Brides have already broken up with tiaras and Hummer limos. Now, the betrothed are giving over-the-top nuptials the kiss-off. From simple designs on letterpress invites to floral greens pushing aside a rainbow of blossoms, these wedding vendors make going au naturel feel au courant.

Photo Credit: Angelina Rose

Jenny’s Wedding Cakes

Goodbye, fondant—the so-called “naked” cake is here to stay. Jenny Williamson says tiered cakes that are airy and light are much more tasteful than other trends she’s seen in 20 years in the baking business. Today, her blank canvas is usually embellished with fresh fruits or flowers, and sometimes hand-painted silver or gold leaf. “When antiquing became popular, we had a lot of ‘vintage’ brides, and then it went overboard into rustic,” Williamson says. “I’d call today’s preference ‘tailored rustic.’ It’s more structured and approachable.” Even flavors have veered from simple vanilla to herbaceous, with crowd favorites such as strawberry-basil and lemon-and-thyme. “It goes back to that whole feel of everything being homemade and homegrown,” Williamson says.

Photo Credit: Holly Rike

Love Notes by June

Though she works on brides of all ethnicities, more and more of them are asking for what’s earned June Chan rave reviews from her Asian brides: eye-widening techniques with lots of tasteful false lashes and lighter-toned shadows. “The colors I have to use vary on the culture, but the more color you use the smaller the eye will look,” she says. “I always find the soft, romantic, natural look that works for everyone, and that’s what they’re asking for.” Chan adds that most clients are moving away from the heavy foundations of yore for a smooth base of primer, color correction and concealer. She finishes with an airbrushed layer “that’s still your own skin and lightweight” but that will stand up during the course of what can be a very long day.

Photo Credit: Snap! Weddings (above), Paul Reynolds Photography (below right)

Table & Tulip 

Lynnae Terrill compares the move toward textural fresh greens and lush, lighter-hued blossoms to a watercolor—not entirely surprising from someone with an art history degree. “Today’s feel is more classic and timeless. It’s a composition that five or 10 years from now won’t be something where you can say, ‘Oh, that was the flower of 1995,’ ” the event coordinator says. “There are always trend moments, but right now we’re trending toward subtlety. It’s now a watercolor, versus pops of color.” Enter foliage and ferns for a fresh, outdoorsy feel no matter the season or venue. Towering flower centerpieces are being replaced by greens, a moderate number of blossoms and what Terrill calls a “combination of maximalist and minimalist”—delicate glass bottles of various shapes and sizes, often arranged with candles. Says Terrill, “Candles aren’t only romantic and timeless but they also create a glow that’s helpful because a lot of the venues around town have dark wood paneling.”

Photo Credit: Holly Rike

Sophie Hughes

Sophie Hughes doesn’t wear her own engagement ring every day. The jewelry designer is working with her hands all day and can’t deal with the raised setting from the ’70s. “It’s a beautiful family piece, but it’s really tall and it will spin to the side and get uncomfortable,” Hughes says. “I often think about what I’d make if I made my own engagement ring, and it would be a bezel setting—nice and low.” That practical-yet-classic design, lower-set without prongs, is just what many of her engaged couples are requesting these days, especially those working in Boston’s medical field. 

Hughes says people come to her because they value the form and function of her pieces, which use recycled precious metals and antique reclaimed gems. “It’s very generational to have something personalized, and ‘dainty’ is something we see a lot as a request,” Hughes says. “I love it, but as a jeweler it’s a challenge to make sure engagement rings are durable and wearable day in and out because you have to protect everything balance-wise with a center stone.”

Photo Credit: Holly Rike

Goosefish Press

Gone are the days when an invite required several dollars in extra postage and a separate folder with inserts. Today’s stationery is clean and streamlined, says Goosefish Press’ Rob Charlton. “We used to call it the paper bomb. But with letterpress, you don’t need to dress it up with ribbons, bows and enclosures. The nature of letterpress is the quality, which stands up on its own,” he says. Highly tactile with usually just one color for embellishment, Goosefish’s hallmark is iconic line drawings of local landmarks like the Cambridge skyline, Fenway Park and Public Garden. The other characteristic that feels timeless, Charlton says, is the quality of paper. Since the cotton fibers are made for letterpress printing, they’ll look the same many years after the wedding day.

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