2018 Wedding Trends

2018 Wedding Trends

Traditionally speaking, wedding day itinerary has always followed a very specific format, which is why as guests, we have known what to expect down to the dinner menu, and sometimes even the song selections. But, now weddings are becoming more and more unique, and guests are looking forward to surprise elements. 

It is with great gratitude that we thank you, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, Bill Gates, Tim Berners Lee, Steve Jobs, MIT, and all of you other brilliant Internet creating nerds, for giving us a new medium for inspiration. It is because of you that we now know we can serve more menu options to our guests than just “chicken,” “fish,” or “beef.” Finally, we have an alternative platform than just those antiquated bridal publications that, let’s face it, typically utilize the majority of their content space to showcase obscure European designed gowns that none of us would ever feel comfortable wearing. Thankfully, these magazines (ran by a handful of people) no longer dictate what the emerging trends should be, or set the bar for what your wedding day should look like. Thanks to the Internet, and all of the goofiness that comes along with it, newly engaged couples can take advantage of sites that are designed to educate and inspire. They now have a real-time platform that allows them to interact & bounce ideas.
It’s “google-icious,” really!

Today, couples are less concerned about the traditional details of their weddings, and more concerned about the overall experience. The wedding goal in 2018, is to discern how best to incorporate the personal and unique touches that express you as a couple. With that said, the elements that you will start to see in 2018 & 2019 that are being integrated are very off-beat, non-conformist and unconventional. They are in fact, very “Boho,” or Bohemian. And, that, my friends will be the buzzword in the wedding industry for the next two years.    


Bar in Barn and Wall Idea.jpg

Followed by the beach, I am pleased to say, that the wedding venue of choice is still the rustic-chic barn. But, it doesn’t stop there. Couples also want a location that boasts natural, outdoor, scenic beauty- and that is what makes The Farm at Glen Haven, #uniquelyalleghany

Hotels, ballrooms, museums, country clubs, etc. are still being utilized, but younger couples desire a less stuffy, more relaxed atmosphere that can easily be transformed into their Bohemian Rhapsody! Fall continues to be the most popular time of the year to tie the knot, with 40% of all weddings taking place between September and October. Engagement periods are getting shorter, and most couples are planning their weddings in 8-10 months instead of waiting a year or longer.


Pantone Color 2018.jpg

Who would have thought that the Pantone color of the year (make that the next 2-3 years, because it takes time to establish a trend) would be ultra violet? To be more specific, this lovely shade is known as Pantone 18-3838, and while it may a bold, and classy choice for our summer, fall and winter brides, I find it difficult to believe that spring brides will be able to utilize it tastefully. The good news for you spring trendsetters though, is that the elegant Aquamarine, and Custard, are still both popular favorites. What is also hip and cutting edge right now is to build your wedding day colors off of the entirety of a Pantone color palette, instead of just one shade. When doing so, you need not obsess about whether or not your flower colors match up perfectly to your bridesmaids’ dresses and table linens as long as you work within the palette spectrum for your accents.
Designing, or decorating for a wedding in this era is less about creating the perfect “princess party,” and more about crafting an experience by unleashing your inner interior decorator. If you are clueless about interior decorating, ask for help, or just stick to your guns and throw this trend out the window. If you want a princess party, then you should have it. And the cake!

Think vintage, and all of the fabrics that invoke a feeling of vintage- that's what you can look forward to seeing at weddings over the next few years. Tufted chenille, macramé, lace, velvet, and lots of layered ruffles.  It is now safe to not only take your pick of one or two, but to incorporate a wide facet of fabrics at your event. It's cool. You’re a non-conformist, remember?

Go green, because it’s all about the greenery! But, where flowers are concerned, the stunning, magical, but potentially budget draining trend is the ceiling installment. Yes, that is correct: Overhead. Floral. Installment. Can you imagine a more beautiful conversation piece? I have yet to chat with a florist about this emerging idea, but I can only imagine that to achieve the full effect, one must be prepared to pay a pretty high dollar price. Now, that is not to say that this concept could not be integrated on a smaller, more intimate scale for affordability, but choose your installment positioning wisely. If you skimp out, you may not achieve an all encompassing look, and the results could be lack luster, and a waste of money.

