Wedding trends for 2017
Reduced carbon footprint fetes
Hosting an incredible wedding while also reducing the carbon footprint is on trend in 2017. For food and flowers, opt for in season and locally sourced. Earth-friendly invitations can be made by printing with soy-based inks on recycled paper. For place cards, forget the paper and have a calligrapher write each guest's name on stones that can be kept as personalised favours afterwards. Once the guests have gone home, don't throw out the flowers. Donate them to a hospital or nursing home to spread joy to others.
Ask for what you really want
From cash to camping gear and even museum memberships, couples can ask for just about anything today – including supporting a cause close to their hearts. Charity registries are on the rise and couples can register for a charity on TheKnot.com. For each gift purchased, The Knot will donate to their chosen cause.
The ultimate guest gifting lounge
This fun twist on the hotel welcome bag is ideal for destination weddings. Instead of stuffing and delivering them yourself, let your guests do the work. Set up a room full of swag like snacks, drinks and local sweet treats and let guests choose their favourite items. This also gives you the opportunity to meet and greet guests in person when they arrive.
Icebreaker guest games
Weddings today are often an all-weekend affair, so it's essential your guests meet and get to know each other. What better way to get your guests mixing and mingling than with the ultimate grown-up icebreaker: games. Personalized ‘mad libs’ about your first encounter and crossword puzzles that keep guests guessing your favourite date spot are great ways to break the ice before the ceremony or during the cocktail hour. Lawn games like croquet, horseshoes and corn hole are perfect for promoting new friendship at an outdoors wedding or cocktail hour.
When it comes to entertainment, couples are pulling out all the stops to entertain their guests. Aerialists, acrobats, live painters and even choirs belting out Beyoncé have made their way into weddings. If that's too trendy, try a traditional route with music, but pair it with a performance – like a classical quartet and ballerinas in tutus. Have a noise ordinance at your outdoor locale? Host a ‘silent disco’ where guests wear headphones and dance to their own beat.
One with nature
If you can't celebrate under the stars, bring the outside in. Add oversize potted trees and shrubbery to a ballroom for an enchanted forest look. Natural elements like wood and stone can be incorporated into your table settings, and hanging flowers over tables or the dance floor creates an instant wow factor.
Image mapping technology
Want to turn your indoor venue into a lush garden, but don't have the budget for thousands of flowers and potted trees? Try a new projection technology called image mapping that allows you to transform a space with lighting and moving pictures. Give your ceremony and reception its own special vibe by changing scenes from one to the next. You can even use this technology on your wedding cake. Not only is this trend tech forward, it benefits the environment and will save you money on flowers and décor.
Metallic dresses and breezy silhouettes
Metallic dresses – think tasteful gold threading and silver beading – flooded the runways during Bridal Fashion Week. Wearing a metallic dress may seem like a bold move, but it's perfect for a sophisticated, evening affair. Also big this year, effortless dresses with flowing fabrics. They're a must-have for providing a lightweight, ethereal vibe for destination weddings or even to wear for a second look. Detachable skirts, floral embellishments and off-the-shoulder looks will also make an appearance on the aisle.
Formal portrait studios
There's a new twist on the traditional photo booth: portrait studios. Just like the traditional photo booth, there's a designated space and sometimes props, but instead of posing with feather boas and silly sunglasses, a live photographer asks you to vogue for the camera. The result is a glamorous, intimate portrait in your finest attire. Also in for 2017 is the live illustrator who walks the party sketching guests throughout the night.
The new take on the naked cake is the translucent cake. Instead of totally bare tiers, translucent cakes have a thin veil of frosting with just a bit of the cake showing. Typically iced in buttercream, these sweet delights are topped with fresh flowers or in-season fruits that hint at the flavours of the cake filling.
The hottest wedding guests of 2017 have four legs and supersoft coats. From bunnies and donkeys to llamas and pigs, couples having rustic barn weddings are incorporating farm animals into the wedding day.
A movable feast
With food trucks and passed multi- course meals, the sit- down dinner is starting to be replaced with more interactive options. Set up stations that feature your favourite foods, like a raw bar with a waiter live-shucking oysters or wine and cheese pairings with an onsite sommelier. If you don't want to forego a plated dinner, host a cool cocktail hour and serve the main meal family style for a twist on tradition.
Left: Examples of the personalised wedding favours and gifts available from Cadenhead Whisky Shop & Distilleries.