When it comes to weddings, traditionalism is taking a back seat, and couples are shaking things up to make their nuptials celebration all the more personal and extravagant. The Knot released its annual curated list of the top wedding trends for the new year last week, and everything from decor to food to entertainment is being flopped on its head in 2020.
Chicago wedding planner Lori Stephenson, owner and principal of LOLA Event Productions, says these trends are under a larger trend of "residential design."
"It's having these little pockets of things, having individual, small experiences in a big experience," said Stephenson. "It's designing the room, and the feel, and the experience. Brides and grooms just want it to feel warm and welcoming."
Below are a few of our favorite trends from The Knot's list, and Stephenson shares her thoughts and offers a few tips on how to make these ideas work.
Eco-conscious is cool. As the quest for saving the environment becomes more crucial, couples are finding creative ways to do their part on their wedding day, whether it be upcycling decor, or asking the bartender for paper straws, The Knot said. "In Chicago, this has to do with venues and caterers more than anything else," said Stephenson, who explained how caterers are not required to recycle in Chicago, but that there are requirements for composting. "The biggest footprint that events make is in carbon footprint: of guests and hotels and flowers flying in. Think small, local resources. Pick hotels that have good recycling programs and have best practices in terms of eco-friendliness."
Remix the drinks. Self-serve drink stations, like wall-mounted dispensers or margarita bars with an array of mix-ins, are on the rise, according to The Knot. Stephenson says she and her team incorporate booze in a lot of fun ways, like a mini margarita with a mini taco as a passed appetizer. "I'm doing a wedding in December and we're welcoming everyone with hotty toddys and boozy hot chocolate to lean in to the fact that it's cold," she said.
Litty city. Uplighting has proven itself a loyal go-to for transforming rooms, but taking lighting to a new level in 2020 can make your wedding reception pop in whole new ways. The Knot suggests adding tube lights or twinkle lights to ceiling beams or poles, or using hanging basket lights as an alternative to a chandelier. "Lighting is always one of the most underappreciated pieces of event design," said Stephenson, who suggests having different elements like a chandelier with candles. "We did a New Year's Eve wedding where they lit the dance floor with a huge countdown clock," she said.
Punchy hues. Has rose gold finally met its end? Maybe, according to The Knot, which says neo mint, cassis, yellow, and faded denim are going to be some of the go-to colors for the new year. "People are seeing they can be more adventurous," said Stephenson. "We're getting a lot of blue, still nature inspired, and still seeing lots of neutrals. But people are bringing pops of color which still feels elegant and timeless, but has maybe a little more punch."
Make it mystical. It was only a matter of time before the millennial obsession with mystical elements, like crystals, sage and palo santo, found its way into weddings. To make this work, Stephenson likes to look at the functionality. "I like to do things that are going to enhance the overall experience so maybe it's an herb bundle that has the same smells as the entree," she said. The Knot suggested a rose quartz crystal, the stone of love, as a favor.
Feeding 'em florals. In the new year, florals will be found in salads, ice cubes, desserts and more, according to The Knot, and aren't just there to look pretty - you can eat them! Stephenson said she and her team have been doing this for a while. "It makes any plate more beautiful and you eat with your eyes first," she said. "You can do anything, (like) edible orchids floating in a champagne glass, it's so beautiful and fresh."
The future is outside the bathroom. The old amenity basket checklist typically included hairspray, mouthwash and lotion, but now, couples are adding live entertainment in spaces right outside the potty place, like tarot card readings, magicians, or even make-your-own-scent bars, according to The Knot. Stephenson thinks you should "want the party to stay with the party," and feels like this trend is another alternative to the photo booth or an option for people who don't like to dance.
Focus on your honey. Almost one-third of couples are asking guests to abide by the unplugged ceremony policy, a growing trend, according to The Knot, and now duos are extending that to themselves on the honeymoon. "You and your new spouse had all the craziness of planning a wedding and this is the one thing you can step away (from) and focus 100% on each other," said Stephenson, who explained how there's so much pressure from social media to let everyone know what you're doing at all times. "As in marriage itself, sometimes a little mystery is a good thing."
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