Until now, I hadn't written a blog about events or design on my website. I don’t have a good excuse as to why I hadn’t…I just hadn’t done it. I have been asked over and over by brides and other people for help and tips.
So, hold on to your veils ladies and grab your colorful printed socks gentlemen, here we go! My 2016 trends for weddings and other special events are right here.
Grab those mason jars and chalkboards and throw them in the dumpster. It’s time for the glitz and the glam this year. Don’t worry country girls, we can still get you the farm fresh wedding you always wanted, we will just be elevating your look and adding some shimmer. Metallic, glitter, sequins and foils are going to be making their way back into this year’s wedding pallet. Not in the bam, pow in your face kind-of-a way, but in the sophisticated and details way. Just small sprinkles here and there, invitations with foil lettering, muted color sequin linens, and metallic place settings.
Color palettes are always one of the hardest things for my clients to settle on…there are so many choices, how do you narrow it down? Well, you’re in luck because below are some of the palettes I’ll be suggesting to my clients and they aren’t your mama’s color palette either. Neutrals and pale shades of color will be huge this year. Creams and linens paired with gold will, for lack of a better pun, take the cake.
Vineyards, manor homes, old barns and beachside venues are here to stay this season. And why not? They are all beautiful places. More and more brides are making a break from the chapel and taking their ceremonies outdoors. Be unique, and yes, you can be unique even at a rented venue. Something like adding a hardwood aisle to your outdoor wedding, overlooking the mountains, can add that next level of sophistication to your event. Antique architectural pieces like doors and vintage shutters can be used to create walls and spaces even in the middle of the woods. Think outside the box…it’s YOUR day.
Receptions. Here is where the fun begins. Ceremonies are great and yes, that’s what the day is all about and all, but let’s gets down to the party portion already! Receptions are where you will find the people displaying they're true identities and personalities. Through the food, the décor, the favors, your choice in music, and event how you make your exit - all of those things show off the human side of you and your future spouse. It’s where you connect with your guest and leave a lasting impression of your special day on them. Pick the things that make you all – you all. Young people are choosing more sophisticated programming for their receptions. Cocktail hours and signature drinks will be a staple at most receptions this year. The naked cake will be something you encounter at least once during the 2016 wedding season. And to be honest…I love the look of a naked cake, especially when paired with a floral display. To top off the evening, ladies and hipster men with a lot of product in your hair, stand back because it’s all about fireworks and sparklers in 2016. As I have said over and over…glam is back.
Technology is taking over too. Be ready to see an insurgence of tech-related charges moms and dads. These boys and girls love their toys. Wedding websites with guest information, registries and accommodation suggestions are almost a must in this wedding era. Hashtags and the use of social media like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are big interactive elements for your guest. It’s also a way of collecting candids and a wedding timeline from your guest without them even realizing that they are helping. Speaking of our guest…one thing I think will take off in 2016 is the need to accommodate our guest and help facilitate their interactions with each other. Help your guest out. We live in such a big world that weddings bring us together from all over the country and even the globe. So with that, I’d like to plug www.guesterly.com…they don’t know I am doing it…no kickbacks here. Guesterly lets you find out as much as you can about those attending your event. You can then customize your guest’s experience at their hotel or even just by having their favorite soda at your reception. You can then build a printable guest look-book to slip in your hotel check-in packets and allow everyone to feel like old friends when they meet each other.
So remember, it’s a glitz and glam year. Make your wedding and reception personal. Pick what you like; what makes it as authentic and the best representation of you and your spouse’s personalities. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and turn old things to new, repurposed things. Entertain and connect with your guest. Leverage technology to your advantage. But, ultimately remember that It’s your day…so enjoy it.
Come back and visit me again soon. I’ll be going into more depth on each of the areas above in later blogs. I’ll also be throwing out some out-of-the-box ideas as the wedding season progresses. So stop by often!
There are seven billion people in this world, that’s a lot of people, and there is one Devil. One against seven billion does not make for good odds if your goal is the eternal destruction of mankind. Attacking every person individually, well, that would take him an eternity. And even the Devil has to live within our mortal timeline. So how does he do it?
So I thought, if I were the Devil and the odds were stacked against me, what would I do? And because I am an evil genius the thought occurred to me…weapons. I would create a small arsenal of very effective weapons to do the job for me. Weapons that would give me high impact without having to devote much time to what I was trying to destroy.
The Devil has done just that...he has created an eternal-damnation worthy arsenal of highly effective weapons that he uses against mankind. For thousands of years he has tweaked and perfected them…and for our generation they could not be more effective. The Devil figured out long ago he couldn’t personally tend to the turmoil of every human on this planet and as a solution he deploys one of his time tested and highly effective weapons.
I think the Devil has four weapons that he deploys most often and effectively. Four weapons that once triggered he can move on to the next person on his list. Why is it that he can move on? Well, because he doesn’t need to be present for you to destroy yourself.
Weapon One – Bitterness. Bitterness is characterized by intense antagonism or hostility and it is something, I think, we all have struggled with before, if you aren’t right now. Bitterness seeps into our lives and poisons us against others, making us drudge up past transgressions and feelings that send us in a downward spiral. And bitterness only affects one person…you. Bitterness takes hold and makes you miss all the wonderful things God places in front of you. It blinds us from happiness while pulling us deeper into the dark pit.
