Marcinho anticipates the use of boutique properties too, but says every type of venue will be popular including large hotels and estates. “Church notwithstanding,” he adds, “we are suggesting many ‘out of this world’ venues including 1930’s and 40’s theaters, rainforests, botanical gardens, yachts, castles, even private islands.” He can even design events on zero gravity flights.
Whatever the venue, ceremonies will be innovative too and Frank reports that one new trend is the ceremony in-the-round. “I’ve done this in all types of venues, from hotels, to lofts, to art museums.” He explains that the circular configuration features a main aisle for the processional, and usually two others where guests enter and exit. One trend Bernadette has noticed is the desire to make guests feel comfortable and relaxed.
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“One of the strongest trends I’ve noticed is that guests are often greeted with champagne or sparkling water. Immediately following the wedding processional, the officiant leads the Validation and Affirmation, where guests toast and bless the couple. This serves to truly help everyone relax and set the tone that this is not your typical wedding.” Vows will change for some couples too, but for others, will remain strictly traditional. Marcinho explains, “As the number of denominations increases which will embrace and honor our unions, so will the more traditional vows. We have had some deeply religious couples for whom traditional rites were vital.” But, he is also seeing more couples working with nondenominational celebrants to customize vows. Bernadette sees this trend also. “The legitimacy aspect is huge for LGBT couples, and many are turning to celebrants who are writing personal, meaningful and memorable wedding ceremonies, or couples are asking friends to officiate.”
Initiating a lighter, celebratory atmosphere while also setting the guests at ease, the Best Man serves champagne as the event begins.
Frank agrees. “If you marry in a church or synagogue, they may insist you use there vows. Most couples in a non-liturgical setting will want something more personal, however.”