2013 & 2014 Wedding Trends II – Striking the Right Balance Between Formal and Fun

Both ‘circus’ and ‘rustic’ styled weddings are popular themes recently, mainly because they offer a more informal, natural and relaxed alternative to a traditional white wedding that some perceive as overly formal, staid and stuffy.

Circus styled weddings

 Circus styled weddings

These are just a couple of indications that demonstrate that there has been a noticeable switch in bridal priorities from Formal to Fun and they have been widely portrayed within the wedding media. So much so in fact that you are unlikely to find a wedding magazine, website or blog that doesn’t cover the ‘circus’ or ‘rustic’ themes in considerable depth.

Rustic style wedding via Green Wedding Shoes

 Rustic style wedding via Green Wedding Shoes

From an industry point of view this is only natural – after all there are pages and space to fill and a readership desperate to know ‘what’s hot and what’s not’. And contrary to many other contemporary themes one could choose, both ‘rustic’ or ‘circus’ themes are appropriate from a wedding perspective and they certainly look a lot of fun, at least when properly managed.

Gold and yellow bridal bouquet via Martha S

Gold and yellow bridal bouquet via Martha S

Circus wedding invitation

 Circus wedding invitation

The problem is with weddings based on unusual themes, all too often they are taken to extremes and can even lack any sort of formality whatsoever. This might be fine for the couple getting married but family and friends are often left feeling unnecessarily uncomfortable, especially if, for instance, fancy dress is a requirement of attendance!

One could argue that it’s the bride and groom’s big day; they are the ones getting married so why shouldn’t they have the wedding exactly how they want it?

Star wars wedding vows

 Star wars wedding vows

Take, for instance, the recent headlines concerning a couple’s blatantly rude wedding invitation that indicated they would prefer guests did not to come to their ‘destination’ wedding overseas.  It’s an extreme example I know, but it does serve to demonstrate the lengths some couples will go to getting the wedding they want.

Yet I would suggest that when the couple look back in 10 or 20 years to such a monumental time in their lives, there is a good chance they will regret their selfish and rather obnoxiousness position.

And likewise, if you opt for a wedding that is based widely upon an unusual wedding theme you should consider the possibility that when you look back at your wedding photographs in years to come, you may well regret the extremes you went to. (Especially if you have opted for a Twilight / Disney Princess, Vampire / Gothic, Star Wars / Star Trek / Lord of the Rings or Medieval styled fancy dress wedding!). At a particular moment in time, the idea might seem appropriate but with hindsight, together with a little more maturity, such ideas might never have made it to the drawing board!

In essence my point is this: there is no escaping the fact that the basic tenets of a wedding are based upon ancient tradition and custom and are therefore inherently formal. By all means weddings are supposed to be enjoyed by all who attend, but as the same time it’s essential to strike the right balance between Formal and Fun.

2013-2014 Wedding Trends – It’s Swings & Roundabouts

In any industry, from financial to fashion, it’s widely accepted that trends follow a pattern. What’s hot one day might not be the next. Then sometime later it’s hot again... then shortly afterwards isn’t…

Following the recent and pronounced “swing” towards ultra-informal weddings with the emphasis on Fun, there will likely be a “roundabout” effect commencing mid-2013 and continuing throughout 2014. During this time we will see heightened level of Formality at weddings as couples learn to strike a better balance between the two concepts.

Classic and traditional styled weddings have always been among the most popular styles in the wedding industry. The reason for this is simple: classical styles stand up to the test of time and look just as good now as they did 25, 50 or even 75 years ago.

We will therefore start to see more classical and traditional weddings taking place, albeit revitalised and refreshed following the recent emphasis on Fun.

So it’s classically styled wedding dresses; veils, tiaras and head pieces; morning wear; letterpress wedding stationery; impressive looking wedding cakes; champagne receptions; 3 or 4 course silver service wedding breakfasts and celebrations held in historical venues.

All with a modern twist!

Naked wedding cake

 Naked wedding cakes???

What’s Hot?

You might now rightly ask, “What will this ‘modern twist’ be?”

