Bridal's Best: Trends for 2016

   In an effort to avoid a reception that feels more like a conference or a business dinner, couples this year are opting for variety. Couples are using a mixture of smaller round and rectangular tables instead of large, round tables. Many brides know the stress of trying to plan where each guest should sit at the reception. Having a friend who isn’t single in the wedding party without his or her significant other could cause some awkwardness at the reception. While some couples are still choosing to sit their wedding party at a large head table, others are opting for a “sweethearts table.” Many brides are forgoing the idea of a seating plan completely and going for a more laid back approach. Log onto Pinterest and you’ll find boards littered with photos of handmade signs telling guests to sit wherever they please.

 

   Are you and your fiancé having trouble deciding between live music and a DJ? One wedding trend for 2016 could save you an argument. Couples are deciding to have both.

 

   Perhaps you and your fiancé met while traveling or during a semester abroad. Perhaps you both have a favorite spot, but it’s far from home and far from your wedding guests. Perhaps you’ve just been dreaming of a destination wedding. More and more couples are creating their dream destination weddings without the added cost and the added stress of a traditional destination wedding. This year, all you need is the right décor, the right lighting, and the right music to help whisk away you and your guests to a far off destination.

 

   Bridesmaids, maids-of-honor, best men, and groomsmen are starting to look like anything but what their titles suggest. This trend goes beyond brides including their best guy friend to stand with the girls or grooms including a close female friend to mix in with the guys. This year, brides are including brothers, grooms are including sisters, and couples are even including grandparents in their wedding party.

 

   Technology is finding its way into the ceremony. Brides are hiding GoPro’s in their bouquets, using FitBit’s to track their heart rate as they walk down the aisle, and using drones for photos and even to replace the ring bearer. Couples are even inventing their own hashtags for guests to use on social media during and after the wedding.

Stepping Up

   Weddings often prove to be just as exciting as a season opener, even for 7-year-old boys. When photographer Martha Ramirez at Unique Design Studios captured this moment with groom Zeus Hernandez and his son, prepping for daddy’s big moment in January, she remembers being taken by the pair. “The groom is an energetic, passionate person,” she recalls, and adds, “His son is a loving little boy with an old soul.” Elaine Spottswood and Zeus Hernandez tied the knot at The Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Key West, Fla., at the behest of the bride’s father, who owns a hotel in our country’s southernmost point. “It was a bonding moment between my son and I,” Hernandez recalls. “We were talking about Elaine becoming his actual stepmom and a Hernandez. He was already asking for a little brother!”

Take It From the Top

   Looking for a tasteful topper for your wedding day tiers? Enter Sarah Neuburger and Danielle Oyama-Hattori, two Atlanta-based artists who custom-craft personalized cake toppers. Neuburger’s line, Together Forever, and Oyama-Hattori’s line, OYAMAart, both feature hand-painted figures made of wood and fine fabrics designed to resemble each couple—from hair and skin color to nods to the newlyweds’ personal interests. “It has to look as lovely up-close as it does from far away,” remarks Oyama-Hattori, who painstakingly hand-paints her pieces. Neuburger notes that her custom creations “are a wonderful keepsake of all the choices you made for your wedding date—from the flowers and color palette to your individual clothing choices.” The artist adds, “They are intended to be used at your wedding but, more importantly, to be displayed in the home you create together for all the years thereafter.”

Care for Your Ring, Protect the Bling

After your groom slides the rock on your finger and the glow of your engagement starts to settle, you might not think about it much. It's one of the few pieces of jewelry you'll wear everyday, take precautions to keep your ring looking it's best!

   You might stop to admire your ring now and then, but throughout daily tasks, you might not pay much attention to your ring. Make sure your ring comes with an insurance policy. We insure our cars, our homes, and our health. But, how often do we think about insuring jewelry? Insuring your ring can guarantee that if your ring needs to be repaired, you’ll be covered. Get your ring inspected and cleaned. Take the measures necessary to make sure you ring lasts for years to come.

 

   Give your ring a break. From time to time, take off your ring. Laundry, working out, cleaning, washing the dishes; these are just some of the tasks that can stretch out the band or provide the perfect opportunity for the setting to break or a stone to come loose. And do you really want that 25-pound barbell bumping in to your diamond? When you do take it off, make sure you store it in a safe, clean, dry place.

 

   Don't rush to get it resized. Pregnancy is one factor that can change the size of your hands. If you become tempted to rush out and get your ring resized so that you can keep wearing it, you may want to think twice before you do. Resizing your ring too many times can be hard on the metal. Instead, wait about six months after your pregnancy to put your ring back on. Weight gain and weight loss can also cause your hands to swell or shrink, but still use caution when having your ring resized.

Made in the Shades

Bold American’s Steve Bales creates a dynamic centerpiece that is an on-trend, textural mix of ombré florals and foliage.

   Typically featuring a color gradient that fades from dark to light or vice versa, the ombré trend has swept everywhere from the runways and beauty world to home decor and now, event design. “A monochromatic centerpiece makes a big impact—it carries lots of texture with a variety of different flowers and also adds painterly interest to your table,” says Steve Bales, creative director at Bold American Events.

For this striking look, Bales chose an estate table in order to emphasize the transition from one tone to the next. “Ombré centerpieces work exceptionally well on a long table where you can showcase the design all the way down, and make it visually pleasing for guests, no matter where they are seated,” he explains. The flowers lead the eye as they transition to lighter shades extending down to both ends. “I’m drawn to featuring it in this more symmetrical way,” Bales acknowledges.

Bales chose to showcase the shaded style in a palette of greens for a fresh, spring feel, that could easily work well for a summer or winter wedding. The arrangement incorporated 12 different varieties, including green dianthus, green Fuji mums, geranium leaf, magnolia foliage, camellia foliage, Queen Anne’s lace, variegated pittosporum, green and white roses, white dahlias, white ranunculus, pale green dianthus and white Veronica. “I used green foliage to add some texture, and to work in the darkest of greens,” Bales explains. “I don’t know that this design works for everyone, but I do see this monochromatic look as suiting someone with a sophisticated style; whether that’s vintage or classic, it works for both,” Bales offers.

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