- Sunflowers and brown-eyed susans. Sunflowers are annuals: they have to be planted every year. Brown-eyed susans, which almost outdo the neon gold of sunflowers, and which are a little like smaller and more daisy-fied sunflowers, are perennials. Not only do they NOT have to be re-planted, they have to be held back or you will have fields of them. (Not necessarily a bad thing!)
Anyway, they are playing starring roles this year in wedding bouquets and arrangements. In one wedding they graced an outdoor gazebo/chapel. In another, they adorned an enormous Catholic sanctuary. So they can go formal as well as rustic, and be mixed, apparently, with anything. One color scheme featured these striking yellow-gold flowers with royal blue. Another combined them with hot pink. In both cases, the addition of white and ivory made it all work attractively.
- Bridesmaid gowns that were ALMOST identical. This is a variation both on the uber-casual approach (“Make it lilac and short/long, but beyond that I don’t care”) and the more formal and traditional “identical” take.
In this case, all the dresses were short—all the dresses appeared to be of the same color (you never realize how many variations of “lilac” there are until you gather 7 attendants from around the country in the dresses you told them could be anything they wanted as long as they were lilac) and even of fabric—but above the waist each was slightly different in front, and each had a unique back treatment! Interesting without being distracting. Bridesmaids’ dresses continue to run the color spectrum—from muted almost-pastels-but-darker, to eye-popping sunshine yellow, to classic and dramatic navy. No particular “trend” emerges.
- The groom walking in on the arms of his father and mother. This is kind of great! In this case, rumor had it the groom needed a little moral support, but it also makes a bit more of the groom, who usually just appears from some ante-room like he is a supporting cast member in a pageant about to star…his new wife!
Actually in this particular wedding, all major family members were part of the wedding procession. Grandparent couples walked together: single grandparents walked on the arm of a grandchild. You could mix this many ways. I don’t know why the groom can’t walk in with his mother while the bride walks in with her father. I suppose it dates from some long-ago era when the tradition was all about he-men. Father gives daughter to strapping groom who is a REAL MAN and will take care of her. His mother doesn’t count anymore, since Real Man now has himself a new cook. Not very 21st century, is it?
- A basket of flipflops, new with tags and in all different sizes, in the lady’s room. Sometimes these are accompanied by a sign saying something like: “For tired dancing feet”. Sometimes the bride just lets the ladies figure it out for themselves. How fun!
Such is the beauty of weddings, especially modern weddings. Freed from the confining whalebone of rigid tradition, each is as unique as yours will be!