It’s still a Pinterest world out there, but more Wichita brides are leaving the details to the professionals. Instead of shabby chic and do it yourself, think vintage glam. That’s the word from Ashley Moore, who has operated Events and Design by Ashley since 2011.
Thanks to social media and the Internet, brides have more information at their fingertips. “There’s so much out there that brides are getting confused,” Moore says.
When she and her team encounter brides with multitudes of Pinterest boards and pins, the first thing they do is help brides pare it all down. Moore pulls five photos from Pinterest – they could be as simple as a trinket or a color swatch – and she creates an inspiration board for the wedding.
“Our goal is for them to sign off on it,” she says. Then the real creativity begins, with the venue being key to all decisions.
“Venue determines a lot about your wedding,” says Moore, who organized more than 35 events in 2014. “The venue is going to allow you to create or not create.” As a planner, Moore always asks couples to describe their vision for the day in three words and to tell her the three things that are most important to them for the celebration.
“If you’re more simple, go simple,” she says. “We want to be a coach. … I got into it because I love to serve people and love to decorate.”
SPLURGE! spoke with Moore and other Wichita vendors about wedding trends for 2015.
Moore says blush has previously been big, but looking at the Pantone colors for 2015, she knows that mauve, aqua and tangerine will be on the rise for Wichita weddings. Whereas silver and then gold were popular accents, the uprising accent color is now copper.
Brooke Brown, the YaYa’s banquet and catering manager, says rehearsal dinners are getting larger and more formal. Brown is working with more wedding coordinators and seeing more attention paid to linen colors and decorations for rehearsal dinners. Another trend is ditching the sit-down and offering heavy hors d'oeuvres with an open bar. She says this allows for more mingling – and more guests. YaYa’s recently did a rehearsal for 200 guests in this manner.
More brides and grooms are putting effort into entertainment features for their guests. They also want to do things that create memorable moments. The photo booth trend has altered slightly. Instead of a booth, more couples are creating open photo areas with a large customized backdrop. Beyond the photo booth, couples are incorporating games and their interests. At one wedding Moore coordinated, there was even bull riding.
Music, food and drink remain as important as ever. Moore is seeing more couples choose to offer personalized drinks, and they take care with their DJ and playlist selections. With food, a couple of things are happening. With the reception, family-style serving is becoming more popular. Clients want to help guests engage in conversation at their tables as they pass the food to one another. Another food trend is offering late-night eats for guests. For example, Moore has planned events that bring in a food truck at the end of the night or even Freddy’s.
Juliana Chary knows wedding dresses, having altered thousands upon thousands through her Quickstitch business in Wichita. She has a front-row seat to dress trends. While the skirts vary from ball gown to mermaid, she says, strapless styles consider to reign supreme, no matter the size or shape of the bride. Detailed beadwork is favored, and she is seeing a rise in popularity with lace.
“The more the bling, the better they feel in it,” Chary says.
Chary also has an eye on bridal footwear trends. “There’s lots of cowboy boots, which I personally think are very comfortable,” she says.
Other brides wear Toms or ballet slippers, but Chary tries to discourage five-inch heels, which are destined to come off during the reception. “Once you slip off your shoes, your dress is getting ruined,” she says.
However, for those who are insistent, Chary’s skill at creating bustles comes to the rescue. “I try to complement the way the dress looks,” she says.
Jessica Ammons has operated Magnolia Floral Studio since 2009 and specializes in wedding and event work. She says the floral trends for 2015 are more texture, more greenery and more uniquely shaped bridal bouquets.
“The brides are taking a more hands-off approach and trusting the professionals more,” Ammons says. For a lot of years, she says, brides wanted no greenery at all. Now, high-end greenery – such as seeded eucalyptus and magnolia foliage – is making a big comeback.
As the do it yourself trend fades a bit, Ammons is also doing a lot more centerpieces. “We’re doing more on the reception side than we had for a long time,” she says.
However, that doesn’t mean the same centerpiece on every table – that’s a look that has become passé. Sometimes, she is only doing a floral centerpiece on every third table at a reception – the others being set with other décor – but the selections are on a much grander scale for maximum impact. Other trending looks include wreaths or garlands down the center of the table.
With wedding season imminent, that means it’s time to kick the wedding planning into high gear.
“The bottom line of our industry is service,” Moore says. Overall, she says, personalization is key. Brides and grooms put a lot of effort into their special day, and they want it to be as distinctive as they are. All the little personal details add up to one big, unforgettable day.