By Devorah Isenberg
, Sunday, May 15, 2011 6:00 AM
2011 is set to be a great year for weddings—with the economy recovering and a royal wedding serving as the most dreamy bridal inspiration imaginable, getting married in 2011 is sweet indeed. Here are the top 11 wedding trends for 2011, to help you plan everything from your hairstyle to the wedding menu in high-end style.
1. Mad Men is so last year; the current most fashionable show on cable is Boardwalk Empire, a sexy saga of Prohibition-era excess. Take your cues from the fabulous fashions of the 1920’s. Dress your bridesmaids in drop-waist lace dresses in soft colors like blush and nude, with lots of pearls and red lipstick. Have the groom’s men wear wing tip shoes and maybe even a fedora hat. And of course, it wouldn’t be a speakeasy party without retro cocktails and all that jazz!
2. Learn from Kate Middleton—excuse me, Catherine, Duchess of Windsor—and wear a wedding dress fit for a princess. Choose a formal ball gown with a full skirt, a sweetheart neckline, and a cathedral veil. For the number one trend of the year, choose a wedding dress with long lace sleeves.
3. Eco-friendly weddings get more and more popular every year, with brides and grooms choosing to remember the environment with everything from their outfits, the wedding venue, to the invitations. More and more caterers offer eco-friendly options with everything from all-local menus to vegan wedding cakes! Many couples are opting to ask guests to contribute to a favorite charity in lieu of wedding gifts.
4. The do-it-yourself wedding trend gained popularity during the recession, when couples tried to cut back on wedding expenses without sacrificing on the celebration. Even now, when luxury is back, do-it-yourself touches can add a sweet, personalized note even for the fanciest affair. Incorporating your favorite hobbies and interests into the wedding can be another way to make your wedding your own.
5. Although the classic sit-down dinner will never go out of style, trendy brides have more options now when it comes to the menu. Cocktail receptions, with passed mini-meals like ravioli, quiches and mini short ribs are a great way to get everyone up and mingling. Instead of elaborate wedding cakes, couples are choosing dessert buffets so every guest can have a sweet ending to their night. Finally, it’s never been trendier to celebrate your personal heritage, whether that is Thai or Persian, with the food of your culture.
6. Nothing goes with white like black, so although it is traditionally a taboo color for the wedding party, 2011 is seeing a rise in demand for black wedding accents. Wearing a black bridal gown may be a little too dramatic for the average bride, but black sashes and other accents provide a crisp contrast with a white dress. Bridesmaids will be grateful for a simple little black dress that they can wear many times after the wedding.
7. Diamonds and pearls have always been traditional bridal jewelry, but a certain Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring has created a surge in popularity for deep blue stones in jewelry. Sapphires can be incorporated into your wedding look in your jewelry, hair accessories, or even with a deep blue sash or shoes.
8. All the distinguished guests at the royal wedding looked dignified and elegant, but there was one thing they all had in common: hats. Fascinators, those quirky little feather and flower bedecked hair accessories, have never been a bigger trend. In 2011, expect to see many brides with these retro accessories perched on smooth, elegant hairstyles. Fascinators provide a nice twist on the classic bridal hair accessories like tiaras and combs.
9. Despite the return of luxury to the bridal market, the intimate guest lists that became popular in recent years are still a big trend for 2011. Instead of the impersonal bashes with hundreds of people, couples are inviting only their closest friends and family for a more intimate affair.
10. Say goodbye to boring roses and blah lilies. Bold colors are the thing for 2011, so choose flowers in rich coral pinks, deep purples, and bright marigold yellows. Wildflower bouquets, with a casual arrangement and a festive ribbon, are a fun and pretty twist on classic formal bridal arrangements. Tuck a bright bloom behind your ear, and another in your groom’s tuxedo pocket. It’s a fresh bright look that’s perfect for spring.
11. Now that every bride and groom is fully connected with smartphones and tablets, they are incorporating those handy tech tools into wedding planning. Brides who have become savvy with wedding blogs and wedding planning apps are communicating with guests and the wedding party with wedding websites and social networking. At the wedding itself, tablet computers and other hot tech gadgets make fun signing books and reception entertainment.
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