Good Life

Happily ever after

CDT/Nabil K. Mark
CDT/Nabil K. Mark

When it comes to weddings, love is always patient, love is always kind. But styles do change. We talked to the local wedding experts — planners, photographers, DJs — for a take on the latest trends.

The photos

“The brides nowadays are seeing the value of photojournalism,” said Jessica Ames, a wedding photographer from Centre Hall. “They’re really looking for a photographer who can take ordinary life and really catapult it to a place of art.”

Photo booths are also more popular.

Drew Frank, a State College photographer, said smaller weddings, with about 150 guests instead of between 300 or 400 guests, have influenced the types of photos being taken.

“They’re really wanting a little more personal flair, a lot more of the documentary of the day,” he said. “It’s not so much everybody stands and poses. It’s a very intimate kind of photography.”

The dress

Brides have been asking for the one-shoulder look “ever since Michelle Obama wore that for the presidential inauguration,” said Hannah Walker, an assistant manager at Formalities by Tracina Fisher in Bellefonte.

“It definitely set the tone for designers to start creating one shoulders, because it’s a very sexy, glamorous look,” said Diana Zeisky, owner of Diamonds & Lace Bridal Boutique in Lemont. “And by sexy, I don’t mean flaunting themselves. I mean they feel confident, because they know their shape looks good.”

Brides have added more details, textured fabrics, quality crystals and fabrics to their dresses — which are more and more off-white.

“The last five or six years, girls have really been much more conscious of shapes, styles and colors on them,” Zeisky said. “They’re not just looking for, ‘Oh, I’m getting married. I have to have this traditional dress.’ ”

The mermaid look and ball gowns have some new competition, too.“The fit and flare is a little bit more functional,” Walker said.

The bling

More couples are choosing rings that aren’t exactly the same.

Women are choosing bands with diamond accents and men are going with alternative metals, such as tungsten or titanium.

“A lot of guys like that they’re just slightly more gray in color, a little bit darker in color, not quite as shiny,” said Lori Moyer, owner of Moyer Jewelers in State College.

Bands with a beaded edge are also popular for guys, said Monteca Confer, whose family owns Confer’s Jewelers in Bellefonte.

“It gives it a vintage look. ... It’s the nostalgia of it,” Confer said.

The flowers

Calla lilies are a popular choice, said Stephanie Woodring, of Woodring’s Floral Gardens. Ditto for all white or all red roses.

“I’ve noticed a lot of my brides for this summer are doing things that are tall and full with a lot of flowers in them, that are overflowing,” said Shelly Weaver, a wedding planner from Coburn.

The colors

Bright isn’t quite the new white, but more brides are opting for hot pink, bright yellow or other bold colors for their bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen’s ties, linens and napkins. Instead of powder blue and pale pink, you might see fuchsia pink and ocean blue — or bright green, for that matter.

“There’s this big splash of color,” said Heather Luse, a baker and owner of Delectable Delights in Centre Hall. “It seems to be more bright colors as opposed to pastel colors.”

The suit

“Bow ties are making a comeback again,” said Bob Steinbach, owner of Connections in State College. “Our vendors have introduced a striped bow tie, which is really upbeat and exciting.”

The store still rents more long ties than bow ties, but Hollywood stars sported the latter at this year’s Oscars, which might lead to a revival.

“In any kind of fashion, new trends are old trends,” he said.

More fall weddings have also changed the look for men, as they wear fall colors.“Chocolate tuxes have become really popular,” said Walker.

The place

“People are leaning more toward outdoor services and things that aren’t quite traditional,” said Weaver. “I think we’re back to splashier, more over-the-top things.”

Weaver is working with two outdoor weddings, where the couples are putting drapes on the outside of the tent.

“We’re probably going to hang the chandeliers in the middle of the tent,” Weaver said. “Even on these outdoor weddings, they’re trying to make them a lot more elegant.”

The dessert

Let the guests eat cupcakes.

“Because they’re cute, they’re becoming sort of iconic,” said Tracy Coleman, a baker and cake designer at For Heaven Cakes in Boalsburg. “You see the symbol of the cupcake almost everywhere. You see them on gift cards at Walmart and Macy’s.

Cupcake shops are opening all over the country. I’ve seen cupcakes on everything from wallpaper to wrapping paper.”

Aside from the cakes made out of smaller cupcakes, baker Kim Morrison said brides and grooms are taking two paths when it comes to cake. They either want very simple ones or modern-art cakes that look topsy turvy or are made of squares.

“The lacy, frilly standard wedding cake is much less popular these days,” said Morrison, owner of Cakes for Occasions in Spring Mills.

The ride

Some couples are choosing alternate ways to get to their wedding site, such as arriving by horse-drawn carriage, said Christine Hart, owner of Events by Hart. The horses typically travel 4 mph. That slows the tempo of the day.

“It kind of takes you out of the whole push, push of the wedding and reception. … It gives you a chance to catch your breath. Your wedding day goes by so quickly. If you don’t have the opportunity to sit down and relax, it’s over before you know it. It gives you a chance to reflect on your wedding and what just happened,” said Jennifer Zajaczkowski. She and her husband, Frank, own Restless Winds Carriage Service in Centre Hall.

The DIY attitude

Maybe it’s the economy or the Internet or both, but it’s become more common for brides to create their own centerpieces and invitations. “A lot of brides are becoming very, very creative,” said Frank.

“Brides are doing a lot of the wedding themselves,” Jessica Ames said.

“Couples today have a vision of how they want the wedding to be, and they’re empowered to make that vision come alive,” said Ames, a wedding photographer from Centre Hall.

In lieu of floral arrangements, Ames has seen couples use everyday objects, such as apples, as centerpieces. One bride had black-and-white photos of the Creamery, Canyon Pizza and other Penn State hot spots decorating her tables.

“It’s going back to everyday elegance,” Ames said.

The do-it-yourself activities save money and can make the wedding more personal. One bride created a watercolor painting, scanned it and designed the invitation herself.

“They use the Internet as inspiration or a launching point,” Ames said.

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