Wedding Trends in 2016

Trends are ever-changing. Just when one thinks a new trend is “it” for the season, another emerges. This is why year after year, weddings continue to become more unique. Even for the most traditional brides and grooms, subtle originality added to their wedding day makes it a day of their own. This is how trends begin to emerge! Creative ideas catch hold and blossom into fantastic additions to a beautiful wedding.

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Photo by Acqua Photo

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Trending in 2015

Fashion, food, and decor trends change every season and every year. Weddings are a combination of these things and more! Therefore, wedding trends are constantly evolving. In 2015 so far, we have come to see originality being a top priority of the big day. Every couple wants their special day to be unique and true to themselves, and it has become more apparent that every aspect (from DIY floral arrangements to mismatched bridesmaid dresses) are chosen by couples to stand apart from others so that their wedding day is completely their own.

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Christina O’Brien Photography

Walking down the aisle: a vision seen by all brides long before their wedding day even comes. In order to make the trip down the aisle even more beautiful, brides love the idea of stunning flower petal arrangements adorning the ground. But if there are already petals down the aisle, how will a flower girl come into play? Flower girls can still be a part of the tradition! Flower crowns are extremely popular this year and having your favorite little girl wearing one will be so cute! Ring bearers can also walk down the aisle before you holding a sign that reads “Here comes the bride.” You will be sure to get all the oohs and aahs you’re hoping for!  Continue reading

Steampunk Photoshoot

Steampunk – noun: a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

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San Diego Style Weddings Magazine has featured our most recent photo shoot! This Steampunk themed shoot showcases an edgy and topical style that many modern brides are keen on. We spent time with Shadowcatcher Imagery scouting out the ideal location and eye-catching props in order to create a picture perfect shoot. Los Willows in Fallbrook, California is a grand venue that complimented our styled shoot and themed decor wonderfully. Continue reading

Creating your own Photobooth!

Photo stations have become part of the wedding reception culture. Without a doubt when you attend a wedding these days, there will be a photo booth or photo station! They are interactive, fun and a great way for guests to meet one another.

If a professional photo booth is not in your budget, don’t worry! There are many cost effective ways to create your own photo station without breaking the bank. The first step is to scope out your venue and decide on the best location. The ideal spot is somewhere with a solid wall or a place to hang a backdrop. If you choose to use a backdrop you can purchase a solid or designed sheet, curtain or tapestry. You can even make your own by ripping different solid colored sheets into strips and hanging them. Use a bamboo curtain for a tropical themed wedding or make a sparkly curtain with little round mirrors glued to string. Not too crafty? Choose a shower curtain with a map on it and have guests color in where they’re from with markers!

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Island Romance in San Diego!

Mad libs, fingerprint stamps, and the coolest photo booth! Yes, all these things were a part of Vanessa and Matt’s amazingly fun and lovely wedding at the Bali Hai in San Diego. We met with Vanessa last summer and immediately connected. Her cool style, fun color palette, and inner beauty were all reasons we knew we were a match for this very organized bride!

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Vanessa and Matt had an emotional and private “first look” moment captured perfectly on film by Joseph Guidi at Humphreys. This beautiful couple then exchanged vows under a delicately covered bamboo chuppah on the lawn overlooking the famous San Diego Bay. Many gorgeous elements were created by the bride herself like the “here comes the bride” ribbon. Her nephews played as she walked down the aisle. Pastor Ricky of the Rock church had everyone laughing during the ceremony as he shared more insight about the fun-loving couple.

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The cocktail hour included a “sign in” station which was a fingerprint stamped page of fish and wishes. Guests left their mark along with messages on the adorable fish board.  The bright color palette of fuchsia and yellow lit up this fun venue magnificently. Hawaiian elements were infused into the style of the already awesome Pacific Island decorated venue including the chuppah, floral arrangements, ring bearer pillow, cuisine, and island styled signature drink!

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Inside the reception room, guests had a blast filling out the wedding mad libs for Vanessa and Matt. On a more serious note, guests filled out cards with advice for the couple to ponder later. The beautiful floral by Flora Glamour was creative and the twine bringing two centerpieces together was impressive!

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Joseph Guidi also had a great photo booth set out for the guests to enjoy all night! Music by DJ Randy of R3 Entertainment had the guests rockin’ the house until the very end of the reception. We loved coordinating Vanessa and Matt’s wedding day and wish them all the best in their future together!

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Floating Lanterns at weddings!

We’re excited to share a current wedding and event trend with you: floating lanterns! Floating lanterns are very unique and create an enchanting experience. We wanted to share this because firstly, they look magical and secondly, we want to inform our readers of the safest and best way to incorporate them into events.

