Weddings are returning to a rustic chic. According to local vendors, styles for celebrations are all about the outdoors, as brides are choosing to mix Southern style with traditional class on their wedding days.
Vendors are seeing more weddings take place in outdoor venues and locations other than churches. The settings are more relaxed, and include sites from gardens to barns. Joy Oglesby of Blue Moon Photography in Hoover said popular outdoor venues in the area include Mathews Manor in Springville (mathewsmanor.com); Windwood Farms, an equestrian facility in Pelham (windwoodequestrian.com); and The Sonnet House on Alabama 119 in Leeds (thesonnethouse.com).
Planning an event outdoors can require more work, as brides must make a backup plan as well.
“Always factor in a rain plan and work with a coordinator that is possible for any size party you have,” said Elizabeth Furst, events coordinator with Aldridge Gardens in Hoover. “Factor in preparation for cold as well, and always wear heel covers so you don’t sink into the grass.”
Bring on the boots
Heel covers won’t be a problem for many brides this year though, as more and more are choosing to walk down the aisle in something other than stilettos.
“We’re seeing a lot of girls want dresses they can wear with cowboy boots, and they’re having their bridesmaids wear boots as well,” said Vickie Burgin, formalwear manager at Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve probably had a dozen brides ask about boots.”
Angela Paul, a consultant with Bella’s Bridal in Hoover, said while the shoes are becoming less formal, the dresses aren’t.
“No matter what the venue is or the theme of the wedding, a bride’s gown can be as formal as anything,” Paul said. “We’ve seen ball gowns at beach weddings. Just put those cowboy boots on underneath.”
But if boots aren’t the way to go, brides are still finding ways to add flare to their feet. Oglesby said more than once this year she’s seen a bride’s “something blue” be her shoes.
Rustic accents are also widely used in country-chic style. Vendors said burlap trims just about everything.
“We’re seeing mason jars used for receptions,” said Karen Jenkins, owner and manager of Hoover Florist. “And burlap is in big time this year. We’ve done bows on bouquets or wrapped the handles in burlap. We’ve also wrapped thin strips around the tops of the jars.”
Speaking of parties, this year’s receptions are also increasingly country. Often, brides are having their receptions at the same location as the wedding.
“People are making their receptions more laid back,” Furst said. “Instead of formal, sit-down events, this year’s receptions have been more social with things like lawn games and casual food at stations.”
Pink is back
With flowers, Jenkins said brides are carrying bouquets with more color, while there is less in arrangements for bridesmaids.
Furst said along with the burlap trimmings, pale pink and cream have been widely used in summer weddings, and last fall she saw bright yellows and gray.
“Before, pink left the scene,” she said. “Now it’s making a comeback in different shades.”
Paul said this year’s brides aren’t necessarily looking for white or ivory dresses, and she’s seen an increasing number of requests for blush, light pink and light gold.
In addition, many of this year’s brides are choosing to honor the memory of loved ones in their weddings. Vendors have attached items like a grandmother’s broach and a father’s handkerchief to bouquets.
The first look
As a photographer, Oglesby said one trend she’s enjoyed is that many brides and grooms are choosing to see each other before the ceremony.
“We feel there’s a lot of reasons for it, she said. “For one, it helps get the butterflies out. It also allows some time for you and him so you’re not rushed.”
Taking time before the ceremony helps the photographer as well, she said.
“I think it’s an awesome trend,” she said. “It’s good for the photographer because we can do all the photos before the wedding and you don’t have an hour-long gap between your ceremony and party.”
– From Staff Reports
Thanks to Hoover Florist (hooverflorist.net), Blue Moon Photography (bluemoonstudios.net), Bella’s Bridal (bellasalabama.com), Aldridge Gardens (aldridgegardens.com) and Renaissance Consignment and Marketplace (renaissanceconsignment.com) for contributing to this article.