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What's Up Weddings

12 Wedding Trends for 2012

Mar 19, 2012 05:25PM ● By Anonymous

Good Night Stations

It’s customary to end a wedding with a cup of coffee and slice of wedding cake, but now it’s trendy to take things one step farther with a “good night station.” These treats, which could be anything from Krispy Kreme donuts to mugs of Starbucks coffee to S’mores, are wrapped up and sent home with the guests with the idea that they will enjoy them either later that night or the next morning. These stations can take the place of a favor as it offers the guests a snack to enjoy later and says “thank you for coming to the wedding.”

S'mores Bar
Photo by Holly Blood, Photos by Holly 

Homemade Favors

Edible favors have long been the most popular (and most-used) type of take-home gift for guests. However, now couples are taking it one step further and making their own goodies to share with guests. Popular favors include fresh preserves, often made with fruit picked from their own garden, hand-dipped caramel or candy apples (for autumn weddings), and even bottles of homemade beer. Considering the foodie trend of local, sustainable food, it only makes sense that couples would want to share the bounties of their own labor with their wedding guests.

Wordy Weddings

The love of literature and letters has taken over the weddings world. You might attribute it to the rise of the popular Scrabble-esque game, “Words with Friends,” but brides and grooms are finding plenty of ways to incorporate letter tiles, books, and libraries into their nuptials. This includes using Scrabble tiles for save-the-dates and stacking antique, beautiful books under floral centerpieces, as well as hosting the whole event (or just engagement pictures) in the library.


Photo by Laura Matney, Laura's Focus Photography

Muted color palettes

In 2011, hues of bright purple reigned supreme as the wedding color of choice for Chesapeake-area brides. This year, the color palettes are toned down, incorporating dusty roses, peaches, or lavender, paired with ivory or tan as the base.

If brides still choose to use a bright color—yellow is still popular, and purple hasn’t left the scene entirely—they’re pairing it with a calm neutral other than black or white, such as a steel gray or calm khaki.

Lace—For Everything!

We can thank Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, for bringing lace back to the forefront. After the princess donned a wedding dress made of lace, brides everywhere rushed to incorporate the romantic look into their own wedding. But it hasn’t stopped at gown—cake decorators are fielding requests for delicate lace-like patterned wedding cakes, while florists are often now wrapping bouquets with lace ribbon, versus the satin seen in previous years.

Cocktail Hour Lawn Games

Typically the time for guests to mix and mingle while you take photographs with your bridal party, the cocktail hour is for more than just sipping onChampagneand nibbling hors d’oeuvres now. Set up classic lawn games, such as bean-bag toss, bocce ball, and horseshoes, on the grass of your outdoor venue, and watch your guests go crazy having fun. Cocktail hour has always been the best part of a wedding, in our opinion, and this option just makes it that much better.


Photo by Rob Korb Photography


Ruffled Wedding Cakes

Last year, ruffles dominated the runways on wedding dresses. This year, those ruffles have migrated to wedding cakes, where decorators are creating layers of icing ruffles. It creates visual aesthetic that’s quite different than the smooth fondant look that is so traditional.

Kicked-Up Kids Menus

Children are no longer relegated to dining on chicken fingers, French fries, or macaroni and cheese. (Though we still recommend having that option for a super-picky eater, therefore preventing a hunger-induced temper tantrum during your reception.) Instead, children are being served scaled-down portions of the adults’ meal or gourmet versions of children’s favorites, such as ravioli in a brown butter sauce.\

Cigar Bars

Instead of saying good night with a slice of cake, how about a puff on a cigar? More and more cigar shops have opened locally, and that trend has spilled over to weddings. While it used to be common for the groom and his buddies to steal away for a cigar, now it’s out in the open with cigars being hand rolled for guests to try out in the open air.


 Photo by Rob Korb Photography


Non-White Wedding Dresses

It will be a long time until the typical bride eschews white as the color of choice for her wedding gown, but local photographers have noticed a significant shift to ivory gowns. We applaud the trend because ivory dresses flatter more complexions than pure white does.

Jeweled Bouquets

It’s not just flowers in the bridal bouquet these days. Brides are creating unique arrangements entirely out of jeweled brooches. Often, the centerpiece of the “bouquet” is a piece of jewelry that has meaning or history, such as an heirloom from a grandparent. The rest of the jewels are collected from antique shops or friends and family members. In some cases, fresh flowers are interspersed through the pieces of jewelry. This unique approach to a bouquet offers a story and quite a bit of sparkle to your bridal ensemble.


Bouquet by Intrigue Design and Decor; Photo by Elizabeth Ryan Photography


In 2012, it’s no surprise that brides use the Internet to aid in wedding planning. However, inspiration websites such as, a virtual bulletin board, as well as an explosion of wedding blogs, mean that brides are spending more time gathering wedding ideas from the Internet than ever before. To top it off, creating a wedding website is almost a necessity these days—it allows your guests to check in on all the details of the wedding, almost like a virtual invitation and scrapbook combined. 


-- Kelsey Casselbury