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Top Engagement Trends of 2013

garter by Andrea/freakapotimus (flickr)

As I search and study and plan, plan, plan, for my upcoming wedding, I've noticed some trends in weddings and engagements over the last year. Some of the things have evolved over several years, and others seem to have sprung up out of nowhere; but either way, weddings have changed a lot from their traditional roots. I'm going to try to cover a bunch of the most interesting engagement and wedding trends 2013 brought about, most of which I've come across during my own planning. Let's start with engagement rings!

Engagement Ring Trends - 2013

Engagement rings with floral details - These details can include everything from vines to tiny buds and blossoms on the band. 2013 brought nature into the engagement ring design and created a bit of rustic beauty that is subtle and elegant – even whimsical, if you will.

East-West engagement ring settings - this means the stones are set horizontally to make the stones appear larger.

Simple settings with a single larger diamond – In terms of engagement ring trends, 2013 featured some of these simpler designs and brought a bit of nostalgia. The simple setting and single diamond is a style that was popular 20 years ago and is actually very much like the ring worn by my mom.

The Garter & Bouquet Toss

The trend here isn't that these were popular, it's that they weren't. Some of the wedding traditions people have come to expect are becoming a bit more passé; for example, the garter toss and, even more shocking, the tossing of the bouquet.

If I had to guess… it's probably due to how awkward retrieving and reapplying the garter can be! The bouquet toss isn't nearly as awkward, but have you ever been to a wedding where only a small handful of single ladies stand waiting to catch the bouquet? If you have, then you can understand how uncomfortable it can be. Who wants to be singled out as one of the only singles in the place? Very few people, I assure you! How about we don't make the single girls feel even more uncomfortable and lonely than they already may.

Plus… skipping the toss means the bride can preserve her bouquet for the future. Win-win!

Colored Wedding Dresses

Today, white dresses aren't being worn to represent the bride's virginity, as they once were. It's actually somewhat interesting that white dresses are considered as traditional as they are, considering that women originally wore their best dress on their wedding day, no matter what the color.

It wasn't until Queen Victoria that white was considered the color of choice in wedding attire. Keep in mind, this is largely a Western tradition; in other cultures, other colors may be considered traditional. In Ireland, for example, brides wear blue on their wedding day. In 2013, more colored dresses were selected by brides to be as their garment of choice. Pale colors, including light blues, pinks, off whites, and peaches, have started appearing in bridal shops and on brides around the United States.

Bridal Showers Hosted by Family

Traditionally, the family of the bride could not host the bridal shower, because it was considered greedy and self-serving. Now, in 2013, the bride's mother is welcome to host the bridal shower, if she pleases; usually this is done with the help of the bridesmaids.

Gifts

At one point, it was not acceptable to advertise the places you'd registered for wedding gifts or to ask for cash. Today, wedding guests expect to be provided with registry information when they receive the shower and/or wedding invitation and, most often, give cash as a gift. With more couples living together before marriage, many already have the essentials that are given at weddings – the toaster, the blender, the salad spinner, etc. They probably have enough pot holders, blenders, and plates and don't need or want more.

No +1s for Single Guests

This is a tricky one. More and more couples tying the knot are inviting single friends and family over the age of 18, but not providing them with a plus one. Part of this is due to finances. The cost per person is going up, and couples are trying to figure out where to draw the line; however, more people are also in long term relationships without getting married, so the question becomes, how can you invite one member of a household and not the individual's significant other? Some suggest inviting only the couples you socialize with on a regular basis. No matter what the situation is not ideal for all. You don't want to exclude anyone, but you don't want to spend an outrageous amount of money either – I think it's a delicate balance that needs to be struck.

Flowers

In 2013, some of the wedding floral trends include arrangements and bouquets making use of exotic flowers. This replaced the wildflower trend that was seen in 2012. Jewel tones were also very popular. Deep plums, purples, and blues, were largely featured as part of monochromatic color schemes.

Pinterest

Yup… this is definitely an engagement trend for 2013 in and of itself. Brides and grooms gathered idea after idea for their wedding by scouring Pinterest. While it is still considered a site primarily used by girls, grooms were also guilty of gathering and sharing ideas on their boards this year.

Every year some of the styles and trends from the year before evolve and others stay around for a while. We saw an interesting mix of vintage and modern among the year's wedding trends. 2013 brought more color into the mix, but engagement rings have begun a transition toward more basic, traditional designs. Here's a tip from this bride, regardless of trends and what's hip, do what's right for you as a couple – it is, after all, your special day.

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