The East Coast bride is all about the look of the moment, and her style mantra is effortless chic. Matthew Robbins of Matthew Robbins Events in New York, author of Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings (Stewart. Tabori & Chang), reveals how these brides keep things up to the minute.
It goes without saying that untraditional locations are a given for East Coast brides. “They like to look for something that feels like less of a typical event space,” says Matthew. His brides’ coveted venues include barns, garden tents or New York lofts with sweeping urban terraces.
Once a location is selected, the East Coast bride creates a style that’s all her own. “The push is to look unique—really fabulous but not over the top. There’s a lot of interest in turning away from the princess-bride mania. Brides ask what they can do to make it personal,” Matthew reports. One answer is to give guests the feeling that they’re in a private home. “For years, there was white furniture and white cubes and a clubby vibe at weddings. But at one recent celebration, we did vintage tufted-leather sofas on Persian rugs with lamps that felt as if they could be in your home,” Matthew says.
The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. (Photo Credit: Ira Lippke)
Brides also look to make an impact with small details. “It’s not about putting flowers in every nook and cranny or the biggest arrangements. And the attraction to bling is going away. There aren’t crystals
dangling on everything.” Instead, brides look for quality— beautiful linens and gorgeous containers for flowers, such as silver teapots, Revere bowls or trophy cups, or interesting copper vessels with a warm patina.
With a strong awareness of trends in fashion and interior design, East Coast brides embrace
sophisticated color palettes such as gray and yellow or coolly monochromatic schemes. “We just did a wedding using all sorts of purple tones—aubergine, rich purple, silver gray and smoky lavender,” Matthew says.
A rustic barn with soaring ceilings. (Photo Credit: Jonas Peterson)
But perhaps the East Coast bride’s favorite way to break from the pack is with food. “The goal is to make the reception feel more like an amazing dinner party and not like a typical wedding,” says Matthew. His solution? To move away from catering stations for the cocktail hour and focus on a strictly curated selection of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres, then make the dinner the focus with relaxed family-style dining. “There are beautiful sides already on the table, and then we have waiters pass the
mains,” he explains.
And don’t forget the drinks: the East Coast loves its swanky libations. “Everyone still wants that signature cocktail, but they’re also interested in even bigger statements. A recent wedding had a whole bar dedicated to shots of high-end tequila.”