Style & Planning
By Tory Bluntzer
When it comes to following wedding trends, we believe in blazing your own trail. For brides seeking inspiration, however, here are 24 steal-worthy trends and ideas for your upcoming nuptials.
THOUGHTFUL THANK YOUS
Saying “thank you” never goes out of style. Show your appreciation en vogue with locally sourced gift baskets for the remarkable women in your life. Whether it’s the mother of the bride/groom, your wedding planner or a super maid of honor, celebrate their invaluable contributions with a gift as special as they are. This thoughtfully curated basket from TCU Florist offers a delightful assortment of treats, pampering items and special mementos.
NON-TRADITIONAL FLOWER GIRLS
Unconventional flower girls are making waves in the wedding scene, bringing a touch of charm and surprise to the customary role. Grandmas tossing petals, French bulldogs trotting down the aisle and sunglasses-laden groomsmen donning floral crowns have become delightful additions to the procession. It’s a creative and heartwarming trend that reminds us that love knows no age or species.
Join the ranks of iconic couples like Jackie and John Kennedy, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate and more by opting for a classic morning ceremony. By choosing a morning ceremony followed by a thoughtfully curated brunch and an afternoon reserved for relaxation, everyone gathers that evening ready to kick up their boots, setting the stage for a memorable night.
For the bride who wishes to make an entrance like no other, look no further than this enchanting accessory. Beyond its grandeur and mystique, a wedding cape symbolizes strength and grace, empowering brides with a sense of confidence and majesty on their special day. See our take on bridal capes on page 40.
Wanting straight-out-of-a-postcard photographs of your honeymoon? Enter the superhero of travel photography: Flytographer. A fun, friendly and local photographer can help you capture those lovey dovey moments, beautiful scenery and fun candids that’ll make your honeymoon shine. So go ahead, flytographer’s got your back (and your good side).
NOT YOUR MOTHER’S WEDDING DRESS
Rock that vintage glamour while adding your own modern flair to Mom’s wedding dress. Through thoughtful tailoring, you can strut down the aisle in that dress, own it at the rehearsal dinner or dance the night away knowing you’ve elevated your “something borrowed” to a whole new level of chicness.
LOVE DRUNK PHOTOS
It’s the year of the blurry wedding photos, and the trend is not slowing down. As authenticity takes precedence over perfection, couples and wedding photographers are embracing a more editorial and documentary-style approach, capturing candid moments and imperfections that reflect the genuine joy of the day. From your friends laughing together over a drink at the bar to your bowtie-clad nephews chasing the beer burros, these unposed shots with minimal direction offer a refreshing and authentic perspective on the big day.
Incorporating heirloom jewelry in wedding bands not only honors family history but also creates unique and timeless symbols of love that can be cherished for generations to come. We asked jewelry designer Megan Thorne of Megan Thorne Fine Jewels to give her take on heirloom jewelry, plus ways to care for your treasured keepsakes.
HOW CAN A COUPLE INCORPORATE FAMILY HEIRLOOM JEWELRY INTO THEIR WEDDING JEWELRY IN A WAY THAT FEELS MODERN AND PERSONALIZED?
I’m a fan of quality over quantity, emotions trump carat weight. If you are lucky enough to have access to heirloom stones, use what reminds you of beloved moments or just tickles your fancy, rather than the largest stone in the bunch. Your grandfather wore an awesome signet ring? That can be an engagement ring! The modern rule is NO RULES when it comes to engagement rings.
WHAT ARE SOME CREATIVE WAYS TO COMBINE DIFFERENT PIECES OF FAMILY HEIRLOOM JEWELRY INTO A COHESIVE AND MEANINGFUL JEWELRY SET?
Being intentional in how you use your resources — say all the stones in your wedding band come from your mother’s brooch — rather than jumbling up stones from a bunch of pieces from different family members will highlight sentimentality. You’ll feel a greater connection to the new piece when you can identify where the stones came from.