The floating lantern was created centuries ago by a Chinese military office as a signal beacon. Ever since they have been part of the Asian culture and are released on the Chinese New Year into the sky as a symbol of good luck for the coming year. The Thai people believe the floating lanterns will carry away their problems. The look these floating lanterns create is spectacular. It’s like floating, glowing balloons are rising high into the night sky. A former client and her family recently released floating lanterns in memory of her brother who passed away a year ago.

The release of lanterns here in the U.S. initially had some environmental concerns. The wires inside were not considered safe for animals and there was also a safety concern due to the large open flames. There are now companies selling wireless and eco friendly lanterns with guidelines on releasing. This includes releasing in an open area (away from both city and farmland). The lantern climbs until the wax fuel cell burns out and once it does, the air inside the lantern cools and it returns down. Getting eco friendly lanterns is important because it is safe for the environment with biodegradable materials.  You can find eco friendly lanterns at Event Lanterns and Sky Orbs.

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Wedding Trend Watch: 2013

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Localized Food

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I am ecstatic to share some of the trends predicted for the coming year’s wedding market. And, if you don’t know what a hipster is, please continue reading!

1920’s Style
We predict the hottest wedding trend will be a 1920’s vintage style.  With the Great Gatsby being released, this era will make it’s way back into our culture. This will be especially true for wedding fashion and will include dropped waist dresses and lace. Pearls, feathers and headbands will accessorize this lovely look. I love accessories and can’t wait to see how my brides include these beautiful touches into their wedding look. Black tie and top hats are a nice touch for the gentlemen too. One of my favorite decor pieces is the chandelier, fabulous to use in the ceremony under the chuppah or wooden arch. Look out for influences from the 30’s and 40’s as well. I am designing a wedding with a vintage inspiration which will include lace, pearls, red lipstick, chandeliers, a vintage limo and more. I am loving the bride’s impeccable style, so creating something breathless and extraordinary for her will be a blast!

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Food Stations, Food Truck and Localized Food

The 2013 couple will put more focus on food stations rather than plated or buffet style receptions. We helped design the food stations for an Out Of Africa styled wedding and it was a hit! Stations included items such as mac and cheese, hummus and skewers. Snack stations and after dinner snacks will become more popular too.  Some of our couples have surprised their guests towards the end of the evening with late night snacks like grilled cheese sandwiches. We can expect to see fun sweets emerge such as cotton candy, s’mores and kettle corn, not just the typical cupcakes. Ice cream trucks, taco trucks and food trucks focusing on localized food will continue to gain popularity. Gourmet food trucks are all over the media right now and many people follow their favorite truck (like MIHO in San Diego) on facebook and twitter so they know where to find them for lunch or dinner. Many food trucks buy locally and offer vegan, gluten-free and paleo foodie options that not all restaurants offer. I am a fan of localized food and eating as clean as possible so I am thrilled that this is making more of a statement in the wedding reception.

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Hipster
If you haven’t heard of a hipster is, let me enlighten you.  “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” (www.urbandictionary.com)

These couples are in their 20s/30s and will not go with the flow of the current culture. Distinct fashion and original ideas are in for them, tradition is out.  These couples will not be having mint as their color or a 1920’s theme.  They will consider food trucks though if localized and offering menus for vegans, for example.  The music will be different; not your typical wedding DJ but a unique rock band. Hair styles will be edgy and artsy.  Hipsters are about independent thinking so each wedding will be unique and designed to match the couple’s tastes and personalities.  I look forward to planning more wedding with hipster couples as I find it exciting to create a wedding that is non traditional with independent taste!

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Photos by Al Torrico Photography

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Introducing 2013’s Color of the Year: Mint!

Each year one color dominates wedding trends, chosen by style makers and designers all over. We are thrilled to announce 2013’s color of the year is mint. Mint was seen on the runway throughout 2012 and is a color that mixes wonderfully with many other colors. This cool color is refreshing and classic. Combining mint with neutral colors like champagne, taupe, whites and browns gives a calming effect. These color palettes go fantastically with cute and dainty decor details as well as nature-inspired weddings. Garden, park-like and ranch styled venues would be terrific spots for weddings with this color palette. Mint is stylish and can be used throughout the wedding design including the attire (mint ties for the groomsmen under a gray suit), decor (serving station accent platters) and more.  The print from your save the dates to invitations can have hints (or more) of mint which sets the tone from the moment guests receive the big news. We like seeing accents of the color in ribbon, candles, signage and shoes!


