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New Trends for the New Year 

An Overview of What Lies Ahead for Weddings in 2006




Unique Rings

Popular jewelry trends include custommade engagement rings and wedding bands made of platinum or white gold. Some brides (and grooms!) are adding diamonds to their wedding bands, while others like the look of a ring adorned with a diamond and precious stone design. Although matching wedding bands remain popular, some couples are electing different rings that reflect their individual tastes. Many grooms are also choosing larger and more ornate bands.




Passion Fashion

Brides will look stunning this year in an array of breathtaking gowns that feature feminine, romantic and subtly sexy designs. Last season's popular A-line, bubble, and vintage-inspired gowns are still favorites, along with new and updated designs that include floral motifs, beading, hints of color, layers of tulle and ribbon detailing.




Wedding Web Sites

More and more couples today are setting up secure, customized wedding web sites to post centralized information about their big day. Here well-wishers can learn more about the happy couple (how they met, interests, etc.), RSVP, get directions, access registries, sign an online guest book, or email questions. Post wedding, guests can often view and order wedding photos and videos, receive honeymoon alohas, and get updated on how the newly betrothed are settling into domestic bliss. Some sites even offer a keepsake CD so you can save all your pages to look at and enjoy long after the wedding is over.




Non-Traditional Registries

In addition to the traditional practice of registering for household items, many of today's couples who are already established domestically continue to choose honeymoon, first mortgage and special cause registries. Most of these registries, which are typically available online, are similar to that of their more traditional counterparts, with guests being able to choose a specific part of the honeymoon or program to sponsor.




Co-Ed Showers

Got your attention, didn't we? Well, put away the shampoo, we're talking a G-rating here. Wedding shower events that include both the bride and groom's friends are gaining in popularity these days. Not only do they offer an opportunity for everyone to get better acquainted; they're also introducing new activities, such as wine tasting, to the shower scene.




Destination Weddings

Destination weddings are still popular and they don't just mean the beaches anymore. Look for many of 2006's couples to tie the knot in exotic and interesting places, such as a popular spa or ski resort, art museum, or romantic castle. Many of these weddings are one, two and even three day events which include special activities such as a golf tournament, day at the spa, or sightseeing expedition. Other destination brides and grooms are opting to host a post-wedding reception locally so that guests unable to travel to a distant site may still partake in festivities that celebrate their union.




Personalized Themes

Many couples will add a personalized touch to their traditional wedding this year with a theme that is reflective of their lifestyle, interests and/or heritage. Popular themes evolve around sports, cookouts, and movies. Some couples with multicultural backgrounds are also elegantly combining their family's traditions, fashion, food, music, religion and more, along with popular trends.




Green Scenes

With the variety and resources that are available both locally and online today, organic and ecosavvy products aren't just for nature lovers anymore. Instead, many of these Earth-friendly goodies are making their way to weddings in fun and sophisticated ways. In addition to being just down-right good for the environment, these green products recycled paper, beeswax luminaries, and organic meats, to name a few) add creative and socially conscious touches to many weddings.




Innovative Invitations

Today's couples continue to define their style with wedding invitations that are creative, yet elegant. With all the printing and paper options that are available, the sky's pretty much the limit for brides and grooms when it comes to finding the perfect invitation. Look for lots of color and a variety of fonts, paper, and embellishments to help start spreading the news in 2006.




Flaunt Your Flora

From brilliant bursts of color to decorative detail, flowers add a positively radiant touch to weddings this year. While the use of traditional white wedding flowers remains ever popular, many couples today are choosing gorgeous bouquets and enchanting arrangements in tasteful stand-up-and-get-noticed colors, from a hint of hue that elegantly matches the wedding party's attire to a bold splash of color that contrasts nicely with the bride's dress. In addition, many a bride and grooms are selecting fashionable non-traditional flowers and greens (striped tulips, birds of paradise, a string of cranberries, or ear grass) and creative embellishments (think a small photo of a loved one, a special poem or saying, or even a favorite piece of jewelry) to make their wedding day flora really pop. Yet others are taking a more handson approach when it comes to their flowers by ordering them online and then arranging them their self or working with a local florist ho does the honors for them.




Captivate with Color

Color is an integral part of everything wedding this year, from the flowers and the cake, to the bride's dress and the reception's décor. Whether it's discreetly used as a decorative hint or fully embraced as the focal point, color is in as weddings take a Technicolor turn his year. Look for corals, greens, and pale pinks to be the colors of choice at many weddings this spring.




Music Mania

While music at weddings is ultimately a personal preference, many couples are offering something for everyone by including multiple bands and different styles of music at their ceremonies and receptions. For instance, an organist may play traditional wedding music at the start of the service, followed by a friend performing a guitar solo of a special song during the ceremony. As the start of the reception, guests may be entertained by a string quartet. As events liven up, a DJ or band may take center stage. Other couples are adding ethnic music and dances to the day's lineup.




Refined Receptions

Suffice it to say that most brides and grooms are putting away the fog machines and disco balls. While receptions are still the life of the party, many are including more formalized dancing, such as ballroom, and entertainment (string quartets, full dance bands, etc.). Not up for tossing the bouquet or garter? Not to worry, as many brides and grooms are replacing these rituals with new ones, such as presenting the bouquet to a mother, relative or special guest of honor.




Food Fanfare

Reception fare continues to be as delightful as it is diversified, with satisfied guests enjoying everything from miniature servings and personal favorites, to local, regional and international specialties.











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