Once an elegant choice, large floral centerpieces are now a “flower faux pas.” Brides are now choosing lower profile arrangements in an attempt to make the table more socially inviting. In fact, a lot of brides are doing away with flowers as centerpieces all together, and are instead opting for more greenery with the use of fresh herbs, moss balls, terrariums, fresh plants, (which can also serve as a take home for guests) dried hydrangea, etc. Even more notable, is that some brides are electing to remove the "living element" all together, and are choosing flame less candles and geometric glass and metal centerpieces. The use of metal will become more prevalent in the coming years with the majority of brides leaning toward rose golds and bronze hues. While on this note, couples are also starting to integrate gemstones, marble and other natural rocks for a raw, and earthy look.

As for bridal bouquets, the "cascade bouquet," reminiscent of the 80’s, is all the hotness, and for good reason! Not only can the boho use of heavy greenery be implemented, but the cascade effect is a great choice for brides wanting to carry an onlooker’s eye downward for a glimpse of those slammin’ shoes that she’s wearing!


Brides are moving away from the traditional white, or champagne colored shoes, and are incorporating color. Not only is this an expression of who they are, but that pop of color makes for great photo opts! Note the traditional “something blue” shot above. Aside from sassy footwear, couples are primarily keeping it simple. As for the groom, he is making a more casual appearance. The three piece suit has become the new tux, and the vest and tie combo is now the three piece suit. A lot more couples are opting to use services like theblacktux.com and are doing away with time consuming fittings. Many brides are allowing their bridesmaids "free range dress selection," as long as the colors chosen are within the brides color spectrum. (Which is a fantastic confidence booster, because bridesmaids can now choose the style and color most flattering to them) Hair and makeup have made the shift from big and bold, to a more natural appearance with a focus on highlighting natural features. The "Hollywood-esque," days of glamorously painted eyes with glitter and shimmer are over.

Another new bridal party trend on the horizon is mixed-gender bridal parties. If your bestie happens to be a guy or a gal, they can now stand by your side with little to no judgment. Bridal parties are also becoming smaller and more intimate, so don’t feel so stressed about having to include ALL of your friends, or even making sure that the numbers even out on both sides.

Themed food displays are a must for 2018 & 2019! From the “Bacon Bar,” to a Milk & Cookies station or a Smores Bar, couples are getting creative! Plated meals, and even the traditional buffet have become too formal for today’s couples, and they are opting instead for multiple food stations. Not only are the lines shorter for guests, but couples can be creative with their food fare, making mealtime a more fun and option filled experience. While I would have thought that the chocolate fountain, and champagne fountain were a dying trend, I am shocked to see that they are more popular than ever with young couples even using these fountains for ranch dressing. (Sigh)
Food trucks, are still a popular reception feature, but they are now making their appearances late night as guests are leaving. While the caterer will typically make a to-go box for the bride and groom at the end of the night, your wedding guests don't receive the same courtesy. As a party going guest, there is nothing better than having the option to grab some french fries and a BBQ sandwich just before heading off for the after party, or to retire.

A lot of couples are continuing to use DJ’s, but bands are becoming more popular, with lucky couples snagging the best of both worlds- OR - negotiating with the band, (hint, hint) to use their sound system to play a pre-arranged playlist during the cocktail hour and dinner portions of the event. But, don’t start thinking that you can get away entirely on a playlist, because the reception still needs a cruise director. The importance of having someone behind a microphone directing events cannot be denied. And don't start thinking that you can “always use a friend,” to serve as this person, because you can’t. You need a professional. Besides, your friends want to enjoy themselves just as much as your Aunt Betty does. (Probably more, in fact!)

Couples are still engaging in a “first dance,” though song selections will most likely be unrecognizable to older generations, and possibly even younger ones. No surprise there, as we all know that music changes from generation to generation. Believe it or not, however, up until recently, couples were still choosing to dance to a lot of the classics like as Etta James’, “At Last.”

