After analysing results from a survey of over 2,000 Brits, top Berkshire wedding venue Newbury Racecourse has discovered the factors the British public see as bang on trend for the big day. Your Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wedding talks to the venue about its findings...
To have and to hold my beer
Nearly one third of Brits see a free bar as the ultimate requirement for the big day. In fact, 'an unlimited bar' was the most popular answer when respondents were asked what their perfect wedding would consist of. Guests and newlyweds may kick themselves the morning after, but adequate drinks are top of the list for an on-trend wedding.
Flight of fancy
There was a period when fancy dress weddings were all the rage. Alice in Wonderland, Disney and even Shrek have all served as inspiration for wedding attire. But for your own happily ever after, fancy dress no longer seems to be the fairest of them all. Only eight per cent of respondents said 'guests in fancy dress' would make for their perfect day, meaning fancy dress has been relegated to the world of 'once upon a time…'.
Show your true colours
The white dress may be one of the most iconic images of matrimony, but Brits believe it's one of the most at-risk aspects of modern marriage. 39 per cent of respondents agreed that the tradition of the bride wearing white was no longer a certainty. Whatever your thoughts on this development, it stands as a stark reflection of modern society – brides are not bound to one colour and have far more freedom to express their personalities. Be sure to show your true colours!
Save the first dance
Whatever song you choose, don't miss out on this time-honoured tradition. Celebrating the newlywed's love with the first dance is the most important wedding custom for 28 per cent of Brits. The first dance dates back to the 16th century, when guests of honour were invited to be the first to bust a move at the grand balls thrown by aristocrats. Yours may not be quite so fancy, but relish the opportunity to throw some shapes or glide elegantly across the dance floor as a newly wedded couple.
Something old, something new…
Some traditions are just too adorable to let go. One in five respondents believe that the bride wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is one of the most important customs. The convention was traditionally incorporated into weddings to bring the bride good luck, which is perhaps the reason it has remained so popular.
Strike up the band
According to respondents, the second most important factor for a perfect wedding is a live band. In fact, 27 per cent of respondents opted for this, only marginally less than those that wanted a free bar. A live band offers class, personalisation, and an energy that can't be replicated by a DJ. If (live) music be the food of love, play on.
For better, for worse… speeches are an ever-popular convention. One in five agreed that speeches are the most important wedding tradition – made by the father of the bride, the groom and then best man (in that order). Sticklers for tradition will enjoy the formality of the speeches, whilst everyone else will enjoy the humour.
Despite this tradition originating long ago when arranged marriage was the norm, 34 per cent of the public feel that the groom not seeing the bridal gown before the wedding day is the most important tradition, allowing for a touching moment when the groom first sees the bride.
A summary of the trends of today: treating your guests to an unlimited bar, making time for traditional speeches, hiring a live band and enjoying a sit-down meal will mean your wedding will be remembered for all the right reasons. Brides choosing a dress colour should feel no pressure to conform to the norm, but nosy grooms should be kept well away!
Of course, the most important piece of advice is to have a wedding that, ultimately, you are happy with. What is, for many, a once in a lifetime opportunity, the event should be as personal, traditional or unconventional as you would like (fancy dress included).
Go to Newbury Racecourse to find out more about their wedding packages - and keep reading Your Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wedding to find out more about how to plan your big day, your way.