— -- From the Art Deco reception details of the 1930s to the porcelain bridal dolls that appeared at parties during the 1950s, wedding trends are a distinct reflection of the times in which we live.
Now, as newly engaged couples plan for their own celebrations in 2015, the country's top wedding experts are weighing in with predictions for what themes will reign during the upcoming season and some of their answers may surprise you.
Location, Location, Location
"Creative and unique wedding locations like summer camps, ranches, mountaintop lodges and rustic retreats are all very popular right now," said Maggie Lord, founder of Rustic Wedding Chic and The Rustic Wedding Guide.
Likewise, many more couples may lean toward destination weddings in exotic locales, added Grace Ormonde, Editor in Chief of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style and the newly redesigned WeddingStyleMagazine.com.
"With people traveling more and more these days, engaged couples are looking to give their guests a once-of-a-lifetime experience," said Ormonde. "Locations like Italy, Spain, The Caribbean and Mexico are going to be popular destinations for couples to select for their wedding."
Receptions will be geared toward creating a social atmosphere, said Lord.
"Along with this trend goes the idea of family style food for a reception," said Lord. "Caterers are creating super fun options like large clam bakes offering large trays of food for the entire table."
The serve-yourself bar will also continue to be a staple, Lord continued, "Candy bars have been around for a few years but recently couples are hosting wedding with coffee bars, s'more bars, popcorn bars and more!"
But a convivial tone doesn't mean decor is taking backseat, Ormonde countered: "Designers are introducing rectangular, longer tables that create a statement for intimate family gatherings utilizing a monochromatic color palette."
Meanwhile, ceremony decor is becoming more elaborate with the introduction of glass and mirrored elements, even on beach weddings, she said.
If you can't decide what style of bride you want to be for the night, you no longer have to, encourage experts.
"Whether it's a short cocktail dress for the after-party or a bridal romper a la Solange Knowles, brides are embracing the 'third dress,' said Jamie Miles, editor of TheKnot.com, citing the company's 2015 trends report. "You can try a traditional ballgown for the ceremony, a sleek sheath for the reception, and a feathery short dress for the after-party."
Ormonde also gave the "third dress" the thumbs up.
"For the past few years, we have seen the trend of brides opting for a second wedding dress," said Ormonde. "Brides are now introducing a third look into their wedding day wardrobes. Sexy is in and brides are expressing their confidence and individuality through their third looks. Designers like Ines Di Santo, Galia Lahav and Berta are favorites amongst brides looking to make a chic statement."
The trend is in keeping with a resurgence of white-glove formality, said Miles.
"Casual weddings have reigned for the past five-plus years, but we love that some couples are taking their wedding style in the very opposite direction with lots of opulent details, like a champagne tower, multitier cake and dramatic entrance," she said. "This is your chance to go all out and wear a big, white ball gown and even a crown. Guys can get fancy too in three-piece suits."
Tech is Calling the Shots
Amid all of the eye-catching details, don't be surprised if 2015 weddings also feature more technological advances in terms of photography.
"If you want a view of your wedding from every angle imaginable then try this trend," said Miles. "Some photographers are getting in on the action by using drones to capture aerial shots, like the view of your ceremony from overhead and the amazing scenery. Videographers are doing it too by bringing along GoPro cameras to the wedding in addition to their video cameras."