Every couple wants their wedding day to be unique—that’s the top trend we discovered while talking with some of Adams County’s wedding experts! So, how can couples plan unique, personality-filled, memorable weddings? Read on to learn about all the latest trends.
1. Local, Adams County Flavor
Whether a couple is from Adams County or out of town, Destination Gettysburg can provide the brainstorming spark needed to plan a destination wedding, says spokesman Carl Whitehill. “During the last few years, we recognized Adams County was in a unique position to offer unique venues thanks to our history, barns, and farms…Adams County’s wineries are also popular venues. We’re not wedding planners, but we can connect couples to venues, businesses, and services.”
Wedding resources are listed on Destination Gettysburg’s website; the visitors’ bureau can also provide welcome bags for out-of-town guests.
571 W. Middle St., Gettysburg
717-334-6274 or 1-800-337-5015
2. Venues with a Vista
“One of the trends we’re seeing is the wedding being a weekend getaway, and we are fortunate to have a hotel and two restaurants on property, perfect for the rehearsal dinner or a goodbye brunch,” says Deanna Painter, director of sales at Liberty Mountain Resort. She says couples can choose from a number of venues—lodges offering vaulted ceilings, stone fireplaces, mountain vistas or green golf course views, with indoor/outdoor ceremony options. Also on site: full catering services, a salon and spa, plus a golf course and other recreational activities. “People lead busy lives; they like the fact that they can have everything in one location,” Painter says.
Liberty Mountain Resort
78 Country Club Trail, Carroll Valley
The vistas at Beech Springs Farm include gardens and mountains surrounding an historic barn venue. Owner Jayne Shord says it’s “an extraordinary experience” to share her property with couples and their guests. “Couples have access to the farm for the weekend—one of the biggest trends is that couples are looking for an intimate wedding environment,” she says. Although she says rustic weddings are still trending, more couples are now opting for an elegant flare. Packages include the services of wedding coordinator Stephanie Kann, catering by Biggerstaff’s Catering, a DJ, linens, tables, and chairs, plus lots of extras such as access to a bonfire site.
Beech Springs Farm
784 Mount Carmel Road, Orrtanna
3. Fresh, Farm-to-Table Menus
The biggest trend in local wedding catering? “Couples want fresh items, a farm-to-table approach,” says Painter of Liberty Mountain Resort. “Lots of people consider themselves ‘foodies’ and want a signature appetizer or hors d’oeuvres.” Liberty Mountain Resort offers three levels of catering packages including the opportunity to meet with Chef Charles Rousey and create unique menus featuring locally-sourced produce and meats.
Likewise, at Beech Springs Farm, Shord takes a farm-to-table approach. Much of the produce grown on the farm—fresh vegetables, herbs, and honey— is incorporated into wedding meals prepared by Biggerstaff’s Catering.
4. Traditional Cake Tiers or Casual Cupcakes
“So many brides are going nontraditional…picking unique flavors other than the traditional white cake with buttercream icing,” says Monique Washirapunya of Gateau Monique. “For example, we’re doing a coconut cream cake with chocolate ganache for one wedding. A lot of brides are going with a smaller cutting cake as the centerpiece for their table, using it for photographs and cake-cutting, but then offering bite-size desserts or mini-cupcakes to their guests—things like mini chocolate chip cookies because they’re a bride’s childhood favorite, or petite funfetti cupcakes, bite-size brownies, petite apple or raspberry crumbles.”
Cake customization is key: due to dietary restrictions and food allergies, Washirapunya says she often creates one or more gluten-free or vegan cakes.
5 S. Queen St., Littlestown
5. “Blossoming” Florals
“There’s a huge trend in greenery—everyone is asking for greenery with eucalyptus, and many brides are pairing that with white flowers—it’s very classy, simple, natural, and timeless,” says Mattie Wetzel of Matching Buds, a floral business she shares with her twin sister Celine Wilkinson. “Also, old-fashioned flowers like those seen in a grandmother’s garden are coming back—dahlias, garden roses, hydrangeas.” She says sunflowers remain a popular floral theme thanks to rustic outdoor venues, especially barns.
