Theatrical Celebrations

2017 Northwest wedding trends

Northwest couples are planning whimsical weddings that incorporate stage-inspired elements for 2017. Woodland fantasy themes and dramatic, theatrical dreamscape settings are in. This year’s weddings are fun parties, with couples including their personal interests and their unique life stories into their plans. From rustic getaway weddings with friends, to epic blowout celebrations, here is your wedding day playlist. Cue the lights.

Caitlyn Nikula Photography

Caitlyn Nikula Photography

The drama

This year’s dresses are dramatic, ethereal gowns. Detachable cathedral trains show off the back view of heavily embellished dresses with big volume or form-fitted allure. Mea Mendez of MeaMarie Bridal Atelier in Kirkland recently returned from a bridal show in New York. “This season, the designers are hitting the market hard with long sleeves. You will see more embellished sleeves or simple illusion looks,” she said.

Dresses are moving away from traditional white and ivory, with more gold and champagne hues and bold, three-dimensional floral appliqué. Mendez is seeing a huge comeback for ostrich feathers and horsehair trim, which add fullness and structure to dramatic designs. For bridesmaids, jewel tones in purple, teal, and forest green, with accents of gold complete the bridal party.



The plot twist

For rings this year, couples are choosing mixed and alternative metals with colored diamonds and gemstones in elaborate, one-of-a-kind designs. Couples are asking jewelers for unexpected rings with modern twists. “Stackable wedding bands are extremely popular lately, and not the typical matching-the-wedding-band-to-the-engagement-ring look,” Kristin McCabe of J Lewis Jewelry in Bellevue said.

Green Lake Jewelry Works’ Bellevue studio makes all custom designs, and designers are seeing more couples with ideas that incorporate old-world antique metals with socially conscious materials. “Naturally colored rose-cut diamonds and sapphires are especially popular alternatives that make for a one-of-a-kind look,” designer Krista Robertson said. One of her favorite recent designs is a gray rose-cut diamond halo engagement ring in fair-mined gold.

Carina Skrobecki Photography

Carina Skrobecki Photography

Setting the scene

Flowers are lush this year, with pops of color boldly accenting pastel backdrops. At Fena Flowers in Kirkland, florist Judi Tsuchida sees wedding parties choosing garden roses, hydrangeas, and ranunculus as the most sought-after flowers in full, compact designs. For couples looking for open and airy designs for bouquets and this season’s popular flower crowns, Fena Flowers is seeing lots of requests for branches, greens, and foliage complemented with floral touches. “Every green and flower is the star of the show,” Tsuchida said.

Bold floral designs are dressing this year’s most popular wedding venues. Wedding planner Alex Chalk of Taylor’d Events Group is seeing couples planning to make a big visual impact on their guests. “Couples are using over-the-top floral arrangements, luxe drapery, and elaborate lighting design to really take guests’ breath away,” Chalk said.

Audience participation

Wedding menus have guests’ tastes and preferences guiding food choices this year, with interactive food stations that allow for customization and special requests. Jaffrey Bagge of Twelve Baskets Catering in Kirkland is seeing couples planning to have chefs creating made-to-order specialties like tossed ceviche. Epic wedding celebrations include late-night snacks like mini whiskey onion sliders or grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters, in addition to an array of sweet options. “Dessert buffets are here to stay,” Bagge said.

Brunch weddings are another trend for 2017. They’re a flexible, budget-conscious option that also leaves time for the couple. “It gives you and your partner the afternoon off to enjoy yourselves in wedded bliss,” Chalk said. “You can always invite guests out for a nighttime get-together. Or better yet, hop on a plane to your honeymoon early.”

Karen Flower Photography

Karen Flower Photography

Sweet endings

This year’s wedding cakes reflect contemporary design interests and the couple’s personal stories. Mike McCarey of Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Redmond sees couples including details from the wedding attire, and monograms as cake toppers. Nature-inspired cakes fit well with this season’s woodland fantasy themes, and McCarey is seeing an increase in casual, rustic styles and “naked” (unfrosted) cakes. “Another trend is personalizing the cake by adding a surprise for the groom,” McCarey said. Couples are asking for cakes with team logos on the back or superhero figures peeking out from underneath.

Hillcrest Bakery in Bothell has been creating custom wedding cakes for nearly 50 years. “Cakes have been white with accent colors until recently,” manager Chazz Kaskes said. Hillcrest Bakery’s loyal customers now come to them for wedding cakes with bolder colors. “The trend is for more and more colored cakes,” Kaskes said.

Three Top Trends

1. Custom lighting sets the mood for this year’s theatrical ceremonies and blowout receptions. Light up the trees at a rustic venue, add a colored light show during the first dance, or project a monogram over the dance floor. Try local event lighting specialists Crimson Haze Event Lighting.

2. Nature-loving couples are choosing parks and trails as backdrops for their vows. Top spots include Cape Flattery, one of the most popular places to elope in the Northwest, or the storied Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park. Ride a gondola up for stunning views at Crystal Mountain’s Mount Rainier Platform. Couples can host an intimate, rustic wedding weekend at the Copper Creek Inn near Mount Rainier’s Nisqually entrance.

3. Turn to Etsy’s local artisans for unique accessories, attire, and gifts. Emily Davis of Emily’s Handmade Soaps in Des Moines works with couples on custom scents and colors for wedding favors. Or find whimsical cake toppers from Redlight Studio in Everett; handmade wedding and flower girl dresses from EL Design Studio in Issaquah; and stunning engagement rings and bands from Art from Above in Vancouver, B.C.

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