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2024 Trends for Tying the Knot

Photo courtesy The Rustic Twist
Photo courtesy The Rustic Twist

When the spark turns to love and the love leads to engagement, the wedding planning begins. Years—or maybe decades—ago, planning a wedding meant picking an idyllic venue, finding the perfect bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses and choosing flowers to complete the fairytale scene. Although many things have changed, the basics still need your attention. In 2024, those key details look a little different. The idyllic venue may not be in your hometown. The perfect dresses will likely be ordered online. And those fairytale flowers might just be made from wood.

Home or Away: What’s Your Ideal Wedding Venue?

For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, weddings took place in the local church, on a nearby beach, or possibly in someone’s home. In recent years, those trends have changed. Farm weddings continue to rise in popularity for those who want to remain somewhat close to home. But destination weddings are rising in popularity. COVID played a significant role in this trend.

“After COVID restrictions eased, local venues were booked to capacity due to many couples having to reschedule previously planned weddings,” said Katie Kubis, travel advisor for Wonderland and Beyond Travel. “As a result, some couples turned to destination weddings.”

When couples reach out to Kubis for ideas, she shares numerous destination options for their dream wedding. “A lot of people enjoy the idea of a destination wedding for the scenic viewpoints,” she explained. “Often, these weddings are more affordable than a large wedding close to home. Destination weddings also provide a unique experience for the couple while allowing them to share their wedding with close family and friends.”

Beach settings seem to be the most popular wedding destinations. “I’ve booked several weddings in the Caribbean,” shared Kubis. “I’ve also booked Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica and Grenada recently for weddings.”

Couples come to Kubis with an idea, and she shows them various places, provides pricing information, and sets them up with a wedding coordinator at the resort of their choice.

Finding the Perfect Dress for Everyone

There was a time when bridal shops were on every corner and chain stores like David’s Bridal were abundant. In 2024, things are different. While there are still some brick-and-mortar bridal shops, many brides, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride or groom are searching for their perfect dress online.

Kirsten Jones
Kirsten Jones

Seamstress Kirstin Jones founder of The Hemmingbird LLC, specializes in alterations for everyone but the bride. “I alter formal wear for the mother of the bride or groom, bridesmaids, ring bearers and flower girls.”

Jones’s favorite online company that specializes in bridesmaids’ dresses is Azazie. “Their bridesmaid dresses are consistently well made and have large seam allowances that allow the dress to be taken out if necessary.”

Jones also notes that Azazie offers a wide variety of dresses along with “try it on” protection options. “They will send up to three dresses to try on for just $20 each. Dresses can be kept for a week and then sent back.”

With online purchasing becoming immensely popular, the need for a good seamstress has become even more important. “Online is very popular, and that means you almost always need a local seamstress to help with a nip or tuck here or there and oftentimes a hem,” said Jones.

Working with mothers of brides and grooms, Jones has noticed an interesting predicament. “Most mothers of the bride or groom want to find a gown that speaks to them but isn’t too matronly and isn’t too youthful,” she explained. “My recommendation would be to not necessarily look at bridal stores, but to look at all types of formal gowns. Even gowns that aren’t labeled as a mother-of-the-bride gown can work.” Jones also noted that it’s important to be certain you don’t choose a gown that clashes with the bride’s color scheme for the wedding.

Another thing Jones has noted with her clients is a desire to create less waste. “A lot of my clients are really making the effort to utilize their pieces beyond the wedding. They often shorten their gown into a cocktail length to get more wear out of it and that’s a lot less waste.”

Don’t Pick Flowers, Create Them!

With today’s couples focused on sustainable options for weddings and less waste, it makes sense to look for alternatives to flowers. Katie Kiehl, founder of The Rustic Twist has the answer. “I use flowers made from sola wood – a type of soft balsa wood derived from tapioca plant root,” she explained. “The flowers are soft and natural-looking which makes them the ideal choice for a lifelike arrangement, bouquets and more.”

Photo courtesy The Rustic Twist
Photo courtesy The Rustic Twist

Kiehl first discovered wood flowers on Shark Tank. “I started playing around with them and began my business by making arrangements for home interiors before adding wedding flowers to the business,” she said.

Kiehl notes there are numerous advantages to choosing wood flowers. “Couples don’t have to worry about dumping thousands of dollars of flowers into the trash can at the end of the wedding or shortly afterward,” she said. “The flowers I make will look the same on the couple’s 50th anniversary as they do on their wedding day, making them a beautiful keepsake.”

The flowers are completely customizable, and no color is off-limits. “Interpretation of colors is subjective,” said Kiehl. “When someone says they want burgundy, it could be dark, lighter, etc., so I send the brides straight to the paint department at Home Depot or Lowes to pick the exact shade they want.”

No flower is out of season, and they’re also eco-friendly. The flowers make excellent gifts for bridesmaids and family members. But on the other side, Kiehl has brides that choose wood flowers for their resale value. “I have a set of centerpieces that I created about six years ago—it was a set of flat wreaths that you could put around candles or lanterns,” said Kiehl. “They started with the colors of bright pink, blush pink, and ivory. The original bride sold them to another bride who wanted the bright pink out. She later sold them to another bride who wanted red added for Christmas. They’re still recycling around! The brides got a good deal, and I’m still getting business from the original pieces.”

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