From a return to regionalism to the trappings of social media, things rarely stand still in the world of weddings. So what are the emerging current trends? Nobody can predict the future, but over the course of each season, we see new ideas taking shape. And this year especially, we’re seeing a definite shift or three in the making. So what does this mean to the couple getting married in 2017 or 2018? As much or as little as you want is the short answer; because couples breaking norms and hand-picking their own personalised weddings is a trend in itself. Here are 6 of the curious current wedding fashions and habits making themselves felt at the moment.
1. Seasonal and year-round weddings are no longer "alternative"
If the conventions of seasonal planning looked a little unsteady 5 years ago, the whole wedding calendar has been blown wide open by 2017. No longer is a summer wedding a must for most couples. Why is this? The stylistic elements of each season can bring an added fun to proceedings- as well as have an effect on the bill. But could it also have something to do with our changing climate? With global warming, May can be the best month of the year, while even October and November can be disarmingly lovely. Or not as the case may be; but then again, the same can be said of July!
Here's a reality check for every couple: whichever date you book for your wedding, you have to throw the dice and hope the Great British climate cooperates. The old “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” maxim is as true as ever. But for many couples, the cost is a big consideration too - and you can often get the best value wedding packages outside the peak season or during mid-week periods. In one sense it's simple economics: most hotels and wedding venues need your business most when bookings are lower. Don't tell everyone we said that...
2. All Back to the 1970s
The retro revival is back... yet again! (70s Chic wedding dress by Vintage Bridal Studio)
Among wedding trend setters, there is always the battle to establish which era of yesteryear has grabbed the industry by the hem of its dress and given it a yank. But if we had to identify one decade back with a bang it would have to be the 1970s. Not so much because of Donald Trump taking global politics back 40 years (well, we blinkin' hope not), but because of bolder retro stylings, sounds and several key features of that era coming right back in.
Think about it for a minute and you probably knew it already. Vinyl is back (and DJs dealing with real records are in demand!); James Brown and David Bowie are so much cooler than today’s dancefloor lightweights. The fashions are also everywhere you look too, from flares and fringes to disco balls and leather jackets. And men without facial hair looking like an endangered species. Then there are the retro games too (hugely popular for the chaps at weddings!) and those funny foil balloons that were also a hallmark of the decade. Enjoy this trend while it lasts, we say.
One thing totally missing from the 1970s, however, were hashtags (in fact that very term probably meant something VERY different!). The difference between ’71 and ’17 could not be more stark in terms of digital technology, in fact. Never mind smartphones, in the age of space hoppers and punk rock, your dad thought stereo sound was the cutting edge.
Love it or #hate it then, social media is here to stay. But is the hashtag a bit of fun or the work of the devil? That depends how you play it, but for many couples, having a hashtag for their wedding is a must. Nor is it just a 21st century foible; by getting all your guests to hashtag their pictures and memories, all those gold-dust moments can be pooled together into one great big happy archive. Just one tip however; your own hashtag MUST be original. #Mr&MrsJones or #WelshWedding are almost certain to have been nabbed.
4. The return of local & national pride?
We could easily sit here and pretend that we’ve discovered the brand new formula for the ultimate wedding. But the truth is that everything works in cycles and we are all influenced by the era we live in. Perhaps in Brexit era Britain we shouldn’t be too surprised to see a return to all things local, warmly familiar and -gulp!- a little nationalist?
There's no shame in a bit -or a lot!- of local and national character (Classic Welsh love spoon)
Welsh flowers and local traditions are a firm feature for many weddings in Cymru at present (as you might have seen in our previous blog on quirky Welsh wedding customs). So are all things Celtic and traditional when it comes to gifts, whether it's the classic Welsh love spoon or a dragon or two in the mix. This probably has less to do with rampant nationalism than a desire to hold onto all things family and homely in a world that seems nuttier by the day.
For some it is also an ethical decision to use food and flowers that didn’t travel half way around the world; for others it is a conscious decision to support your area and give a warm glow to older family members. In style terms, we can’t help but see it as something welcome that Welsh flowers, decorations and customs are back with a vengeance. Not only with national colours of red, green and white in the bunting, but with locally made and picked fare. And why not? In the long run, love is all about those familiar things we hold dear.
5. Handcrafted Décor & Invites
Whether we are all feeling crafty these days or the post-Brexit pound is making international prices higher, we’re seeing a definite present shift towards “create your own” invites, placeholders and the rest. Perhaps this could also be a bit of a backlash against the tide of Amazon and Ebay, where it is all too easy to get cookie cutter style decorations shipped from the other side of the globe?
Putting your own stamp on things! (Image & invite stamper by festivalbrides.co.uk)
Here’s the thing: personal is always best and if you have a friend or contact who can produce invites and décor with love and flair, nothing beats that one-off, handmade feel. We’ve seen some fantastic old fashioned printed, hand-stamped and marbled finishes lately. If you don’t have a pal who is a dab hand at this sort of thing, go for a local supplier with a craft edge.
6. Freestyle food & craft booze!
There was a time when you might pick your wedding food and drink according to what wouldn’t upset your auntie. Thankfully, those days are dead and buried as old clichés are challenged and couples become more adventurous. Sometimes it’s a cultural thing (if half your family is Italian or Indian, for instance, you would be silly not to have a taste of something excellent from home on your food and drinks menu). But perhaps it is also a recognition of the golden age we live in for all things craft. Why on earth, for example, was it ever considered a sin not to have posh wine at a wedding, and yet totally acceptable for the only beer to be mediocre lager?
You wouldn't serve bad wine at a wedding, so why not insist on great beer? (Mr and Mrs beer glasses by Scissor Mill)
We’re seeing more and more specific requests here at Court Colman Manor. And that’s fine with us, because while we will gladly arrange something delightfully traditional, we also make some of the finest Indian food in Wales. Again, whatever happens in 2017 & 2018 the final choice should be yours. It is about your sense of fun and identity, not to mention the happiness of your guests. And on that note we wish you a great year ahead for romance.
Beautifully original weddings in South Wales, at Court Colman Manor
Are you looking for the perfect place to get married in Wales? Situated just outside Bridgend near the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, yet comfortably near Swansea and Cardiff, our beautiful manor house and grounds provide the most elegant of Welsh wedding venues! Add our friendly, experienced staff and excellent food, and you have all the makings of a unique occasion. Why not peruse our dedicated weddings section or come to one of our special wedding showcase events to find out more?