HOW CAN A COUPLE ENSURE THAT THE SENTIMENTAL VALUE OF THE FAMILY HEIRLOOM IS PRESERVED WHILE STILL ALIGNING WITH THEIR PERSONAL STYLE?
Don’t feel pressure to “make it your own.” Some pieces are perfect just as your great aunt or grandmother wore them! Adding a modern band to an antique/vintage engagement ring looks effortlessly cool.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE ON SPECIAL CARE INSTRUCTIONS OR MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR WEARING HEIRLOOM JEWELRY ON THE WEDDING DAY AND BEYOND?
Some stones are more delicate than others and, heirloom or not, should be worn with care. Diamonds and sapphires are used in traditional bridal jewelry for a reason — these stones are up to the challenge of daily wear. You might love your grandmother’s opal, but if you’d like to enjoy it for years to come, be thoughtful of the activities you are participating in when you wear it.
Proper jewelry care and storage is the best way to extend the longevity of any piece, particularly antique rings. Prongs and settings should be checked yearly by a trusted jeweler. Get into the habit of cleaning your rings regularly — simple dish soap, warm water, and a soft toothbrush are perfect — this will prevent grime buildup that can mask chips and abrasions, not to mention make your ring sparkle. Store rings separately to prevent diamonds from damaging other gemstones.
Photos provided by Megan Thorne
While nothing says “happily ever after” like a toaster that can toast your bread to Instagrammable perfection or a chic coffee maker that’ll have your caffeine-fixing neighbors knocking at your door, when it comes to registering for wedding gifts, don’t forget to make a statement! These trending registry items from PS The Letter will have your guests calling you the cool kids on the block.
Why let your beautiful wedding bouquet wither away when you can repurpose them into chic keepsakes? By preserving your blooms into custom creations like floral coasters, you can sip your morning coffee (or mimosa) with a touch of nostalgia. So, preserve those petals, mix in some resin magic and let your wedding blooms live on in a fabulous and functional way.
ON THE DAY CONTENT CREATION
Don’t want to wait weeks before posting that first batch of wedding photos? For couples who want to fully immerse themselves in the moment while sharing their special day on TikTok and Instagram, hiring a social content creator for your wedding can be the perfect solution. These talented professionals capture and edit photos and videos specifically tailored for social media, ensuring the best angles, trending audio and seamless transitions. With real-time capturing and editing, you can rest assured that by the time your head hits the pillow, you’ll have stunning content delivered by a professional influencer dedicated to making your wedding shine.
WELLNESS BACHELORETTE PARTIES
We welcome the era of wellness bachelorette parties, where brides and their squads indulge in rejuvenating spa days, relaxing afternoons on the beach and bond over healthy gourmet feasts. From serene retreats to wellness resorts, these parties prioritize relaxation, self-care and creating lasting memories while ensuring the bride-to-be is ready to walk down the aisle feeling her best.
TRANSFORMABLE WEDDING DRESSES
Transformable wedding dresses are the ultimate fashion chameleon for brides seeking versatility on their big day. With detachable skirts, convertible necklines or removable sleeves, these dresses offer multiple looks in one, allowing you to effortlessly transition from ceremony elegance to reception glamour.
EPIC GROOM’S CAKES
Who says the wedding cake should have all the glory? From hobby-inspired masterpieces (anyone remember the armadillo groom’s cake from “Steel Magnolias”?) to larger-than-life alma mater tributes, show-stopping groom’s cakes are en vogue. Surprise your hubby with a custom creation just for him because when it comes to groom’s cakes, there is no such thing as too much extravagance.
HONEYMOON HOT SPOTS
International travel is soaring to new heights, and we’re here for it! To ignite your wanderlust, we’ve tapped travel advisor Sydney Patterson to share her top four honeymoon destinations beyond the borders of the United States.
