It used to be that an engagement ring was enough to prove you’re getting married. Now nothing is official until you have a comprehensive Pinterest board. After all, you don’t know true love until you’ve stayed up until 3 a.m. fervently pinning images of hoop bouquets and contemplating the pros and cons of rose gold cake toppers, right?
But before shareable mood boards were a thing, there was good old-fashioned creativity—something that’s easy to lose sight of if you rely on Pinterest for every stage of the planning process. This Denise Jin and Molly Kang know well. When the pair joined forces nearly three years ago to found Floravere, a direct-to-consumer wedding dress company, they built their brand on the unexpected. Their first-ever brick-and-mortar store, which recently opened in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, is their latest stab at a luxury industry that rarely steps out of stride.
Part retail space and part stylish apartment, the curated outpost is brimming with fresh ideas. The bride’s friends and family can pull up a velvet club chair, lounge on a mid-century daybed, or rest their coffee on an Eny Lee Parker table as they wait patiently in between fittings. Up front is a rotating display of floral installations—the arrangements are changed weekly by Brooklyn-based Extrafloral. Noguchi lanterns and vintage rugs lend a sense of warmth to the private dressing room.
“With our New York flagship, we wanted to create a retail experience and really rethink what it feels like to go dress shopping,” says Jin. “Traditional boutiques feel a bit like bridal factories. We wanted to present an experience that was much more personal, intimate, and calm…like a haven for brides.”
If there’s one thing we learned from Floravere’s shop, it’s that Jin and Kang are perfectly content with tossing out the rule book. Ahead, Jin breaks down five spring wedding ideas you won’t find riddled across your feed.
Soaring Floral Installations
Atmosphere is an important part of a reception, but that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with the table arrangements and string lights. “We’re seeing a lot of sculptural hanging installations,” shares Jin, noting she currently has her eye on a wispy execution by Studio Mondine.
Cloud-like chandeliers composed exclusively of florals—think: pink roses, peonies, and white hydrangeas for spring—will add a storybook touch to your soiree and let you explore a more minimal approach to the tablescape. But if your green thumb feels so inclined, swap the blossoms for vegetation. “We’ve also seen a number of weddings with all greenery and no flowers at all,” adds Jin. Indulge your inner gardener with a sea of large succulent arrangements for a low-maintenance look your guests will be begging to take home.
Wedding Parties That Blur Gender Lines
Assembling a wedding party can be just as stressful as drawing up the seating arrangement. Luckily, the unspoken rules need not apply for 21st-century couples, who continue to test tradition with bridesmen and groomsmaids. “We’re increasingly seeing couples assemble their bridal parties across gender lines so that each partner can incorporate those closest and most meaningful to them in their party, regardless of their gender,” says Jin.
Bold Jewel Tones
Warm neutrals, navy, and metallic finishes reigned supreme in 2018, but this year couples are committing to a rich and complex range of hues. “For color schemes, we’re seeing brides embrace nonpastel jewel tones like emerald, amethyst, and cobalt,” says Jin.
Incorporate this popular color family on the table with bold centerpieces comprised of amethyst-colored garden roses and dahlias, turquoise napkins, and a hand-dyed violet runner.
Guests will remember your big day for what it was, not the cheeky hashtag you created to mark the occasion. As ceremonies become more personalized and relaxed, couples are leaning into their own rules regarding privacy. “In an effort to help guests be truly present and engaged, it’s increasingly common and encouraged to ask all guests to turn off or even physically ‘check’ their phones at the door,” says Jin.
Remind guests to unplug and be present during the ceremony with a custom calligraphed sign to match your decor.
Bridal Pants and Rompers
Gowns aren’t gone for good, but when it comes to wardrobe protocol, Jin and Kang are excited to see the traditional “bridal uniform” take a turn with versatile silhouettes and unconventional colors. “Think outside the dress!” says Jin. “Women today are increasingly redefining what a bride looks like, embracing options like bridal pants and rompers, or cross-cultural ensembles such as a red wedding dress.”
Of course, there’s also the trend of having not one but two distinct wedding outfits, because why should you have to decide between strapless and sleeves? In lieu of doubling your budget, Jin suggests opting for one dress (or romper or suit) that meets you halfway.
“To make that transition even more seamless and budget friendly, brides are loving two-in-one looks,” she explains. A removable overskirt or removable topper will let you go from a fairy-tale ceremony to a modern after-party without requiring two totally different outfits.
“Just know that there are no real rules for what a bride looks like,” continues Jin. “Our message to brides at Floravere is that if you feel like endless rows of similar-looking, strapless, poufy white dresses are not speaking to you, that is more than okay. There are brands like us that are redefining what it looks and feels like to be a bride, so don’t be afraid to question any of the shoulds or should nots.”
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