WEDDING-Lean, green: Easton talks weddings in 2009

Lynn Easton Andrews

Getting hitched in 09? Think lean, green, and customized for your nuptials, according to Lynn Easton Andrews of Charlottesville's venerable events planning agency Easton Events.

After leaving a television production career in New York City for the high-energy field of wedding planning, Andrews has worked in New York and Charlottesville's planning industry for nearly 12 years– planning over 200 weddings throughout her career. As the president of Easton Events, with clients in NYC and C'ville, Andrews– alongside her team of event planners Dickie Morris and Kennon Ibbeken– has planned weddings from the highest economic tiers to those of couples working with more modest budgets of around $35,000 to $40,000. 

"The Easton team loves using the wonderful venues that abound in and around Charlottesville," says Andrews, "but have also planned weddings as far afield as Italy, in a villa out of a fairy tale to a private, ethereal affair amidst the beautiful gardens of a client's childhood home."

With the buzzwords of 2008 revolving around sustainability and economic instability, Easton offers brides three major tips and trends for weddings in '09.

Scrimping and Saving

Despite the current economic downturn, no bride should fear she'll have to have a bare bones event. The biggest trend in cutting wedding costs comes from the increase in the use of wedding websites, rather than sending out various mailed reminders. Still looking to cut costs? Using an iPod rather than live music during cocktail hour and skipping the traditional in-room gift bags allows brides to focus their economic energy on more memorable aspects of their wedding day.

Green weddings

With the increase of green living and a rising awareness of sustainable practices, brides are also looking to add some green into the traditional white-gloved affair. While some brides find the grandest ways of touting their green-ed wedding with hemp gowns and recycled silverware, there are many smaller but nonetheless effective ways to go green, according to Andrews.

"Most brides are now conscious of not wasting during their weddings," says Andrews. "A really big trend this year is in using recycled products and trying to offer transportation to guests."

Along with the increasing popularity of the wedding website– a paperless wedding trail is always a sustainable practice– Andrews recommends thinking local when choosing flowers and selecting vendors. Providing group transportation to guests, so that not every couple is driving from the ceremony site to the reception site needlessly is a growing green bridal trend.

The brand-ed wedding

The biggest trend for modern brides, however, lies in the details. According to Andrews, the little details that tie a wedding together are all the rage for 2009. Whether it be a themed wedding or just a unifying monogram or phrase, brides are packaging their day together in a profound way. 

"We did a wonderful wedding where the bride's theme song was 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered,' so we went out and got antique stamps and postcards," says Andrews. "It's the concept of finding some element– whether you're doing a wedding on the sea, or there's something you love about UVA– in some way you want to create a thread through all the elements of the wedding."

If you're not "branding" your wedding, other trends seen by Andrews include the rising popularity of speciality drinks, the use of vintage cake toppers and dessert bars, providing late night food– grilled cheese sandwiches and mini hamburgers– for guests to chow down on between dances, and skipping guest favors in favor of contributing to charities instead.