What kinds of weddings are hot in California? How about in Charleston, South Carolina? What’s the latest in New York, New York? East, South, Midwest and West—take a peek at some of the freshest new ways American brides are expressing their inimitable taste and style.
An Arizona reception held beneath the stars gets an atmospheric glow from candles and lanterns.
Photography: Phyllis Lane Photoraphy.
The biggest trend out West is taking advantage of the great outdoors, according to Lisa Gorjestani of Details Event Planning in Los Angeles. It could be a vineyard, a bluff overlooking the ocean or an emerald lawn with a desert backdrop—just about anywhere, as long as it’s in the fresh air.
“In the few months when the weather’s not great,” says Gorjestani, “brides create an outdoor environment indoors by decorating with plants or fountains set up with running water.”
A good rule of thumb is to play up a great outdoor location with special touches. “If there are trees, we hang lights or flowers in them,” says Amy Mancuso, an event planner in Phoenix. For a beach wedding, Gorjestani might feature driftwood candelabras holding glowing glass globes—perfect as the sun goes down.
For floral arrangements unique to the Southwest, Mancuso will mix desert succulents with more formal blooms. Gorjestani’s favorite arrangements—Italian urns filled with flowers and fruit and surrounded by candles—have a fresh, regional feeling.
Gorjestani says that it’s chic to be environmentally conscious. “We’re serving free-range chicken and farm-raised fish, and because of the overfishing of Chilean sea bass, you won’t see it on wedding menus.”
“California brides like bold color,” says Gorjestani. For Southwestern brides, Mancuso sees desert tones: shimmering coppers and bronzes, paprikas, oranges and purples.
Look for a sexy, Hispanic influence, says Mancuso. Think Spanish flamenco guitarists at the cocktail hour and a hint of the fiery cuisine from south of the border. “Brides are asking for flaming tapas bars, or mini ahi or chicken tacos, or even build-your-own tortilla bars,” she says.
Western brides want a lavish menu of events. Mancuso might kick off a wedding weekend with a hayride or horseback ride out to a desert cookout. Or she might suggest a Mexican-themed rehearsal dinner, complete with a country-western band and cowboy hats and bandannas for the guests.