Weddings trends add new twists to plans in 2003

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002

CHATHAM, NY -- Brides and grooms are redefining "traditional" weddings -- and in 2003 more couples will be finding different ways to include a personal aspect into their weddings, according to Lisa Light, owner of Destination Bride in Chatham, N.Y.

"The major change in weddings is personalization and customization," said Light. "Couples don't want a cookie-cutter wedding. They want a celebration that shows off their style and imagination -- and one that leaves a lasting impression on guests."

Light, also known as "The Wedding Anthropologist" due to her background in anthropology and her passion for weddings around the world, has become an authority on destination, interfaith and multicultural weddings. She has appeared in several publications, including Modern Bride and Hudson Valley Magazine and also has also done extensive TV and radio interviews on the topics of weddings and event planning. She is the founder and president of Lisa Light Ltd., an omni-media, special events company, and owner of DestinationBride. com.

Light points to the newest ways couples are customizing their weddings:

1) Destination weddings. "People today are not just looking at their hometowns anymore," Light said. "They want a unique location -- whether that means a castle in England, on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, or a secluded hideaway in the Adirondack Mountains."

2) Unique invitations. "Plain text is out. Couples are now hiring graphic designers to come up with an invitation that expresses their theme and personality," she said.

3) Signature drinks. "Instead of an entire open bar, budget-savvy and fun-loving couples are offering two or three signature drinks developed and named after them and members of their wedding party," said Light. "Another variation on this theme is to offer the bride's and the groom's favorite cocktails."

4) Candid photos. "More and more couples are looking for a photographer who can tell the story of the day, instead of just posed portraits," she said. "And a combination of black and white and color photographs will be the norm for 2003."

5) Color. "No more pastels," Light said. "Bold, dramatic colors are in for bridesmaids dress, table dressings and decorations. Some brides will even be forgoing the tradition ivory or white and selecting a gown in red or blue."

6) Flavorful and fun cakes. "Many couples are 'having their cake and eating it too,' by choosing a different flavor for every tier," she said. "Some are using hundreds of cupcakes instead of a traditional cake, and others are choosing to offer a variety of desserts."

7) Nixing the receiving line. "Couples want to take the time to stop and chat with their guests, so many are just canceling the receiving line and mingling with their guests at the reception."

8) Kid-friendly options: "In order to accommodate parents and little ones, many brides will be offering onsite or offsite baby-sitting services for their guests," Light said. "It's one of the most appreciated services for parents."

9) Personalized ceremonies and vows. "More and more brides and grooms are looking for readings that are a reflection of who they are as a couple, rather than the traditional readings usually offered," she said. "And often, they are writing their own vows -- expressing the unique way they love their partners."

10) Wedding Web sites. "Couples are using technology to their advantage by providing all their information on a wedding Web site," said Light. "In addition to wedding details, many are including links to gift registries and online guest books, as well as information about how the couple met."

For more information about Lisa Light or her services, e-mail

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