Over the course of 2015, Airlie played host to over 60 weddings. No matter what season or theme, our couples brought creativity to the table and uniquely transformed our spaces to make each celebration their own. Here is a list of our favorite ideas and trends from the year that will still be going strong in 2016.
Gone are the days of chocolate covered almonds or glass swans at each place setting - couples are getting uber creative and infusing local into their favors. Small Ball Jars with jam or jelly and Airlie house-made honey and toffee were popular this year. Another favorite was pollinator seed packets delivered with each place card.
Social Media Hashtags
We don’t see this one going away anytime soon. Couples are displaying their chosen hashtag from the wedding website to invitations to custom made signage for the big event. Aside from being trendy, hashtags are a great way for the couple to locate all of the socially posted photos once the celebration is over. #cheers
A time honored tradition that we don’t think will ever go out of style, over-the-top flower arrangements from ceremony through reception ooze romance. We love to see the creative ways Airlie couples utilize fresh florals, especially to compliment formal garden ceremonies.
All that Glitters
We’re loving this trend of glitz and glimmer. From gown details to table numbers, sparkles denote a touch of throwback and class to add to the celebration. Think: ‘What’s Old is New Again.’ Gold has also been especially popular.
The First Look
We know this is another trend that has been around for awhile, but it’s a good one. Hair and makeup are fresh making for perfect pictures. Airlie has so many beautiful backdrops, it’s fun to see what locations the bride and photographer pick for this special moment.
Remember the cupcake tree fad of 2006? While the majority opt for a traditional three tiered wedding cake, some new options are making their way into the limelight. Naked cakes and even pies are now chosen as the dessert star of the show. In addition, it seems fondant is out and buttercream is in - with more artistry than ever before. "This past year has been the year of textured buttercream cakes, everything from rosettes to horizontal, diagonal and swirl patterns, and combinations of each," says Lora Vennettilli, Pastry Chef and Owner of Gateau. "It appears 2016 will continue this trend of textured buttercream; Rustic Elegance is the new chic, a highly sought after look, easily translated on a cake through buttercream."
It’s All Fun and Games…
Given that Airlie encompasses 600 acres of rolling Virginia countryside, we offer a wide array of on-site activities to choose from. We’re seeing a lot of “getting ready” photos with the groomsmen shooting pool, playing chess/checkers or throwing darts. During the cocktail hour and reception, our couples take advantage of outdoor space for tailgate toss and ping-pong. On the fun and relaxation side, the firepit has become popular, providing a warm ambience and comfortable seating. Photo “booths” using props and real furniture in an outside setting bring a sense of kitschy fun to the celebration. Also, long live the candy bar! Where else can you get lemonheads and rock candy sticks anymore?
Until death do us part, the intricacies of wedding details will be here for the long haul. Thanks, Pinterest, Etsy (and a myriad of wedding planning websites, magazines, planners, bloggers, venues, everyone) for bringing this aspect to the forefront. It is your wedding day after all, quite possibly the most personal day of your life, which you happen to be sharing with 5-200 guests. "Couples were very creative and personal with their guest books this year," commented Tara Henson, Catering Sales Manager at Airlie. "We saw unique twists like a handmade wooden journal from Australia, records that would make great wall art later (above), even a coffee table book with the couples' engagement photos intermixed with writing space." Other reception favorites favorites include hand-lettered anything – invitations, signage, menus; and we will always love a basket of flip-flops for the dance floor!
Lead photo credit (left to right):
Karen Allen, Julie Napear, Stephanie Dee (cake by Gateau), Michael and Carina