2018’s Wedding Trends Include Capes and Cacti

More than one-third of engagements take place during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. So as warm weather springs into action, newly engaged brides and grooms are busy planning their dream weddings. Luckily, Etsy has revealed its biggest trends for 2018 (and 2019), so newly betrothed couples’ nuptials can have modern wedding ceremonies and receptions.

According to Etsy, all-white wedding gowns are a thing of the past. Searches for “embroidered bridal wear” increased by 40 percent last year, with hand-stitched flowers, stars, and other details adding a little something special to a classic wedding dress (or jumpsuit). Wedding dresses with capes are also having a huge moment. Searches for “wedding capes” have increased 44 percent. More dramatic and original than a shawl, wedding capes are perfect for both the conservative bride and the bride looking to make a flashy fashion statement on her big day.

The trend of endlessly customizing your wedding shows no signs of stopping soon. Highly personalized details are trickling down to wedding items that have always been more or less the same. Guest books, those dusty ol’ notebooks very few couples look at after their big day, are getting a makeover. Searches for “guest book alternatives,” which include everything from Jenga game sets to hang-able artwork to marriage advice cards, have increased by 53 percent.

And what will weddings look like? According to Etsy, 2018 is the year of the Southwestern wedding. Forget burlap and Mason jars, it’s all about desert-inspired décor with cactus centerpieces, sunset shades accompanying muted greens, and textured wood. Southwestern cuisine is a natural extension of this wedding theme. So expect to see some midnight tamales, a fajita bar, or some delicious black bean chili.

Etsy’s other emerging trends for 2018 include pet-friendly weddings, clear acrylics instead of chalkboard signs, and stacked rings. Oh, and coming up for 2019? The return of the puffed sleeve, so watch out. For now, these trends seem fresh and exciting. But before too long, they’re likely to become those wedding trends that desperately need to go away.


Weddings Are Expensive: How To Avoid Falling Into Debt

The proposal was perfect. You’ve told friends and family the exciting news and shared pictures of the sparkly new ring on Instagram. Now it’s time to plan the wedding. Setting a realistic budget is a smart first step.

Throwing out a starting number is one thing; sticking to it is the hard part. According to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study, 45% of couples who married in 2017 reported spending more than they had planned.

“The last thing you want to do is begin your formal life together with a lot of debt because you were under pressure to have a certain type of event that you didn’t want and couldn’t afford,” says Marguerita Cheng, a certified financial planner at Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Gaithersburg, Md.

It’s important to discuss what you’re comfortable spending and research wedding costs. Here’s how to make a budget you can commit to.

Add up your funds

Review your financial situation before you choose the cake, put a deposit down on a DJ or even set a firm date. Contemplate how much time you’ll need to save your target amount if you’re not there yet.

“If you just start spending willy-nilly, then you might not have enough money for something that you really need,” says Anne Chertoff, trends expert for WeddingWire, an online wedding-planning marketplace.

As a couple, build your budget around your current savings (excluding retirement and emergency funds), what you can save from your monthly income and any contributions from family members, Chertoff says. Don’t spend money you can’t immediately repay.

“A lot of couples go into debt planning a wedding because they don’t have the money that they need right now, so they either take out a loan or they put a ton of expenses on their credit cards,” says Ivy Jacobson, a senior digital editor at The Knot, another online wedding-planning marketplace.

Remember your other goals

In planning your dream wedding, don’t lose sight of reality. You likely have other financial goals to consider, such as paying off credit card debt or saving for a house. Are you comfortable delaying those goals by a few months or years in favor of wedding-day expenses? Decide where to make trade-offs.

“It is a little bit of give-and-take,” Cheng says. “Sometimes you are going to have to give up something, but then you can say, ‘OK, honey, if we’re spending less on the reception, maybe we can have a better honeymoon.’”

Envision your wedding

Do you picture yourself arriving by limo or carpooling with your bridesmaids? Are you imagining a plated, three-course meal or buffet-style dinner? Discuss every detail. If you and your betrothed don’t see eye to eye, try to meet halfway.