Well, adding a contemporary colour to the day's proceedings is one sure-fire way since it can be applied to just about every element of the wedding, from the stationery to the lighting and even in the finer details such coloured cocktails (nb: there is in fact a separate post on cocktails in the nav. bar on the right) or sweet stations. There's more on colour shortly.

It's sometimes said - rightly or wrongly - that the fashion industry dictates. (Whether it does or not is for another time!). It is however a fact that early indications of potential future fashion trends can be first spotted on the catwalks of New York, London, Paris and Milan. Here you will see wide range of modern styles, shapes, colours, fabrics and cuts and those that stand out, for whatever reason, are picked-up, published and promoted by the media et al.

Subsequently, the styles and shapes that appeal most to the masses develop into trends.

Here is the pick of our suggestions...


Chevron styled wedding dress by Hayley Paige

 Chevron styled wedding dress by Hayley Paige

Clearly, strong patterns and bold prints will be utilised across the board - stripes, chevrons, squares and checks; maybe plaid or tartan, polka dots, paisley and chintz...

Chevron styled letterpress wedding stationery by Bella Figura

Chevron styled letterpress wedding stationery by Bella Figura

Black and white patterned wedding cake

 Black and white patterned wedding cake

Interesting textures and layers will be prominent. We will continue to see plenty of traditional ivory lace being combined with distinctly contrasting materials and colours, together with a major influx of gold and silver metallic detailing, accents and materials.

Contemporary lace wedding by Oscar de la Renta

Contemporary lace wedding by Oscar de la Renta


Christian Louboutin silver heels with Swarovski crystals

Christian-Louboutin-silver-glitter-pumps-with-swarovski-crystalsChristian Louboutin silver heels with Swarovski crystals

Satin wedding dress with lace neckline by Ian Stuart

 Satin wedding dress with lace neckline by Ian Stuart

Dress detailing will also include the incorporation of some ultra-modern lines, angles, hoops, layers, cuts and shapes.

Peplum styled wedding dress with silver accents by Angel Sanchez

 Peplum styled wedding dress with silver accents by Angel Sanchez

Unusual necklines and statement backs will continue in popularity and in all likelihood become more extreme. And metallic influences will be everywhere you look, initially starting with gold and silver and then gun metal. These will likely be followed by a variety of colours being infused, such as metallic greens, blues and browns.

Gold wedding dress by Jenny Lee, via Wedding Inspirasi

Gold wedding dress by Jenny Lee, via Wedding Inspirasi

Metallic gold wedding cake

 Metallic gold wedding cake

Popular colours  for 2014... we are going out on a limb here since, at the time of writing (30th  January 2013) Pantone haven't widely released their predictions for next year. Aside from gold and silver, strong colours will be dark purple, Klein blue or similar (because we love it!), black, vibrant yellow, and rose pink / blush.

And the deep blue or bright yellow may well be being the colour of the year. For the past year or two there has been quite a lot of hype surrounding the use of 'neon'. Used conservatively and with consideration, the effect can be extremely dramatic. It's also extremely fresh and positive! The application of such bright colours are therefore an easy way to add WOW factor to a wedding and therefore we will continue to see a greater use of such bright and outgoing colours throughout the summers of 2013 and 2014 As suggested bright and vibrant yellow is likely to lead the way, with luminous green and pink following in its wake.

Lemon yellow wedding cake


Lemon yellow wedding cake

Brightly coloured bridal bouquet

Brightly coloured bridal bouquet

Yellow daisy letterpress stationery by Bella Figura

 Yellow daisy letterpress stationery by Bella Figura

With regard to specifics, not only will we see an end to the multiple, tiny floral centre pieces as couples opt for single, larger, traditional centre pieces, but also far fewer small, round bridal bouquets as larger bridal bouquets increase in popularity. Cascades will be everywhere!

Cascade bridal bouquet via Martha S

 Cascade bridal bouquet via Martha S

We will also see a wider range of colours and flowers being incorporated as brides opt for big, bright, bold and colourful displays, of especially large headed flowers such as peonies.

Large peony bouquet

Large peony bouquet