Wedding Entertainment, Production, & Style Trends for Fall/Winter 2016 by Marcello Pedalino
The trend of “My Way” weddings continues into the Fall of 2016. Brides and Grooms want to make a personal statement and ensure that their celebration is unique, fun, and visually delicious. Couples are more in tune to guest convenience and hospitality. They still want their family and friends to have an incredible experience, but if traditional pomp and circumstance gets in the way, it’s simply taken out of the equation. Interactive technology like photo booths has gotten a facelift at wedding receptions for the sake of entertainment while the discouragement level for use of phones to capture candid moments has risen significantly. So here’s what’s hot and what’s cooling down in the world of wedding decor, entertainment, and style.
All You Need Is LOVE – While many Brides and Grooms are focused on custom snapchat geofilters, there is a new wave of clients who prefer branding that you can see, touch, and feel at their reception. One of the classiest I’ve seen is spelling out the word LOVE and using it as a romantic backdrop for the first dance. For the rest of the night, it remains a prominent piece of unique and elegant decor. Nate Nelson from LeForce Entertainment in Dallas had a big hand in bringing this trend to the East Coast.
Dancing On The Stars – You’ve heard of dancing with the stars, now couples want to dance ON the stars! Brides and Grooms still want more than the old wood floor dance floor that most hotels and banquet facilities offer. A lot of clients are opting for white LED star-studded floors that are much more appealing to the eye. When combined with the installation of gorgeous well-spaced chandeliers overhead, the combo makes for a “wow!” reaction when guests enter the space. Bobby Morganstein, owner of Flare Event Group in Philadelphia, is one my “go to” specialists for what’s hot in the world of wedding decor and making the guest experience more interactive. We are seeing that 75% of clients are booking the star-studded dance floor for their events vs. 40% when compared to 2015.
Mirror Mirror – The traditional photo booth continues to evolve. Brides and Grooms have raised their selfie game once again. The Selfie Photo Booth allows your guests to literally look into a mirror and wait a few seconds for the clicks of the camera to begin. After multiple compliments from a mystery voice behind the mirror, guests have the option get a print out of their pics or for them to be sent directly to their social sites.
Savor Every Second – Most Brides and Grooms are learning that time goes by very fast on their wedding day. Therefore, we’ve seen a lot of couples forego many of the traditional formalities like the garter and bouquet toss to leave more time for dancing the night away.
Celebrate with Style – Not only do discerning Brides and Grooms want the DJ and live musicians to sound good and be able to play an eclectic mix of dance floor fillers, they need them to look sharp and sexy. Marquee mixologist DJ Jason Jani from the SCE Event Group, is highly sought-after for his distinctive staging and a “Fusion” style of hybrid entertainment.
Light It Up – Lighting design is no longer considered an “add on.” Creating the right ambience in the event space via pin spotting for the florals, personalized motion monograms, perimeter uplighting, ceiling patterns, and dance floor eye candy is now expected. Brides and Grooms who have seen the dramatically different results of a reception with professional lighting know that the return on investment is undeniable.
Location, Location, Location – Brides and Grooms are thinking more about making things as convenient as possible for their guests. We are seeing less and less ceremonies in churches, and more and more taking place onsite at the reception location. It saves time and reduces the stress of 150 people having to move their cars more than once. Wedding Entertainment Director, Jim Cerone, confirmed that this East Coast trend had made its way to Indianapolis and agrees that guest hospitality and logistics awareness have taken priority for couples in the beginning stages of planning. Many wedding venues have made their properties “ceremony friendly” to accommodate this growing trend.
Around the World – This isn’t your grandfather’s wide angle or fisheye lens. Brides and Grooms are using the latest in 360 degree technology to snap photos and videos that look very different from the captured content that everyone else has. And that’s the whole point … to make your wedding unique. Not only does 360 degree technology allow couples to retrospectively experience the entire feel of their event, it allows venues to create incredible virtual tours for newlyweds looking for the perfect place.
Unplugged – Brides and Grooms want their guests to put their phones away. Reminder signs that basically say “turn off and look up” are now being put up in strategic locations at the event site. It’s unfortunate that some of my clients are actually having nightmares about their family and friends playing Pokemon instead of being “present” at their once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Mike Walter, from Elite Entertainment in New Jersey, confirmed that B&Gs “want their guests to focus on enjoying the moments and let the professionals focus on capturing the memories… especially, during the ceremony.” Watching something through a 3″ x 5″ screen that is happening right in front of you instead of enjoying the full view in living color is just silly.
Dancing On The Clouds – The cost of this awesome special effect has come down quite a bit since it was introduced many years ago. Brides and Grooms have taken advantage of this and are loving the ability to have an unforgettable first dance. Imagine as you begin dancing to your wedding song, “oohs” and “ahhs” come from your guests as a gorgeous cloud emerges underneath you.
Fairytale Glamour – For the Brides and Grooms who want a “fairytale” experience, we are seeing sweetheart table set ups that are more appropriate for a Prince and Princess. We are seeing less linen and less standard half moon tables which usually come with the venue. More custom furniture pieces with ornate personal touches are becoming the norm.
Trends are fun to watch and predict, but regardless of what everyone else is doing, it’s always a good idea to start by prioritizing your personal preferences. As you can see, there are plenty of bells and whistles available to accommodate just about every style and personality. Make a little list of what’s most important to you and your fiancé, budget accordingly, and remember to enjoy every moment!
Marcello Pedalino is the Executive Director of MMP Entertainment & Event Production and author of the new inspirational book, “Celebrate Life: How to Live it Up, Discover Fulfillment, and Experience the Joy You Deserve.” A three-time national DJ Entertainer of the Year, Marcello and his team help clients produce exceptional Wedding Receptions in the tri-state area and throughout the country.