In and out: A local planner forecasts Virginia’s next big-day thing

Photo: Jen Fariello Photo: Jen Fariello

There’s a joke in Charlottesville that, whatever trend is popular elsewhere, it’ll be popular here in a year or so. We decided to put that to the test, asking Charlottesville-based wedding planner Adam Donovan-Groves, who keeps satellite offices in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood and New York City, to tell us what’s hot, what’s not and what’s coming for Virginia weddings.

Photo: Michael & Carina
Photo: Michael & Carina


“Extensions! Brides want the hairstyles they want and sometimes, they don’t have the time to grow the hair. They are buying the best extensions out there and having them professionally dyed to match perfectly. It doesn’t matter if they want straight, the ever-popular loose to-the-side bun, or long and curly, extensions are proving to be a bride’s best friend (after their planner, of course).”


“Balance—it is all about balance. First, more greenery. Pantone just announced the 2017 color of the year is called ‘greenery.’ Those of us in the wedding/design industry saw this one coming. Lush greenery is making its way into reception halls everywhere.

“We are seeing less and less of the mixed cream, ivory and pale blushes, soft peaches and more of a balance between bold colors and neutrals. Traditional flowers are making less of an appearance as well. Even the forever-loved standard rose is getting upgraded to the peony-like garden rose.”


“Furniture. Where the focus in the past was on the dinner, now clients are wanting all aspects of their wedding to have special pops. Great lounge furniture for the cocktail hour, instead of just the high and low cocktail tables, is the new must-have. Furniture, which fits the style of the wedding (sleek, clean-lined for modern/contemporary weddings; overstuffed, comfy for an elegant Southern wedding), is something clients are definitely putting much more attention to for the cocktail hour, and then reception space.”


“A very big trend we are seeing in our NYC couples is getting away from the traditional ceremony/cocktail hour/reception wedding format. While the bouquet toss still makes an appearance at some weddings, the garter toss has been put away. For instance, one of my clients is doing the cocktail hour first, then toasts, then dinner, then the ceremony followed by dancing. Another couple is doing a small ceremony first, then having guests arrive for cocktails, which turns into a stationed dinner, then dancing.”

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