“If one person wants 300 people in a ballroom and the other one wants something more intimate at city hall, that’s a huge difference in style,” Chertoff says. “But maybe they can compromise and say, ‘OK, maybe we’ll have less people but we can have a little more of a grand venue than just city hall.”

Start by individually writing down your top three priorities — such as location, food and photographer — and look for similarities, Jacobson says. If you can’t agree, get an unbiased third party, such as a wedding planner or financial planner, to weigh in.

Get estimates

Finally, find out whether your budget and vision align. Look up average wedding costs, but note that prices can vary widely by location, season and day of the week.

“If you want a Saturday wedding in June in Manhattan, you’ll be paying top-dollar. But if you’re looking at a Thursday wedding in March in Brooklyn, it’ll be much more affordable,” Jacobson says.

For the most reliable estimates, get quotes from local vendors, then plug the numbers into a calculator. However, expect a larger final bill. Couples underestimate their spending by 40%, according to WeddingWire. Chertoff recommends adding between $1,000 and $2,500 to your budget for last-minute emergencies and miscellaneous expenses, such as postage and cake-cutting fees.

If the initial estimate exceeds your budget, identify ways to adjust. Trim the guest list, nix the open bar or extend the engagement to allow more time to save.

The Wedding Trends You’Re Going To See Everywhere In 2018

It doesn’t really matter if you’re in the midst of planning a wedding or not—perusing images of silky, crystal-encrusted gowns, glittering diamond rings, and tables of towering cakes set on a backdrop of a chateau in the South of France is equally inspiring (even if it’s sometimes a wee bit jealousy-inducing). One thing we’re seeing: a lot of rule-breaking and fresh new ways to make a wedding more fun, less predictable. As we gear up for wedding season, we asked editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings—the go-to glossy for everything bridal—Amy Conway to give us a sneak peek into what trending new wedding ideas we’ll be scrolling through all year long.

Bigger *Is* Sometimes Better

“Flower installations are huge—literally. We’re seeing amazing, dramatic floral walls, lush arches over doors or as ceremony markers, ‘chandeliers’ and other dramatic hanging arrangements. Many have a loose, almost wild look, as if they just sprouted up out of nowhere.”

Create Your Brand

“Branding the event is big—right down to the floor. Couples are having custom dance floors (done with a decal or projection) with their monogram or crest, a bold pattern in their color palette, or a motif picked up from their stationery.”

Mixed Media

“There’s an emphasis on materials—lots of lucite and Plexiglas, leather, slate, velvet. For reception tables, people are mixing different textures and patterns for rich, distinctive settings—the variety of high-quality rentals makes it possible to create something completely unique.”

More Color

“Gowns with hints of color—think the palest pink, peach, blue, or gray—let the bride do something different.”

No Frills

“But we’re also seeing a return to simplicity—clean, chic, unadorned gowns that are all about the silhouette and the bride herself.”


“We love the jumpsuits, pantsuits, and minis we’re seeing—and brides do too, but more for their shower, rehearsal dinner, or after-party. They’re wearing white to everything!”

Multi-Day Affairs

“Destination weddings are more popular than ever. Couples want to spend more than a few hours with their friends and family, so the ‘big day’ has turned into a long weekend getaway with everyone you love. As for where they’re going, Mexico is having a major moment! We are seeing so many destination weddings there. Italy and France are also super popular.”

The Coachella of Weddings

“We’ve also seen some cool ‘festival weddings’—think of it as a music festival atmosphere without the bands. Pick a remote location (don’t forget the permits), set up glamping-style tents, and move in with all your friends and family for a few days of celebrating.”

How To Give The Best Wedding Speech Ever

Have you been tasked with giving a speech at a wedding? Quite an honor, but sometimes a little scary! You want it to be good. No, you want it to be great!

Here are some of my thoughts on how to help you get there.

First, and very importantly, it needs to be structured – you know: a beginning, middle and end.

Hold this thought as you create yours, and it will help guide you. Know your three key points – your introduction, some meaningful content, and a good ending. Endings are everything, it’s also what people remember the most, so bring your best energy to it.

