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Bridal Trends & Traditions
6/1/2017 11:28:27 AM

First comes love, then comes . . . planning? Before a couple celebrates their wedding day, a tremendous amount of planning often takes place. Some brides have a mother and several attendants to help her. Others hire a professional wedding planner. Still other couples tackle the to-do list on their own. In any pre-wedding scenario, aside from spur of the moment elopement, there are details to attend to! The wedding venue, the reception, the dress, invitations, caterers, cake . . . the list seems to be unending. But the big day eventually arrives, and most couples look back and say they wouldn’t change a thing. If you’re currently planning your wedding, embrace the process as an exciting part of the journey, rather than merely a means to an end. To help you in your planning, we’ve put together this bride guide that we hope will give you tips, guidance, and maybe a few new ideas.

An inviting First Impression

by Lauren Atterbery Caesar

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and wedding invitations are the first impression your friends and family will have of your big day. The invitation sets the stage for what is to come in terms of your wedding colors and overall style. A few invitation trends you will find in 2017 are:

Bold Typography

A variety of font choices and sizes have become increasingly popular in the past few years, and this trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping in 2017. Making a bold statement with you and your spouse-to-be’s name helps create a beautiful invitation with the engaged couple as the focus. You may choose to highlight other send-outs with bold fonts and phrases on Save the Date cards, RSVP cards, and directions to the various event locations.

Greenery & Watercolor

If you’re having a romantic wedding, you may lean towards invitations with greenery on them, or ones that highlight watercolor backgrounds and flowers. Laura Schindler, bridal consultant at PaperSmith in Lake Charles, explains that, "Brides are going a bit more traditional in their choices, but making their invitations unique by adding little touches of color.”

Rustic Accessories

For weddings with a rustic-theme, consider including invitation accessories like lace and burlap ribbons or little wooden tags boasting the date to tie the invitation cards together. This kind of invitation sets the stage for a laid-back affair.

Foil and Gold Leaf

For a bit of glamour in an envelope, choose a foil or gold leafed invitation. If your wedding day will be big on sophistication and elegance, especially for an evening wedding, choosing a foil invitation only seems natural because the invitation style foreshadows those upscale elements. "Blush and gold tones are still very popular, especially with navy accents,” says Schindler.

Not Your Grandmother’s Registry

by Lauren Atterbery Caesar

For many, time can be categorized in two ways: Life before the modern Internet and life after the modern internet. Prior to nearly everything in the world being accessible with the click of a mouse, brides and grooms went into brick and mortar stores to register for everything they desired to begin their lives together. Today, however, the entire concept has changed. It is still common for brides and grooms to register in one or two traditional stores, but you would be hard-pressed to find any couple that does not have some form of an online registry. 

Online registries appeal to people who have out-of-town guests coming to their wedding. When people are flying in, online options offer gift shipping directly to the bride or groom’s home, making travel easier. 

Although registering online is convenient in many respects, going to a traditional hometown store like Navarra’s Jewelry and Gifts or PaperSmith in Lake Charles is undeniably fun. The benefit of doing an in-person registry is being able to see exactly what you are putting on your list and evaluate the actual size, color, and style beside other things you have registered for.  Items that most brides and grooms decide to register for in-person are china, stemware, and silver. 

This year, there are some interesting new trends in wedding registries, along with a few old favorites.

Airbnb Gift Card 

Along with other honeymoon funding websites like The Honeyfund, giving an Airbnb gift card gives the newlyweds the gift of travel. This generation puts more emphasis on experiences and less emphasis on things, so you may see more couples requesting gifts that will make their vacation dreams a reality. 

KitchenAid 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

This is a classic registry staple because it is so versatile. It can help cooks do anything from bake cakes to make thier own sausage. 

Meal Delivery Subscriptions 

Companies such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron provide weekly meals for two people, which is a perfect idea for a couple starting out. They can experience new recipes, eat healthy, and have fun in the kitchen together. 

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

This old favorite is something that every kitchen needs because it is a well-made, versatile kitchen accoutrement that can be used for anything from baking bread to making stew.

Putting the Where in your Wedding Plans

by Angie Kay Dilmore

In-demand Lake Charles wedding planner Sara Lasher says the wedding reception venue is the backbone to an amazing wedding. Where to have their reception is often the first decision a couple makes after he pops the question and she says, "Yes!” How does a couple decide where to celebrate their nuptials?

