What's new over the pond?
It may be a cliché but there really is nothing new under the sun; we create and develop 'new' ideas while being constantly exposed to products and styles that have gone before. Fashions and trends are in a constant cycle of reuse. Browse a rack in any clothes store or flick through the pages of this month’s Vogue and you will invariably see designs inspired by previous decades or cultures. When it comes to weddings, the same rules apply. We all want something new or different and you had better believe that we will beg, borrow and steal from almost anywhere to achieve it! Tradition is a wonderful thing, but putting a twist on a classic idea is even better and in recent years the influence of new fashions in the States on the traditional British wedding can’t be overlooked. You can’t deny that over the last decade, a large amount of trends have made the voyage across the Atlantic and landed on our shores.
Around 2009, it became popular to replace your wedding cake with a cupcake stand, shortly followed by the addition of cake pops and the naked or unfinished cake. These are all fairly recent influences but in fact, our friends in the west have been inspiring new traditions for a lot longer. Square cut or pear shaped, the iconic diamond ring was gleaned from the States in the 1930’s and though the image of a miniature figures of the bride and groom sitting atop the cake may seem traditional, the cake topper became popular as a sign of togetherness in America as recently as the Fifties. Of course nowadays, it’s a lot easier to gather ideas and get a glimpse of unusual styles. You only have to browse the popular 'Weddings' section of any party website and you’re bombarded with images to inspire your special day.
Looking around, I have noticed that themed weddings seem to be a big thing at the moment. Whether vintage, rustic or even comic book inspired, the Internet is alive with images of different themes being incorporated into all aspects of the wedding. A trend emerging alongside a main theme seems to be that of a unique backdrop or background. I’ve seen an autumnal portrait gallery, butterflies on transparent string and a silhouetted forest projected onto fabric; all giving a breathtaking setting for photographs. Though the traditional wedding photographs are still going strong, there has been a fun fashion emerging for creating slightly more unusual images. The image of a groom and groomsmen ripping off their shirts to reveal superhero outfits, pre-wedding preparation picture to create a countdown or, of course, the whole party being chased by a digitally created dinosaur can spark ideas for what you can do on your day.
It’s becoming increasingly popular in the US for the bride and groom to give out small badges to their guests, identifying whether they are a friend/relative of the bride or groom - in some cases the badges even having childhood pictures of the couple. They act as an effective icebreaker and a fun conversation starter, allowing your guests to get to know each other. Another trend emerging is The Wedding Program. Specially designed cards are set out on the tables to give brief biographies of the bridal party, allowing the curious guests to discover who everyone is and what connection they have to the bride and groom.
All of these ideas can help you put your own personality into your wedding and with the increasing popularity of sites such as Pinterest, we have inspiration at our fingertips. No doubt, as has been the case for decades, we’ll continue to see more and more trends from the USA popping up around Britain and on both sides of the pond we will continue to recycle and remold older styles and make them our own.
So, as it turns out, our weddings nowadays are less about something old or something new, and more focused on something borrowed, copied or inspired.