Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience. Bridal trends are ever-evolving and once you fall down the rabbit hole of countless Instagram accounts, Pinterest boards and wedding magazines, it can be hard to know where on earth to begin. (Not to mention keeping track of what trends are incoming and what is sooooo last year.)
So what do industry experts predict to be the wedding must-haves for 2016? The team at One Fine Day wedding fairs assembled a panel to find out.
"I think the ultimate 'wow' factor comes from getting to know the couple and their personalities, and getting that to really shine through the design," Jason Kates, wedding planner and owner of Love 2 Love, said.
"With social media, I think couples can sometimes get overwhelmed with what’s out there and what can be done, so it’s really nice to show their personalities."
When it comes to budget (and, according to One Fine Day's inaugural wedding planning survey, 28 percent of couples will spend between $30,000 - $40,000 on their big day) Kates said it can be useful to pick one or two aspects of the wedding that are particularly important to you as a way of keeping the cost down.
"I’ve worked on various weddings with budgets from $20,000 to $150,000," Kates said. "Everyone puts value on different aspects of their wedding so my advice would be to draw out what they can work on to make that 'wow' factor -- whether it be flowers, or backdrops, or the venue itself."
In terms of styling tips, Kates said weddings are taking on a more contemporary look.
"Metallics are very popular, and mixing them as well -- so mixing your golds and silver," Kates said.
"In terms of florals, we are seeing a lot of installations and heightened flower arrangements, as well as more natural and unstructured arrangements."
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"I think it’s a lot about atmospheric florals," florist Aleksandra Keats said.
"We're seeing people pay a lot more attention to the space and atmosphere as a whole, so we're looking at the ceiling, the walls, the floors -- it's not so much about the traditional flower arrangements on the tables anymore. It's about looking around the space and saying, ‘oh we could hang something from here', or 'we could have something cascading down to the floor and trailing out.
"Metallic lustres, as Jason was saying are very much still in, and we're seeing a rise in wearable florals, particularly around the neck and wrist, rather than bouquets."
In terms of what flower is right for you, Keats says what's in season is always the best.
"It is definitely all about seasonal flowers, though you can still be creative. A lot of people like to use flowers they don’t see all the time -- so things like lotus flowers, passionfruit vines or water lilies -- basically things that aren’t commonly picked up on the side of the street or at your local florist.
"We're seeing heirloom varieties coming back into trend -- so that's carnations, dogwood, fox glove -- and baby's breath is also coming back in a more contemporary way."
Ah, the dress. Arguably one of the most talked about aspects of any wedding (and a potential budget blow-out). So what can we expect from brides of 2016?
"I'd say the fashion at the moment is very bohemian luxe," designer Karen Willis Holmes said.
"That’s been trending for a little while but she’s going a bit more more upmarket a we're seeing a bit more of a polished version.
"Otherwise it's the complete opposite -- very tailored, very structured with clean lines.
"Laces have been popular for a long time and they are still going to be. Embroidery and beading as well, which is becoming very detailed. They would be the main looks."
While tiaras might be a bit late-90s, head wear for the bride is a booming business. Just ask milliner Viktoria Novak, who specialises in crowns and other head accessories.
"My bridal collection is all based on the yesteryear and evoking that vintage feel," Novak said. "I'm pretty obsessed with vintage and try and reinvent what vintage is every year.
"The crown trend came up about four years ago, and everyone thought I was insane. They were like, 'why is she wearing a gold brass crown on her head?'
"But it has completely evolved and taken over -- it's gone global. No longer are we seeing brides coming in wanting to match their headpiece to their dress perfectly. That’s gone, that's dead.
"I view these pieces as more of a fashion accessory, and something they can wear again. The idea is for the piece to not overpower the gown, but to be there as a beautiful heirloom and feature."
Whether you're after a bold rep lip or a more subtle look, Benefit make up artist Hannah Terrett says it's all about making the look your own.
"There are quite a few trends going around," Terrett said. "From ethereal skin and a really glowing complexion to a matte lip with a smoky eye.
"Whatever the make up look, it’s all about personalisation and making it your own."
In terms of beauty tips, Terrett refers to a system she likes to call "PPT".
"So the first 'p' is for prepping your skin. You'll need to invest in some good quality skin care products," Terrett said.
"Because you can apply as much make up as possible but without a good base underneath, you're not going to get the best result.
"You need to protect the canvas. Make up can only do so much.
"Secondly, prime your skin as much as possible. Priming keeps products on your skin for longer periods of time -- so for your wedding day or your hens -- whatever is coming up, invest in priming the skin as much as possible.
"Finally, tint. Tint is one of those products that have been around for a really long time but people don’t really know what they are used for.
"Basically, it's designed for cheeks and lips and is a stain product, so it absorbs into the skin and stains your skin. So while you are, say, sipping on a champagne glass or kissing your new husband, your lipstick will wear off, but the tint will keep that underlying colour underneath."
One Fine Day wedding fair will take place in Sydney, 6-7 February, in Melbourne from 20-21 February, and in Perth on April 17.Suggest a correction