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Weddings offer an opportunity to tell a unique love story infused with both partners’ personality and shared love.

That’s good news for the engaged couple planning for the big day in 2019. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate with family and friends. Trends have stopped trending.


Attire

The standard white or ivory dress is being challenged by colorful gowns from blush-pink to black. Brightly hued layers peeking out from under lace, mini-skirts, tea-length frocks, crop tops, and plunging v-neck jumpsuits are also replacing the traditional floor-length gown. And tiaras, statement headpieces, and floral crowns are competing with traditional veils.

Matchy-matchy is no longer a concern. Brides are opting for a color palette their bridesmaids can choose from, offering each one a dress that fits their finances and flatters their figure. Groomsmen donning complementary suits instead of tuxedos completes the relaxed approach for the wedding party.


Venues

Large ballroom halls or outside with no walls, the space options a couple seeks to tie the knot can be anywhere to fit any budget. The only caution: make sure your ceremony venue accommodates all guests. eighty-year-old Uncle Harry may not be able to traverse through the woods to the outside cathedral decorated for the special day.

Receptions are experiencing a minimalist feel, also. Buffets, specialty food stations, grazing tables and even food trucks are expanding culinary expectations. However, try to avoid extremely messy offerings.

Traditional sit-down dinners offering one dining option instead of “choice of” reduces the strain on budgets and keeps the event moving in a timely manner, as long as there is a communicated option on the RSVP for those with specific dietary needs.


Guest gifts

Please put down the Jordan almonds and back away from the table. These wind up in the bottom of handbags and end up as survival food while standing in line for the DMV.

Practical guest gifts such as candles, coffee beans, wine and hand-crafted soaps featuring the blissful partners’ names are all thoughtful takeaways from the big day. One couple who shared a love for fishing gave each guest a small, live freshwater fish – part of the table centerpieces – as a wedding favor. (I personally had the fish for more than three years afterwards and thought of the special couple every time I looked at it.)


Rings

Matching rings are not required for modern nuptials. If your guy wants a gunmetal finish because it represents him in a unique and individual way, that’s appropriate. And diamonds aren’t always a girl’s best friend. Brightly colored jewels like sapphires, emeralds and rubies are all viable options for engagement rings. Whether bands paved with stones, yellow or rose gold, or vintage selections, a bride should select what speaks to her.


Recycle, reuse and reduce waste

Speaking of vintage, recycling of wedding items is on the rise for partners passionate about being eco-friendly. Re-plantable flower arrangements or sprouted bulbs and small potted succulents are excellent table decorations. Some couples plan to rent topiaries and potted trees for a green approach. Avoid releasing balloons or throwing rice, which have the potential to harm wildlife. Instead of tossing confetti, try colorful dried flower petals or birdseed. Glassware and flatware offer plastic-free options and add a touch of class to any wedding feast, and can be provided by caterers.


Bottom Line

The choices the marital couple makes should represent their love and life together. Years from now, when they look back, the special day will evoke the same feelings all over again.

Elizabeth Freeman is a freelance writer.

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