Weapon Two – Anxiety. Anxiety is distress or uneasiness of the mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. It’s the heaviness that sits on your chest and makes you doubt or fear the outcome of a decision you have made or something that is out of your control. If unchecked it pulses through our veins and is delivered through out our body. You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you can’t function and it all starts as an unsettled feeling that we allow to grow.
Weapon Three – Distraction. Distraction is the divided attention of an individual from the chosen object of attention onto the source of distraction. This one is very effective against our generation. There are so many worldly pleasures available to young people that how could you keep your eye on anything for to long? Technology, money, fame, glitz and glamor are all meant to hold your attention. It’s easy to go from one thing to the next…pleasure after pleasure…and before long, you have completely lost you way. Lost yourself and lost those around you because you couldn’t see out of the fog or take your eyes of the shiny object blocking your view.
Weapon Four – Depression. Depression is feelings of severe despondency and dejection. On our generation it’s the Devil’s most effective weapon, I believe. Depression makes you isolate yourself from everyone. It causes you to listen to the only voice in the room, you own, and when mixed with a couple of the other weapons…well, it’s the most destructive. Unchecked it causes the complete loss of our wanting to exist. It’s a dark and deep pit that to many of our young people today fall into easily.
The Devil is smart and relentless. He wants nothing more than the destruction of every single human being on this planet.
However, God has given us some very effective weapons as well. Weapons that He has perfected and tested over time. Weapons that will always win the war if effectively deployed in our lives. I think there is one that is most effective against the Devil. What is our most effective counter-Devil weapon?
Love. God loved you before the foundation of the world. He looked through time and saw each of us and our sins, yet loved us anyway. Love is something written into our DNA and invades each and every cell in our body. Love is the warm embrace of a parent to a hurting child that has felt the sting of the world’s words. Love is a friend reaching out to a friend who has secluded themselves away in fear and inviting them to coffee and fellowship. Love is a husband turning off his phone when he gets home so he can focus on his family. Love takes many forms.
Two thousand years ago it took the form of a child, a child that would become God’s ultimate display of love—Jesus. Jesus would spend only a few years showing our world a tangible example of God’s love before becoming the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Pouring His love out on a cross and dying in our place so that we could know God and have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
Don’t allow the Devil to deploy his weapons in your life or the lives of those around you. Remember God loves you and show that love to those around you. You never know when you’ll be defusing a bomb in their life.
Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler…”
How often in life do we as Christians come to a place where life’s path splits? I know in my short time on this planet I have encountered several such diverges. A decision must be made and a path chosen. I am a visual person--a creative--which means that my decisions are often governed by what I can see and the conclusions I can draw from the images my brain is processing.
I think a lot of my generation is like that now--visual. We grew up in the world of altered reality, where you could pick up a game console and immediately escape into a fantasy world. There, the creative side of our brains processed thousands of images and drew conclusions about what we saw.
We also have grown up in a time where information is boundless. Gone are the days of going to a library and brushing off an encyclopedia to look up information that had been sitting on a shelf for 35 years. No. BOOM! Within a couple of seconds and keystrokes we can have access to information that is only seconds old.
And if we feel we have something pertinent or relevant to share, we can do that within seconds as well. When our generation looks down two paths we see discovery and adventure. Which path looks the most fun? Which will get us more Twitter followers? Which will make for better pictures on Instagram? Funny how much these questions have become part of today’s decision-making process.
Often, though, the road that seems the easiest and most fun will bring our lives the most destruction and heartache.
How many times has God, after nudging us toward a particular road, looked down and shaken His head, knowing we just chose a different one?
Often, I am sure.
The linear course we start down in life is easy at first. Then, we start to hit the bumps. Or we stop on the side of the road for a selfie. We meet other travelers who maybe aren’t the best companions, but we follow them deeper and farther down the road we shouldn’t be on anyway until, one day, we realize how truly lost we have become.
And then we expect God to fix it.
What we don’t know is that God isn’t going to pick us up and drop us back down on the road we should have taken in the first place--the road He originally nudged us toward. No, there’s a good chance we are going to get dragged through the woods and mud to get back to that road.
You may want to go back and chose again, but you can’t--life doesn’t work that way. But, the whole time we are in the woods and waist-deep in mud, standing right beside of us is our Savior.
See, God already knew we would choose the easy road. He knew we would take the popular road because of the way Satan has enticed our generation with stuff, fun, popularity, follows, and retweets--the visual cues he knows are triggers for our brains. Still, there is our loving Savior, willing to pick us tired and broken travelers up and show us through the muck of the woods and mud back to the road He has for us. The same road that, when we first looked down, looked untraveled, not fun, unpopular, and hard.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It would do us good to trust the Lord more often. He has gone before us and He knows the road He is asking us to walk down better than we do. And He will not lead us into confusion or harm like Satan wants to do. His path may not be popular or visually appealing, but it’s what He chose, and there is no better guide than Him.
So, the next time you come to a place where two roads diverge, remember to take time and listen for God’s nudge. Although it may be down the road less traveled, at least you won’t get there through the woods and the mud.