1. Alternative Venues Over the past two years we have noticed a huge increase in brides looking for alternative venues for their receptions. With the overall decrease in guest lists that we are predicting for 2012 weddings, and a greater demand for choice, all sorts of different venues have popped up all over the country recently. Couples can now choose to entertain guests on a boat, in the zoo, in Croke Park, or in the National Gallery amongst other places.
2. Full Length Sheer Veils Just like the huge trend of lace sleeves in bridalwear and on the high street at the moment, we are holding Kate Middleton accountable for the trend of full length sheer veils emerging in 2012. While the cap veil was popular last year (a daring look for bride Lily Allen), the birdcage in 2010 and the mantilla in 2009, we’re predicting that brides will be going for a more traditional look in 2012. Full length veils ooze class and sophistication and you can choose from lace or silk trim and/or pearl or diamante detail to add a little bit more glamour to the look.
3. Feather-like Skirts The skirt is going to be the big thing for winter 2012 and this take on the traditional ball gown is one of our favourites. Monique Lhuillier nailed the look in her Spring 2012 collection and we are guessing that many other smaller designer houses will have noticed. This look gives a light and airy feel, and almost makes the bride look like she’s floating on a cloud!
4. Brooch Bouquets The brooch bouquet is one of the biggest DIY trends when it comes to wedding flowers and, we think, will only grow in popularity next year. For brides wanting to add a bit of bling to their look without eating into their budget, this is the perfect accessory and is a great keepsake of the day.
5. Getting Married Abroad We are predicting a big increase in the amount of couples who choose to go abroad to get married next year. Some couples will be hoping to make their budget go a bit further by having fewer guests (standard for a wedding abroad) and will look to reduce stress by choosing to hire a wedding planner to do the bargaining and coordination for them. We think couples and their guests will see the wedding as a good chance to take a holiday and will spend a few days at the location.
6. Intimate Weddings A natural progression for weddings in 2012 will be a decrease in size. While couples will still plan an enjoyable, fun and special day, they will do so with fewer people on their guest list. Up until a few years ago some people were afraid of offending extended family or work colleagues by not inviting them to their big day. However, today people are more aware of budgetary constraints and circumstances, and many are more than happy to celebrate by having a drink or some dinner with the couple before or after the wedding.
7. Long Tables Long banquet tables are perfect for smaller venues, and not only look great, but are ideal for creating a personal and fun atmosphere. Banquet tables are a treat to decorate too as you can use all different centrepieces at certain points on the table such as pillar candles, flowers, tea lights, vases, lanterns etc…
8. DIY Table Numbers and Place Cards Creative couples may be getting their hands sticky again next year by making their own place cards and table names/numbers. Places like Daintree Paper in Dublin City Centre have made it easier for couples to put their own stamp on their stationery decor (quite literally) and blogs and forums will play a huge part in giving inspiration and advice to couples willing to take on the task.
9. One-tier Cakes We think cakes will be getting a little make-under in 2012 with a new trend of one tier desserts. Plain iced cakes can look really pretty when done well, and are great for an understated, modern-style wedding.
10. Outdoor Ceremonies A bold choice for an Irish wedding but nonetheless one that we see couples going for in 2012. On freshly cut grass, in amongst the majestic trees and surrounded by family and friends -can you imainge a better place to exchange vows? An outdoor ceremony also establishes a more laid-back and casual feel to the day. Have some preparations in place in case the sky turns grey however, and remember that you must have a civil ceremony in the registry office before hand, as outdoor ceremonies are not legally binding in Ireland.
11. Pro-Eco/Going Green As with general consumerism, people are now more aware of the importance of fair trade and ethical issues when it comes to their wedding. Fair trade and ethical diamonds in engagement rings and wedding bands, recycled and recyclable stationery and sustainable fashion in bridalwear are just some of the issues that have been brought to our attention over the years and we think brides and grooms will increasingly act on that knowledge in 2012.
12. Charity Favours For 2012 we are predicting a big increase in those choosing to give to charity in lieu of wedding favours. Some bigger charities supply little cards and leaflets with information on what the donation will be spent on and have developed packages specifically for weddings.Here are some charities you could donate to:
13. Mismatching Bridesmaids This was a huge trend in 2011 and we’re predicting bridesmaids will be even more mismatched in 2012! Our favourite things about this trend are: 1) Because the girls can choose their own style and colour of dress, they are more likely to be a lot happier when it comes to fittings; 2) They can wear the dress again after the wedding.
14. Evening Food Stations We’re foodies here in the WOL office, so this trend is right up our alley. Ice-cream vans became pretty popular last year, and we’re thinking the next step in terms of evening food will be fun, festival-like stands (such as the ones you may have seen at Oktoberfest or Taste of Dublin this year) serving coffee and muffins when the guests arrive, or noodles in the evening. Maybe we’re not predicting this trend as much as just hoping…
15. The First Look Photo A new trend in wedding photography is the first look photo. This is a photo taken before the ceremony, when the bride and groom are alone and see each other for the first time in their wedding outfits. Traditional couples may prefer to keep this moment until the ceremony but for a lot of couples it means some quiet time together before the wedding madness ensues! You could also up the tension by being close to each other for the photo, such as on either side of a door, when you can take the photo without even seeing each other.
16. Au Naturale We’re thinking the fake tan and sun beds may have had their day when it comes to weddings. Judging from chat on the WOL forums, brides are choosing to go au naturale for their wedding day so that they look themselves in photos. Whether you have fair skin, dark skin, or sallow skin, take care of it by exfoliating, moisturising, drinking lots of water and eating healthily on the run up to the wedding so it will be glowing and you won't need anything else on top!
17. Social Media Savvy Brides Brides and grooms are now more than ever taking to the internet to research their wedding suppliers, find inspiration for their decor, create wedding mood boards, chat to other brides, provide information to guests and blog about their experiences in wedding planning. This year we’ve noticed a huge increase in blogging brides and are forecasts more and more brides taking to sites like WordPress and Blogger to record their thoughts, feelings and experiences as they plan the biggest day of their life. Brides and grooms are also chatting on forums like WeddingsOnline.ie about anything from videographers to venues, and are following these suppliers on Twitter and Facebook in the hopes of bagging a bargain, or to see what they say about other weddings. Brides are also pinning on Pinterest, and creating and sharing their wedding style with others.
18. Tribute Bands We love the idea of tribute bands, and think they’re a great way to bring some fun and maybe even a little bit of nostalgia to a wedding. There are plenty of excellent tribute bands around Ireland at the moment such as rat pack bands, The Beatles or The Smiths tribute bands or all 90s music tribute acts. You can find a tribute act for almost any band, but make sure to go to one or two of their gigs to see them in action.
19. Long-haul Honeymoons For 2012 we are predicting that couples will be going on long-haul honeymoons, taking the chance to travel the world a bit before settling down to their new lives as a married couple. With some companies offering a year out, or a career break, some couples are seeing this as the best chance to visit some of the countries they have always wanted to.