some thoughts about wedding trends

As you might imagine, I spend a fair amount of time immersed in wedding style. Part of my job is knowing what's in and what's out, and being able to advise couples about how to incorporate current trends into their wedding.

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I also spend a lot of time talking with couples about what they love, what they don't love, and how they want their weddings to look and feel. To be honest, I like this part of my job a lot more than the studying up on trends part -- it really makes me happy to sit down with a couple and listen to their story, then work together to find ways to incorporate that story into the wedding day.

Over the past year, though, I've had a couple such conversations that left me feeling a little down. Both of them involved a couple's wedding vision, and their idea that their vision was somehow inadequate because it wasn't "on trend." And you know, that's not how weddings are supposed to work.

In this age of Pinterest, innumerable wedding blogs, and a few influential magazines all competing to be arbiters of wedding style, it's not hard to see how a couple might feel like their ideas aren't quite good enough. Brides and grooms these days are fed a steady diet of styled shoots and planned-to-the-nines real weddings featuring trends that change so quickly that it's virtually impossible for the average couple to keep up. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard, "I really want my wedding to be Pinterest-worthy," I could retire tomorrow.

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And what's so wrong with that? Nothing. I mean, if you want your wedding to be super-trendy, then rock on with that! Weddings that push the style envelope are so much fun, and helping couples create them is amazing. But what if the wedding you've always dreamed of in your head is suddenly -- gasp -- out of style?

Well, wedding style is a funny thing. It's not like fashion or music -- things that most people consume every day. The only people who keep up with wedding style are people who work in weddings and couples who are planning their weddings. So despite what the wedding media tells you, your guests absolutely will not cringe if you decorate your wedding with mason jars full of wildflowers that you place on burlap table runners, because most of your guests will have no clue where anything falls on the great style continuum. They'll just know that they're having a great time and that everything looks pretty, because it will. Things that are pretty don't stop being pretty just because some wedding professional somewhere got tired of seeing them.

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Now, I don't want to give you the impression that I'm above the fray here. Style shaming, gently mocking, whatever we want to call it, I'm guilty too. Earlier this year I contributed to this article on Brides.com, and just yesterday I shared an article about wedding trends on the Pretty Entertaining Facebook page. Nearly everybody in the wedding industry discusses trends because wedding style is fun, and part of our job is being able to advise clients who care about trendiness. Plus, of course, publications that feature weddings are always looking for the next new thing, so staying ahead of the curve also helps us get publicity and grow our businesses.

You know what, though? My very favorite wedding trend of all is couples having the freedom to make their weddings their own. Ten years ago, when my husband and I were preparing to get married, weddings were much more predictable than they are today. Ten years before that, putting your own style stamp on your wedding like couples do now would have been considered an actual faux pas. I love that couples these days get to express themselves and their love story through their wedding choices, and being true to yourself is something that will never go out of style.

So if you're head over heels in love with some wedding idea that's no longer in vogue, I hope you consider having it at your wedding anyway. Your wedding day will be one of your touchstone memories for the rest of your life, and it should feature the things you like best. Have the wedding you want, make style choices you love, and have a great time getting married, because a happy couple is the best focal point for any wedding day.

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