The holidays and Valentine’s Day are prime time for proposals, which means that many engaged couples are now beginning their wedding planning in earnest. Questions swirl when you’re making choices: Where are the best places in the city to take pictures? What kind of flowers are popular? What style of dress should you be trying on?
Fortunately, we had a chance to ask a bunch of experts these questions when we checked out the B List event, a party hosted by Whim Events, where local wedding industry professionals talked shop and networked. Here’s what biz experts told us about Boston trends they’re seeing as this year’s wedding season approaches.
1. There’s one dress trend that everyone wants to avoid—but it might actually be worth considering.
“Everyone’s coming in saying, ‘I don’t want a strapless dress,’ because they feel like they see it everywhere. It’s kind of funny—I say back, jokingly, ‘You and everybody else!’ There’s an anti-strapless movement. And yet, when you try on a dress, it’s about what’s looks good on you. And I hate to say it, but straps don’t look good on everybody.’’ —Malinda Macari, Your Dream Bridal
2. Move over, New England tradition: California style is creeping in when it comes to flowers.
“I feel like organic, California style—the sweeping leaves flowing out of arrangements—is becoming very big.’’ —Moira Thompson, Whim Events
3. Back it up, back it up—with a backdrop, that is.
“Backdrops are huge right now, too: photobooth backdrops, ceremony backdrops, sweetheart table backdrops.’’ —Natalie Pinney, Whim Events
4. Boston brides and grooms want custom cocktails mixed from locally-made spirits.
“Right now, I just feel like everyone wants to have their own little twist on a ‘his and hers’ cocktail. But the trend is really about local products. Especially with our beer scene here, everyone wants to be serving [local brews] from the tap. [Trillium Brewing Company] is hot. And for cocktails, it’s great to use local products. … Bully Boy Distillery is great.’’ –Alexis Davis, Hive Events
5. Southie is a hot spot for engagement shoots.
“A lot of my couples live in South Boston, so we’ll take engagement photos in Fort Point. You get a beautiful view of the city. It’s also where [many couples] live, where they’re starting their life together, so it’s special to them.’’ –Deborah Parker, Deborah Zoe Photography
6. An Eastie sunset makes for a beautiful engagement photo setting, too.
“I like to go to Piers Park in East Boston. I bring engagement shoots at evening. You get a nice sunset over the city and the beautiful park, and I don’t think a lot of people know about it. But it’s a super nice, really clean, quiet, intimate setting.’’ –Frank Boucher, photographer at StopGoLove
7. Bostonians are starting to choose less traditional cuts of meat when planning their wedding menus. And lobster, of course.
“Everybody’s looking to do something different, but nothing too crazy. You’ve gotta please Grandma and Grandpa, but you also want your friends to think it’s cool. Everyone wants tenderloin, and tenderloin is great. But we’ll say, ‘Maybe you should use some underutilized cuts.’ We push sirloin flap—it’s getting easier to push those sorts of things. In Boston, people always want to have a bit of New England flair in their weddings, so people go for things like smoked bluefish and a lot of lobster.’’ —Jamie Rogers, Forklift Catering