A spring wedding brings a splash of excitement to what can be a long, slow trek toward summer.
And the season gives rise to all kinds of enthusiasms. Even the blackest thumbs among us starting paging through gourmet food magazines and seed catalogs, and dreaming of lemons and strawberries, rhubarb pies and asparagus.
So it’s a sure thing your wedding guests will show up in a partying mood. Which means that all you need to do is plan the ceremony — and event — of your dreams, and the rest will follow. With that in mind, here’s some tips on what’s fresh for this spring and beyond.
Chic Colors, Piquant Patterns
Spring wedding colors break down into several camps. First, there’s the “I just like it!” girly colors. You know, timeless choices like butter yellow, pink, lavender, pastel green. Pink brides take note: spring’s probably the easiest time to get away with your favorite color.
Then there are the trendy colors. Chocolate brown is still strong, and makes a showing at plenty of spring weddings. But more common than a phalanx of chocolatey bridesmaids is taupe or mocha, which has that trendy zing but lightens things up. Popular complements? The usual suspects: hot or pale pink, orange, peach or coral, baby blues and minty greens.
City brides wanting an ultra-urban look need only turn to the newest colors of the season. Start with steel gray — often paired with a crisp white and a sophisticated honey-wheat, accented with amethyst.
As for patterns, this is where things get interesting. Florals with a telltale geometric spin are everywhere. Be a little tongue-in-chic and consider drawing on spring patterns and textures like gingham, Swiss dots, eyelet or for a cool Asian touch, cherry blossoms.
The Freshest Foods
Approach your cake and menu with a light touch. If ever there was a time for coconut frosting or fillings, this is it. Or fresh strawberries or lemon cream. Choose bright, lighthearted colors for your cake, and go all out on whimsical details like Swiss dots and fondant ribbons.
Sautéed fresh asparagus will brighten up plates. Think miniature quiche with fresh spinach and green onions, and tiny cream tarts as a decadent background to the season’s fresh fruit. Champagne makes a great home base for beverages, but bring a splash of color to your drinks by serving Bellinis, Mimosas, or a masterpiece of your own, spruced up with fresh berries or mint. Anything tiny fits the tone perfectly (cupcake trees and petites fours are great favorites).
Timeless choices for this season of renewal are delicate blooms like sweet peas, lilies of the valley, ranunculus, or lisianthus. Hyacinth, irises and daffodils have a vibrant Easter feel. A bouquet of cream tulips, or roses and subdued pastels or white, couldn’t be more classic. As always, brides with a contemporary bent and a cream, pink or green palette are drawn to orchids — perfect for a stylish spring.
Don’t head to the bridal store yet! Your options for spring weddings are more varied than the ads might lead you to believe.
Of course, you can stick with tradition. But if you’re looking for alternatives, spring is a fine time to look into the gowns sold with destination weddings in mind, some of the new cotton gowns coming down the line, or if you’re feeling really daring, totally delicious 50s and 60s-inspired gowns with bouffant skirts that scream for a birdcage veil.
As for the guys, the rage for all things brown means your beloved and his buddies are sure to find formalwear in anything from chocolate brown to the lightest of mochas. (Match the ties to your bridesmaids’ sashes.) And if your wedding’s near the water, or it just suits your fancy, a white linen suit might be just the thing.
Need great looks for the girls? Experiment with fabric (like lush dupioni silk dresses with contrasting sashes) or patterns (bridesmaids in tea-length gowns with a subtle, oversized floral pattern — fabulous!) Be fresh off the pages of the fashion mags, and adorn their gowns with puffy, organza roses at the waist or neckline. And of course, pick some sexy, strappy shoes to show off those spring legs!
Accessorize the Look
Organza neck scarves or pashminas couldn’t be more romantic, and they’re perfect for spring breezes. Also chic: paper or sandalwood fans, pastel parasols, delicate floral headpieces and hairpins.
Juice Up the Joint
A tried-and-true place to start with decorations: bare branch arrangements (ultra-large for the floor, or smaller for tabletops) gussied up with springtime flowers. Silk would be practical; real, a memorable extravagance. Evocative choices for blooms include magnolias, cherry blossoms or plum blossoms. Leave plain, or gild the lily with gossamer fabric wraps or chandelier-style crystals.
And go heavy on the petals — bring them to your cake tables, candy buffet tables, guest tables. A blizzard of petals, not snowflakes, reminds your guests they’ve made it through the dark months.
Florists continue to innovate, bringing all kinds of non-floral pizzazz into table arrangements. Cool ideas we’ve seen for spring include fresh bunches of asparagus, tips painted in gold, woven in with more traditional blooms. And we love the rustic height of pussy willows. Some favorite centerpieces tuck in birds’ nests.
Another simple way to pull everything together? Ribbon! Casual arrangements of Gerber daisies and mason jars look smashing when you wrap the jars in bright ones. Let ribbons flutter romantically from shepherd’s hooks, programs, the ringbearer’s pillow, the bridesmaids’ sashes, even a maypole. A twist on ribbon: a mini “tie the knot” theme.