10 California Wedding Trends
Your wedding is your first major statement as a couple. It’s a chance to show off you and your fiance’s personalities and passions. And right now, it’s an especially good time to get creative. People are throwing away the rulebook on what a wedding “should” and “shouldn’t” be. Whether you’re planning a wine country wedding or a SoCal soiree, check out these creative, fresh trends in wedding planning.
Having a locavore feast. Eating locally and with the season is easier than it’s even been, especially in California, but it’s not always easy to find a caterer who will create an of-the-moment, farm-to-table menu. More and more vendors are realizing that a menu made with hyper-local ingredients can beautifully complement a setting and make all the difference for a truly special event.
- Thinking outside the wedding cake. Cupcakes in place of a wedding cake have had their moment. Now, couples are thinking even bigger: with dessert towers of brownies or macarons, donut walls, or dessert tables with many different complementary desserts. Some couples create a dessert station that tells their story, like a table of Parisian treats because they got engaged in Paris, or a s’mores station because they love to camp. Couples without a sweet tooth are even embracing “wedding cakes” made of stacked wheels of cheese.
- Balloons. They’re not just for a kid’s birthday party anymore. Balloon artists can create gorgeous, surprisingly elegant balloon installations, from an all-balloon ceiling inside a tent to a balloon wall ready-made for photos.
- Succulents and potted plants instead of flowers. Flowers are gorgeous, but in a drought-prone state where we’re thinking more and more about the environment, succulents can be a creative and unexpected alternative. Brides are carrying succulent bouquets, grooms are wearing boutonnieres made of succulents, centerpieces are morphing into potted plant installations that can go home with guests and last for years. You can think even bigger, like having a living plant wall made of succulents.
- Unexpected venues. The beach is a classic destination, and outdoor weddings will always be popular, but couples are thinking more about non-traditional venues, like museums, raw industrial spaces and rooftops. As much as a wedding can be a grand affair, couples are also thinking more laid-back, too. Casual, lawn party-style weddings with fun outdoor games are becoming increasingly popular.
- The party after the party. A late-night change of venue for a smaller crowd is becoming of more and more importance to couples getting married right now. Just look at what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did: a huge lunch, a smaller dinner and an even smaller after party (followed by an after-after, but four events in one day might be better suited to royalty).
- Eco-friendly party planning. Sustainability is more front-of-mind than ever, and a few small changes can make a big impact for your wedding’s carbon footprint. Think about recycled paper invitations (or even paperless!), seed packets as favors, vintage clothing or linens… Your caterer will help you make green choices, too, like using biodegradable serving ware – some will even use banana leaves instead of napkins for passed hors d’oeuvres.
- Using your wedding as an opportunity to help others. Harry and Meghan donated their wedding flowers to local hospitals, and people were over the moon with their thoughtfulness. A small gesture like that – or donating leftover food to a homeless shelter – can make a huge difference to other people.
- Rethinking bridal gowns. More and more, brides are opting for modern, sleek wedding wear than the larger-than-life gowns of the past – especially in ultra-fashionable Los Angeles. Forward-thinking brides are opting for wedding suits and female tuxedos.
- Fashion-forward menswear. In the same way that brides are breaking with clothing tradition, grooms are also making fashion-forward choices for them and their groomsmen. Think everything from bright colors to floral suits that really show off a man’s personality in a way that a strictly traditional tuxedo can’t.