“Nestled in Italy’s sun-kissed embrace, a honeymoon along the mesmerizing Amalfi Coast seamlessly blends breathtaking coastal vistas, captivating culture and dolce vita charm,” says the senior travel advisor. From exploring Positano to visiting the legendary Blue Grotto, discovering the ancient ruins of Pompeii to savoring the vibrant culture, the opportunities for adventure are endless. Don’t forget the limoncello!
St. Lucia, Sydney Patterson Travel’s top booked honeymoon destination, offers a truly enchanting experience with its majestic volcanic peaks, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls and the alluring Sugar Beach. Beyond the beach, couples can hike the iconic Pitons, explore hidden coves for snorkeling, indulge in therapeutic mud baths, create their own chocolate and immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture, making St. Lucia the perfect destination where love and paradise intertwine.
Paris, renowned as the ‘City of Light’ and embraced as the ‘City of Love,’ exudes the irresistible aura of romance through its winding cobblestone streets, world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral and charming sidewalk cafés where couples can savor French pastries and bask in their newly wedded bliss. Pairing it with the French Riviera’s Côte d’Azur to the south, known for its glamourous beaches, breathtaking coastline and historic coastal towns, Paris offers newlyweds a truly storybook journey.
For the trip of a lifetime against the backdrop of untamed wonders, look no further than East Africa. Adventurous couples embarking on an African Safari experience thrilling game drives, encounter incredible wildlife and witness awe-inspiring landscapes. Continuing farther east, the Seychelles Islands provide a paradisiacal escape with white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and lush tropical landscapes. “A little adventure mixed with zen romance equals honeymoon perfection,” says Sydney.
360west WEDDINGS TRAVEL TIPS
BOOK A.M. FLIGHTS
Opting for morning, nonstop flights drastically reduces the chances of major flight disruptions.
AIRTAG YOUR BAG
Placing an AirTag in your checked bag ensures that, if your bag gets lost, you have a much better chance of locating it. (The police have even used Apple AirTag data to help crack luggage theft cases.)
BRING A BACKUP CARD
A frozen or stolen card can leave you stranded without access to funds. Always bring a backup as a financial safety net.
TAKE THE LEFT LANE
Most people are right-handed and gravitate towards the right lane in security lines. Look left for a quicker trip through!
CHECK CULTURAL NORMS
A two-minute Google search on the cultural norms and no-nos of your destination can go a long way in helping you avoid unintentional mistakes.
ONE SHOE IN THE SAFE
To avoid the disaster of forgetting your valuables in the safe when checking out, put something you will undoubtedly miss on your way out the door (ie, your other shoe).
ASK FOR UPGRADES
It’s worth asking, especially on your honeymoon, as many hotels are willing to accommodate special requests to enhance your experience.
RECORD YOUR EXPERIENCES
Capture the moments and people that make your travels special. Years from now, you’ll reminisce about the places you’ve been, the friends you’ve made and the adventures you’ve had along the way.
For couples who want to maintain the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding while also easing pre-wedding nerves, the “first touch” offers the perfect compromise. This intimate moment allows you to talk, hold hands or even share a comforting embrace without laying eyes on each other. It’s a beautiful way to connect, exchange words of love and encouragement and find solace in each other before the ceremony, leaving you both feeling more grounded and ready to begin your journey down the aisle.
NON-TRADITIONAL GUEST BOOKS
While a traditional guest book is always a solid option, there are plenty of fun and playful choices that can reflect your unique style and make a memorable statement at your wedding. Picture your guests signing Polaroid pictures, scribbling their names on Jenga pieces or leaving heartfelt audio messages on a vintage rotary phone that’ll have you laughing and crying for years to come.
PRIVATE LAST DANCE
Here’s a little secret for you newlyweds to savor: the private last dance at your wedding. While everyone else is busy throwing confetti and bidding farewell, you two can steal a moment to slow dance in your own world, relishing the fact that the party isn’t over just yet. Let the DJ spin your favorite tune and soak up the magic as you end your wedding night on a romantic and oh-so-exclusive note.