The Secret Ingredient to Building Your Brand
By Lauren Kay, The Knot, New York CIty  photos courtesy of the knot

The demand for fresh designs and of-the-moment ideas never stops, and for creative wedding professionals, great design is more than just what you do—it’s the secret ingredient to booking new business and building your brand. Celebrity weddings, movies, fashion, music, high art, pop culture—there’s so much out there. But how do you know the difference between a passing fad and a lasting trend that will resonate with clients and their guests? And what wedding pro has time to recharge her creativity during the busy fall wedding season? Since it’s go-go-go time out there, here’s a preview, from the editors at The Knot, of some of the up-and-coming trends that we predict will be big with couples in the coming year. So grab a cup of coffee, take a breather, and explore these 2014 wedding trends. There are four major trends emerging, and since success often depends on personalizing, down to the smallest detail, we’re including a plethora of ways to bring these trends to life!

Refined Woodland
RefinedWoodland_HeatherRothFineArtPhotographyWho can forget Sean Parker’s fantastical woodland wedding or Kate Bosworth’s Montana nuptials? The Hobbit and The Hunger Games movies have shown us beautiful outdoor settings that evoke mystery and adventure, so it’s no wonder we’re so inspired by the combination of natural grandeur and whimsical luxury.  Here’s how to pull it off:

Fashion: Milk braids and fur stoles alongside sheer-sleeved gowns conjure a fantastical look. Pops of glitz like glitter tulle or petal appliqués add polish while long veils, ethereal laces, and floral embellishments evoke romance.

Design: Think branches meet bling—lush greenery, ferns, and big blooms create a sophisticated woodland look whether indoor or outside. Candlelight, faux bois, animal motifs, and pastel overlay linens add touches of whimsy.

Food + Cocktails: Infused beers and craft cocktails win over guests. Comfort foods made small, like mini grilled cheese infused with truffle oil, shrunken lobster rolls, or tiny s’mores will grace caterers’ trays.

Resulting Trends: Think ferns, pastels, watercolor invitations, flower crowns, beer infusions, greenery, milk braids, animal motifs, faux bois, benches, furs, comfort foods, and tents/teepees.

OldWorld_AnthonyCarbajalPhotography

Old-World Opulence
From the Met Ball to the soon-to-be released TV drama, Dracula, opulence and old-world glamour will be a refreshing update to the now-tired “Gatsby” trend. Next year’s Met Ball will be a tribute to Charles James, America’s best-known 20th century couture designer who was known for his love of saturated jewel tones and dramatic gowns, worn by everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Coco Chanel. Set in the 19th century, Dracula will introduce a dapper new hero, played by Jonathen Rhys Meyers, who more closely resembles the real life Prince Vlad of 15th century Romania who originally inspired Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. Here’s how to get the look:

Fashion: Metallic lace, delicate embroidery, and swoon-worthy ball gowns dazzle. The gentlemen impress in dapper attire (bowties encouraged), while texture thrives throughout—jacquard, brocade, velvet. And ladies, don’t forget your gloves.

Design: A classic and elegant look awes guests—Louis XV chairs mixed with gilded floral loveseats for the ceremony, while the dining table is handsomely set with gold chargers, champagne saucers, and formal china. Opulent custom monograms enhance stationery, strands of pearls make their way into centerpieces, and candlelight gives off a warm glow.

Food + Cocktails: Think bespoke cocktails with fancy garnishes and extra courses of stately cuisine represented in smaller portions. Stamped macaroons tower on pedestals, begging to be nibbled.

Resulting Trends: Imagine jewel tones, stamped desserts, chandeliers, metallic lace, ball gowns, gloves, foil stamping, bubble bars, bow ties, monograms, mix of seating, and pearls.

Pop-Art Graphic
PopArt_AllisonMaginnPhotographyModern brides who favor streamlined and bold designs will gravitate toward this trend inspired by comic book illustrations and heros like Spiderman and the X-Men. Clean designs with bold geometrics shapes and bright colors will push the limits of your creativity. Look for innovative table settings and unexpected lounge furniture to make a bold visual statement that will wow guests and your clients! Here’s how to put it together:

Fashion: Little white dresses, cut-outs, bold-hued heels, and statement jewelry evoke a fresh and playful look. Black and white—a perennial favorite both in fashion and design—and pattern-play add a little shock and awe.

Design: Geometric patterns, like honeycomb, turn up everywhere— from stationery to cake—while graphic details like bold lettering and comic-book influences keep things modern. Clean lines (think Lucite or dove-gray linens) are met with pops of color ranging from yellow to neon. Technology reigns with insta-upload photo booths, marryoke, and wedding-party apps.

Food + Cocktails: Minimal table settings—think square plates—and inventive cuisine that touch on all five senses pair alongside infused and artfully mixed cocktails. Wow guests with specialty bars (tequila, please), themed menus, and molecular gastronomy.

Resulting Trends: These include charging stations, hashtag 2.0, photo booths that connect to social media, marryoke, pops of neon, mini foods, geometric patterns, honeycomb patterns, Lucite, color blocking, pop art, loft or rooftop settings, photo-cube table numbers, and Lichtenstein-esque appeal.

Grecian
Grecian_ElizabethMessinaAll-white ensembles came down the runways as designers debuted their spring 2014 collections during Fashion Week in New York City. Designers as disparate as Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, and Marchesa incorporated white into their collections with an ease that evokes a Grecian sensibility. With the new Hercules movie set to debut in 2014 as well, Greece is fresh inspiration for beach weddings next year. Get Grecian with details like:

Fashion: Think silky, sheath-like gowns; crystal headpieces; arm candy; and exquisite, beaded sandals. Blues in every shade—from turquoise to periwinkle— will appear paired with crisp whites and metallic accents.

Design: Custom envelope liners (hello marble!) and gold-foil, stamped stationery set the scene. The “desert-island” and “movable-wedding” trends continue—vows on a bluff near the ocean and dance parties in the sand below. Simple flower arrangements of big blooms bring color and softness to the table. A mix of traditional and modern plates and glassware create a worldly atmosphere.

Food + Cocktails: Food stations are re-invented—think grand raw bars or high-end pairings, like vodka and caviar. Bubble bars, sugar-rimmed aperitifs and metallic cakes offer a touch of glamour, while elegantly displayed farm-to-fork cuisine delights the palette.

Resulting Trends: Think whites + metallics, astrology, stars, blues, movable weddings, raw bars, sheath gowns, gold jewelry, metallic cakes, headpieces, envelope liners, marbling, desert-island weddings.

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