In the 2012 issue of Colorado Brides, we reported the rise of wedding collectives and studios that house several vendors. Now concentrated wedding planning is afoot: the bridal exposition. The expo—an uber-collective that rolls into town for one day (not unlike a matrimonial circus)—gathers all the wedding-related vendors you’d ever need to one place. Florists, gown designers, caterers. You make the rounds and either make purchases or simply get advice from various experts.
The Lovesick Expo is setting up shop at Mile High Station in Denver on February 23 as it makes its way across the country to five other metropolitan destinations. Lovesick is indie-inspired, fitting well into the alternative wedding proclivities of many Coloradoans. Among the local vendors are Moodeous Photography, Lale Floral Designs, Utopian Events, Boulder’s Todd Reed jewelry and more. Although it’s a one-day affair, expediency is never a bad thing considering the potentially debilitating stress of drawn out wedding planning. Registration for Lovesick is only $10 in advance. Imagine how much you’ll save in gas alone when you cut out trips to individual vendors scattered around the metro area.
Here Comes the Blog
These days everyone’s got a website. Local papers. Undergrads studying abroad. And somehow your neighbor’s dog despite the lack of opposable digits to type. So why not have a website for your wedding? More and more brides are entering the digital age with a customized site—and far from being a gimmicky afterthought, the content can make almost every aspect of the planning easier. Can’t decide on a style for your invitations? Send them via email. Can’t get future in-laws to R.S.V.P.? They can click once, instead of finding a postage stamp.
Launching a website is not a daunting, terrifying task. Visit MyWedding.com, check out the 700 themes they’ve created and choose the one that fits your digital feng shui. The site is free, and they’ll walk you through everything from uploading pictures to creating a gift registry. Other popular choices are WeddingWire.com, or eWedding.com—each is either free or low cost, meaning more budgets allotted towards the tangibles, whether it’s catering or that ’80s cover band you’ve always wanted.
Last summer Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker married Alexandra Lenas with 364 guests in attendance, all of whom were wearing medieval outfits made by none other than the costume designer for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Although it was over the top, Parker’s extravaganza reflected a new trend in weddings everywhere: a dress code for the guests, too.
While most weddings are still just excuses to get fancy, more and more bridal parties are asking guests to follow a specific theme, whether it’s “Gatsby Swinging ’20s” or “Farmhouse Rustic.” Since there’s a common bond of attire, guests feel like a part of the wedding instead of idly twiddling their thumbs. Just be courteous enough not to be too demanding. Get creative, but don’t expect everyone to show up in precisely what you imagine. Rather, suggest a theme, and see what happens.
Waffley Wedded Wife
Our favorite quasi-breakfast, mid-day meal, aka brunch, is beginning to take over the more conventional wedding reception choices of lunch and dinner. The benefits are obvious. Guests are usually of all ages, sizes, backgrounds and culinary preferences. So a crossover meal makes the most sense when trying to please everyone. Waffles for the youngsters, oatmeal for the old folks, and crab legs for the savory types. An early start doesn’t mean drinking can’t take place; mimosas and Bellinis are more memorable than straight champagne toasts, and no one has ever scoffed at a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Vendors usually charge less for brunch than dinner, too, saving you money or allowing you to spend it on other things. Fiona’s Deli in Fort Collins services much of the northern Front Range, and offers a delectable buffet, complete with roast turkey and a chocolate fountain to boot.
The old adage goes “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” They should also add: Something lost. Wedding planners everywhere lament that one half of the happy couple misplace their ring almost immediately. Whether right after the ceremony or on the honeymoon, newlyweds have a habit of losing the annulus because they’re not used to wearing the pesky little thing. How do you safeguard against this travesty? Insure your rings.
Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance usually doesn’t cover the most expensive items, so you can add an extension, or “rider,” to your plan to cover the ring. Or, you take out a policy for your ring specifically, which, in a worst-case scenario, will actually replace your carefully chosen ring instead of merely giving you a chunk of cash. One popular company is Perfect Circle Jeweler’s Mutual, but most regular insurance companies will tack on an extension, too.
The Empress’ New Clothes
Two years later, Kate Middleton’s matrimonial style keeps influencing brides-to-be—especially the sleeved wedding dress. Middleton’s white lacey sleeves were necessary due to the traditional (you can say that again) nature of the ceremony, but they have inspired a broader rebirth of vintage arm-coverings, proving that fashion is cyclical. Boulder Bridal, on Walnut Street, has a large selection of sleeved dresses, and can perform any and all alterations needed.
This trend isn’t taking hold across the board—at the same time, brides are favoring ever-skimpier dresses, and you’re more likely than ever to see tattoos creeping out from under the fabric. The greater trend is that dress options are growing more diverse with every passing day, meaning your taste—whether old fashioned or avant-garde—is probably both fashion-savvy and readily accessible.
Wedding favors can range anywhere from personalized sunglasses for your guests to titillating candies like saltwater taffy. Another option is to make a lasting, feel-good-on-the-inside donation to a good cause on behalf of your guests. One popular idea is to donate $1 for every guest to the National Arbor Day Foundation, which will take the buck and plant a tree in areas that have been deforested or burned. The website IDoFoundation.org has kindly put together a charity registry, including well-known non-profits like UNICEF and Amnesty International. The site will channel your donation, then send you customizable cards printed with the names of your guests so you can let them know you’ve done the world a solid just because they showed up. Sure, it’s not the succulent gratification of saltwater taffy, but it also won’t give you cavities.