Money, Social Media, Memories Rule Matrimony Trends

(©iStockphoto.com/SStajic)

(©iStockphoto.com/SStajic)

A wedding is one of the most important days of a person’s life. And like many other things today, the hottest trends in weddings are dominated by technology and its ability to capture the moment and how to keep costs down to avoid many of dreaded bills that can follow.

“I think that with the internet, people see what’s out there more,” said Heidi Hiller, owner and creative director of Innovative Party Planners, an Owings Mills-based special events planning company. “They aren’t just opening a magazine. Now you see all these crazy [options for] lighting, draping, flowers, caterers. … You can get carried away.”

In addition, celebrity nuptials and their planners have plastered social media with only the finest shots of their special days. This means for most people who roam their favorite A-lister’s Pinterest page, they are in awe of the beautiful photos — but not so much by the price tag.

“We have a budget conversation with anyone who is charge of contributing money,” said Diana Venditto, owner of Eventi, a Towson-based full-service event planning company. “We tell them, ‘If this is the look you like, this is the cost. If this is the band you like, this is what it costs.’ Money isn’t a comfortable conversation, but you have to have it up front and get it over with.”

Hiller echoed Venditto’s comments and added that few of her clients have a realistic budget in mind when they first approach her about planning their wedding. Despite how costly photographers can be, Hiller said photography is one of the first things she thinks about when it comes to trends.

Money isn’t a comfortable conversation, but you  have to have it up front  and get it over with.”  — Diana Venditto, owner of Eventi

 

“Who brides pick as a photographer is a huge a decision for them,” said Hiller who explained that people no longer want posed photographs in front of solid-colored backgrounds. Instead many couples are looking for “wedding moments,” where photographers capture the small, intimate interactions between the couple and their guests that made their special day just a little bit more memorable.

Some couples let their guests compile photos for them.

“A lot of people are using hashtags for their weddings and [putting them] on print materials like invitations or menus,” said Sandy Sanders, who works for Mount Vernon-based Feats, an educational, social and corporate event production company. After the event, the couple can use the hashtags as a tool to find all the moments their guests captured throughout the day.

Then there is the complete opposite approach. Some couples ask their guests to enjoy the moment for what it is, which means cellphones should be turned off or left in the car.

“Some people don’t want their wedding all over Facebook,” said Hiller.

While it might fly in the face of the incessantly social, technology-obsessed millennial, there is also a practicality to asking guests to leave photography to the professionals. It’s not uncommon for an overeager photo-taking guest to ruin a professional’s perfect shot simply by getting in the way.

The Knot, a website that surveys brides and grooms every year on the cost of their weddings, found that Baltimore and Washington, D.C., wedding photographers on  average charge between $2,500 and $3,000 per event.

“Intimate” is a trend that extends beyond the photographer. Venditto said she encourages couples to “take the time to write a personal note or a memory they have” with each guest as a way to make large-scale weddings feel more personal.

Regardless of all the small details and how they come  together, Hiller said the key to a wedding is “it’s not about what goes wrong, it’s how you deal with it.”

jkatz@midatlanticmedia.com

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