Weddings, The Industry, and “Trends”

Like many wedding industry professionals, I find myself inundated with information about “trends” in the wedding industry. While some of these are actually important to me (usually to do with logistics).. it’s the idea of color trending that has me shaking my head from time to time. Maybe I’m just still burnt out from my years in the fashion industry, but I’ve never totally been able to wrap my head around the idea of planning around color trends.

It’s a long standing thing for me, I remember failing a project back in fashion school over my views. We were asked to write a paper on.. jeez, I think it was it meant to be “in style”. I wrote my paper on my own views – that to be really stylish, one should embrace their personality, appearance and go with what works for them. That it shouldn’t matter if a certain color is “so last year”. That if that’s the color you look best in, wear it, rock it, own it… look and feel your best, and THAT is what it means to have style.

Yeah. My instructors and I didn’t really see eye to eye on that at all.

All these years later, I find a constant stream of information on color trending for weddings. Purple, it seems, is the hot color for 2010. If purple is your color, whether favorite to wear or to see, or your favorite flowers happen to be purple.. hey, more power to you!

What I’m wondering is.. how much do brides really follow these trends? Do people really put aside their “favorites” to meet a trend? I swear, whenever I hear “(color) is the new (color)”, I throw up in my mouth a little.

Of course, this trend forecasting does have an inpact on availability of wedding related items. If your absolute favorite color was popular 2-3 years ago, it may be difficult to find a good selection of bridesmaid dresses in that color this year. It gets even worse when picking out tuxedo rental accessories, as they tend to be available in an even smaller selection of colors. Between that, and all the features written about trendy colors for weddings, I can see how it would be easy to give in and go with the flow.

Here’s the thing with trends, as I see it. Trends are dated, time sensitive. Look back at the 80s.. bright fuschia and teal taffeta, big pouffy sleeves, and butt bows were hugely trendy. How many 80s brides look back on their wedding photos and DON’T ask themselves “what was I thinking”?

Weddings are an amazing vector for personal expression. For most people, it is not only the biggest party they will ever throw, it will be the most detailed. Most people will never spend that much time selecting color choices for wardrobe, decor.. floral choices, menu, stationery, and everything, into one complete package. It’s a once in a lifetime thing.. so why let something as fickle as the fashion industry dictate what you want?

No matter what you see on the blogs, in wedding magazines, or on the racks… there are always options. Have your bridesmaid gowns custom made – it’s not always a more expensive option, and it ALWAYS gives you ultimate control! Not only can you choose the exact fabric colors and textures you truly love, you can have the gowns cut to really flatter your best friends. Not everyone looks amazing in whatever the cut-of-this-year happens to be (see pouffy sleeves and butt bows!). Be nice to your bridesmaids! Not only are they your best friends… they may ask you to be a bridesmaid for you in a year when “mustard yellow” is the hot new thing. Ew. Best to build up some karma points now!

The same thing goes for your own wedding gown. Do you have a style you love, that you’ve always dreamed of getting married in, and looks great on you? If you’re a “mermaid” style gal, and this year happens to be ballgowns (as an example.. cause I really have no idea what’s “in” this year, nor do I care!).. you rock that mermaid gown. So pastels & tiny flowers are in when you get married, but you love deep dark jewel tones and big, statement-making stargazer lilies? Go for it! I can all but guarantee you that none of your guests will be thinking “Ugh! Doesn’t she know that stargazers are SO last year”. .. and really, if they are.. your friends are losers.

To quote/paraphrase the ever-wise Madonna.. “Don’t go for second best… express yourself!”. No matter what the industry dictates, personal favorites are never “out of style”. Going with what you love will NEVER lead you to regret years later.

Never feel forced to use – or NOT use – a particular item, style, color, or whatever when it comes to your wedding. It’s your day… own it.

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