THE LOOK OF LOVE

The world of weddings is increasingly changing – from dress styles to food requests, each year brings about its own set of must-have requirements. In the age of Pinterest, every element of a wedding must now be considered, and with an abundance of options, knowing where to start is one of the hardest tasks. With this in mind, we spoke to some of the best local wedding experts around to find out what their big trend predictions for weddings this year will be, and also how the bridal market has evolved too…

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THE FOOD
By Chicks that Chop, caterers
We have been catering for weddings for 23 years and have seen many changes during that time. We started with canapés being barely mentioned and every request was for a buffet or plated main course and pudding. The weddings we have catered for over the last few years and bookings for this year are completely different; clients now want lots of delicious canapés followed by a family service style main course, with dishes served to the centre of each table for guests to hand around to each other. This creates an informal atmosphere and facilitates guests talking to each other very quickly, even if they have never met! We often provide a butterfly leg of lamb from the barbecue accompanied by interesting and unusual salads. We are very fortunate to have the likes of Yottam Ottolenghi (Plenty, Plenty More, The Cookbook) and Sabrina Ghayour (Persianna & Sirocco) around who have introduced us to some great dishes, a feast for the eye as well as the palate! There seems to be a lot more foodies around than ever before which makes life much more interesting for us caterers.
www.chicksthatchop.co.uk 

THE HONEYMOON
By Baldwins Travel
The possibilities and choices for planning a romantic honeymoon are endless, with so many travel operators out there, how can you make the perfect choice of destination and experience that will last a lifetime?
Whilst you might choose your destination based on yours and your partner’s lifestyle, hobbies and interests, you should also consider what is on your bucket list as a life-long travel wish.
It is a time to relax and unwind after the excitement of the wedding festivities, so look to find romance, pampering and exquisite food, but most importantly, make memories. A few destinations that are hot for 2017/18 are: Caribbean, Mauritius, African Safari or New Zealand – where you could be heli-hiking on glaciers, kayaking with dolphins, horse riding through the bush and bathing in natural hot springs.
www.baldwinstravel.co.uk

THE FLOWERS
By Jo Fisher, owner of The Florist Tunbridge Wells
No two weddings are the same of course, but in recent years the natural and rustic style has been very popular and continues to be. Bouquets in particular are no longer uniform but are getting looser and bigger and I see this continuing into 2017 with unstructured, natural cascade bouquets being a firm favourite.
Succulents and herbs are on brides’ wish lists and British grown flowers are also definitely growing in popularity – I use them in my wedding work as much as possible. Nudes are still in demand but I’m seeing more peachy tones combined with darker colours like marsala or navy. Contrast is key – think dusty blues, burgundy and champagne alongside touches of metallic shades like gold, copper and rose gold. Peonies and garden roses are still popular and both work brilliantly with the favoured peach and marsala tones. Of course the classic simplicity of white and green never tires and is still in demand.
www.thefloristtunbridgewells.co.uk

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THE PHOTOS
By Sam Yardley, wedding photographer
Over the past 12 months I have seen an increase in the influence of social media on the expectations of my wedding couples. I am sure that this has not yet seen its peak and that the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram will continue and grow, giving my brides inspiration for their own weddings and photography. This can sometimes give unrealistic expectations, but by working together we can interpret the ideas to create their own personal story.
www.samyardleyphotography.co.uk

THE HAIR
By Liz Bower, owner of Simply Beautiful Wedding Hair
2017 will be a season full of soft braids and beach waves, high messy top knots and twists. Rope braids, fishtail braids, slick French braids, Dutch braids, are all on the cards, as well as classic neat, simple chignons and rolls.
Trends are simple, soft, and natural around the front and full of adornment around the back.
I like my brides to bring all their ideas along to the trial, to help create your own look. Pinterest boards are great for inspiration and a fantastic way for me to understand a bride’s personal style, and theme of their wedding. Will your hair style need to be created around your hair piece? Maybe a floral crown, or a hair vine trailing through the back of a style, or even beautiful comb made from great grandmother’s diamante buckle or broach. Will you be wearing a veil? Bridal hairstyles have changed over the last 12 months, swaying away from side of nape messy knots, which were huge in 2015/16 and classic half up half down, pinned to the middle with a clip.
The world is your oyster!
www.simplybeautifulweddinghair.co.uk

