Tips and Trends!

{solutions to make your big day the best EVER}

Witten by: Amanda Easter & Pat Chaudoin



Hoping to “wow” your guests? Then a floral wall could be just the thing! “It personalizes the event beautifully,” says Nadra Edgerley, owner of Nadra Photography in Scarborough, ME. And it can be very versatile, according to Pat Cannon, owner, and Lisa Greene, master designer of Beach Plum Flower Shop in Newburyport, MA. “One large backdrop for the ceremony can be broken down into sections for the reception,” they explain. “One section can be used behind the cake table, another behind the sweetheart table, and yet another for the photo booth.”


Everyone loves something sweet at the end of the night, so create the perfect wedding favor by making custom chocolates. Capitalizing on the same idea behind a signature cocktail, custom chocolates leave your guests with a taste to remember. “If the bride and groom have special flavors they are using—for instance, a group of herbs or a particular beer or wine—a chocolate can be created around it,” suggest Cannon and Greene. So send your guests home with an edible favor using flavors you and your partner love!


Elizabeth Dirom, owner of Madeleine’s Daughter Bridal in Portsmouth, NH, reminds brides to remain true to their own unique style for their big day. “Your wedding day is all about who you are, and your dress should reflect that,” she notes. “This goes for hair and makeup as well. If you are someone who likes a glamorous day-to-day look, then have your hair and makeup reflect that style!”


Want to feel like you’re dining under the stars at your reception? Then consider renting a clear sailcloth tent. “They’re gorgeous, and you really feel like you’re under the stars,” says Edgerly. However, Kara Patten of Marshall Tent and Event Rentals in Kittery, ME, cautions couples against using them for July, August, and early September weddings. “They act like a greenhouse and can get uncomfortably warm,” she says. “But for a spring or fall wedding, these tents are perfect.” Tip: Make sure your photographer knows that additional external lighting will be necessary!



Using unconventional seating for your ceremony or reception can be fun, but it’s important you still have enough seats for everyone. “You don’t want 70 percent of your guests sitting and the other 30 percent standing around them,” cautions Nicole Mower. On the other hand, incorporating different styles of chairs and benches can switch up the feel of the day. “It doesn’t have to be the traditional table and chair. Lounge furniture is a great way to create a relaxed feel,” continues Mower. Rick Taranto, owner of Details Events Staging in Kennebunkport, ME, agrees. “Bringing in high-top tables and even bar stools is another way couples are changing things.”


Grooms are making more of an impact on the wedding day by adding their own flair to the ceremony. Take, for instance, the trend toward moongates replacing arches as a ceremony backdrop, and grooms getting involved by making the moongates themselves. Your groom isn’t a handyman? No worries! “Incorporate their interests, their talents, or their passions in whatever capacity you can, whether it’s building something physically or creating something artistically or even baking something delicious,” shares Nicole Mower of Nicole Mower Weddings and Events in Kittery, ME. “It’s a really sweet touch that guests will enjoy.”


Incorporating unusual flowers into your bouquets adds an unexpected touch to your wedding. “We’ve seen couples use flowers from their travels, making a completely custom bouquet,” say Cannon and Greene. Using neotropical foliage and blending it with local materials creates an interesting and unique look. If your groom enjoys brewing beer, consider incorporating hops into your bouquet or his boutonnière. And custom bouquets don’t have to stop at the flowers; you can add family heirlooms, like a broach or a tie, to the band to keep a special someone’s memory close by.


Grooms have been kicking their fashion sense up a notch in recent years, and some would say it’s about time. “Men are paying more attention to their own attire,” says Edgerley, “and everyone knows you photograph better when you feel confident.” In addition to choosing skinny-legged tuxedos, Dirom adds that men are wearing velvet suits. She says velvet is a great addition to a fall or winter wedding, especially when it incorporates the wedding colors. Dirom suggests pink, burgundy, or royal blue as great choices in colored velvet.


Taking off-site photos the day of your wedding isn’t a walk in the park, considering the extra time and other logistics. “I always advise against it,” says Linnea Tangorra, owner of Tangorra Wedding Planning, Newburyport, MA. She suggests if you have a spot you love that isn’t your wedding location, travel there for your engagement photos and save yourself added stress on your wedding day!


Dried flowers are taking over at fall weddings! “We’re seeing everything from just an accent of some bunny tails to bleached wheat and dried leaves or ferns,” note Cannon and Greene, adding that mixing the textures of live and dried flowers gives your bouquet that little something extra. “And dried flowers as full bouquets is something we’re seeing right on the tipping point.”


How do you choose? Donna Ryan, owner of The View at Pepperrell Cove in Kittery Point, ME, says there are perks to both. For instance, she says, if you and your new spouse are interested in privacy, a sweetheart table is just the thing. “You’re in your own bubble, just the two of you,” says Ryan. And, she explains, you don’t see the classic head table anymore. Taranto adds, “You see head tables that are larger banquet tables, slightly separated from everyone, with select members of the couple’s family and friends.”


Support local breweries by serving craft beer at your wedding. “The beer can be tailored to your food, where the beer and dessert can kind of match,” shares Rose Bryant, Senior Wedding Coordinator at Kitchen Chicks Catering, Kennebunk, ME. “Serving flights of beer elevates the experience even more. You can offer a few options and have the hors d’oeuvres go with specific flights.” Ryan says to let your venue know you want craft beer months in advance, to make sure they can get your favorite brew!


Today’s wedding couples are increasingly steering clear of wedding traditions like the cake cutting and bouquet toss. Mower reminds those planning weddings that there are no hard and fast rules. “As long as you say your vows and sign your marriage license, you can do anything you want.” Tangorra adds that if you’re thinking of eliminating time consuming traditions, you might start with the bridal party introductions. If you still want the cake cutting photo but don’t want to take up time during the reception, consider cutting the cake privately with your closest family members.


It’s your wedding day and all the lights are on you and your party, so you might as well make them interesting! Using specialty lighting can change the whole vibe of your event, according to Tangorra, whether bistro lights, LED candles, or pin spotlights. Bistro lights give a fun atmosphere, “and every bride seems to love them,” says Tangorra. If you’re looking for something softer, flickering LED candles give you the same ambiance as a live flame. Pin spotlights are another trend that allows guests to see specific details; many brides use them above each of the banquet tables to illuminate centerpieces.


From setting up lawn games like corn hole to having a campfire for making s’mores, couples are offering endless possibilities for keeping their wedding guests entertained. Mower suggests limiting the number of activities you have on tap. “A few things during cocktail hour is good, but if there is too much going on all night, your guests won’t be spending time together.”


Hosting a vegan wedding is something more couples are doing in order to match their lifestyle choices. And, Bryant says, it can be fun for your caterer to play on traditionally non-vegan meals and give them a vegan twist! If this is something you and your partner are considering, Tangorra recommends thinking about your guests and their comfort levels as well. Having a non-vegan option as an alternative dining choice is a great way to appease the masses.