Sadly, there is an emerging trend attempting to take root that will decimate a time-old tradition. While I wholly oppose it, and will encourage you not to throw this one to the wayside, I will pretend to respect your decision should you decide to break the hearts of your parents. (Just setting you straight up front.) There is a special dance reserved between the bride and her father, and the groom and his mother that will provide you all with an irreplaceable, and special moment to be cherished. If you have even a "semi-healthy" relationship with your parents, please don't consider these dances to be optional. Don't rob yourselves or your parents of this valuable experience. You may regret it one day. Trust me. 

Sparklers are a beautiful send off, but a lot of venues are no longer allowing them, and thus they are becoming less popular. (Lucky you, we still allow them) In their place, however, we are seeing the use of ribbon wands, which still make for a beautiful exit and gorgeous photographs!

A lot of couples are opting for “mini-moons,” following their big day, and are instead planning their honeymoons months down the line after they have had a chance to unwind from their wedding day bliss. This is a trend that we back 100%! There is nothing wrong with taking some time after your reception to reset, enjoy being married, and then scooting out of town for some fresh excitement once your wallet and nervous system have had time to recoup.


For those of you reading this blog that may currently be planning your special day, my advice to you is to trust yourselves. Make decisions that are in alignment for you as a couple, and stay in your integrity. Respect the elements that make you unique as a couple, and let your special day reflect that uniqueness. If you are “boho,” then be Bohemian, and if you are a cowboy & cowgirl, then for heavens sake, let there be leather and lace!

If you have not had the opportunity to visit our Barn venue yet, give us a call to schedule a tour! We still have a few 2018 dates left available, and are currently booking 2019.




Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2018, Farm Friends!

Like you, we have been bundled up and taking advantage of these cold, quiet days of January, to burrow down and weigh out all of the options that this New Year may yield.

The one big question, which is currently on a lot of minds in the area, is whether or not we will be hosting The Homecoming Festival again in June.  While we all had an amazing time last year, we are in agreement with Green Hops Productions, and have decided to take a year off to build stronger partnerships that will ultimately help to make The Homecoming Festival even bigger and better in 2019. We look forward to bringing back this Alleghany County music and arts festival on June 7th, 8th and 9th in 2019, and will not only be incorporating a mountain bike race, but also look forward to integrating a new Virginia art installment in 2019. The Homecoming premise won’t change, and we anticipate having more amazing Virginia musicians, in addition to some great Virginia food and retail vendors! Stay tuned here and on Facebook as details unfold!

We are actively working on our summer concert series, and over the next few weeks, will be encouraging local Virginia bands to submit their information to be considered for “Homecoming” and other 2018 opportunities. If you have someone in mind that may be a good fit, tell them to drop us a line here: info@greenhopsproductions.com

If there is one thing that we couldn’t be more excited about, (other than weddings) it is the planting of our hops in a few months once the sun brings us more warmth! For those interested in our hops project, we will be hosting a free educational workshop in March. We look forward to teaching those interested in our community more about this heirloom Virginia crop, and how they can “hop” on board here in Virginia!

In recap, I am pleased to say that our first annual “Brew Year’s Eve” event was a success! The band, The Antecedents, out of Pulaski County, Virginia, were absolutely amazing, and we can’t speak more highly of them. Without doubt, we will be having them back here at The Farm, and we hope that those that missed them on NYE, are able to next time take advantage of the fun, sing-a-long, and dancable atmosphere that they bring to the table. We look forward to our “Brew Years Eve” event becoming an Alleghany tradition, and hope to see more friendly, and familiar faces again next year!

We are proud to be one of the businesses in Alleghany County, Virginia that is #uniquelyalleghany and we look forward to another fun, successful, and impactful year! Spread the love and let your friends know who we are, where we are, and what we are doing here in southwest Virginia.

Our next blog post will be targeted toward “brides-to-be” with the focus of content centered around the upcoming 2018 wedding trends. If there is one thing that is an on-going passion for us, it is weddings and love. We adore love, new chapters and happy endings, and we love sharing in your love! Regardless if you choose our venue, we hope to help, and want to make sure that we spread the tech tips that will help make your special day even more special!

Blessings to you and yours for a healthy, prosperous, and inspiring 2018! Cheers!

Let Them Get High!

Let Them Get High!

