The summer is just around the corner and for those of us who belong to the late-20s to early-30s group, it means one thing: many of those friends you thought would stay young and free forever have broken away from the pack to get married. If you have more than one wedding to attend this year, you’ll some come to realise how quickly the costs can add up, for the guests as much as the couple themselves. From the couple’s perspective, this is an extra-pricey moment in the spotlight, and an opportunity to represent their originality, their personalities and their love to about five hundred of their nearest and dearest.
The wedding must then reflect the intertwined tastes of bride and groom, comprising their personal style and sensibilities. Bearing in mind that the photos, the videos - and these days the instagrams, tweets and pins - will be around for the rest of your life, young couples want the day to look picture-perfect amazing. Enter, then, the 'hipster wedding'. Born, arguably, in Brooklyn by way of a beautifully-lit barnyard out of town, the hipster wedding has become a trend sensation. Photos of painfully hip couples tying the knot in quirky ways are pinned to the 'wedding' board of almost every bride-to-be or hopeful romantic. A true hipster weddings comprises just about everything any cool twenty- or thirty-something could dream up: a great party, great food and a great set of filter photos to match... #hipsterswag
The wedding market is an unfailingly strong one, expanding even in time of recession, but the phenomenon of the hipster wedding has set the online shopping world alight. The digital generation are exploiting the net to advertise their wedding, to nab the latest and greatest accoutrements the world over, and to publicise the finished product on every possible forum.
Of course, the term 'hipster' is vague at best, and has arguably been misappropriated to the point of senselessness - so how has the zeitgeist defined a truly 'hipster' wedding? Do we even know what a hipster is? Is just a guy with a beard, tweed, and a love of all things artisan and locally sourced products? Is it a niche world of artists and creative types? Or is it simply a term which encompasses the current, most cutting-edge trends among the younger generations? Maybe it's all of these things. The only way to truly understand what a hipster wedding is, perhaps, is to bow to the hashtags.
And that's what we've done. We've scoured Pinterest, Tumblr and Etsy to see which traits recur among the #hipster weddings, so that whether you're a trendy wedding planner, a future bride or groom, or just the guest of the lucky couple, you'll know how to identify the exactingly cool, meticulously tatty, painfully insouciant hipster wedding. Of course, you can check out this flowchart if you're still unsure.
10 The invites look like an advert for a graphic designer.
9 The Ceremony is in a barn.
8 There’s bunting!
7 Blackboards signpost the seating plan, the menu and everything else.
6 There are fairy lights.
5 The Bride and Groom have vintage wedding rings.
4 The Bride and Bridesmaids have flowers in their hair.
3 Food is bespoke, artisan and in some way pickled.
It’s all very well and good enjoying the aesthetics at these hipster weddings over the summer, but if you are the guest at one, chances are the food is going to be your main focus after the nuptials themselves. The traditional wedding dinner can be somewhat lacklustre, but this can often be because a large wedding party puts a kitchen- and the couple’s budget- under pressure to fill all those hungry mouths.
2 High class cocktails are served in low grade containers.
1 The wedding photos are amazing, as is the Vimeo video you receive afterwards...
It’s natural for the bride and groom to want to capture the big day on camera, and have mementos to cherish when they are old and grey. But if you’re at a hipster wedding, these are not your traditional stiffly posed family photos. Aside from the fact that the backdrop to these photos is going to be a bunting-bedecked barn in the sunshine with blackboards to announce the happy day, there are some other wedding embellishments that cement the hipster status. Your Instagram feed is flooded with wedding shots, the wedding album itself appears at time to be an advertisement for the variety of filters now available on Instagram and if you're lucky enough, a couple of weeks after the wedding, an email will arrive with a Vimeo link to the big day. Hand held camcorders? Forget it, this is high class stuff capturing every hipster detail of the day, set to a song by a band you definitely don't know yet. Is the hipster aesthetic ageless? Probably not; and these Vimeo videos may be as passé in 15 years as your mom's cringey family wedding photos are now.
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