Destination I Do
Monday, January 30, 2012

Destination Wedding Trends: Experts Weigh-In on What's "In" & What's "Out"

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox &
Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera

The wedding industry is extremely driven by trends, so it’s important to know what’s going on in the market. After all, no bride wants to be seen in a dress which is no longer considered “current” or carry flowers which were popular last year and are on their way out. Naturally not all brides care about staying on trend, but for those who do, has a list for 2012 of what’s “in” and what’s “out.”
created this list by gathering up some of the biggest names in the bridal biz. Pros who have worked with some of Hollywood’s A-listers like Kate Holmes, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jim Carrey, weighed in on what the big trends are for the upcoming year and what to avoid. Keep reading for your insider’s look into 2012’s wedding trends.

Wedding Dress

In: Coy coverage
Out: Dare-to-bare necklines

Carolina Herrera Spring 2012 Collection

Although designers have been creating dresses with sleeves for years, Kate Middleton has brought the trend mainstream. Don’t consider long sleeves your only option. Think: capelets, illusion sleeves, sheer backs and even a bolero for a demure wedding day look that’s all your own. “Every bride wants a gown and wedding that is uniquely ‘theirs,’” says Randy Fenoli, star of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress and fashion director at Kleinfeld Bridal New York. “They no longer desire to be that cookie-cutter bride, but wish to express their individual style and taste.”

Wedding Style

In: Country-chic, waterfront weddings and Napa nuptials
Out: Vintage everything

Some of the most recent celeb weddings offer style ideas that step away from the overdone vintage theme. Be inspired by Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth’s country-chic wedding that took place at her rustic ranch, where guests were seated at long wooden tables, served mustard-grilled chicken and herb-roasted lamb and danced to the sounds of a bluegrass band. Reese even donned a pair of cowboy boots when it was time to hit the dance floor. If water and sun are your wedding day must-haves, take a cue from Brooke Burke and David Charvet, who exchanged vows on a 77-foot yacht in St. Barts with an intimate guest list and ended the night by sending a handwritten message in a bottle out to sea. Wine lovers? Look to the Napa nuptials of Seth Rogen, Tamera Mowry and Nikki Reed for influence.

Wedding Food

In: Global meats
Out: Bacon, bacon, bacon

2012 is all about expanding meat options beyond steak and chicken, and while bacon is a flavor classic that showed up in a ton of weddings last year, it’s time to move on. “Lean global meats like goat, kangaroo, antelope and horse will be big,” predicts Peter Callahan, creative director of Peter Callahan Catering, whose clients include Will Smith, Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin. “Nothing takes on Moroccan, Mexican, Greek and Middle-Eastern flavors better than goat!”

Wedding Cake

In: Hand-painted designs
Out: Towering tiers

Having an over-the-top wedding cake actually tower over the bride à la Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries is so 2011. Skip the desire to break a Guinness world record for the tallest cake and concentrate on the detailing. Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery and star of TLC’s Cake Boss predicts, “In 2012, hand painted designs will give brides a new medium to add detail and personality to their cakes. Whimsical designs can be painted on top of fondant, and can be as subdued or as bold as the bride wants.”

Wedding Flowers

In: Textural, leafy bouquets
Out: Giant colorful bouquet

When it comes to bouquets, don’t be afraid of green. Think: mixed greenery with lots of texture such as bupleurum, hellebores, green hydrangeas and green dianthus for a monochromatic arrangement of lush foliage that differs from the traditional floral bouquet. Even incorporate greenery into your bridal party look like Kate Moss did with lush, green head wreaths worn by her bridesmaids. “Bouquets that are textural and interesting, yet not busy are in for 2012. Remember, it’s about you, then the dress, then the flowers. Not the other way around,” says Todd Fiscus, owner/creative director of Todd Events, whose clients include Tony Romo, Eli Mannng and Jay-Z.

Wedding Invitations

In: Dual-purpose interactive invitations
Out: Ribbon and buckle embellishments

Thanks in part to Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo’s airplane ticket wedding invitation to their Necker Island nuptials, dual-purpose interactive invitations are on the rise. “Airline ticket invites for destination weddings, invites that double as fans for an outdoor affair and comic book save-the-dates that tell the engaged couple’s story are definitely in for 2012,” predicts Ceci Johnson, founder and creative director of Ceci New York, who’s designed invitations for Diddy and Katherine Heigl.

Wedding Photography

In: Stylized post-wedding shoots
Out: Trash the dress sessions

Trash the dress photo sessions where a bride steps back into her gown post-wedding to swim in the ocean or play paintball with her husband have definitely run their course. In for 2012 is the stylized post-wedding dress session—a photo shoot wearing your dress, but this time restyling your look with chunky colorful jewelry, sultry makeup, wild hair or any completely different look than what you walked down the aisle in. “Maybe it’s the accessories that didn’t make the wedding day cut, or the hairstyle your mom didn’t approve of that you’re now able to rock in a restylized post-wedding shoot,” says Robert Evans, celebrity photographer for Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and cofounder of “It’s like the bride gets to style and star in her own magazine spread.”

Wedding Videos

In: Bride-to-be roast videos
Out: Choreographed bridal dance videos

Definitely out in wedding videos this year? The choreographed bridal party dances we’ve seen time and time again to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Chris Brown’s “Forever” and even Justin Bieber. Expanding beyond the popular “Sh*t Brides Say” YouTube video, brides are having a blast making fun of the silly (and sometimes ridiculous) things they’ve said and done during their wedding planning via Comedy Central-style roast videos. We won’t be surprised if more of these videos pop up at bachelorette parties where bridesmaids have the opportunity to “roast” the bride-to-be as a fun send-off before her big day.

Wedding Registry

In: Charity registries
Out: Reckless registries

If your registry includes things like a $1,200 serving spoon, $500 teapot and nothing under $100, you’re sure to upset more than a few of your guests. Instead of registering for the most expensive items you can find and not considering your guests, take a cue from Kate and Wills and create a charity registry. “At a time when most couples are feelings so thankful for what they have, the Charity Donation Program on provides the perfect opportunity to give back to those who are less fortunate,” says Amy Eisinger, associate editor of

So, whether you’re having a destination wedding or hometown affair, consider these experts’ opinions in how to pull-off a W-day which will never go out of style!

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