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Central Valley wedding trends

Local couples go back to farming roots for wedding venues

Central Valley wedding trends

The most common theme local couples choose is rustic weddings set in a natural outdoor site with elegant touches.

POSTED March 28, 2013 2:07 p.m.

Last week saw the official start of spring, which means that wedding season is in full bloom. Some couples are getting ready to say their "I dos" as others are just beginning the planning stages of a 2014 wedding.

For Lori Cole of Events & Lucky Penny Boutique, providing a fairytale wedding is just another day at the office. So what are the current trends in the Central Valley?


Rustic Chic

The most common theme local couples choose, according to Cole, is rustic weddings set in a natural outdoor site with elegant touches of candles, chandeliers, or even small furnishings.

“Anything farm related or working farm is very popular for venues,” said Cole. “Anything set in wine country is fun. In Turlock, Pageo Lavender Farms is very nice for outdoor weddings. Being outdoors in the Central Valley consistently continues to be a huge theme. We have wonderful weather, and everyone comes from a working farm background, or at least has grown up around it.

“I’ve had weddings take place in almond orchards, near rivers and walnut orchards. Working farms are a huge hit. It pairs well with vintage vibes. Anything vintage is always popular and it works well with the farm look. We tend to use reclaimed wood, whether it is traditional or formal with a little bit of sparkle. This continues to be a long running and favorite theme.”


Personalized Favors

Within the last four or five years, weddings have become extremely unique and less traditional in regards to party favors or keepsake items.

“Many couples are taking out décor that you would expect to see at a wedding, and replacing it with unique objects, invitations, or favors. They are more likely to spend their budget on personal photographs, different styles of invitations, or adding monograms,” said Cole.

“I’ve been doing weddings for a long time, and there is a standard format expected for wedding or engagement photographs. Usually they are traditional or formal, but recently, I have seen some new things. Sometimes, they add a twist to the picture, and show the couple snowboarding, or doing something that both of them love. Some go on location to where they may have met.

“I’ve even seen some crazy ones done on a baseball field. Wedding photographs are starting to inspire brides on popular sites like Pinterest, which promote tons of ideas. But you also see a lot of fun, Photoshopped images.”

Many personalized favors that have the couples’ picture include decks of cards, Jones soda bottles, candles, lighters, or small glass jars.


Color Combinations

Practically any color can be used in weddings, no matter how multi-colored or vibrant the pattern may be. Color combinations have changed throughout the years, and depend upon the seasons or preferences of the bride and groom. But Cole has seen peach come out as the big winner.

The soft, romantic color is kicking down the current competition, and making a comeback, and is often combined with a modern color palette. Light colors also add a vintage vibe, which is one of the most popular themes.

After peach, Cole said any shade of purple is the next most popular color.

“One of the reasons most couples choose it is because it is an easy color to mix and match. You can do green and purple, blue and purple, anything you wanted. Tons of flowers also come in purple, which makes it easy to pair them with any other color,” said Cole.


Mermaid style

“As of right now, white fit and flairs or mermaid dresses are everyone’s favorite style to wear,” Cole said. “Anything that is tighter up top and flows near the bottom is very popular.

“Although, I have noticed that a lot of dresses have stopped being strapless. I am seeing more gowns with straps or sleeves for the shoulders, thanks to Princess Kate Middleton. You were lucky you could find a dress that wasn’t strapless within the last 10 years. Most brides are moving away from that because they tend to be very uncomfortable. You have to realize that you are going to be in that dress for 8 or 10 hours, or even more depending on your situation.”


Valley comfort food

According to Cole, the standard dinner for most Central Valley receptions is tri-tip and chicken. The dual meat entrees continue to be the most-requested menu items.

Presenting the food is just as important as preparing it, and often the seasonings and sides can run up the bill. However, Cole believes that a new feature for food is gaining traction.

“I call them ‘foodies,’ because they are miniature sizes of regular food,” she said. “Anything miniature is a hit. We’ve presented little shots of milkshakes, mini cup-cakes, or mini anything. It is actually really fun, and most people love them. We’ve actually had a couple who was given midnight mini milkshakes, garlic fries and mini sliders on the side.”


 Sweet and savory

At today's weddings, the cake may not be the sweetest part of the evening. Some couples are even choosing to forego the traditional wedding cake for a selection of their favorite foods, such as sushi, cheese, or vegetables.

Those who do choose cake are going with a traditional white appearance without the heavy decorations.

“For a long time, everyone was really into the colors. But now we see a lot more traditional cake with fresh flowers or a simple monogram. It is easier to serve, and there are still plenty of gourmet options.

“Sweet buffets are also becoming popular because then you can add ethnic dishes, fruit, or something for someone looking for a little treat, but won’t be burdened by a sweet tooth.”

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