Fall & Winter wedding trends for the Windy City

Brides and grooms—and anyone who loves weddings—Fall is upon us (whether we like it or not)! For Chicagoans this means it’s time to brace ourselves for the cold and bitter months ahead. But for those in the bridal industry it can be a welcome breath of fresh air after the hot and hectic days of the summer wedding season. And couples who prefer the warmth and intimacy of the colder seasons will enjoy the fresh bridal trends that are beginning to appear in chic autumn and winter weddings in the city.

A few of Chicago’s most knowledgeable bridal vendors have provided Soirée with their exclusive opinions on trends for Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 weddings.

Kelly Marie Uss from Fleur says that her clients are requesting a more natural and organic feeling for the florals of their cooler-month celebrations.

“Autumn and winter are the times of year that make couples want to feel cozy.  Celebrations equal the warmth of laughter, the glow of candles. Simplifying design and color, yet keeping floral interesting with texture offers a formality that appeals to these seasons.  Candlelight and understated blooms with a natural, organic texture makes for a gorgeous setting, forging an evening of family and friends and creating a mood they’ll all remember.”

Floral decor with texture for the Fall, photo credit: http://www.simplyjessie.com

Making a statement with candlelight to bring out floral detail, photo credit: http://www.simplyjessie.com

Colder month weddings mean lots of candlelight and more understated florals this fall

Desserts are also going to be slightly different at a Fall/Winter wedding in Chicago.

Katherine Duncan of Katherine Anne Confections is foreseeing a caramel apple trend for desert tables as she exclaims,

“Caramel apples are a super fun favor… as they’re whimsical and nostalgic, and are really delicious. Make sure you ask your chocolatier to use good apples, preferably from a local farmer, as those won’t have wax on the skin and will be a little more tart than the store-bought variety.”

The current trend of mini desserts will also carry on into the fall, says Katherine, but many weddings will also feature some more “nostalgic treats.”

“Everyone wants to try 2 or 3 things, but not totally blow their diet. I love dessert spreads that include mini cupcakes, truffles, etc. A very popular item is nostalgic treats. Doughnuts, pie, “bars” (think lemon bars or pecan bars) – you can’t go wrong with these old-fashioned treats. Everyone loves pie, and it’s a more down-home option than cake. For amazing local pies, check out Bang Bang or Hoosier Mama Pie Company. Do-Rite Donuts and Glazed & Infused make fabulous doughnuts.”

pies bring on a feeling of “nostalgia” at a wedding.

Glazed and Infused Lemon Glazed Donuts

Catering for these weddings will also continue the trend of all things “mini” for hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour or at the end of the night with late-night snacks. Elaina Vasquez of Boutique Bites is excited about how much her clients are requesting food reminiscent of their hometowns such as “mini Chicago-Style hot dogs for Windy City couples and mini Chicken and Waffles for Southern couples, etc.”

Only for a true Windy City wedding!

Seasonal hors d’oeuvres, says Elaina, should also be served in the “proper packaging,” and as would be appropriate with the mini trend, using mini paper takeout boxes for guests that wish to bring home some of those delicious goodies.

“Giving guests the chance to pick up and hold hors d’oeuvres in a tiny little paper container adds an extra special element to your spread. Containers can be created in festive holiday colors to match any party’s color scheme.”

The “Couture Container”

Elaina also predicts that the holidays will be all about the “glitz and glam!”

“Translate all the shimmer and shine of the holiday with a gold-themed spread.  Using edible gold, incorporate gold-dusted hors d’oeuvres like “24K Deviled Eggs”, “Gold-Dusted Stuffed Mushrooms” or “Gold Topped Parmesan Risotto Cups” to your menu.  Even glam up your cocktails and champagne with golden tea pearls.”

Dress up your cocktails for a touch of glam

With the changing of seasons the greatest shifts in trends has usually occurred within the bridal gown industry. Everyone knows that the style of dress worn by brides and their bridesmaids depends heavily on the month in which the wedding is taking place.

Maureen Schulte from Bella Bridesmaid says,

“We adore the illusion necklines and peplum styles being shown on 2013 bridesmaid dresses, but our favorite new trends will make your bridal party swoon-worthy in exciting prints and perfect palettes!  Many of our designers are introducing fun prints and re-wearable patterns into their color menus.

Lula Kate, ‘Sassy Stripes’ in Off White and Aluminum Faille

Monique Lhuillier- ‘450093’ in Willow Giverny

“There is nothing more trendsetting in the world of bridesmaids than varying the dress colors to create the perfect girl group!” says Maureen. “Why not take it a step past shades of one color and weave complimentary colors throughout your entire bridal party? We love a neutral palette for a romantic look that will make fabulous bridesmaid dresses and beautiful pictures.”

Varied styles from Amsale in Silk Crinkle Chiffon colors: Dove, Charcoal, Truffle, and Champagne.

Finally, the bridal gowns that Fall/Winter brides are choosing, says Mignonette Bridal’s Kpoene Kofi-Nicklin, are going to differ dramatically from those of Chicago’s summer brides.

“Autumn and winter mean a turn towards more sheen — we are getting a lot of requests for silk satin and peau de soie, both of which have a beautiful shine and reflect candlelight amazingly. We are also noticing that the silhouettes of this season’s gowns are changing – brides want something that skims the body, with very clean, minimal lines. For Summer we did a lot of chiffon and organza gowns with very “piecey” details or raw edging, but for our Fall/Winter brides, everything is very pared down and dramatic – no big ball gowns, just lots of Old Hollywood glamour.”

Silk crepe dress with embroidered shoulder.

Kpoene also shares that,

“Our brides want just one detail to stand out, like an amazing train or a dramatic back, and many are also looking to subtle beading, or just one beaded detail, rather than all-over detail like we did a lot of for summer. The other big trend I am noticing is a return to bright white, which looks beautiful and classic against a backdrop of fall leaves or fresh snow.”

A beaded shoulder strap on a “bright white” gown creates a beautiful statement.

With insights like this from some of the city’s top wedding vendors we can’t wait to get the ball rolling and start seeing these chic Chicago weddings come to life!

Post by: Soirée Intern, Melanie Enright

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