And a common problem many speakers battle is not knowing when or how to end. I’m sure we’ve all heard speakers going on and on, wishing they’d stopped sooner! If you are not reading the speech you may also find yourself out on a limb and having a hard time getting back to safety. In other words, just prattling on and on.

Don’t let this happen. Either write your speech or use bullet points to keep you on track. If you know what you want to say, and prefer NOT to read it – practice OUT LOUD with a friend. This really does make a big difference.

Introduce yourself. Not everyone knows who you are, and assuming they do is arrogant. Simply say who you are and how you know the couple – and that starts you off in the right direction. There’s your beginning.

A best friend of one half of the couple must include words about the other partner. It can’t be all about your friend, leaving out his or her new spouse. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do so, or make it sound like a mere after thought. A short compliment to him or her isn’t enough. Include something of substance.

Keep it clean. Don’t include anything you wouldn’t want published in the newspaper, heard at work, or want your mother to hear. If in doubt – don’t say it.

Include stories, experiences with the couple that enlighten us to their personalities and their love. Explain why you know they belong together. Your childhood friendship with one or both of them is fine, but keep that brief.

Humor is difficult. Don’t force it. If a story is funny, great, but don’t tell jokes, it’s not open mic night, it’s a tribute to the couple, not you!

See if you can find a meaningful quote, something that makes complete sense for the couple, reflecting their taste, passions and values. There is a lot of wisdom out there, finding something from a source that connects to their lives helps illuminate your intent. But again, don’t force it. It’s not required.

If you think it’s too long, it probably is. When you practice the speech – time it. About five minutes is perfect.

Be sober, or mostly sober, when you speak.

Be yourself. Don’t write something overly fancy or use words you wouldn’t ordinarily use.

Don’t let the speechmaker who proceeds you, steel your thunder or your wonderful stories. Check with them ahead of time and compare notes if at all possible.

If you are asking folks to raise their glass in a toast for your finish, make sure their glasses are full before you even start, so check with the wait-staff before you even begin.

Remember – there is a difference between offering a toast and making a speech. Please do what is asked of you, although a speech is often (but not always) ended with a toast. However, don’t step on someone else’s toes if they’ve been asked to make the toast. A best man versus a father, for example – the father offers a toast, the best man gives a speech; or best woman gives the speech, and mother offers the toast, or any version conceivable.

And finally, the big conclusion – thank everyone for being there and acknowledge the love that brought you all together.

Not The Best Year For A September Wedding

Brides and grooms always want their wedding to go off without a hitch. But they also want money left over for their honeymoon, home and family, all of which could come after.

And that’s why more couples are opting for September and October weddings rather than the traditional June date, according to an annual survey by TheKnot, a website devoted to weddings. June weddings dominated until 2014, when September had matched it. But by 2016, September and October became more popular months to tie the knot.

This year, however, that might not prove to be such a great idea, particularly if you planned to marry somewhere along the Gulf Coast or in the lower Atlantic states. Hurricane Harvey has now soaked Houston, South Texas and parts of Louisiana. And Hurricane Irma, packing 185-mile-per-hour winds, is on a path that will take it to Florida. That’s potentially followed by Hurricane Jose, creating a string of cyclonic wedding crashers nobody would ever welcome.

So if you plan to marry this month or next, it might be a good time to buy wedding insurance. “Weather was the cause of 10 percent of all of Travelers Insurance wedding policy claims during the past 10 years,” said Todd Shasha, managing director of personal insurance policies for the nation’s fifth largest property-casualty insurer.

“Claims spiked in 2012 when Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast with 19 percent,” he said, “and we expect to see another increase this year.”

Wedding insurance has become much more common in recent years as the cost of the event has soared to an average $26,000, including all the traditional, but nonrefundable, features such as rings, houses of worship, limousines, reception halls and caterers, photos and videos. And if you’re daring enough — an outside ceremony in a park or at the beach.

Costs actually peaked close to $30,000 in 2007, but have eased as many couples opted for less expensive options like a “destination wedding” in the Caribbean or Costa Rica.

The large checks that newlyweds, and/or their parents, had to write caused second thoughts, along with the fact that major venues were booked solid during June. Many brides didn’t want to swelter in an expensive wedding gown in July and August, so they chose the cooler months of September and October, hoping — or insuring against — the possibility of a major hurricane.