Last week I got trapped in a vortex of writer’s block struggling to figure out how to approach the negative implications of an emerging millennial wedding trend. My biggest hurdle was trying to figure out how to write this post without offending an entire generation, and secondly, how to write it without crushing the spirits of couples that have already made the mistake. Truth is, I don’t think I can slink by unscathed. Someone out there is going to be upset. In fact, there is probably already somebody furrowing their brows, middle-finger ready  because I singled out "millennials." I am truly sorry to those that I may offend, but it is my duty to set you up for success and not failure.

With that said, I believe in traditions and am attached to quite a few, but I am also forward thinking and agree that unnecessary archaic customs should be put to pasture. There is one wedding tradition, however, that I feel should NEVER be squashed, and sadly I am seeing more and more young couples doing away with it. I don’t know when or why this new fad started, but it is an unnecessary travesty that is emotionally robbing your wedding guests.

Let’s take a step back and think about why we attend weddings… We all attend for different reasons, but for 90% of us, the agenda remains the same. We are there to eat, drink free booze, and shake our groove things. And, at the end of the night, we are all looking to get lucky- singletons and married folks alike. We all want the same things, and the fuel that feeds those desires isn’t just the booze, it is a drug called, dopamine.

If you don’t know what dopamine is, it is a very powerful chemical that is released in the brain when we are in love and/or are feeling love. Dopamine release is one of the greatest highs in the world, and that is why narcotics like heroin are so destructive and dangerous. But, that is a rant inappropriate for this platform, and so I digress. Nonetheless, it is one of the most sought after, delicious and natural feelings that we can experience as humans except for maybe the orgasm. (Which is also associated with dopamine, and another topic most likely inappropriate for this platform) The Beatles got it right though, "All you need is love."

There are many moments throughout your wedding event that will give you and your guests little bursts of this glorious drug, but the first and most powerful blast is released pre-ceremony when the bride and groom see each other from opposite ends of the aisle for the first time dressed up for their nuptials. And as the bride walks closer and closer to both of their destinies, it happens. The release. You feel it start in your belly, and then in your chest as it climbs up the strings of your heart looking for escape. (Which is typically through the tear duct) Yup. That’s the one.

So, what exactly is it that these new couples are doing that robs their guests of this joyful experience?  

They’re opting to take their wedding pictures before their ceremony. Which means that they see each other before their vows, and we, as guests, do not get to share in that authentic and intimate “first peek” moment. But, but, but, but, but….. No. There are no buts- except for yours if you decide to make an ass of yourself and deprive your guests of this moment.

We are there to honor you, your relationship, and the tradition of marriage. We are there to share in your love, celebrate your union, and buy you unnecessary kitchen appliances. We are there for the dopamine. And we usually always arrive early. So, don’t fool yourselves into thinking that we won’t see you; because we will.

There is a reason that the “cocktail hour,” is scheduled post ceremony, and that is to give your guests something to do so that your photographer has a solid, uninterrupted hour to capture the bliss on your newly married faces. Don’t worry about your guests- they’re doing great, trust me. They’re making new friends, daydreaming about your dinner menu, taking side bets on speech lengths and trying to guess what song will be played during your first dance. And you know what? They’re happy. And they're buzzing on dopamine.

So, do us all a favor and respect this sacred wedding tradition by keeping it intact. There really is a science behind it, and your guests will thank you. They're there to get “get crunk,” not just on your booze, but also on your love. 

Happy wedding day!

Boost Your System

Boost Your System

The struggle is real.

By the time that this ego-centric virus has seethed its way into your household and bloodstream, there is little reason to run or hide. The best you can do is raise your flag half-mast in surrender, and brace yourself for several days of isolation and sweating through bed clothes.

Despite the plague that swept our house the past two weeks, we still managed to prevail thanks to the time, talents, and healthy immune systems of some terrific team members. We managed to successfully host another amazing wedding, dress our Christmas tree, install a glorious (yes, she’s a beauty) kegerator in The Barn, finish up the plumbing in our catering kitchen, book our 2018, “Cabin Fever Concert Series,” and narrow down our lip-smacking beer selections for the first annual, Brew Year’s Eve Party, this December 31st.

