For reasons we all understand, the approach to planning a wedding has changed drastically in the last two years. Some recent trends will come and go based on necessity, but there are others we think are here to stay. We spoke with the experts at Infinity Hospitality, a full-service event planning and design company located here in Nashville, to hear all about the current trends in wedding planning and some of the creative ways couples are tailoring their special day to suit the times.
The Mix-and-Match Approach
One of the more popular wedding planning trends right now is mix-and-match ceremonies and receptions, which range from totally private elopements and small dinner-party-sized receptions to cozy ceremonies followed by larger, more traditional receptions. These types of weddings offer the best of both worlds and endless possibilities.
Opting for small, intimate ceremonies provides more flexibility in location and design elements, while large, traditional receptions focus more on entertainment and the “party” component of weddings. “This all boils down to wanting those more intimate moments to be with the group of friends and family who are closest to you, then maximizing the celebration with a crowd that is going to be lively and bring the energy,” explains Cassidy Wind, an event designer at Infinity Hospitality.
These types of celebrations are also beneficial to guests who may not be comfortable attending a full-blown celebration quite yet, or for couples who may have eloped during the pandemic. “Maybe some family members don’t want to be a part of the large crowd or maybe the couple doesn’t want the big wedding anymore but still wants a celebration — so the mix-and-match approach is a way to have your cake and eat it, too,” adds Kayla McCormick, another Infinity Hospitality event designer.
A More Intentional Planning Process
The pandemic has given many couples extra time to figure out which elements of their wedding are most important to them. Regardless of the size of the ceremony and reception, couples are becoming more intentional when planning out their wedding details. “A lot of brides and planners are really narrowing down the focus on what is truly meaningful to them during this time,” explains Kayla. “It’s become a more thought-provoking process than ever before for most brides!”
This intentionality has also led to both couples and guests placing more value on community and time spent together. “I see couples and wedding guests really value their time at weddings so much more,” says Kacey Greer, the assistant event director at Infinity Hospitality. “We see guests who have not seen some of the couples in years because of the pandemic. I also feel like the number of people that RSVP ‘yes’ to weddings has increased because people are just ready to be social.”
It’s All in the Details
As couples become more intentional in their planning, they are also paying closer attention to small details that may have been overlooked pre-pandemic. Many are incorporating more personalized, sentimental details, which allow couples to tell their love stories in a unique and creative way. For example, instead of a traditional guestbook laid on a table with a pen and paper, many couples are asking guests to record their good wishes in an audio format. This is often done using a vintage telephone or cassette player. “There’s something so special about being able to listen back to what your guests had to say on your wedding day,” says Kalyn Newport, the event director at Infinity Hospitality.
Color is another detail many brides are placing more emphasis on. “While simple, white weddings with greenery are classic and timeless, more couples are ready and willing to incorporate color into their day,” explains Haley Claytor, an event designer at Infinity Hospitality. “If you’re feeling hesitant, there are ways to use color [in] florals, fun lounge arrangements, and wedding party attire without it being too over the top.”
Creating ‘Pocket’ Experiences Within a Venue
Infinity Hospitality manages three unique venues in and around the Nashville area — the Bridge Building Event Spaces, The Bell Tower, and The Estate at Cherokee Dock. In all of these venues, the team has seen more couples use pockets of the spaces to create unique experiences for their guests, while still making the overall design feel cohesive. These pockets are often cozy with modern seating arrangements, allowing guests to catch up with friends and family they may have not seen in a while or to escape the hustle and bustle of the dance floor. “Around one corner could be lounge furniture to give guests a place to have a good conversation and rest their dancing feet,” says Haley. “In another corner, there’s a dessert bar with a variety of options for sweets, and in the other corner, a photo booth or cigar rolling station.”
While trends come and go, the experts at Infinity Hospitality agree that one of the most important things for couples to keep in mind when planning their big day is not to forget to incorporate their personalities. “Don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your day, and don’t feel like you have to do a green and white wedding so it always looks ‘timeless,'” suggests Cassidy. “Let the day represent your personality!”
This article is sponsored by Infinity Hospitality.