May 24, 2018
This past weekend’s royal nuptials kicked off the season of passed hors d’oeuvres, wedding DJs requests and tipsy best man speeches. Wedding season is upon us and open bars never go out of style – keeping up with wedding trends is a full time job. Forget about sticky chocolate fountains, Coachella-inspired flower crowns and mason jar centerpieces, these are the looks, locales and libations that you’re going to be seeing this season in Philly.
Although the general public had to wait for the royal wedding dress reveal, this season’s brides have had a sixth sense when it comes to gown shopping. Both of Meghan Markle’s dresses were right on par with what Ivy Solomon of Old City’s Lovely Bride has been seeing.
“There’s definitely a move towards sleek and chic,” she says.
Brides are forgoing the lacy, boho looks of previous years in favor of clean lines, fitted silhouettes and solid whites. Solomon is seeing brides going for fuller, A-line dresses, not necessarily a full ball gown, but definitely something with room to move around and dance in.
Accessories-wise, 2018 is steering clear of silver in favor of yellow and rose gold for everything from jewelry to veil combs.
For Diana DuHaime, founder of ONLO, a forward-thinking beauty agency, 2018 is the year of the glow.
With so much recent focus on skincare, it’s no surprise that brides are embracing a less is more attitude when it comes to big day beauty.
“It’s about embracing a natural look,” DuHaime says.
“People are liking a pop on their lips, brighter pinks and spring and summery tones.”
While weddings were once an excuse to pile on the extensions, this season, brides are nixing the fake tresses. Instead of spraying and pinning each strand into place, many brides are playing it fast and loose with a low bun, a la Markle. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not a little room to shine.
“Hair accessorizing is a forever thing,” says DuHaime.
She’s been seeing more sparkly pieces and barrettes than princess-y tiaras, as of late.
Andrew Olsen of Shepards Farm grows flowers for Philadelphia weddings locally. He’s calling 2018 the year of “garden gathered” bouquets and centerpieces that are loosely arranged and decidedly less formal. Working seasonally allows Olsen to create arrangements that move from early spring flowering cherry branches and ranunculus to dahlias and strawflowers later in the summer.
In contrast to the natural looks taking over the bridal beauty game, Brian Kappra of Evantine Design is seeing a rainbow of colors for receptions.
“We’ve never really been part of the rustic movement,” says Kappra, noting that the majority of his weddings are booked at the Barnes, the Bellevue and other posh Rittenhouse locales.
Kappra’s luxe line-up of florals is steering away from exotics like orchids in favor of more familiar flowers like sweet peas and full garden roses with a headier nose and twice the number of petals.
According to Lily Fischer, co-owner of Fishtown’s Cake Life bakery, those tiered and fondant covered wedding cakes are a thing of the past.
“We’re seeing what constitutes a modern wedding cake has changed so much,” she explains.
At Cake Life, hand painted cakes are having a moment. Frosting adorned with stone and concrete textures come in neutral shades. Fondant flowers are being replaced by freehand formed buttercream florals in pale pastels.
The royal combination of lemon and elderflower is certainly going to be a popular one this season, but Cake Life has been pairing herbal and floral notes in their cakes for a while now. Lemon, thyme, pistachio rose and raspberry bergamot have been big sellers for the couple looking to up their cake game.
Aaron Gordon of 13th Street Cocktails sets up onsite bars for weddings all over the area at BYO venues like Terrain at Styers, Cecil Creek Farm and Everly at the Railroad. During previous wedding seasons, sweet, fruity cocktails were having a moment, but this year, drinks are trending towards drier, lower sugar options like gin with housemade tonic and riffs on citrusy tequila variations.
When it comes to wine, folks are stocking up on cava and cremant instead of pricier Champagne. When it comes to by-the-glass pours, for Gordon, it’s all about the crowd pleasers.
“You don’t want anything too obscure,” says Gordon.
“You’re not opening a wine bar, you’re having a party!”