Tips to make your wedding pop

Wedding trends don’t jump drastically from month to month or even year to year. But there are subtle shifts in colors, styles and menu choices that keep things fresh from season to season, allowing each couple to shine a new light on an age-old tradition.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your nuptials on trend but uniquely yours, try a few of these tips to give your guests — and yourselves — a day to remember.

Light it low. Soft lighting is “in,” so set a romantic mood by dressing up your reception using candelabras, bare Edison bulbs hung from different heights, or even street lights brought in as scenery props. 

Bring it home. You don’t have to get married at your alma mater or in your hometown to have a touch of your roots at your wedding. Adding fun elements like having your wedding party walk into the reception to your school fight song, or giving a hometown food staple as a party favor, will flavor the day with your personal histories.  

Ombre is in. The tone-on-tone look continues to be hot, and that goes for everything from bridesmaid gowns to wedding cakes. Many brides are moving away from choosing two distinct colors in general, opting instead for three to five flowers of the same shade in bouquets and centerpieces, creating a look that’s simple and chic.

Be font-abulous. Couples are using multiple fonts on invitations, creating a very custom look that spills over to the bulletin, place cards and signage at the reception. If you want to avoid a font frenzy, ask a graphic designer friend to create a wedding logo for you to use on everything from welcome bags to favor notes.

His-and-hers cocktails. The signature cocktail is getting a gendered spin with two distinct cocktails for your guests to choose from. Often they both use at least one of the same liquors, but one stays on the sweet side while the other has a bit of boldness.

Popsicle perfection. Give your guests a gourmet version of this kids’ summer treat, which is a great way to cool down after a beach wedding. You can get them spiked with alcohol or just laced with fresh fruit.

Sit down and dine. After years of people meandering to different food stations, the sit-down dinner is back, with regional flavors highlighted using local ingredients whenever possible. Remember to keep your guests’ possible dietary needs — gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc. — in mind.

Food and drink pairings. Cocktail hours are getting creative, and you can join the trend by pairing bite-sized appetizers with appropriate drinks. Try mini tacos with margarita shooters, or hot pretzel bites with a regional craft beer. 

Selfie help. People are going to do it, so you may as well help them: Create a selfie station, complete with selfie sticks, wedding day photo props, charging outlets and a handy place card reminding guests of your wedding hashtag to use on social media so you can easily find all of the fun pics you helped to facilitate.

Patterns at play. From floral bridesmaid dresses to striped wedding cakes, patterns are putting a playful spin on traditional wedding touches. Don’t box yourself in to solids: Add some plaid or paisley to your wedding décor for a bit of eye-catching wedding whimsy.

Jump(suit) into the rehearsal. Rehearsal dinners are often much less formal affairs than the big to-do the following day, and more brides are opting for a white or cream-colored jumpsuit or slacks rather than a skirt or dress. Keep it casual and set the mood for your guests to relax as well.

Southern comfort … food.  The comfort food appetizer game is strong everywhere, but the Lowcountry does it best. Ask your caterer about bite-sized mac and cheese, tiny crab cakes, mini grits, fried pickles … the choices are endlessly delicious.

Photographers go the distance. Photographers used to hit the road shortly after the cake was cut, but today’s brides and grooms want their day documented from prep to party to sendoff. Negotiate the time frame during which you want your photographer present, so you’re sure to catch every important moment for the memory books.

Say “Thanks!” Before your photographer leaves, get a special posed photo of you and the groom holding a sign in your wedding font that says “Thank you!” You can use it to create custom thank-you cards or postcards to send to guests after the wedding.