If you work in the wedding industry at all, you may have developed a love-hate relationship with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Those ‘if money were no object’ discussions have kicked themselves into a higher gear this year, and anyone offering t-shirts with ‘Comparisons to Meghan Markle forbidden’ is sure to find some buyers.
Predictions for next year’s trends are influenced by the splendour of a Royal Wedding, and the iconic images springing from the event – likely used to justifying the latest round of last-minute changes. The good news is that, rather than sticking to impossibly high ideals, now is a time to encourage clients to make the event more their own than ever.
Unconventional may be the new white. So, rather than reaching for perfection, individualism and the authentic beauty that imperfection holds, may be a better way to go. This can be expressed through creative use of upcycled objects and natural forms – like the sand at the heart of every pearl.
One area in which the Royal Couple are leading the way is by tipping their elegant hats to sustainability. Flowers should be pollinator friendly, and seasonal, locally grown blooms, and many of the Royal blooms are coming from the gardens of Windsor castle. Lavish foliage and other pure greenery are also expected to maintain their popularity. Other ethical trends include plantable, seed-paper invites, organic food and wine and making sure that any different venues are not too far from each other.
Like Batman’s Lego choices, lots of colour leaders went for black, or very, very dark grey. While these are not wedding colours, you can expect to find them in the accents. The more influential Pantone colour of 2018, is essentially purple – but called Ultra Violet. Here the name is more of a trend setter than the actual colour.
Spicier, tropical contrasts, like deep ultramarine and clay reds are also on the horizon and likely to be a feature of recently decorated venues. Silver is also making a good showing, giving the palate a rather Mexican feel over all, but don’t expect that tasteful combination of pale grey greens and violet to go anywhere soon either.
Mira Zwillinger and Elizabeth Fillmore are designing dresses with wisps of feather, v-necks, low backs and jackets / boleros. These are a move away from the more traditional silhouettes that the royal dress must deliver. That said, Meghan Markle might well be expected to go for something a little more daring than Kate did.
Capes are still riding high from their 2018 hype, and many designers are still favouring beading and big sleeves, and 3-dimensional lace with sewn on fabric flowers are everywhere. Pearls and dots are also anticipated.
Personalisation is the holy grail of wedding favours – diaries or hip flasks with the names of individual guests embossed on the covers, shot glasses with a personal memory, cutlery engraved with romantic couplets… free slippers for dancing, rows of little cacti (not sure about the symbolic value of something that thrives on being ignored and is covered in little prickles), but anyway… the point is that favours are particularly difficult.
They need to be sustainable, generous, inexpensive, useful, beautiful and not dominate the table itself. Couples often have different expectations around favours. Best to aim for something that is well-packaged, but easily personalised, such as soaps with messages or stamped with the guest’s name. Sophie's Barn can help with that!
Meghan herself was said to have preferred not to take the traditional carriage ride through the town before the wedding ceremony. But public clamour for this event means that it’s going ahead. An uptick in this majestic tradition can be expected. Making sure tipsy guests get home safely is just as much a feature of transport planning as the bride’s arrival in a carriage or limo.
Extra attention for a wider spectrum
Nowadays, people cross continents to attend weddings. With so much of our existence happening online, weddings present a unique opportunity to take friendships to the next level. Invitees may meet other family members of the bride and groom for the first time on the wedding day, and this kind of intergenerational interaction is much rarer than it was.
Being aware of which languages people speak is also important as invitees become more international – and it’s a lovely way for bride and groom to show off their talented friends and family. Having someone’s French plus one at a table with your French-speaking brother is a nice touch.
Taking care of all the details for the older members of the wedding party goes beyond showing them a good time on the day. Also, thinking about the needs of new mothers and people for whom lots of standing might present a problem, will help to create an inclusive bubble that relaxes everyone. This strategy can also include a quiet space where people can retreat for a few moments if they’re overwhelmed.
Many invitees may have travelled a very long way, and extra consideration should be shown to them – whether it’s a basket of toiletries and a pamphlet on jetlag, or being met at the airport. When thinking about favours, it might be worth grouping your guests and allowing a budget for those who require a little more attention other than just the bridesmaids.
Whatever you choose, be sure to make it yours!