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Pacific Northwest Wedding Trends: What the Pros Have to Say

Whether you want a simple, traditional wedding or a sleek, modern affair, wedding trends play a large role in the planning process. Incorporating modern trends into your vision of the perfect wedding will create a style completely unique to your event—and you might even save a few dollars in the process. To further unpack regional wedding trends, we asked Michelle Culp, owner of Essence of Events, LLC, to share some of her insights into the local wedding scene.

Keep it Green

Bridal hairstyles in this region have begun to incorporate dark leaves and small branches. For a beautiful, down-to-earth alternative to the hackneyed flower crown, talk to your hairstylist about incorporating greens into your wedding day look. This also provides some much-needed flexibility—these greens aren’t tied to a single season, and you’ll be able to incorporate them no matter your theme. You might even end up saving a few dollars.

If you do choose to use flowers, single-bloom bouquets are becoming increasingly popular. This modern twist on the tradition is simple, elegant, and—like the greenery—might end up saving you some money. Additionally, Culp points out that she’s beginning to see a lot of green décor—if you’re not enthusiastic about the idea of holding small branches instead of flowers, consider incorporating the color into your decorations.

Go Vintage

From vintage gowns to antique furniture, weddings in the Pacific Northwest are beginning to see a blend of old and new. Want the vintage look without sacrificing your dream dress? Culp recommends using wine barrels as décor, or open bulb café lighting to set the mood. She also advises the couple to explore alternative reception seating options. Stand out from the crowd and share an antique couch, vintage chairs, or locally-made seating during your reception meal.

Big Picture Planning

Seattle is a young city, which means most engaged couples are either in school or starting to build their careers. Culp mentioned that she sees couples opting for more extravagant and elaborate venues in Seattle rather than simple rooms. This eliminates the need for additional décor, thus saving a good amount of time. Concomitant with this, Culp noted, is the trend toward more formal affairs with fewer guests.

Details, Details, Details!

Details and décor are central to your wedding’s feel and atmosphere. Culp notes that she sees a lot of pillar candles inside of cylinder glass vases as center pieces. She also added that she sees garlands everywhere—“on arches, down aisles, on guest tables, cake tables… just everywhere.” This will also help to incorporate the established green trend in local weddings.

Another tradition to be modified by a modern trend? Donut and s’mores tables instead of cake. Culp said that she sees a lot of DIY desert bars in this region, usually incorporating some type of local tie-in. However, if you choose to go the more traditional cake route, think about sprucing it up with textures, watercolors, and geometric shapes.

Incorporate Some Local Flair

The most important trend for the Pacific Northwest? Emphasizing your location! Weddings in Spokane, for example, can look to take advantage of the local food movement that’s going on there. Meanwhile, Portland and Seattle, notorious for the importance they place on buying local, are increasingly turning toward “city/state pride” with their wedding plans. Culp explained that she sees a combination of blues and greens to “stay with the Pacific Northwest feel.” She said that this also helps to incorporate the natural beauty of the area, and—if you’re a sports fan—the Seahawks.