Wedding Trends: Not Quite What You May Think

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Fell out of bed this morning, checked my email – and there was a brightly colored bit from an industry publication.

Now, I may not be directly in the wedding industry anymore, but I’m still on a lot of mailing lists – too lazy to get myself removed. Plus, sometimes there are nuggets of entertainment in there. The wedding industry, when watched as a former member, is probably something akin to the sleeziest reality show out there. You know it’s gross, lowest-common-denominator at times, and that a lot of the characters are just loathesome… but it appeals to some twisted voyeuristic (schadenfreude?) section of the brain. I do enjoy when friends behind those “enemy lines” keep me up to date on the current gossip in the local industry, LOL.


This particular publication was loudly declaring that “vintage big-top circus” is going to be HUGE as a wedding theme this year. I wish I could include the photo that’s attached to the article, but I’d rather not get DMCA’d over it. Let me describe:

Bride is wearing some sort of bustier costume. The bodice is completely obscured by a large, red bouquet of… fluff. Probably ostrich feathers. The skirt is a lime green and fuschia tutu – very short – with black fishnets and knee-high boots. The groom is in a “ring master” costume, with a pink-and-purple clad clown standing next to him, complete with a huge, bright orange wig. Next to the bride – but seated – is a fushia wigged clown. Behind them, there are balloon arches in red, yellow, green, and blue…. while the aisle leading up to them is adorned in fuschia, lime green, and orange bows.

It’s an incredibly disturbing photo, on many levels. (I personally think that the mixing of primary-plus-green colored balloons with those bows is the biggest crime).

On its own, I could see this as being a pretty badass wedding, and unique theme for a wedding – for a special type of couple. It would REALLY need to fit the couple and their friends though, for it to not be a complete joke.

However, this is being used alongside an industry article about wedding trends… one that has just proclaimed “big top circus” to be a major theme for the coming year.

Wedding consultant Candice Benson is the person quoted about the circus theme trend, and the article goes on to say:

She advises that the themes will be carried out thoughout the invitations, décor, florals and stationery.

… and therein lies the rub.

Brides, grooms, and anyone involved with planning a wedding (who is not getting paid to do so!): Please, for the love of all things holy… do NOT ever trust when something is being marketed as a wedding trend. The key word here is “marketed”.

You know how a wedding “trend” starts? Someone in the industry thinks of something they’d like to do – a color they don’t work with as often as they like, a flower they don’t get the opportunity to use often, etc. In the worst cases, it’s when a vendor overpurchases something, and wants to offload it. Call it the next big thing, and there you go!

The thing is, working in the wedding industry can get very, very stale – but you won’t hear that from the people currently working in it. Truth is, photographers are asked to do the same photos over and over. Cake people get the same requests, ad nauseum. Florists get sick of preparing the same flower for a huge portion of the weddings they get. It gets boring.

So, I can understand why there is the desire to start something COOL trending. Hell, I once wrote about my own dream trend for wedding cakes… but that was just it – it was my dream trend. Has it gotten trendy? Nope. Ah well.

Had I been a less scrupulous industry member, however… a “trend” could have been born pretty quickly. Wedding magazines, in particular, have a lot of power to drive the dream trends of their advertisers… and they do.

You know what? I bet it would be an awful lot of fun to work on a “vintage big-top circus wedding”. Colors, entertainers, getting to do all kinds of fun things that wedding pros don’t get a lot of chance to normally… really getting to flex some creative muscle? Hell yes. We ALL love that.

Do I see couples, en masse, suddenly deciding that what they have ALWAYS WANTED for their wedding is a bunch of creepy clowns? Developing a sudden love for balloon decor? Hell no.

However, it could come to pass that circuses are a somewhat popular theme this year, as this has now been published as fact. As an industry publication, this goes out to various different types of wedding vendors around the country – and the world. The seed has been planted. The juices are flowing. The next time a couple sits with a wedding planner and says they’d like “vibrant colors”, it’s not altogether impossible that the planner will rave about how circuses are the next big thing.

And so it goes.

If you have always dreamed about having a circus wedding – or a wedding that happens to follow whatever crazy “trend” the industry starts reporting on – by all means, go NUTS with it. Weddings that are personal to the couple and go crazy with the unique details are usually the best, most fun, and memorable weddings out there.

Just remember, as I mentioned in this older blog entry: Taffeta was trendy once, as were butt-bows and huge pouffy sleeves.

The industry is a well oiled, incredibly manipulative engine – and it has been for a very long time. While their “trends” govern things like how available your choice of bridesmaid dress color is – it should never goad someone into having clowns at their wedding!

I mean, really. 🙂

1 thought on “Wedding Trends: Not Quite What You May Think

  1. The sheer fact that the majority of things I learned what weddings were came from those magazines growing up is kind of terrifying. And yet the culture and the industry still got me to change my mind about wanting to get married in a bright, colorful dress. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my wedding dress when compared to other white and ivory pieces, but it probably wasn’t as “me” as something bright– something with the spirit of a wedding Sari in a dress.

    Anyway, the marketing aspect of trending is sick. It takes the statistics right out of the term and makes it more of a mandate. Maybe *actual* trends of what people are doing for their dream wedding are commonplace and simple… but how will the industry sell magazines on that?! It’s like they just talk to the weirdest of wedding planners and ask “ignoring all reason, input, budget constraints, and the fact that this day will be immortalized in all the guests’ memories, what ‘trend’ would compete best with a Lady Gaga outfit?”

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