Some even booked further out on the calendar. “My wedding was Thanksgiving weekend,” said Sabrina Glavan, of insurer Allianz. “I wanted a fall wedding, and this was the only time the venue was free.”

Even if you avoid hurricane season (which officially runs into November — remember 2005’s Wilma?), the litany of things that can go wrong is endless: Wedding venues can burn down, key participants such as mothers and fathers can become ill, brides can sprain ankles or prospective spouses can be shipped out on short notice for military duty.

In one recent infamous case, Florida-based bridal shop Alfred Angelo closed its doors without telling its clients, leaving brides-to-be nationwide without their merchandise — even though many had already given deposits of hundreds of dollars for bride and bridesmaid dresses.

Depending on what you pay, a wedding insurance policy can protect against virtually anything that can happen. A Travelers Insurance policy permits lost deposits to be reimbursed if there’s a postponement and covers the cost to reschedule the event.

Wedding insurance has to be purchased at least 14 days before the event, according to Shasha, but TheKnot says “the sooner the better.” Of course, it’s already too late to purchase wedding insurance for Hurricane Irma and probably too late for Jose as well.

Technically, most policies don’t cover honeymoons. If a “destination wedding” is postponed you could be reimbursed for certain costs, and some wedding insurance packages include optional travel insurance for honeymoons.

Of course, the more coverage you buy, the more it costs. Wedsure, a unit of insurer Nationwide, offers packages as low as $95, and it offers stand-alone coverage for jewelry, gifts and — ahem — “professional counseling.” If that doesn’t work, Wedsure even offers “change of heart” coverage.

And that could create a hurricane in and of itself.


A Forgotten Holiday Begets A Memorable Wedding

Labor Day tends to be one of the forgotten holidays. It appears Hallmark has not sunk its talons into this one yet. It stands as one of the bookends of summer, the other being Memorial Day.

How is that both of these important holidays commemorating our country’s past and future have become overshadowed in a season of lemonade and swimming pools?

Every time these holidays roll by, there are exclamations of distress among some people that Americans today don’t understand why they have an extra day off from work.

These occasions honor sacrifices and advancements that were made so that members of modern society can simply lead their day-to-day lives.

On Labor Day this year, I am in Florida celebrating my wedding with 118 of my closest friends and family. My father can have a day off and is not working long hours; my groom has earned respectful wages so he can afford this once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) event; and I am not working in conditions that put me in harm’s way.

While we celebrate together, we quietly acknowledge that we get to do so thanks to what this holiday stands for.

Labor Day has brought fathers home in time for dinner, taken mothers away from dangerous factories and kept children playing outside on beautiful days. It has brought the work-life balance to fruition.

Labor Day celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of the American workforce. It celebrates the fact that companies have moved towards fair and equal treatment of workers. Thank goodness we have graduated from an era when robber barons forced workers into awful conditions for low wages.

While today’s job search for millennials could use some work (shout out to my fellow comrades living at home or in a closet), the general protection of workers’ rights is honored.

I don’t think people intentionally ignore the meaning behind Labor Day, Memorial Day and other forgotten holidays. Most of the time, they just need more education.

But maybe the fact our society lives in a privileged bubble of ignorance is a testament to the continued positive effects represented by these holidays.

People can use Memorial Day to kick off summer and gather with friends for a barbecue instead of hiding out in bomb shelters during air raids on their country.

For some people, Martin Luther King Jr. Day may simply mark a day off from work and school; they don’t have to think twice about the blessings of sharing public services and resources with multiple races.

On the other hand, while May the Fourth is not set aside as a federal holiday to honor the sensational Star Wars saga, social media always explodes on that day with quotes and photos honoring the Rebel Alliance.

A large segment of the public can tie that day to a holiday highlighting a movie franchise and its cultural impact. Meanwhile, Memorial Day often gets confused with Veterans Day.

It’s OK to maintain traditions that may or may not actually link to the intent of the holiday, but let’s take a moment to reflect on the progress these occasions represent.