Many DIY brides enjoy flexing their green thumbs, says Wetzel. “Celine and I both had DIY weddings, so we give that option to all of our brides. We can go through the planning and logistics of flower choices, providing all the flowers the day before the wedding. They can get family and friends together like we did, and have fun arranging them. It can be very fun for someone who has an artistic and creative mind, plus it can cut costs.”
6. Paper Stationery Suites for Sweet Mementos
Jessica Smith says people used to tell her they threw out wedding invitations. “It’s a myth—when invitations are personalized and customized, people love saving them,” she says. Smith founded JesSmith Designs four years ago; the business stemmed from her own realization as a bride that there’s a need for customized, quality wedding paper suite products. Today, she creates everything from wedding save-the-dates, to invitations, place cards, and much more.
“The No. 1 request for artwork is a custom crest or monogram on the invitation that couples can also use on their cake, a wedding album, or display in their home,” says Smith. She says many brides are getting creative with place cards doing double-duty as wedding favors. For a recent winery wedding, Smith wrote guests’ names in calligraphy on cheeseboard and knives which served as gifts.
7. Oval Rings with Bling
Wedding rings—symbols of a couple’s infinite love for each other—come in a seemingly infinite variety of styles. Amanda Kline, designer at Scott and Co. Fine Jewelers, says, “It’s becoming more and more important for couples to have one-of-a-kind [rings]rather than something that is mass-produced. Everyone wants their love to be one-of-a-kind, so why not the rings, too?”
Kline says couples can choose from bridal sets that are completely made and ready; “semi-mounts” that can be customized with stones of your choice; or custom-made rings and bands, from sketches to models to casting, created completely in-house. Trending styles include oval-cut diamonds and mixed-metal rings that intertwine white and rose gold for example. She says the classic round-cut diamond is still popular as it’s the most brilliant option.
Scott & Co. Fine Jewelers
2 Lincoln Way East, New Oxford
8. “Natural” Is Always in Style
“Romantic” is the most frequently-mentioned description of bridal hairstyles, says Nicolette Morley, senior stylist and manager at Gettysburg’s Grace Kelly Salon. She says hairstyles are usually dictated by the style of the bride’s dress. “A lot of brides want that natural look, with loose and romantic beach waves—it’s a look that’s been trending for a few years,” says Morley. “Braids are also very popular whether the hair is up or down. Many brides want a full, romantic look so we often apply extensions.”
In terms of makeup, Morley says while many brides opt for natural looks, others prefer full dramatic makeup for their special day. Manicures typically include a nude, neutral color or French tips on the fingers, with either natural tones or a pop of color on the toes.
Grace Kelly Salon
29 York St., Gettysburg
9. Authentic, Candid, and Natural Photography
“It’s very important to pick a photographer you’re comfortable with,” says Casey Martin of Casey Martin Photography and Celebrate Gettysburg photographer. “You should like their style and be clear about what types of images you like. My style is a lot more candid than posed or formal. But every picture I take is important compositionally.” Martin says various sites on the battlefield provide beautiful backdrops. He says many couples request sun flares in their photos or filters that he describes as a cross between sepia tones and tintype photography.
Casey Martin Photography
Husband and wife team Dana and Vincent Bruisma at EarthMark Photography focus their entire business on engagement and wedding photography. “We try to keep things as natural as possible, capturing natural emotions between couples, using natural lighting, for more meaningful, authentic photos,” says Vincent Bruisma. “We always try to photograph couples in a place that is meaningful to them, to reflect their personality. There are trends that come and go, but we strive to create a timeless look so that 10 years down the road, the photos still reflect them and their relationship. People are opting for simplicity rather than a production.”
10. Bridal Parties with a Purpose
“There’s definitely a DIY wedding trend, and we offer the chance to be creative together, for brides and their friends and family to have a bonding experience together,” says Zachary Lease, co-owner of Board & Brush Gettysburg. As many as 35 to 45 attendees gather to create customized, hand-crafted wooden signs, with all raw materials and instructors provided.
Lease says some of the most popular bridal designs include monogram-style signs. Another option is what he calls a “wedding invitation sign” displayed at the wedding for guests to sign—that becomes a unique piece of artwork for the couple’s home.
Board & Brush Gettysburg
100 Buford Ave., Suite E, Gettysburg