Regarding venue trends, Lasher says everyone wants to be outside. "I’m getting more requests for both outdoor ceremonies and receptions. I tell my clients, proceed with caution. This is Louisiana! You can never be too careful.” Lasher advises couples who want an outdoor venue to choose one that has both an indoor and outdoor option. Some local examples would be the Historic Calcasieu Marine Bank, with their courtyard. Graywood has a lovely lawn and golf course, as well as a Clubhouse. Golden Nugget offers a gazebo; L’Auberge, a terrace. "Those are all beautiful options for an outdoor event, but you need to be able to move inside in case of rain. The Holy Spirit Chapel at Big Lake is one of my favorite outdoor ceremony locations, but there is no rain plan there.”

Lasher says several factors should determine where a couple shares their celebration with friends and family. Finances obviously play a role. A couple should set a budget and stick to it. But more than that, couples today want their wedding reception to be a unique experience that tells their guests who they are. They’re looking for something untraditional that hasn’t been done before – something that tells their story. Lasher cites the Cash and Carry as an example of a venue with unique character. "Who would have thought a wholesale warehouse could become an event center?  But it is perfect. It is a good size, and grooms like it because it has a masculine feel.”

Combine the concepts of masculine and unique, and Lasher encourages couples to think way outside the traditional box and consider a location such as the Boy Scouts’ Camp Edgewood. "The grounds are gorgeous,” she says. "There’s a chapel and an indoor hall for the reception. Or the reception could be held outdoors among the pines. And there are lodges for overnight accommodations.”

Some couples choose to have their wedding and reception at a home. This option is often lovely and meaningful for the couple, but Lasher says there are considerations. Is there enough parking? Are there enough restrooms?

Lasher sees approximately 50% of couples planning their wedding ceremony and reception at the same location. This option offers convenience for both the wedding party and guests.

As for other trends, Lasher says the barn and burlap fad seems to have run its course. "But people like the casual warm welcoming environment you get from that sort of feel. So a potential venue could be a place that reminds them of a barn, but rather than burlap and cowboy boots, they could have sequins and champagne.”

By necessity, the number of guests should dictate the size of the venue. For smaller intimate weddings, she recommends a venue such as the Cajun Café. For larger weddings, Lasher suggests the Brick House, the Lake Charles Civic Center, the Lake Charles Country Club, or any of the casinos. The Majestic Hall at Walnut Grove is perfect for any size wedding. For a Southwest Louisiana feel, she suggests Blue Dog Café. "Nothing says Louisiana Bride like Blue Dog.”  Lasher is also particularly fond of the Pioneer Club. "It’s a great place to show off our city.”


  • Plan early to get the venue of your choice. Lasher urges couples to book at least eight months, preferably a year, in advance.
  • If planning an outdoor wedding, have a backup plan in place.
  • Read the venue contract. Every venue approaches weddings differently. Are you allowed to have sparklers? Can someone else make the cake? Ask questions and read the fine print.

Flower Trend Report

by Lauren Atterbery Caesar

Luther Burbank once said, "Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.” It is an undeniable truth that flowers make everything around them brighter and more special, especially for a wedding. This year, floral trends abound as you plan your most extraordinary day. 

"In the last few years brides have favored large flowers in their bouquets such as peonies, hydrangeas, and garden roses coupled with standard sized flowers like roses, lizianthus, ranunculus, and stock,” says Ray Bustillo of Wendi’s Flower Cart in Lake Charles. He also notes that some brides like to include more unique accents like succulents into their bouquets. 

Dahlias are divine this year, too. In 1824, British Lord Holland sent his wife a note about these beautiful flowers: "The dahlia you brought to our isle, your praises forever shall speak; mid gardens as sweet as your smile, and in color as bright as your cheek.”   Centuries later, we still sing the praises of the dahlia, especially during wedding season. Café au lait, peaches n’ cream, and labyrinth are highly sought after dahlia colors this year. 

Another trend in bridal bouquets is to add jewelry to the bouquet. Bustillo says brides request everything from pearls, broaches, rhinestones, and just a little sparkle be added to their bouquets, and the result is outstanding. 

For the eco-conscious bride, emerging trends use garden fresh seasonal flowers in their arrangements. Harvested by hand by a local farmer or florist, these arrangements feel a little more special because of the personal, regional connection and the knowledge that they are helping the environment by choosing in-season flowers. 

Other floral trends this year include jeweled tones and moodier colors in bridal bouquets. Merlot and other deep wine-like colors are popular and coordinate well with jewel-toned bridesmaid dresses. Muted, moody colors contrast well with bright accents and colorful bridesmaid dresses. 

You’ll also see subtle delicate floral-adorned hair accessories, little sprigs of foliage in brides’ artful hairstyles, and flowery half halos beautifully incorporated into their ensemble. 

With such an array of styles and trends to choose from, your wedding day will be full of beauty, and of course the joy and happiness that flowers bring.

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