Memorial Day honors those who have served to protect Americans’ fundamental liberty and civil rights – in particular, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

MLK also made that sacrifice while fighting for equality, so that a person’s race would not dictate how he or she is treated or what opportunities are afforded. He made battling injustice a powerful force.

In a similar vein, Luke Skywalker reestablished the Jedi Order and inspired the eventual overthrow of Emperor Palpatine …

All joking aside, this country has a long way to go with regard to gender, sexuality, race and other civil rights. But it’s important to commemorate steps taken in the right direction.

These holidays are stepping stones marking the advancement of U.S. citizens.

As I write in support of education around forgotten holidays, however, I find it important to note there is one we can all collectively groan about, an observance we all wish to forget:

Tax Day.

Raisa Mendapatkan Kedua Gaun Pernikahannya di Butik Asal Singapura Ini

Seperti yang sudah kami singgung sebelumnya, bisnis wedding adalah salah satu bisnis paling laris dan selalu menghasilkan. Tidak heran, banyak orang yang banting setir, atau setidaknya memperluas cakupan layanan mereka agar bisa mencoba ambil keuntungan di industri wedding ini. Sebut saja videografer, fotografer, atau penyiar. Pendek kata, make yourself available for the wedding services.

Akhir pekan lalu, kami bertandang ke pop up event The Proposal Bridal, butik bridal dengan koleksi international designer terbesar di Singapura (bahkan mungkin di Asia Tenggara). Kami bertemu dengan co-founder dan marketing director-nya, Chern San Lee. San mendirikan The Proposal Bridal bersama sang istri. Hanya dalam 2 tahun The Proposal Bridal mencuri perhatian calon-calon pengantin di Singapura, juga kawasan Asia, dengan koleksi wedding gowns mereka yang sangat banyak. Sebut saja, Elie Saab, Reem Acra, Marchesa, Jenny Packham, sampai Oscar de la Renta.

“Sosial media membantu meningkatnya awareness butik ini di kawasan Asia Tenggara. Calon-calon pengantin yang social media savvy menemukan kami dari media sosial, dan terbang dari berbagai wilayah untuk mencari gaun impian mereka,” cerita San yang menyambut FIMELA dengan hangat di pop up event, yang mengambil tempat di butik One Heart Wedding, hotel Fairmont, Jakarta. “Dan, 30% pelanggan kami berasal dari Indonesia,” tambahnya. Jumlah yang besar, dan menjadi bukti bahwa dengan angka seperti itu, memang industri wedding di Indonesia sangat-sangat menghasilkan. Itu pula rasanya yang jadi alasan The Proposal Bridal berangkat ke Indonesia, dan memperkenalkan mereka ke khayalak Indonesia lebih dekat.

Dari jumlah 30% pelanggan asal Indonesia itu, salah satunya adalah penyanyi cantik Raisa yang menikah akhir pekan kemarin. Sebenarnya, sejak Sabtu kami sudah tahu bahwa Mrs. Hamish Daud ini akan memakai gaun dari Jenny Packham (without the train) dan tentu saja, Elie Saab (with the train). But we just have to shut our mouth. The Proposal Bridal dan Raisa dihubungkan oleh Bride Story yang memegang hak exclusive untuk pernikahan ini.

Di pop event akhir pekan lalu, The Proposal Bridal juga memperkenalkan kami dengan koleksi Spring Summer 2018 Galia Lahav. Designer asal Israel ini sudah berkecimpung di industri wedding selama 30 tahun lebih, dan memiliki fans dari seluruh dunia. Galia memiliki 2 lini wedding gown, satu yang bergaya couture, dan second line dengan harga lebih terjangkau. See the looks on this page. Dan di butik The Proposal Bridal, gaun-gaun Galia yang bergaya bohemian, sedikit aksen fantasi, juga agak bernuansa fairy ini menjadi salah satu yang paling banyak dicari.

Sekarang sudah tahu harus ke mana untuk mencari gaun pengantin seperti yang dimiliki Raisa, kan? Atau setidaknya mencari gaun Jenny Packham, yang juga designer favorit Kate Middleton, untuk mewujudkan dream wedding gown versimu.