Wedding Trends & Timeless Traditions
By Jennifer M. Aguilar
For years and years June was thought to be the month for getting married. Yet, the last few years fall has really been giving it a run for all its wedding money. And what’s not to love about a fall wedding? The changing leaves in the trees are as beautiful as any bouquet a florist can create, plus it’s acceptable to serve Pumpkin Spice everything. And here in Texas, the weather tends to just be cooling down, perfect for outdoor ceremonies at all the lovely venues North Texas has to offer. But if you missed this subtle shift in a wedding trend, you’re not alone. Many people don’t realize when wedding trends are changing, since they tend to do so more slowly than typical fashion cycles. Unless you’ve recently been planning a wedding, you might not have noticed. The good news is that when it comes to weddings, trends have long been leaning toward personal and meaningful touches that are as close to timeless as one can get!
Domonie (Dom) Mattson is a wedding planner and florist with 27 years of experience in the wedding industry, so it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about the subtly-but-ever-changing wedding trends.
And like many, she got her start working in the wedding industry while planning her own. “I started as a regular retail florist and the owner at that shop did not allow anyone else to do wedding flowers. I got married shortly after I left that shop and my wedding was the first I ever did and it just grew from there,” Mattson said. Though she will occasionally still create bouquets for other occasions, she’s happy to spend most of her time on weddings. “I have gone back to daily floral a few times, but my passion for weddings just brings me back – 90 percent of our business is weddings.”
Mattson is the owner of Wild Rose Events in Royse City, which offers rentals, décor and wedding coordination. “We focus on service and attention to detail,” she said, things that will always matter to brides hoping to see their wedding dreams come to life. In a saturated market she has helped distinguish her business by offering creative floral creations using a surprising variety of materials.
“We make bouquets and designs out of more than just fresh flowers. We use artificial flowers, preserved flowers, paper flowers, fabric flowers, brooches and wire. We have even done flowers out of Duct Tape!” she said, “We just love to be creative and be challenged.” Though Mattson has worked on weddings in 12 states and Canada, as someone based in Texas, she has put a great deal of energy into coming up with strategies for making sure her creations look great throughout the wedding day, even under tough weather conditions. “We also have special processes and techniques that allow our flowers to last a lot longer in this Texas heat!”
Looking back at wedding trends of the past few decades, Mattson has plenty that spring to mind as memorable, though some she views more fondly than others. “I have been doing this a long time so I have seen many trends over the years, from the big shoulders and ruffles and bows on the dresses! I never thought those were gorgeous, but boy were there a lot of them. And I still have nightmares of those old plastic/artificial bridal bouquets – they definitely did not fool anyone that they were fresh!”
Mattson commented that styles such high top tennis shoes and sunglasses on guys was hilarious and a nice change from the stiff formality that proceeded it. “I always loved when the floral style would change – I would be excited to not make the same design every weekend and get to change it up,” she said. Sometimes she was relieved to see a trend fade out, such as the burlap lace and Baby’s breath phase featured in weddings in the early 2000s. “I built my name on doing things outside the box and things other florists said they could not or would not do,” she said.
Fortunately for her, brides want to truly stand out and wedding trends have been shifting in recent years to celebrate more personal and unique touches. “I love, love, love, the boho, natural and organic trends for floral design. Flowers for the hair, although going out now, are another thing I love to create. And I am so happy we are mostly past the traditional head table of skinny long tables with everyone on one side of the table. I am loving the trend for Kings’ tables that look like you are celebrating a joyous family event,” Mattson said, which is fitting, since a wedding should indeed be a joyous celebration. “I like seeing how, with less traditional rules, we see more personality in the weddings these days, a celebration of who the couple is.”
While some wedding trends are influenced by the fashion world at large, Mattson believes that floral trends, in particular, usually make their way to the U.S. from across the pond. “We usually see the floral trends from Europe showing up here a few years later,” she said.
As for colors, you might not guess where those come from. “The paint companies push the new color trends,” she said. “About the same time, your favorite HGTV designers are painting all the rooms a very particular shade of purple or green, those same hues will often find their way into wedding trends, as well.” Pantone, in particular, is famous for dictating much of the design trends for the following year said Mattson. Because these companies are so influential on designers, the chosen shades impact both what brides are seeing when they search for inspiration, whether online or in the bridal magazines, and when they go shopping. (And FYI, 2019 brides, experts are predicting a deep teal shade as being the pick for next year!)
Though wedding trends can often be spotted nearly everywhere as they’re beginning to gain momentum, from bridesmaids’ dresses to table linens, it doesn’t mean that brides should feel compelled to follow them. On the contrary, many wedding experts agree that the best choices are actually the ones that feel most personal to each bride and groom, regardless of the trends.
“The brides seem to think that what they are doing is new. I try to gently tell them we have already done this ‘new’ design 300 times in the last few months, so maybe she wants to be a bit more unique,” Mattson said. Of course, she said she will continue making the most on-trend bouquets for any bride that wants one. It’s just helpful for brides to make sure they’re making decisions based on their own tastes more than whatever trends the industry is subtly – or shamelessly – throwing at them.
“I will sometimes mention the timelessness of photos, too, if what they are doing is going to really look funny a decade from now,” Mattson said, mentioning her own personal experience with wedding trends.
“I tried to do the trendy high, piled up hair for my wedding, and the V band across my forehead which was very on trend,” she said. Unfortunately, to pull the look off she had to wear contacts instead of her usual glasses. “It did not look like me at all! I always wear glasses and I had long curly hair and neither were part of that day. I hated how my hair turned out and regret trying to look so different – my kids just laugh about it!” Mattson said.
And ultimately, that’s something every bride should stop and really consider. (Not that her future kids may someday laugh at her, because let’s face it. That’s inevitable.) But what should matter most on your wedding day is that you look and feel like yourself, not some overly trendy version of you.
Though a big part of any wedding professional’s job is helping see her client’s visions to life, Mattson said she frequently steers her couples towards what she – and many – consider timeless choices, rather than trendy ones.
When it comes to gowns, that generally means simple, as opposed to overly adorned, and in whatever shape and style the bride feels her best in. Bridesmaids and groomsmen will always look great in classic colors like grey, navy and black, which never go out of style. Those shades are also easy to pair with any of the trendy colors showing up in floral designs. Makeup should generally be an elevated version of a bride’s everyday look. Said Mattson. “Trendy colors will date the picture,” she said. As for flowers, her specialty, she likes a simple, hand-gathered cluster, saying, “The more simple and natural, the more timeless.”
“But with all that said – the wedding should be about who you are – not what you think people expect you to be. These are your memories, so go with what truly speaks to you – whether it is on trend or not.”