Internationally renowned event planner and wedding designer for Weddings by Palladium, Karen Bussen, elaborates on this year’s wedding trends and how she’s incorporating them into her wedding collection exclusively created for Weddings by Palladium. Embracing traditional elements and fusing them with bold decor, unique lighting and individual style, the Weddings by Palladium wedding collection helps soon to be brides and grooms plan the celebration of their dreams.
“A few years back, destination weddings skewed toward a more casual and minimalistic design,” commented Karen Bussen. “Today, they are full-on events that require a detailed level of planning and personalization. Couples planning a destination wedding in 2020 are likely to host multiple celebrations across a span of a few days allowing them the ability to entertain and engage with friends and family in distinct, flexible ways depending on their group size and the timing of their festivities.”
Pre-Events: Brides and grooms want to make a splash with pre-wedding events they can personalize for their own style and interests and to let the guys or girls have a moment to celebrate together. One of the most sought-after Weddings by Palladium pre-events is the Bride’s Tea Party. A perfect setting for the bride and her gal pals to reminisce and spend real quality time together. It’s also a great precursor to a rejuvenating day at the spa ensuring everyone is relaxed and glowing for the nuptials. For the guys, Weddings by Palladium offers a Groom’s Lounge for a chance to kick back with cocktails, cigars, and appetizers. In the Dominican Republic, we have First Wine, a wine bar experience perfect for an intimate co-ed gathering prior to the big day—tasting wine and even pairing it with small plates to nibble is the perfect way to kick off the festivities.
The Main Event: Private receptions post ceremony are really amping up this year, so we’ve responded with our new Party Lovers Collection that allows couples to choose a ceremony collection AND host a private reception. Party Lovers has two tiers—so that couples can plan more simply or can customize every single element. Both are an amazing value and we find that couples like knowing that they can control their costs while still having the celebration they envision.
Post-Party: After the party, it’s the after party! The celebration must go on and one trend that is still going strong is our Private Beach Bash. This is a lounge-style private party under the stars, and couples can customize it with a DJ, local entertainment, and their choice of food stations. For smaller groups, the Private Beach Bash is often booked as a reception after a semi-private dinner in our resort restaurants. It’s a great reception alternative for small groups, or a really cool welcome party or after-party for bigger gatherings.
With Pinterest and Instagram stronger than ever, décor trends move quickly, and we have to be able to respond to requests and unique visions. I think this year we are going to see bold color pops, elaborate tablescapes, interesting lighting schemes and sustainable elements like digital invitations and eco-conscience tableware. What we’ve found is that many couples have a mood board or palette they want to build upon, but also want the freedom to edit and elaborate the details to reflect their individuality. We’ve responded to this trend with a new approach we describe as “fabulously flexible.” We have the Weddings by Palladium wedding collection which is really like a design catalogue that lets couples start with a mood then build out their vision. And we have the Palladium with Love Collection for those who want something very simple or to start from scratch.
Tasty and Sophisticated
Another trend that continues to grow is inclusive food options and elevated culinary sophistication at weddings and their surrounding parties. Food experiences are at the center of any personalized celebration and people want to create “WOW” moments that surprise and delight, so as a part of the Weddings by Palladium collection, we’ve created a menu of 9 different stations, from Sangria and Tapas and Tacos & Tequila to a Twist Artisan cocktail bar (with premium liquors and recipes that offer a “twist” on classic cocktails), to a Make Your Own S’mores Bar that’s perfect for a welcome party or to add to a Private Beach Bash, which is one of our most popular parties. We also have a Snack Station option which is like a sweet and savory bar that couples can customize. For example, in Mexico, they can choose to add in all kinds of Mexican favorites such as marzipan and tamarind candies, or chips with Valentina sauce. Presentation is also key, so we’ve designed these stations to be visually delicious too!
In each destination we’ve partnered with the best local entertainers to offer for example, fire shows, dance troupes, water drums, etc. We’re so excited about our new Mayan Cenote Dining Experience in Riviera Maya. Surrounded by the crisp mineral-rich waters of a magical cave under a prehistoric jungle-framed sky, couples are seduced by the beauty of the Ix´ mukané cenote, a portal to the ancient Maya Gods. Together, couples can celebrate unity with a traditional blessing ceremony by a Mayan Shaman in a beautifully styled, magical environment that is truly authentic. The ceremony includes music performed by a Mayan musician, indigenous flowers for the couple and culminates with a seven-course dinner inspired by local flavors which are key to bringing the experience of the destination to life. The Mayan Cenote Dinner Experience is truly a spiritual moment.
Adhering to couples’ budgets is paramount and we have simplified our program based on feedback from our clients. In the past, couples sometimes chose their wedding collection based on price, and that meant they didn’t always choose what they wanted most. We tackled that issue and standardized ALL our collections across ALL our properties. So, all the collections are the same base price, and couples can choose to keep it simple or go extra and elaborate every detail based on what they love! We’re fabulously flexible!