Wedding Discussions……Are detailed weddings on their way out?

A month or so ago I was asked by the lovely people at Bride Tide to comment on a feature they were writing about 2013 wedding trends. I was delighted to be asked and got to thinking about what I saw as next year’s big thing. I thought for a while about what I had seen coming through in the weddings I have been submitted lately and the thing that stood out to me was the details! A Large proportion of the weddings I get sent these days are detail heavy, and yes this may add to the whole aesthetics of the wedding day, but how much stress does this put on the couple hosting such a wedding?

What I have noticed though from a few of my more recent submissions and mainly from the American and Australian photographers, is that weddings are going back to basics, less fuss and more attention on the actual couple getting married. Now don’t get me wrong, most weddings especially in this country are still detail rich but I when I final decided on my 2013 trend for Bride Tide it was ‘less is More’ and strangely (and with no discussion between the two of us) so did Kat from Rock n Roll Bride!
Here’s what I told them

‘I believe that weddings will become more stripped back and minimalistic. We have seen so much styling going on that I think in 2013 couples will want to get back to basics and let the wedding be more about them. So the old phrase ‘Less is more’ will come into play. Less details, less fuss. So simple minimalistic décor and more relaxed styling. Couples have become swamped with over stylistic wedding ideas so think minimalistic venues, simple flowers with stripped back table decoration, clean lines, simple rustic elements, un fussy ideas for a couple that want the wedding to be about them NOT the details and styling.’

Detailed Weddings Photo by Mark Tierney

Now I talked about wedding details back in June and I asked you then if you thought the wedding details were important and this led to some discussion between the lot of you. And to be honest I can see the good and bad in both.
As a wedding planner and a wedding blogger I wear two hats on the subject of wedding details.

Detailed Weddings Photo by OEIL Photography

As a Planner I am more interested with the logistics of the day, getting the right suppliers in to make sure the wedding runs on time and nothing goes wrong. In that case the more details and more fuss the more things there are to go wrong. I also work closely with the couples and see what a stress making sure their wedding is ‘blog worthy’ causes them. To many times I have heard bride’s apologies to me and to photographers for the lack of details or the lack of fuss, this should NEVER happen! No bride should feel put upon to make her wedding something that it isn’t!
Yes if you are a DIY queen then knock yourself out, make the invitations, sew 100s of meters of bunting, get out your tissue paper and get started on those pom poms, but if you’re not then don’t create a wedding that isn’t you!
As a planner I see a lot of weddings and the thing that gets me every time is the emotion of the day, the couple exchanging vows, the family and friends helping them celebrate and the closeness of everyone around them wishing them well on their life together. It’s not the details that make me cry, it’s the love between the couple……isn’t this the most important thing?
I always tell my couples I am working with, remember why you are getting married, the actual wedding will last a day but the marriage itself will hop fully last a life time, it’s better to focus on that than what colour the napkins should be!

Detailed Weddings Photo by Andrew Billington

As a Blogger I’m always looking for details in the weddings that are submitted to me, I know my readers like to see pretty things and get inspiration for their own day. BUT I do always like to feature the couple and the love between them, the ceremony, the first look, the speeches, the portrait shots, they are more important to me than the guest book or photo booth, BUT they are still included in the blog post as they were important to the couple!.

But am I guilty of creating and nurturing this on-going trend for detail heavy weddings, without blogs like mine would brides be that bothered about them? And if this is true is it now my responsibility to try and revert the trend and get people back to basics??
I have to admit though my favourite sort of wedding is a simple rustic, outdoor wedding, and it’s those sorts of weddings that don’t need all the fuss!

Detailed Weddings Photo by Nicola Thompson


I have asked two people with different points of view to give me their thoughts…..

