Bridal tips and trends: What's new for fall 2015

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Fall wedding season is upon us on Hilton Head and Bluffton and in this dynamite destination wedding locale, you better believe there are some outrageous shindigs being planned. So what can you expect at the weddings you attend this Fall? What last minute trends can you incorporate into your own Fall wedding? Monthly magazine has you covered with the latest from fashion to food to favors – and everything in between. This season promises to shake things up more than ever and break the mold like no other season before. Here are some of those trends, in no particular order!

bridaltips015 02Fashion & style: For bridal gowns, you can expect fashion-forward brides to be clad in plunging necklines, feathery skirts, dramatic princess gowns, crop tops and 2-piece gowns. (Don’t gasp, mom! It’s true. Cut out, crop tops are highly fashionable in 2015 and have carried over the wedding industry. Expect mid-drifts! ) Don’t be scared. If you have the right body type to pull it off, you can tastefully expose some skin and be oh-so-hip. Whether you look back on it in 2050 and cringe has yet to be determined.

Also note that in fashion you will see bridesmaids wearing a mix of patterns, sequins, solids, and florals. For another year in a row, you will not see fashion forward brides dressing their maids in cookie-cutter dresses. Just like each of her friends is unique, so should her dress be. Oh! And don’t forget LONG dress styles. They’re in. Or really, really short – but that’s another gasping style-trend for moms and not likely embraced locally in the South.

For jewelry, you will see a lot of heirloom pieces on brides and on bridesmaids, especially in the South, ladies are wearing monogram necklaces, monogram earrings, and monogram bracelets. The Lowcountry is blessed with many fantastic jewelers. Reach out to your favorite to see what they have to offer.

Photography:  For the last several years, there’s been a movement towards Instagram-style filters in wedding photography. Blurry or hazy, transferred or infer-red was all the rage. Lots of inexpensive photographers broke onto the market and claimed skill with some fancy post-production tricks. This season, brides are rediscovering the art of classic, timeless, journalistic style photography that pays homage to natural light and true-to-form events. It seems that finally, we’re passed that retro, vintage haze. (Amen!) To find a classic, journalistic style photographer, look no further than Monthly online. We have you covered with the areas best. Though this style tends to be not as inexpensive, Monthly would like to remind brides that after the cake has been eaten, the flowers have died, the music has stopped playing and the gown has been put away – what’s left? Your wedding photos. It’s probably worth that expense. It’s all that remains apart from your memories.

Food:  Over the last two or more years, the Lowcountry has really embraced a farm-to-table movement and sustainable food sourcing. This is a “trend” that doesn’t seem to be disappearing. Though some of the larger hotels won’t always start the conversation with a farm-to-table or sustainable menu, all you have to do is ask.  Our local venues have some of the best chefs and world-class kitchen staff in the country. In the hospitality industry, they’re here to serve you. So planning a menu that fits your style and desires – even if it’s not technically on the printed menu – is completely doable and en vogue this season. Sit down with your caterer and explain your vision!

You’ll continue to see miniature, perfect bite sized foods; lots of post-reception late night snacks, cookie & milk bars, candy buffets, and signature drinks.

bridaltips015 04Color palates:  It’s Fall, right?  Expect the color palate to reflect the season.  Pantone named “Marsala” the 2015 color of the year and 2014’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid, is still hot on the scene. Gray, herb/sage green colors, navy, and a “rose” color is also popular. 

We are not seeing as many all blush, white, and gold accented weddings this Fall as brides are striving for a more unique look then what’s been hitting the scene over the last few years. That being said, can you EVER go wrong with gold? (The answer is no.) Gold utensils are VERY hot for Fall. If you happen to score renting some, or find yourself eating from a gold fork this season at a wedding, you are so now.

Group gifts: These days, the hottest gift you can get the bride and groom is a spectacular excursion on their honeymoon or a big ticket item on their registry. Since these obviously are expensive, group gifts are increasingly popular. Grab a group of friends, chip in $50-100-to whatever you are comfortable with and send the bride and groom on a 2-day spa trip. A cooking class. A golf outing they’ll never forget. Because so many couples these days live together before they get married, or are already established with homes post-college, there is not a whole lot of appeal in a set of kitchen knives. Think beyond. But here’s a tip: always check their registry first. Chances are, they have registered for a honeymoon fund or experiences on emerging experience wedding websites.

Make it personal: Ask any bride and she’ll tell you that she spends time on Pinterest or flipping through the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings or BRIDES, but the idea she’s pinned or cut out “will be different.” No bride wants a cookie cutter wedding. No bride wants something that someone else did. Almost everyone wants it to be completely unique. For this reason, you will see that Fall 2015 weddings are increasingly more personal.

To make things personal, you’ll see couture designed monograms that are reflected through every detail: the favors, the dance floor, the programs, even the macaroons. Specialty stationary stores can help with all of your personalized items. 

You’ll also see lots of photos of the couple incorporated into the design, especially for sentimental brides. Maps journeying the couple’s travels together, places they have lived or vacationed, or unique ways of telling their love story will be everywhere.

For DIY, crafty brides, you may see some hand-stamped monogram or personalized stamps onto projects. From the table markers to the seating chart, the straw flags to the favor tags, personalized stamps are making their way into design. Get one made with local stamp manufacturer, PSA Essentials.

Flower power: You can never go wrong with longtime favorites such as dahlias, hydrangeas, peonies or English roses. They continue to be an elegant and safe choice for both traditional and more casual ceremonies. Pale and pink are especially popular arrangement colors heading into the fall bridal season. Mixing flowers and succulent plants is also fashionable, giving your bouquet a "just-picked-from-the-garden" look.

Hire professionals:  This one is not so much a trend but always a good idea. The day of your wedding should be a stress-free one. Outsourcing the planning, the catering (duh! Who wants to cook for all those guests!?), the photography, the videography, the rentals, the clean-up, and just about every element is possible. Luckily the area is chalk full with really outstanding wedding professionals that work with a variety of budgets. Where should you start? Hire a planner. There are several leading ones in the Lowcountry that can start from the beginning or jump on in for day of coordination. If it’s one thing that is always in trend – it’s a happy, stress-free couple and family on their big day. Don’t leave it completely on your shoulders.

More is more. For less.   Are you on a budget for your wedding? Well, who isn’t. This Fall, you can expect to see smaller guest lists at weddings.  As brides and grooms have to consider expenses of their wedding but don’t want to skimp on the food, venue, florals, or any other detail – they are executing their vision for less people. Brides can still have more – everything that they want – but for less people.  Consult online guides, your wedding planner, or Peggy Post’s Wedding Etiquette for tips on cutting your guest list. (Does your boss really need to be at your wedding? Make some hard cuts! You may thank yourself later!)

So there you have it, wedding folks!  Keep in mind that the true test of a wedding is not how trendy you are but of course, how happy you are. And no color palate, bridal fashion, mini-crab cake or fabulous group gift will ever compare to the marriage.  Focus on what’s important (your commitment to each other) to ensure total wedding day success!