Original Is the New Trend

It's trendy to put a whole lot of 'you' into your event, from menus to the party after the party

A trend is something that’s of the moment — but what about when the right now-thing is to be original? If everyone is marching do the beat of their own drum, then nothing is the same, and we find ourselves in a creative pickle. Such is the case with the current situation in event planning, where sentiment and a hint of resourcefulness have become front and center when putting together a big bash.

In recent years, people have taken a more laid-back and casual attitude to planning weddings and events. But even though black-tie and white-tie affairs are still in the wings and not completely gone, the tailored-to-a-T approach is the "it" style.

First things first, let’s start with a venue. Indoor-outdoor locations have become popular — they provide the opportunity for a change of scenery during what could usually be a long night. The space, whether big or small, bare or furnished will be transformed to go with whatever color scheme or theme is chosen. It’s no surprise that orange is the shade of 2012, but specifically, tangerine is the hue. When paired with a smooth minty shade, a punchy yellow, or a paradise turquoise, the palette will set the standard of the formality of the event. A more vibrant atmosphere lets hosts and guests alike feel more comfortable in their choice of dress, whereas a crisp, prim scope hints to guests that this is a proper party and to dress the part.

Menus are becoming much more reflective of the situation. If it’s a wedding, couples are working with caterers to mirror important food memories of meals they've shared as a couple, their hometowns, and even favorite dishes of people in the wedding party. A signature dish created for or by the couple is also a popular trend — usually a cocktail or a dessert, it’s a combination of both the bride and the groom.

Even official dinners have become more personal. White House State Dinners have come to include favorites of guests being honored by the president and the first lady, with recent menus including beef Wellington, potato salad, and baked beans — favorites of the couple and their visiting friends.

Table scapes, invitations, and other décor have become less fussy and more enjoyable, with couples using photo strips of themselves for save-the-dates, and maps, postcards, and pressed lettering to make the décor more casual. For other events, invitations come in all shapes, and sizes, and some even without an envelope. Paperless invitations have grown in popularity as well as those that include a trinket — a balloon, a key, a "ticket" to the event —to make the invitation standout to guests.

Lastly, calling it a night means going out with a bang or continuing the party elsewhere. After parties are all the rage, with menus and venues all their own. Comfort foods, breakfast bars, and various desserts make for a perfect ending touch or an ideal beginning for the wee hours of the morning, as does an open bar.

Whatever the occasion, trends like cupcakes towers, moonshine in mason jars, and brooch bouquets might be replaced by new ideas, but originality never fades. Incorporate as much "you" as possible in your event to make it your own and it will all fall into place effortlessly.