For Details – Stephanie from Chrimson and Clover Photos 
If you’ve spent any amount of time at a wedding in the last three to four years, you’ve noticed them. Maybe they haven’t been immediately obvious, but they left a lasting impression — you went home marvelling and raving about the wedding you attended, how happy the couple was, and how beautifully done the entire shebang seemed. It might have occurred to you later, when you were online reading a wedding blog or cruising the latest offerings on Pinterest, that the wedding you loved so much was special for two reasons: the happy couple getting married, and the way they put their personalities into every last detail of the day.
I’ve shot all kinds of weddings — weddings at which it was clear that there was a massive budget for details, and weddings at which it was clear there was not. I’ve seen upscale, tasteful affairs at which there were no special details whatsoever, and I’ve seen super DIYed weddings that were exploding with hand-made banner cake toppers and yarn poms. Every time I see a mason jar or a vintage typewriter at a wedding I smile: I like mason jars and typewriters, too.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with detailing your wedding — in fact, I think if anything, the pressure that couples feel to overly their detail is a result of the way we read blogs and participate in social media today. I’ve known couples who have poured themselves into every last centimetre of their wedding day details, and for whom seeing the entire wedding come to life exactly how they’ve imagined it for years is a moment worth crying over — in a good way. I’ve also known couples who didn’t deck out their halls and were equally joyous the day they got married. Ultimately, I think the decisions about the design and appearance of the wedding lie with the two getting married, and if tons of details are their thing — go for it. You don’t need them, but if you want them, then the more the merrier!
Your wedding is yours. At the end of the day, you’re still walking out married to the person you love. Everything else.. Is in the details.


Against details – Maisy Carr From Maisy Carr Photography 
When you think of a Wedding what comes to mind? I’m certain it will not be the tiny details that Brides and Grooms spend hours slaving over.
Yes, details do add a certain sparkle and charm to a wedding; especially if you want it to reminisce some of your favourite past times and share your personal style with your guests. Your friends and family know you! That’s why you invited them right? They came to your wedding to witness your marriage, not to mark you on your artistic flare and ability to buy rare items from e-bay.
While they might ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the cleverly crafted table decorations or slip a personalised name card in their purse, they will not truly understand the exhaustion and stress that has gone into making your Wedding stand out from the crowd for those few seconds when they walk in the room.
When planning your Wedding worry about the important things that you will remember for years to come. Make sure you say ‘Hello’ to your guests who travelled from far and wide. Hug and kiss your family and thank them for being there for you throughout the years. Share stories, take photos, eat and drink and relax with your future husband or wife.
Don’t work yourself up the night before your big day worrying if everything will be positioned how you asked, and look how you imagined 10 months ago when you started to create your theme. The chances are things will not be as perfect as you thought and you will spend your day feeling exhausted and looking around wishing for a different wedding, when it was not the wedding you had originally wished for, but the marriage to the person you love.

Detailed Weddings Photo By Toast of Leeds

I’ve been to a couple of weddings as a guest this year and neither wedding had loads of details, and did I care? No I didn’t, I was there to see the coupe get married, to help them celebrate a lifelong commitment to each other. Do I remember the ceremony…yes I cried all the way through, do I remember the food….yes I do and it was lovely on both accounts, did I dance all night……yes I did! What did the guest book look like? Was there bunting? I have NO idea!!

Personally my wedding wasn’t detail heavy, it was simple, easy and it was perfect. 3 and half years ago wedding blogs weren’t as popular, so I wasn’t drip fed image after image of amazing pretty details, so I wasn’t so bothered. PLUS I was getting married in a different country in a beautiful location that needed little or no decoration, so why should I bother? Plus getting everything over to Ibiza would have been a nightmare even if I’d wanted to.
BUT in the UK sometimes it can be different. Our venues aren’t the greatest, and neither is the weather. Because of that a lot of the time we feel we have to make up for that with loads of details and decoration!

Detailed Weddings Photo by S6 Photography

So do I think detailed weddings are on their way out? yes I do! Maybe not straight away, but I think in time people will grow tired of an every growing list of things to do and go back to basics. Venues are getting better and hopefully as the wedding laws get more relaxed or people opt for personal blessings against civil ceremonies in tired licensed buildings the need for so much décor and detail will go!

