Some things endure, others not so much.
Take, for instance, The Kiss. I am yet to attend a wedding where it was not a part of the ceremony. But wedding trends do evolve, and some traditional components come and go. So I thought it would be fun to make an annual list of things I’ve noticed new about weddings over the past year, or couple of years, since this the first annual list.
All The Single Ladies – I have to admit, I kind of hate to see the bouquet toss going away. It’s still popular with the younger couples who have a lot of single friends, but the couples who wait longer to tie the knot and don’t have as many single friends don’t feel as compelled to toss the bouquet to a small pack of toddlers.
Garter Toss – I’m probably seeing this less than fifty percent of the time at wedding receptions now, for what it is worth. Some couples like to keep the tradition and see it as cute, where others see it less in line with the times. Not for me to say. The only thing I would offer is that if you do decide to keep this tradition maybe position the bride’s chair for when the groom retrieves the garter in a way that doesn’t educate the six year old boy curiously hanging out at the edge of the dance floor.
Cupcakes – Yes! Bring on the cupcakes with flavors you’ve only dreamed of. I eat vegan and can’t partake, but I still like walking by the stacks of raspberry and chocolate and just catching a whiff.
Pizza or Donuts at 10pm – I am seeing this a lot more and it makes perfect sense. I mean, people haven’t eaten since dinner…who does that? Funny observation: there might be pans full of leftover food from the dinner buffet, but I have never seen an uneaten pizza slice or donut at reception’s end.
Suits Over Tuxes – I don’t know if this is a statement about tux fashion or what, but more grooms are in suits than tuxes these days, which means the likelihood of ruffled shirts making a comeback grows dimmer with each passing year. Also: more grooms are buying their suits instead of renting. The cost is equal, and you get to take it home for keeps. Win!
Something Borrowed… - I never hear this rhyme anymore, let alone have a request for images of said items. Is this still a thing? Am I missing out on bride lore and not even aware?
Dollar Dance – Long the mainstay of many a reception and most often the best way to collect Mad Money for the honeymoon, I see this at maybe a third of weddings. Maybe dancing with your great-uncle-third-removed is not so fun, even if he slips you a twenty.
The Shoe Game – This seems to be replacing the Dollar Dance, even though it doesn’t make the couple a dime. Still, it’s fun. And here is a good place to make a recommendation: Bring (or ask your DJ to bring) a pair of Bride and Groom labeled flip flops, kids shoes, or something to use instead of your wedding day footwear. It’s much easier than taking off your shoes (especially boots) and is much more desirable if your spouse has a foot odor problem.
Beer and Wine Only – I’m seeing venues allow less mixed drinks and beer and wine only. It may or may not be related, but I’m also seeing fewer people passed out at the back tables later in the reception.
The Friend Officiant – Once rare, maybe one in four weddings I see lately are performed by friends. Just one thing to think about: make sure you think through the details of the ceremony ahead of time. Your friend who just got ordained online with the Universal Church probably won’t know how to walk you through the rehearsal. Plus, it gets awkward when they forget to tell you to kiss.
Delayed Honeymoons – More and more couples are putting their honeymoons off to later. No surprise. The cost and work that goes into your Best Day Ever is big, and if you are paying for most or all of it yourself, you might be emotionally, physically, and financially tapped when the day comes. Don’t feel alone. Maybe one in ten of my couples this year went on a honeymoon within days of their wedding. The rest of them are waiting or waited for a better time.
Where’s the After Party? – Wedding venues nowadays are requiring weddings to be over and cleaned up by midnight so they can prepare the venue for the wedding the next day. This means a lot of receptions are cutting off at 11pm, and that’s just not enough party for some people. I hear about (but don’t go on to witness…even I have my limits) a lot of after parties at the bar, hotel, or homes later.
Photo Booths – This seems to be trending downward in popularity these days, and since I know a bunch of people who have invested heavily in these setups, I am just going to leave it at that.
Kids Activity Spaces – Lately I have noticed people setting up rooms or spaces where kids have access to coloring books or other activities. It’s a great idea if you think there will be a lot of kids there, and much preferred over telling couples their kids are not welcome. But, before you spend a lot of money on activity items, bear in mind that no coloring book is going to compete with the dance floor, period.
Buffet vs Plated – Maybe one in ten of weddings I shoot these days has a plated dinner served. It may be a cost consideration primarily, but it just seems easier to execute as well. Also, there are fewer awkward strangers hovering over your guests waiting impatiently to take away their salad plate the instant they take the last bite.
Videography – Couples ask me about this all the time. There is some kind of myth out there about a war between photographers and videographers hating each other. And it is just a myth. But couples often ask me if it is worth it. The only thing I can tell couples is this: if it is just a video record of the day you may only watch a few times, look at keeping the expense on the lower end of the scale to make the value and expense line up for you. If you are looking for something more, spend more to get the higher end, quality production that you may never grow tired of watching every anniversary. Statistically speaking, I see videographers at less than a third of my weddings.
Until next year…
Have a trend you’ve noticed or a comment? I’m all ears! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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