also being asked to light up the centerpieces; we rarely put them out now without some sort of lighting.” Reception traditions also are taking a new turn, VanMeter said. “Brides are still doing the traditional garter toss, but one thing I’m enjoying for the (bouquet) toss is they’ll have a group of three bouquets together and when they throw them, they’ll separate,” she said.
“Couples are also playing more games at the reception.” While 2011 brides are losing interest in chocolate fountains and candy buffets, cigar bars or cigar rollers are finding favor with couples who want to offer something different to their guests. “We’ve got about two or three weddings in the spring that will have a cigar bar or roller,” Stauffer said. “You can’t smoke in the venues, of course, so we’re creating smoking areas outside with nice lounge furniture.”
More couples are choosing to say their vows in the same location as the reception site, Stauffer said, usually to save money. Also, many couples are opting for reception venues that will allow them to bring in their own caterer.
“They’re asking us where they can have their own caterer. That way, they can do it cheaper,” Stauffer said. “Sometimes they’ll have family members do the hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, and then a caterer will bring in the meal. And I have seen families do their own dessert bars.”
Some couples are dressing up the reception site with Chiavari chairs, VanMeter said, which have cushions instead of covers. For another change of pace, she is coordinating a reception that will be using old and eclectic china pieces for the table settings. “Brides are definitely getting a little more casual, more eclectic and more unique,” VanMeter said.