I always say ‘create the wedding you want, not the one you’re told to have’ and this can be looked at both ways; If you want to make your wedding stand out from everyone else’s then go for it, but don’t stress yourself out in the process!
Details have their place and they are lovely, but I’m looking forward to seeing more natural looking weddings where the couples love shines through!


So what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Have you had or are you having a detail heavy wedding? Has it been a good thing or have you found the whole thing to stressful? Have you, or are you having a simple wedding? Do you think that my prediction for 2013 will come true? Or do you think that details are here to stay?


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    Chris - Smudged Photo

    I imagine it is quite difficult as a wedding blogger to toe the line as plenty of people reading your site are here looking for inspiration and ideas for their own wedding.

    Personally, details, unless exceptionally precious and relevant to the couple are a little irrelevant to my photography. I’m there to tell the story of the bride and groom’s day. How many times will you look back at a photo of that lantern light you spent months and months of stress trying to source? I tend to try and incorporate the details into the backgrounds of photos as opposed to meticulously going round documenting them all in the best light possible.

    I know the stress it put on me and my wife when we got married trying to organise all the little bits and pieces. After that, I don’t think I’ve looked back at the table names I hand designed and made, or the little place cards etc.

    It is difficult if a bride and groom want to make their wedding unique though, but stripped back without any details at all would be my ideal wedding so I can focus purely on the couple and their friends and family without any distractions. That’s just me though! :)

    Rosie @ LoveLuxe Blog

    I personally love details – but ones that really add to the atmosphere of the day and tie in with either the couple or the venue/location.

    I think it also makes the wedding album afterwards really pretty where you can intersect images of friends and family having fun with pops of colour and pretty decor.

    I am a big fan of colour so for me I think that’s why I love involving styling. I am not so keen on having masses of details which mean nothing to the couple, it should be part of the fun of planning a wedding and if you’re not enjoying it then you definitely shouldn’t feel like you need to go crazy. Your guests won’t really remember all that stuff, so it should be something you want to do for yourself.

    Jaye Cole | Tux and Tales Photography

    I am all for a happy medium in life. The best things in life in moderation as my nan used to say…lol. I am glad that brides and grooms have become more interested in the details that make the day personal. (Eg- using book covers as menus if they are fond readers, etc) I remember the days when weddings were coordinated based upon the colour of bow on the back of the chair and what shape of scatter crystal they were going to buy – those kind of weddings can lack soul. I am all in favour of a personal day – whatever personal means to the bride and groom. I love it when our crafty DIY brides have loads of handmade bunting. I love it when our hippy chicks have a non-traditional wedding in a field with hay bales and a ceilidh. I love it when my minimalist brides chose a stunning art deco building with strong lines and paired down fuss. For me it isn’t about whether the details stay or go… it is about whether brides stop ticking a list of what they are supposed to do (whether that list has details or not) and start doing what they want to do.

    Catherine Kerr of eyecapture wedding photography

    There is probably too much pressure for today’s brides & grooms to have certain items because it’s the current ‘done’ thing – eg chair covers when the available chairs are perfectly fine & would prob. look far better/personal with nothing on them or small sprig of favourite flowers or even a pic of the person who’s to sit there. As for organza bows – don’t get me started! Advice I’d give is to look around your home & remind yourself of what’s really you. Above all, it’s your wedding day, your hard earned money so just do what you want. If you want to have the lot and can, just do it. If you’d just prefer good cake & good music, do that instead.

