By Liz Johnson

(Photo by Kuhlken Photographers, our 2020 Happening List Winner for Wedding Photography.)

For the most part, weddings are on hold for the moment … but you can still plan for one of life’s hallmarks. Here are some trends/ideas as you plan during this time, along with some Hunterdon Happening List Winners who can make the day one you’ll cherish forever.


Sustainability meets the non-traditional this year, with dried, painted or bleached flowers being incorporated into bouquets and centerpieces. Greenery draping from the ceiling, flowers tacked to the wall or used as inventive aisle décor are this year’s splurge. Reusable plants are replacing flowers in many weddings. For creative floral ideas, check out Hunterdon Happening List Winner Gather in Frenchtown.

(Flowers by Gather. Photo by Erin Joyce Photography via the Gather Facebook page.)

Food as Art

On the sustainability front, locally grown and sourced food, edible flowers in ice cubes, salad and on the wedding cake are now the rage. Elaborate cheese and charcuterie tables are replacing the standard appetizer fare. And long, farmhouse-style tables with more creative settings and centerpieces are replacing roundtops. Hunterdon Happening Wedding Caterer Finalist 15 Landsdowne Catering,  located in Frenchtown, is among the caterers using locally-sourced  ingredients to create inspired food.

(Photo by 2020 Happening List Finalist Laura Billingham. Food by 15 Landsdowne Catering & Mercantile. Flowers by Spada Flora’s.)

Finding Someone That Ties the Knot

No wedding can be complete without an officiant, the person who leads the ceremony, orchestrates the vows and asks for the couple’s commitment to each other.  This person can have ties to a religion or be secular, but they must be certified by the state you’re marrying in to perform the function. Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Officiant Mary Melfi, who also serves as Hunterdon County Clerk, performs up to 150 marriages a year and has donated all of the proceeds she receives – amounting to $20,000 – to SAFE in Hunterdon County.

Non-traditional Wedding Dresses Reign

Capes rather than long trains, exaggerated sleeves,  jumpsuits, and skirts are replacing the more sleek dresses of the past (think: 2019). Mismatched bridesmaids dresses are also proving popular this year. For the best in wedding gowns, check out Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Bridal Boutique White House Bride, with a curated collection of designer wedding dresses and an emphasis on couture and kindness.

Tiaras vs. Veils

Veils are still popular, but hair jewelry from tiaras to pearl and rhinestone adorned barrettes and combs are becoming a fashionable alternative. Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Makeup (Salon and Spa) Natural Beauty by Jamie has a boutique filled with handmade jewelry and hair accessories worth checking out.

(Photo by Kuhlken Photographers, our 2020 Happening List Winner for Wedding Photographer.)

Groom’s Attire Changes Color

Blue is the new black. Navy, teal and cobalt jackets are replacing the traditional black-and-white tuxedo. Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Wedding Formal Wear Salvatore’s Tailor Shop in Flemington can dress any groom and his ushers from top to tail.

(Photo by 2020 Happening List Winner for Wedding Photography, Kuhlken Photographers.)

Micro Weddings

With the uncertainty of the coronavirus and the changes it’s bringing to large gathering, smaller weddings are beginning to trend.  Couples are still spending roughly the same amount on their nuptials, but with fewer people – say 40 people or less – they’re able to splurge more on food, gifts and interactive entertainment.  Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Wedding Planner June Beri Events in Hampton can set you up with all you need to make your wedding magical.


Bold colors and textured, recycled paper and soy-based inks are part of the new sustainability trend. Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Wedding Invitation Adori Designs in Pittstown offers a variety of ways to make your wedding invitation stand out, from varying font to adding lace or custom photos to it.

The Wedding Cake

Hand-painted cakes, ferns and botanical themes, and mosaic designs are all trending this year for wedding cakes. Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Bakery Chocolate in the Oven in Milford makes cakes for any palate (and palette) from “naked” wedding cakes featuring exposed cake layers, fruit and creamy frosting to customized, fondant-iced cakes custom made with the intimate interest of bride and groom in mind.

(Photo by Kuhlken Photographers, 2020 Happening List Winner for Wedding Photography.)


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