Five Wedding Experience Trends That I am Absolutely Loving!! | Friday Chatter

 Photo shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography | Photo shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography |

Ahh you guys this week has been BUSY but absolutely incredible! I’m coming off of my first experience at The Gathering–a mini conference and workshop put on by Hope Taylor & Caroline Logan! I spent all Wednesday afternoon, learning and being inspired alongside about 100 other baby boss ladies! It was SO amazing to know that I’m not alone on this crazy journey! Read more about my experience here!! Any who… I am gearing up for not just one but TWO beautiful weddings this weekend! I’m off to Fairfax, VA and then Bethlehem, PA to photograph two weddings for two amazing couples! I am SO excited to spend my weekend celebrating with their families! 

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know that I absolutely LOVE Instagram. I recently polled my audience and got a ton of great ideas for blog posts and content that you would love to read right here on the blog!! Thank you SO much for participating, friends!! (PS if we’re not friends on IG yet, you can find me HERE!) The topic of wedding trends caught my eye! I was asked to share some of my favorite trends that I’ve seen in the industry this year. I absolutely LOVE this request, so much so, that I decided to keep that post in my bank for later on in the season (when I’ve had a chance to see some serious pretty play out!!) and put my own little twist on it for today! Today, we’re chatting all about my favorite wedding experience trends that I’ve been seeing!

Today’s post is going to dive into the trends that I’ve seen recently that pertain to your personal day-of wedding experience (and a little bit about the timeline too)! I’m SO excited because it really does allow me to share some of the great things that have made my couples’ days beautiful, unique and stress & hanger free! I have seen each of these things pop up again and again this season! Let’s get this started!

Opting for a First Look

Ok… so this one isn’t really a trend, but I have had so many people ask me about my opinion on first looks. When in doubt, my answer will always be YES, you should do a first look!! They are AMAZING! Not only do they allow us to dive in and take advantage of your entire purchased coverage time, but they also allow you two to spend MORE time together. More and more, I have clients opting for first looks and more and more I am finding myself throwing up the praise hand emoji’s throughout the day as they tell me what a great experience it was. Seriously… first looks make a BIG difference. Some people worry about feeling like a first look may not be “traditional”, and I just want you to know that it IS okay to stray a bit from tradition. You will be SO happy that you actually get to spend your wedding day with your human when all is said and done!!

Breaking Tradition

Moment of real talk: tradition is GREAT right up to the point where it no longer is true to you as a couple! Tradition may not be best for everyone, and I am here to tell you that is OKAY. I’ve seen more and more couples break standard wedding tradition this year, and I am absolutely LOVING it! From opting to eliminate their bridal parties all together to forgoing the bouquet and garter tosses at their reception to seeing each other before the ceremony and going with nontraditional ceremony styles, straying from what you think may be tradition is absolutely okay–and encouraged over in these parts! After all… this IS your wedding day and you should be beyond excited for every single part of it. Don’t be shy about trying something new or breaking the norm!

Hosting Everything at One Location

Now… this isn’t possible for everyone (especially if you are having a church ceremony!!), but it is possible for a lot of couples! This year, more than ever, I have so many couples hosting the entirety of their day in one location and I have to say that it makes logistics a lot easier! From your getting ready suite to your ceremony site and your reception, when everything is hosted at one property, you’ll never have to worry about getting stuck in traffic on your way to your ceremony! You also get to save a little on transportation for your bridal party!!

If you are opting to host everything at one location, please do check in to ensure that your venue has getting ready suites. You’ll also want to confirm the earliest that you are able to be on your venue’s property to ensure that you’ll have adequate time for hair and makeup!

Bride and Groom Sunset Portraits

I am so thrilled that this is becoming more popular amongst my couples! Portrait time with the bride and groom is one of my absolute FAVORITE times of day! Not only do my couples win brownie points if they let me sneak them away from their reception for a few sunset portraits, but each time, they are SO thrilled with the result! I am able to shoot portraits at almost any time of the day, but there is something so magical about golden hour portraits that can’t be replicated at any other time of the day! The light is glow-y, you are officially MARRIED, and everything feels so magical (Yes, I know how cheesy this sounds!) When couples are up in the air and aren’t too sure about leaving their reception for 15 or 20 minutes for portraits, I always like to let them know that, chances are, your guests may not even notice that you two are missing because they will be so busy enjoying the menu you’ve selected or are dancing! When in doubt, opt for the golden hour portraits!!

Custom Cocktail Hour Lengths

Fun fact: Your cocktail hour doesn’t have to be an hour! I have seen cocktail hours eliminated completely and have also seen cocktail hours extended!! Now, please note that this is one of those trends that will look different for everyone else and that it is really important that you are consulting your vendors to see what they recommend and what each option will cost you. But… I did just want to pop this point on here to let you know that your cocktail hour doesn’t have to be limited to JUST an hour of time! If you are doing a first look and are hoping to get ALL of your portraits (Family and bridal party included!!) done before your ceremony, opting for a shorter cocktail hour may be in the cards for you! If you are forgoing the first look and have a longer family portrait list, extending your cocktail hour may be something that you should look in to!

BONUS: Eating BEFORE your reception even begins! 

This is a trend that I’ve seen pop up and that I’m desperately trying to get to catch on this year!! It always breaks my heart to see full plates at the bride & groom’s seat during the reception. Think about it: you are meeting with guests, you’re ready to celebrate…. and the expensive food you’ve been dreaming about for months gets forgotten. One way to avoid the full plate situation is to eat dinner BEFORE your reception even starts! This will help you avoid becoming super hangry and also helps you feel good as you sip on some bubbly during toasts (because you actually have food in your belly!). Then, come reception mingling time, you’ve eaten, you’ve refreshed, and you’re feeling way better than you would, had you not eaten! Seriously… I can’t say it enough!! Eat, my friends!

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