For a bolder approach, match mint with a deep ruby red to give a richer and more energetic feel to the design. Going with a more lively color pairing can be a lot of fun and fantastic for venues that are indoor and have more of a late night party atmosphere. This is terrific for couples who desire to have the color of the year in their decor yet also want to have a more energetic vibe. It is also important to keep the season in mind and pair mint with an appropriate seasonal color. For example, for a spring wedding mint would be divine with earthy taupes and or paired with another pastel. In winter, mint and slate grey or a warmer gold would be lovely.  I recently had my bedroom and restroom painted a slate gray and have been trying to decide which color to pair in these rooms since gray is extremely neutral.  I am inspired to accent the rooms with mint and ruby! This color palette would accomplish that serene atmosphere needed for the relaxation I desire for this space. Mint has elegance and we are excited to see it be the color of the year for 2013!

Photos from www.riversisland.com and www.pinterest.com

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Caveman Diet and Beyond: Latest Trends in Food + Catering

Have you heard about the new craze? The Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman diet, Stone Age diet, or Hunter-Gatherer diet, is said to be the world’s healthiest diet and is based on consuming foods that our ancestors thrived on during the Paleolithic era.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t require buying hunting gear and foraging in the park by your house – these are foods that can be gathered, fished, and hunted, including fresh meats (grass-fed as opposed to factory farmed), fish, seafood, fresh organic fruits, organic vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils.

These foods can be purchased in health food stores and found in a handful of restaurants. Foods containing dairy, grains, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods were not part of the Paleolithic era diet. Yes, this means you will have to quit the Starbucks fix and skip happy hours if you decide to adapt to this way of life. There are many benefits to adopting the Paleo Diet, including but not limited to: weight loss, reducing risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, improved athletic performance, eliminated acne (clear skin), improved sleep patterns, having more energy throughout the day, and reduced allergies.

Adam Hiner from Eco Caters expresses, “The Paleo style diet is basically teaching people to eat what was readily available in nature before the onset of factory farming. At Eco Caters our primary goal is to support small organic farms who care more for their produce naturally yielding a tastier and more nutritious final product. Therefore, the Paleo diet is something that we thoroughly support with menus full of pastured organic meats and sustainably farmed organic produce.” With the Paleo Diet, the focus is in the quality of the foods, centering on food that is both local and sustainable.  Mainstream restaurants and stores don’t carry these foods, but since I have a mostly gluten free vegan diet (with occasional fish), I have discovered some great places in San Diego that cater to those seeking a healthier way of eating; it is one of the reasons I love living in San Diego!

  • Windmill Farms, a grocery store in the Del Cerro neighborhood, carries grass fed beef and has a wonderful produce section as well as a wide selection of seeds and nuts.
  • jSix, one of my favorite restaurants in the gaslamp district of downtown San Diego. They have a delicious cedar plank salmon and a great menu to compliment the Paleo style of eating.  jSix’s website reads: “Purity is the hallmark. Grass-fed meats, carefully sourced sustainable seafood from around the world, herbs from jSix’s own burgeoning rooftop garden and organic produce from nearby farms star in creatively simple preparations”.
  • Tender Greens in Point Loma also carries organic produce as well as grass fed and hormone-free meat.
  • The Not So Fast food truck in San Diego is one of about a half dozen food trucks in the United States that offer the Paleo Diet.  Food trucks have become more popular in recent years and will be seen at weddings in 2013, offering appetizers or small bites.

With the rise of interest in the Paleo diet, we will certainly see caterers who offer these options become more in demand. At Your Side Planning has coordinated weddings with organic and vegan menus and it’s always a treat for us to sample the delicious cuisine!  We’ve had amazing experiences in going with a cleaner menu and the guests are always impressed and delighted. We coordinated a wedding at the beautiful Pine Hills Lodge in Julian in which Eco Caters provided mouth watering vegan burgers and fries as well as several other tasty treats. Eco Caters offers organic and vegan options as part of their fantastic full serving catering. The Paleo diet and any diet that sticks to natural, organic, pure food is outstanding for the health of your body and a treat for your tastebuds!  When I stick to my clean way of eating, I can confidently say I feel at my very best. This diet also supports farms providing localized, organic produce and supports your local economy.  Trend Alert: I see the Paleo and similar diets as a big trend in the food and event industries. Look for an update at the end of 2013 to see how things have evolved in a year! Have any experience with these diets? Know of any other great places in San Diego with local and sustainable fair? Let us know in the comments!

(Photos courtesy of Jackie Wonders and Bob Hoffman Video + Photography)

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