One thing is for certain the world has just seen wedding customization taken to a whole new level with Prince Harry & Meghan Markle. May I let you in on a little secret? Vegas has been working at this level for some years! We certainly don't have the pomp and precision down like The Royals do, but we do offer the customization and perfection our couples want. I loved everything about the royal wedding, I was up at 3:30 am to watch in real time and was crying by 3:40 – of course seeing displays of real love and beauty does that to me, so don't be surprised if my voice breaks with emotion at your ceremony.
Many couples are adding in regional touches to their wedding florals and here in the desert that includes succulents. The green affect with white blooms is really big, but color abounds as well. Personally, florals make the wedding for me and there are many ways to make your mark with your florals, whether that is your favorite blooms, your favorite colors or the meaning that a particular flower has. Occasionally I will officiate a wedding where the bride does not carry a bouquet at all. Choice rules.
Music was such an important part of Harry & Meghan's wedding! I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the idea of the gospel choir was Prince Charles' idea. Most couples choose music that means something to them – 'their song', what was playing when they met, or perhaps a song that describes what they feel for the other. I don't do a lot of weddings that have a vocalist during the ceremony, that seems to be more for the church, but I certainly like it and welcome it.
I met with a couple recently that stated her family was not attending the wedding and she was undecided whom to have escort her down the aisle. After discussion, I suggested she walk herself. Today we don't have to be 'given away'. If it's important to a father or both parents to have the honor of accompanying their daughter or son down the aisle, then absolutely do it! I do think the handoff from a dad is certainly one of the most tender and emotional moments of the ceremony. But is this tradition necessary? No.
Meghan Markle's dress was certainly unexpected. I think she went for simple because there were so many other elements of the ceremony that were non-traditional plus her everyday style is rather tailored. Usually I see all lace, backless, plunging necklines or strapless. The boat neckline may become very popular with brides but will likely made in lace, not satin, for our warm climate. Another of my brides recently got married in black as a tribute to her grandmother who was married in black. Remember it's your wedding and your style!
Another choice that has already made it to Vegas is not having a wedding party. I've had several weddings recently with no Maid of Honor or Best Man/Best Woman. Someone (usually a brother or best friend) will have the rings, sit on the front row, and bring them up at the appropriate time. Often this is about not wanting to offend the friends you didn't choose or simply for simplicity. In the royal wedding, all the little ones were so adorable and there were many! I do love this part of the ceremony! One idea, if the flower girl is a toddler, is to put her in a wagon loaded with florals and let the ring bearer pull it. I love this idea! I also love having dogs carry the rings. Florals on the collar please! This past weekend, I had a little guy, looked to be about 4 who was dressed in a navy suit, had a lanyard around his neck with a badge on it, carried a brief case that said 'Security' and wore dark sunglasses. Now that sounds cute, but what made this little guy outstanding was his personality. He came down the aisle, stopped, posed for the camera, then took off the sunglasses, posed again and smiled, put his shades back on; then took his place at the front. Such a hoot!
We will probably see a new trend with black and white photography since the official wedding photo of Harry and Meghan was black and white. It was spectacular, don't you think? It had 'soft' lighting – not the crispness we usually see in black and white.
When it comes to the ceremony and vows portion of the wedding, I always add in personal details about the couple (with their permission, of course). Which could include how they met, the proposal, a funny little story about the couple or perhaps what they love most about the other. If they want to write their own vows, that is best, but if not, then we do a 'repeat-after-me'. Many people are too nervous to speak from their hearts on that day and especially in front of any audience, so a 'repeat-after-me' is perfect! The couples get to choose the welcome, ring exchange verbiage, rituals, any readings and whether they want me to do the readings or a friend or family member to do them. Many couples today don't want any rituals (traditions) at all, and some want more than one.
I want your wedding day to be your wedding day. It needs to fit your personality and include what is important to you. If the royals can do it, you certainly can do it!