Kelly Teves, owner and creative mind behind Angelic Affairs Wedding & Event Planning and Floral Design operates her business out of two locations: Newport, Rhode Island and in Beverly Hills, California. However, technically, she operates worldwide, planning weddings as far away as the Azores Islands, and even farther. Her wide array of talents, and those of her staff, enable her to design and personally implement your entire event from save-the-date cards, to personally created florals, to personally created Swarovski and silk ribbon-adorned candles, to miraculously transforming a former 1880’s military armory into a fairytale venue for a fairytale night.
Her knack for armory-to-amorous concepts--backed by her knack for creativity-- is something Teves developed through yeas as a model and an interior designer, her training through Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, and now ten years as an event planner--has become somewhat of a brand. “We particularly specialize in planning custom, unique, offbeat, out-of-the-box, themed weddings and events,” she says.
Teves’ outside-the-box events require more than creative talent on a variety of levels, however. They include having an up-close familiarity with the latest in wedding and reception trends, and she is on top of it all for 2016, and even beyond, with well-informed predictions, the first being that weddings will be more elaborate, but not in the traditional sense. Rather, they are becoming elaborate in terms of their creativity, with those outside the box themes for which Teves has become widely known.
But she says that although couples are looking for creative weddings, many come to her not knowing what they want, so she begins immediately to develop a theme “I send a questionnaire and help them figure it out. For instance, I ask how they first met, about their first date, what they like to do together and individually. Then, we take their data and design a wedding that is custom tailored to who they are.” One example is a wedding theme based on one partner’s past career as a pin-up model, the other’s career as an entertainer, and a proposal taking place on an island. Mixing these events led to a vintage 1950s Coney Island theme, with the ceremony on a stage, reminiscent of a stage show.
Teves said that one current trend, which she forecasts will continue, involves another former time period, the 1920s and 1930s, such as her cousin and partner’s Great Gatsby-themed wedding. Teves says this time-frame theme has impacted wedding color choices too, with décor in black with touches of red or pink, or black and gold or silver with accents of deep red. “I don’t know what started this trend,” Teves says,” but it seems to be here through 2016, and even for my couples planning weddings for 2017.”
This return to the 1920s and 1930s is impacting other facets of the wedding too, including bridal wear and formal wear, and Teves says this can present challenges. “They’re looking for vintage, which can be hard to find. Vintage wedding dresses often have to be ordered online.”
For grooms, Teves sees fewer tuxedos in themed weddings, unless they are 1920s-1930s themes. “Grooms are trending toward suits versus a tux. And suits are not all black, but maybe navy blue, or even patterned. There are patterned ties and vests, also.” She adds that other grooms are even wearing khakis, jackets and vests, such as one Kennedy-era wedding she’s creating for a Newport celebration this spring.
Couples are also sliding more into what Teves describes as their own “comfort zone,” meaning going with their own wishes, not necessarily those of others. “In particular, there is less input from parents,” she explains. “This can be challenging because couples want something new, and parents often want a more traditional wedding. But as parents start to see things fall into place, most eventually embrace what their kids want to do.” Again, the armory wedding provides a classic example. “The wedding was at an 1800s armory, which had also been used as a flea market and for bands and shows. One of the fathers couldn’t visualize that place as a wedding venue.” But Teves says he came to love it. “I was actually brought to tears because of his heartfelt speech at the wedding. He looked around and thanked my vendors for how they had transformed the space.”
Couples are changing up their food and beverage choices too. “For drinks, a lot of couples want craft beers They like unique drinks, and some couples want no alcohol at all, but rather soda.” Teves says patterns are similar for reception dining. “A lot of couples want that casual feel, and they’re going for stations rather than the sit-down dinner. It’s a little more homey, and people can mingle.” She adds that food trucks are also becoming a trend, and at one of her travel theme tropical summer weddings she had a huge tent, and a barbecue truck catered the wedding. The couple and guests wore casual attire including Hawaiian shirts, lace cocktail dresses and flip flops. She adds that every centerpiece included a photo of the couple traveling, and the cake was a globe.
Teves says trends in desserts are changing too. “People are pulling away from wedding cakes. First, it was a cake and cupcakes too, or a smaller wedding cake on a table filled with other desserts.” She says that one of her couples opted for a variety of pies. “Pies have become a favorite.”
There are new trends in music, too, a mix between DJs and bands, especially bands for the 1920s themed weddings. “A lot of others are going with the IPod,” she adds, “and their own playlist. This is great for the more casual wedding.” For those who choose DJs she says the more traditional wedding themed songs are no longer that popular. “The couples who go with DJs aren’t choosing trending music, but instead, their favorite songs, like from 1970s and 1980s.”
There are also new trends in flowers, photos and entertainment. “Back in the day, flowers were a very big thing for people. But they’re a lower priority now. Some go with fresh flowers, even paper arrangements.” However, Teves adds that photos are receiving more attention. “People are spending their money on very good photography, with many people leaning toward a vintage look, the older looking photos.” She says that the use of 35 mm film is popular, or editing photos to “age” them. Photo booths are popular, and couples are having games such as bocce ball.
Weddings are smaller now, too. “Much smaller,” Teves says. “The average size is now about 60 to 80 guests, versus the 200 to 300 people that couples invited years ago.” She says that even her couples booking with her into 2017 are setting guest counts at under 200.
However, destination weddings are gaining ground, and smaller numbers of guests can facilitate taking over an entire location, and one example is a snowboard/snow lodge themed Vermont wedding Teves just completed. “Destination weddings are becoming very popular, especially with so many couples being from different parts of the country, and even the world. So, they choose someplace in between and fly their families in. At one I did recently at a Vermont lodge, the wedding was small, with 40 guests. They rented the entire property for the wedding. Guests came in on Thursday and had a rehearsal, then hearty food, stew, then, they went outside and cooked s’mores.” Other activities included visiting a local bar to hear the band, and some guests went skiing and snowboarding over the weekend.
Teves adds that while destination weddings are on the rise, weddings in churches, synagogues and other religious settings are waning. “A lot of weddings are non-denominational, or they’re merging elements from two different religions. Most couples are being married by a family member or friend who has known them for a long time.” She says couples continue to write their own vows and readings too.”
Teves is known worldwide for her uber-creative weddings, but she recalls how years ago she had to relocate from New England to Los Angeles to find a larger outlet for her ideas. “I moved to California to plan more non-traditional weddings because the weddings in New England were still more traditional.” However, as trends changed toward the more creative weddings over the years, New England clients called her back, hence her east coast and west coast locations.
But Teves can work her magic anywhere worldwide, including the Azores Islands. “My family is originally from there, so that makes it easier to work with clients there. It’s been fun working there,” she says of one past event, “because they want more Americanized weddings. So I took elements of what was trendy in United States back then, and had all the guests release balloons.”
Regardless of the wedding size, theme or venue, one new trend is catching on fast: giving back. “We encourage our clients to donate their leftover food to local homeless shelters as well as flowers to a local hospice or hospital that is special to them,” Teves says. “So far, all of our couples have done that, which is very rewarding for all of us.”
Sarah Howery Hart is a California-based freelance magazine writer, and author of the first in her series of murder mysteries, Catch ‘n Release: The Game. Avaliable now on Amazon.com!
Website URL: http://www.sarahhoweryhart.com