That’s true grit, right there. Alleghany grit.

Next week, we plan on fertilizing the hop yard with several tons of pelletized lime, but, I promise not to bore you too much with those stories. For all newly engaged couples, I hope to share some interesting factoids and unique wedding ideas, and will also be breaching a sensitive subject regarding one of the biggest wedding day mistakes that you can make as a couple. For all of you history buffs, I have plans to write a bit more about our Farm, and finally settle the big, “is it haunted?” question. In the meantime, check out the immune boosting recipe below (courtesy of naturesnurtureblog.com) stay warm, and get your tickets to our Brew Year’s Eve Party! This will be the first event open to the public in our newly refurbished Barn, and we look forward to sharing her beauty with you. Cheers!

Its magical powers take time to harness, so make this elixir now!

  1. 1/2 cup fresh grated ginger root
  2. 1/2 cup fresh grated horseradish root
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 10 cloves of garlic, crushed
  5. Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  6. 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  7. 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves
  8. 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  9. 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  10. raw apple cider vinegar (or Bragg’s)
  11. raw honey to taste


  1. Add the prepared herbs, spices, and lemon juice and zest to a quart-sized jar.
  2. Top off the jar with apple cider vinegar, leaving some room at the top for shaking the jar.
  3. Cover the jar, but place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper under the lid to keep the cider from touching the metal lid.
  4. Shake very well to get everything mixed together, then store in a cool, dry place (like a pantry or cupboard) for a month. Remember to shake the jar daily!
  5. After a month, strain out the pulp through a cheesecloth, pouring the cider into a clean jar. Squeeze out as much liquid from the pulp as possible.
  6. Add 1/4 cup honey to the strained cider and stir well. Taste the cider and, if needed, add more honey to reach desired sweetness.

Administer Daily, & Dose Up!
Take 1 tablespoon a day as a preventive measure, or 3 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold.

Don't Do It!

Don't Do It!

As we sail through what is affectionately known in the wedding industry as “engagement season,” there is one tip that I would like to offer to all new brides-to-be: Don’t buy the dress first!

The first three months of your engagement should be a blissful and magical time where you are allowed to obsessively day dream about your vows & music selections, and exhaust yourself (and your fiancé) surfing the web for inspiration. It is one of the few acceptable times when debating the shade of chartreuse isn’t silly, and discussing the importance of tradition takes on new life. It is also a time when solidifying your wedding date, and choosing your venue are the two most important tasks. The biggest mistake that you can make is to rush out, slip on a gown, and fall in love with your mirrored reflection without knowing the rest of the details.

As a future family heirloom, your dress is one of the most important purchases you will make, but it isn’t necessarily a time sensitive purchase. Having planned countless weddings before becoming a venue owner, I have watched over zealous brides rush out time and time again buying dresses that leave them with buyer’s remorse a year later.

Ladies, (and Gents) the two most important action items to check off your list, are (1) solidifying your date and (2) booking your venue. Purchasing your “dream dress” only to find out that your “dream venue” is booked solid for 2 years, can be heart wrenching. Reserved for an "old world venue," that once perfect, medieval fairy tale gown complete with cathedral veil isn't nearly as flattering when worn self-consciously under the bright lights of a modern art museum venue.

As an event planner, and venue owner here in the Alleghany Highlands, I can assure you that locking in your date and reserving your venue should be your first priority. The Farm at Glen Haven, is a newer wedding venue and we are actively receiving 2018 & 2019 requests, but there are some venues currently booking three years out in advance.

Even after you have booked your venue, remember that there is still a lot that can happen in the 8 months to a year that you will spend engaged. Your style preferences may change, you may gain or lose weight, or you may change your decorative theme mid-process. Most wedding gowns are non-refundable, non-exchangeable investments that range from $1,200-$15,000+, so be sure to budget accordingly, and gift yourself patience.

Planning a wedding can be a joyful, creative and fulfilling process as long as you allow yourself ample time for the changes that you will inevitably want to make. Be sure to knock out the most time sensitive priorities first and then have fun!  Choose your date, choose your venue, choose your theme, and then choose your dress!

Cheers & Happy Engagement!