    Laura C

    I had a check point on my to-do list titled ‘Decide and order on wedding decor’. I’ve just checked that off, and yet ordered NOTHING. As a bride to be I am not interested in pom poms, or wheelbarrows full of flowers or tea lights balanced in a tree…I just want my guests to have a great day and to marry my man. I don’t care if the wedding isn’t ‘blog worthy’ (though I understand bloggers want to feature details as inspiration) because it’s our wedding, nobody elses. If nobody sees the pictures but our families that’s ok in my book, in any case, sharing with the world kind of defeats the whole ‘small intimate wedding’ I’d like. If Kelly wants to feature a couple of pictures that’s great, she’ll have worked hard all day to pull the thing together, but if she doesn’t I’m not rushing off to get it blogged. I’ll just sit squealing over the pictures on my own :P


    Becki Mallows

    Details, details, details.. as a crafty bride to be I am all about the details!! I could not imagine our wedding without them.

    Personal touches that showcase not only what we are like as a couple, but also who we are individually are really important to me.

    If I’m a guest at a wedding I look for the little details, whereas my fiance who is into photography will look at how the photographer is setting photo’s up etc it’s just personal preference, but we will both appreciate the concept as a whole as long as it represents the couple who are getting married.

    I totally agree with the concept of your wedding should be done your own way and not because other people expect certain things to happen or be there as part of the decoration.

    So much so that people still take a sharp in take of breath when I mention I’m not having a florist for my wedding at all, the horror is as though I’ve just shot their cat or something!
    I’m not having any fresh flowers and instead having alternatives to where the flowers “should” be.. maybe one day this will be norm but the alternatives we are having speak more volumes about who my fiance and I are as a couple than any bunch of flowers would do.

    But then a minimalist wedding which will be clean and crisp and less fussy will showcase their wedding day just as perfectly.

    It’s all about the couple, the details are just the cherry on top for me personally! The family and friends that are invited to the wedding will know if it’s all “you” or not and will remember your day for that reason.

    Becki xx


    I enjoy them at other people’s weddings, but I don’t think I’d miss them if they won’t there!

    I think our wedding is going to be somewhere in the middle, details-wise. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve, but I really hope that they just complement, rather than take away from, the great big love that the day is all about.

    People will have the chance to add their own details with the paper tablecloths and crayons though… I’m hoping things don’t get too x-rated after a few cocktails ;)


    For me, details are all about what makes the wedding personal and leaves people in no doubt that it is your wedding they are at.

    When we have told people at the little extras we are having at our wedding everyone has said “that’s very you” which is exactly the response we are hoping for.

    As I have become addicted to wedding blogs, magazines and pinterest it has been difficult to get a concept of what is unique and personal as the same things seem to be featured everywhere e.g. sweetie tables, cupcake cakes, birdcage centrepieces. However I think it is also important to remember that the average guest attending your wedding will not be reading every wedding magazine available or googling ‘shabby chic wedding details’ constantly so they may not know if something is a common theme or not! They are there to share your day and celebrate with you.

    What is important to me is the the personal details we are having really reflect us as a couple and our relationship together, and hopefully that is what our end result will be!

    Jo x


    hmm it’s tough subject. When I first got engaged I was full of detail ideas of what I could craft for the big day and what I could do to make our wedding different, but as time went on I realised that it wasn’t worth stressing over and that if I saw sonmething that I liked then I would make it.
    I now have the theory that if it doesn’t mean anything to Jens and I then we are just not having it, for example I refused my Mum’s idea of chair covers for our wedding, as what is the point of them….. sure they look nice but nobody is ever going to say to me in 5 years time ‘ooh I just loved the chair covers at your wedding’ but the personal details such as flowers, invitation, favours and the cake are staying put in my wedding as we have chose something that is us. So I say details are great but in the correct perspective, at the end of the day the people are there to see you and not your guest fingerprint tree :-)

    La Bella Planners

    To say that details are on their way out, is kind of strong. What we have been noticing (as New York City and Long Island based wedding planners) is that people aren’t rushing and purchasing everything they see. What we have noticed, in fact, is that they are being more detail-oriented and really thinking of what characterizes them as a couple. Like you stated, the focus has turned back to the ‘couple’ (thank goodness!!!) but it has turned back to the couple and what they love to do.


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