Bridal Trend Forecast 2013

By Taylor Arnold


From a downright elegant affair to a simple outdoor ceremony, there is no shortage of wedding styles, trends and traditions. If you or someone you know is tying the knot this year, this area is home to an array of unique venues, not to mention professional bridal clothiers, caterers and photographers. To assist new brides, Metro has enlisted the help of some of the area’s best event planners to identify the top bridal trends for 2013, as well as wedding day tips and creative ideas to make your big day stand out. 


Top Wedding Trends: What’s in for 2013
“In 2013 I believe we will see a return to glamour,” says Katie Dunn, owner and lead planner at La Fete Event Creation, Planning & Management. “I think rustic and vintage weddings will still be in style, but with a more glamorous twist: etched crystal, crystal chandeliers, lush centerpieces, beautiful lace and ruffles. I also think we will continue to see brides making the extra effort to make their wedding one-of-a-kind with personal touches, unique locations, custom logos and specialty food stations that reflect the couple’s ethnic backgrounds or favorite foods.”

According to Sabrina Seymore, owner of Mane Event Wedding and Event Planning in Durham, incorporating a couple’s ethnic backgrounds makes for a more personalized event. “We have an African- American bride who wants to have a four-post canopy, also known as a Mandap, in her ceremony,” she explains. “This is an Indian custom, but the fabrics and details of Indian weddings are becoming very popular among all cultures.”

Catherine Katz, owner of Cherished Celebrations in Cary, also sees a continuation of what she calls “the rustic-chic look.” “I predict a return to elegance, more detailed and expensive looking but not necessarily expensive,” she says. “One bride had silverware and glassware that was all mismatched; it was very eclectic and beautiful and went with that rustic, vintage-chic theme. I’ve had people do multiple small cakes instead of one large wedding cake, or cake buffets where they also have a variety of desserts. People also like to have signature drinks, such as the bride and groom’s favorite beer or wine, and lately it’s focused on local craft beers.” And when it comes to color, she predicts a softer palette. “Purple is going to be huge this year, especially darker purples. Soft pinks always go well with the rustic-chic theme, and I think we’ll see this paired with silvers and golds.”

With regard to the rustic-chic theme, Jeff Eisenhuth, owner of At Last...Weddings and Events in Raleigh, predicts softer flowers such as peonies and garden roses. “I think we’ll see more sophisticated brides this year,” he says. “With cakes, it’s more brilliant colors - a lot of reds and bold colors. People are getting away from traditional cakes, and putting more design work on them.”


Unique Venues
Gone are the days when wedding ceremonies are expected to be held in a church or synagogue and receptions in hotel ballrooms. Brides are choosing to hold their events at plantations, farms, vineyards, bed and breakfasts and many other beautiful backdrops throughout the region. “Farms such as Elodie Goat Farm (in Rougemont, NC) or Bennett Bunn Plantation (in Zebulon, NC) are wonderful options for the outdoorsy bride who wants to take advantage of our beautiful weather and landscapes,” Dunn says. “Urban venues such as the Stockroom at 230 or The Cotton Room are amazing for the swanky bride who wants a blank canvas to make her own.”

Eisenhuth suggests choosing a location that reflects a bride’s unique style. “For more of a castle setting, I like Barclay Villa in Angier,” he says. “Bay 7 in Durham is more industrial, and great for large weddings. For a rustic, outdoor reception, I like Shady Wagon Farm Bed & Breakfast in New Hill, and for a grand setting, you can’t go wrong with the Grand Marquis Ballroom in Garner.”


Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
When it comes to allocating funds for wedding vendors, it’s important to know where you can cut corners and where you should never be stingy. According to Dunn, guest comfort should always be paramount when planning the big day. “You can spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, but if your guests are outside and it’s miserably hot, or there are long food and beverage lines, or guests have to drive an hour away and don’t have easily accessible directions, it will be all anyone will be able to remember.”

Photography is another area that Seymore says should never be slighted. “There's a large chance that guests will forget what type of food they ate, what the centerpieces consisted of or any of the fine details,” she says. “They'll remember that the food was ‘good’ and the venue was ‘pretty.’ But the photographs capture those precious memories that tell the story of your wedding. I always tell my guests to make sure they invest in a good photographer who will capture all of the moments of that special day.” 

So where is it safe to cut corners? “People spend too much on party favors, especially when they have more than one type,” Eisenhuth says. The dress is another area where Katz sees brides consistently overspend. “It’s a white dress, and nobody sees the tag,” she says. “Cut back on that and spend more on food and floral.” 


Thinking Outside the Bouquet
Just because a wedding is a ritual based on tradition doesn’t mean you can’t add some non-traditional touches to make the event your own. “A lot of people are moving away from the cakes and having dessert stations,” Eisenhuth says. “They’ll have chefs come out later in the evening to make bananas foster or some creative dessert they make right onsite. People like to have food later in the evening after dancing.”

Place settings are another area where you can give your guests a little something unexpected. “Last spring I designed a place card made of quilling paper that hung on each guest’s wine glass in lieu of traditional tented place cards,” Dunn says. “I also had a bride last spring who made a magnet with a picture of each guest that was attached to a huge sign that read, ‘Find your face, find your place!’ It was a great focal point for cocktail hour and guests were able to take their magnets home. Another favorite was a custom corn hole set we had made with silhouettes of the bride and groom. We used the game at the rehearsal dinner and everyone had a blast.”

And if you are a nonconformist by nature, by all means let your unique style shine through. Seymore is currently working with a non-traditional bride. Her ceremony will have four aisles with guests along each aisle, and the bride, groom and pastor standing in the middle on a platform. “Flowers are cliché for this specific event, so we will be using feathers in her centerpieces,” she says. “Instead of cake they'll serve an assortment of exotic fruits, and lastly, the photographer will take photos of guest as they walk in ‘red carpet’ style and give them a copy as a favor.”


Editorial Resources: 

Sabrina Seymore, Owner
Mane Event Wedding and Event Planning
919.672.7886
www.maneeventplanning.com

Katie Dunn, Owner and Lead Planner
La Fete
919.427.3985
www.eventsbylafete.com

Jeff Eisenhuth, Owner
At Last...Weddings and Events
919.909.9346
www.atlastweddingsandevents.com

Catherine Katz, Owner
Cherished Celebrations
919.606.7047
www.cherishedcelebrations.com