It’s just about that time of year again when those of us in the wedding industry get together for the highly anticipated new wedding season. As I look forward to some of the trends, I can promise you that intimacy IS a growing factor (inviting who you want vs. who you feel obligated to invite/not having everything so stylized that it looks fake) and while opulence will still be in order, the feel will be more personalized.
Recently I had the opportunity to ask celebrity event planner and caterer Andrea Correale, to take a moment to reflect upon the hottest wedding trends in the current wedding season.
“The current wedding season has placed an extra emphasis on the intimacy of the ceremony and reception, which has greatly affected seating trends and serving options,” said Andrea.
With this in mind, here are Andrea’s top five tips for fall 2010
1) Non-traditional seating arrangements: Brides are moving away from the traditional seated dinner and creating a more casual, intimate atmosphere that is conducive to mingling and socializing. “We are seeing a shift from sit-down dinners to cocktail style/grazing receptions,” said Andrea. “The emphasis is on the party and dancing while the food is continuously served so that no guest leaves hungry.” There is a trend towards tasting courses or mini-meals, which are served throughout the evening on small cocktail plates. Food stations have been popular as well, which work well in conjunction with the cocktail style format.
2) Tuscan-Style Weddings: Italian-themed weddings are a huge hit this summer because the food is decadent and the atmosphere jubilant. Guests sit down at long Tuscan farm style tables, break bread and share antipasti in a family style format. “This style of wedding is particularly popular with smaller affairs,” said Andrea. “There is a real feeling of unity, of two families joining in one.” The first course is followed by a delicious pasta course and then by a classic Italian entrée. Many weddings feature different wine pairings with every course.
3) Brunch receptions: Who says the reception has to be at night? This summer many brides are featuring earlier weddings with a reception brunch. “These mid-day receptions can be especially spectacular when outside and under a decorative white tent,” said Andrea. “The upscale breakfast fair and specialty coffee and cocktail bars that have been featured enhance the decadence of these afternoon receptions.”
4) Creating an “after party” for the age appropriate guests: Often by midnight, older friends and relatives are ready to call it a night but the friends of the bride and groom are still ready to rock on. “I have many brides who request a midnight buffet or a parade of passed sliders which gives them a moment to disappear and change into something more fun and sassy for the after party,” says Andrea. In keeping with the change in attire, brides may also request that the band be replaced by a DJ so that they can let their hair down after the formality.
5) Donations in lieu of gifts: With the events of the past year, many brides are asking that donations be made in their honor instead of asking for gifts. Likewise, charitable donations made to a select organization by the bride and groom is often being given to guests instead of a favor. These two transactions are the ultimate act of intimacy, as everyone is united in a cause and celebration.
Here’s hoping your wedding day is a true reflection of who you both are and what you value most in life: family and friends.