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The Trouble with Trends


Every season, we as readers are inundated with articles from various magazines and websites about the latest trends in weddings - the biggest designers, the most popular styles and Pantone's colour of the year, among others. Pinterest becomes a veritable online collage of that trend; magazines and sites pick it up nd litter their pages and posts full of anything that directly correlates to that trend and the year it precedes is filled with imagery and samples of real weddings pertaining to that trend - by the end of the year, we're all so tired of seeing those images that nothing deters us more than to possibly include any aspect of that trend.

We see it all the time - a bride will come in with her mind set on this year's latest trend and a month before the wedding, she will come to us feeling like her vision has been so overdone in the 6-12 months since she started planning, feeling unoriginal, uninspired and saturated by a sea of on-trend elements and in desperate want of an entirely new vision. And that's ok - we're used to brides changing their entire vision and it's relatively easy to make the switch - for us, that side of things is easy and as a preventative, we do try to steer our clients away from anything too trend-reliant to protect them from the outset but for a couple going it alone (without a planner), the idea of changing the entire tone of the wedding is a seemingly impossible feat.

When a style is on-trend, the elements that make up that styling can go up in price by 50%, sometimes more, to take advantage of the ability to charge a higher price point. For us, we will never take the side of a trend at a ridiculous price point when a slightly different styling option could save money or we could fit in more of what the couple will truly value.

Harlow Garland has always maintained a signature style which doesn't follow any trends and that's a big reason why our clients choose us. Our style is elegant and simple, refined and very visual, moody and intimate and when required of a particular vision, elaborate and dramatic. We intentionally take our time choosing subject matter for our shoots because we don't want our style muddied by what is trending.

Our Advice

Instead of following trends, choose styling that speaks to you personally, take your time selecting elements that invoke emotion or which evoke an ambience you want the guests to feel on the day.

Styling isn't a straight-out-of-the-gate necessity - what you're looking to do at the start is to think about the overall themes - formal or informal, inside or outside, modern or bygone era. With those decisions, you're able to lock in the big ticket items like venue, photographer and your planner.

Once those are set in stone, you have time - a lot of it - to refine what the day will look like. It certainly helps if you have an idea in mind but your planner will be able to work with you to refine the vision.

If you're going it alone, it will be about focusing on compiling a board of images that resonate with you - what colours appeal to you, what's your signature style? Having an elaborate, dramatic wedding style when you're a shy introvert would be nonsensical, as would having a three-day bohemian music festival wedding when you still listen to pop songs from the 90s. If you are a minimalist at home, stay minimal for your wedding - simple table arrangements, perhaps long tables for symmetry. If your other Pinterest boards are all about opulent home decor and majestic gowns, then a simple beach ceremony likely isn't going to fit the bill.

Your wedding is a reflection of you and your partner - your two individual styles combining into one, much the same as your lives will soon intertwine in marriage.

Keep the styling simple and relevant to who you are together. If an element from a trend speaks to you and to that combined style, by all means include it but work it in with styling elements that don't come from that trend to balance it out.

Choosing Your Wedding Songs

Harlow Garland Weddings

Thank you to our wonderful readers for taking advantage of our "Ask Rhonnie" facility, the place for you to ask your wedding planning questions and have them answered by our director with her 16 years of wedding planning experience.

We have seven call-ins last week about wedding songs:

  • What song should we play as we walk down the aisle?
  • What song should play during the signing?
  • What about the recessional?
  • What about our first dance?!

Yes, there are indeed a number of song cues and an ever expanding catalogue of music to choose from. When it comes down to it, it's all about songs that have meaning to you and your partner - whether that's something romantic and soft or something bouncy and comedic, the songs should be relevant to you.

The main two you need to worry about are the processional (walking down the aisle) and the first dance because for the signing, you're really not paying attention to music and the recessional you're too busy fielding congratulations and salutations from excited guests.

The signing is usually just something instrumental and soft - you don't want to excite the guests too much at this point because it'll be all the more difficult to hush them and continue the ceremony afterwards.

The recessional is common for more upbeat bouncy numbers that get the guests riled up and act out the excitement musically for both the wedding party and guests.

If you don't have a couple's song or songs that you can think of, consider songs you've shared but haven't reserved as your own - perhaps a song he added to a playlist for you, a song he mentioned makes him think of you or her favourite romantic song.

If absolutely nothing springs to mind, it's time to head to the catalogue. Apps like Spotify can be brilliant in this scenario because once you set up the type of music you're looking for, it'll start making suggestions, same with iheartradio and Pandora. Youtube has some great 'wedding playlists' you can rifle through for inspiration or you can of course turn to the classics - Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

There are no rules around what you can and can't play - one couple hip hopped down the aisle to Chris Brown, another sauntered down to Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" - it's all about choosing the style of your wedding and the music that fits.

A European themed wedding at a private venue would benefit from a string quartet or Spanish guitarist, even a harpist would be an amazing choice.

A busier venue that you don't have exclusive use of would be better suited to music cued up by your Maestro for the day - preselected songs where the volume can be adequately controlled to suit the noise of the day.

A church with it's incredible acoustics is best suited to a piano, vocals with strings or solely acoustic harmonies.

If you're planning more of a hootenanny that a refined event, an elegant instrumental quartet simply won't fit the bill.

One thing to bear in mind is lyrics - you may find a beautiful melody to saunter down the aisle to but if the lyrics are crooning about lost love or death, it's not going to be an appropriate song.

We've put together a playlist of some common wedding songs and some tha twe just love - whether you choose to use them for an aisle song, a first dance or the filler music during the ceremony, we hope you'll find some inspiration!


Remember we offer FREE advice to all couples planning their wedding themselves - we want to ensure everyone can achieve their dream day!