THE JEWELLERY
By G Collins & Sons, jewellers
As a lot of ladies are now opting for diamond halo designs and diamonds set into the shoulders of their engagement rings and they are often finding diamond set wedding bands compliment their engagement rings better than a plain wedding band.
We are also noticing more people opting for rose gold instead of yellow gold, with a softer colouring it tends to
compliment more skin tones and is very on trend at the moment. Many women buy their fiancée a wedding gift for their big day as something special to commemorate the occasion, now one of our most popular gifts is a Cartier watch. It’s the perfect gift of a timeless watch that he will enjoy every day for the rest of his life. www.gcollinsandsons.com 

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THE MAKEUP
By Ellie Gill, makeup artist
One of the things that most brides want is to look the best version of themselves. Over the past year ‘festival’ style weddings have been hugely popular and lots of my clients have wanted a fresh, natural look to go with the laid-back vibe of their wedding. I’ve gradually seen an increase in people becoming interested in the ingredients that go into their cosmetics and I think ‘green beauty’ will be huge in 2017.
Last year wellbeing and healthy eating were both huge trends. The awareness is moving towards natural, safe, healthy cosmetics. The great thing about products containing all-natural ingredients is that they make achieving the pretty, glowing bridal look super easy! Natural products often contain skin-nourishing ingredients which can help improve the skin’s overall condition.
I’ve been working as a makeup artist in the wedding industry for five years now. This will be my first transitioning to an all-green; natural makeup kit and I can’t wait!
www.elliegill.co.uk

THE DRESS
By Rebecca Doyle, owner of Isabella Grace bridal boutique
The two mains trends in wedding dresses for 2017 will continue to be colour and statement backs.
It really is now all about the back of the dress. The aim is to make the back as stunning and striking as the front of the dress, if not more so. The first thing that most of the wedding guests see at the start of the wedding day is the back of the bride’s dress so it really is important to think about this. When I got married ten years ago, it was a simple boring zip at the back. But now, the possibilities are endless!
Brides are also moving away from traditional ivory and towards more vintage colours such as blush, champagne and almond. There will also be a continued move away from the big lace dresses we have seen in 2016. Brides are tending to go for more delicate lace or choose alternative fabrics with a hint of lace. The most popular fabric for wedding dresses at the moment is crepe, which is just so elegant and graceful.
www.isabellagracebridal.com

THE VINTAGE
By Cara Lee-Whyte, owner of Story of My Dress
Having carefully collected my original vintage wedding dresses over the last four years I have certainly seen many changes! When I started purveying for original vintage it was at a time when 1950s tea length dresses were extremely desirable, original or newly designed. I couldn’t collect or restore them fast enough. The request for 1930s wedding dresses never seems to fade either. The long flowing silk, bias cut beauties are extremely hard to get hold of due to the length of time they would have had to been stored correctly but as soon as they are in the shop they are out again.
Right now I would say that the 1960/70s dresses are becoming extremely popular; the brides are looking for a much more relaxed, easy to wear look. The dresses from this era are whimsical and evoke a sense of free-spirited bride perfect for the outside, barn, garden weddings that are very frequent amongst my brides today.
1960s guipure lace, crochet, off the shoulder and 1970s fringing and fluted sleeves are going to be huge this year. Think ‘summer of love’ and Woodstock vibes.
www.storyofmydress.com 

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THE THEME
By Natalie Wilkins, wedding co-ordinator at Chiddingstone Castle
Over the past year, we saw less of the vintage shabby chic of the past few years. Giant balloons and statement paper-craft has emerged, with huge fl uff ed out pom-poms and a reappearance of the giant paper globe lantern.
Festival fever has made an impression; capturing the relaxed fun of the modern British summer, with a nostalgic nod towards the traditional. Some couples have extended to the croquet set to recreate a light-hearted mock-up of a mini fete; with stacked hay bales, coconut shies and candy floss, ‘pimp your Prosecco’ stands and rustic wheel barrows chilling the beer on ice. Guests are encouraged to kick off the high heels for the egg and spoon, relay and sack races.
A new idea to us, awakened the most evocative of senses when one couple scented the castle throughout with reed diff users. Walking past the NEOM stand in a perfume hall whilst shopping, I was transported back to the joyful wedding here.
www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk