The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques

Keep it Simple

Posted by  //  September 18, 2014  //  Local Business

By Shana Karn, Co-Owner of The Second Knob Gifts and Antiques and Shots by Shana Photography 129 North St. Dryden NY

As wedding season comes to a close next month, I find myself reflecting on (as well as still editing photos for) the weddings I shot this summer.

For the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a trend in weddings—- a couple of trends, actually.  Perhaps most obvious for any wedding-blog-following photographer or bride-to-be is the trend in country themed weddings. Barns, barrels, straw bales, painted wooden signs and cowboy boots. It is a good trend,  often making small and large-scale weddings more relaxed, comfortable and fun for everyone (not just brides and grooms!). Along the same lines, this summer in particular, saw a burst of vintage, shabby chic wedding themes. Old shutters, faded ladders, enamel top tables and mason jars.  This summer, brides opted for sandals – a much more comfortable footwear for a long day of standing, posing and dancing. Whether country themed or shabby chic, most weddings adhered to the new “keep it simple” standard for weddings and the outcome…

Relaxed. Here’s the thing.  Even in adhering to a “keep it simple” standard, weddings are a lot of work.  But when couples adopted this standard, the planning seemed to be more relaxed. The couples seemed to be more relaxed (mind you, we will never escape nervous brides who feel faint as they slip into the gown or grooms whose feet cool when they button themselves into their tux) but overall, the couples seem more relaxed throughout the ceremony, photos and reception. As a photographer, relaxed wedding parties are HUGE. Give me any day, a bridesmaid who is happy with the comfortable, cool, flowing gown over a suffering, taffeta-clad, bridesmaid who is not just hot and sweaty but itchy and miserable. The more comfortable the wedding party is, the happier they are and the more easy and delightful my job is.

Even guests seem to be more relaxed as they help themselves to a barbecue buffet versus waiting impatiently for service of a four course dinner.  There seems to be more talking, more laughter, more enjoyment—- more relaxation.  And, interestingly enough, there seems to be less [hard] alcohol being consumed. When a relaxed tone is set, it seems that guests fall back on consuming more wine and beer and less hard booze. At several weddings this summer, the happy new couples chose to forgo champagne for beer and wine. If you are currently planning a wedding, this is something to keep in mind because it is very possible that the relaxed, “keep it simple” wedding will, likely, reduce your bar tab.

The bar tab isn’t the only financial benefit couples may encounter—- simple invitations, simple buffets, simple cakes, simple decorations, simple flowers are all huge money savers.  Handmade burlap bows tied gingerly around a blue mason jar filled with white hydrangea—- tasteful and beautiful and far less costly than the big, pricey centerpieces of yesterday.

The “keep it simple” standard doesn’t mean, “skimp.”  This summer’s weddings were not at all skimpy. They were comfortable and relaxed and enjoyable—- there were plenty of decorations, a lot of delicious food, cake and alcohol.  But there was no scratchy taffeta, no warm, dry champagne and no inflexible adherence to wedding traditions of days gone by (ahhhh, farewell chicken dance!).

Like everything else in life, wedding standards and styles are cyclical (and often, economy dictated) and I have no doubt that we will eventually circle back to chic versus shabby chic. We will see bigger dresses, bigger cakes, bigger bar tabs, silver and gold and glitter instead of soft, quiet pastels. Until then, I am going to enjoy my straw bale seat, barbecue chicken and shooting a simple wedding.

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