Mis-matched bridesmaid dresses, bridal showers and bridesmaids walking down the aisle first – all cool wedding ideas that have made their way across the pond. But what other American wedding trends are big right now, and what impact will they have on UK weddings?

Michelle McMurray runs Wedding Story Writer in the US and writes up weddings for brides to have as keepsakes of their big day, so she’s well placed to keep an eye on new trends and fashions coming through.

modern vintage style 8529

Evening parties

“Long wedding dresses with detachable skirts which change the gown into a cocktail frock are becoming increasingly popular over the US,” says Michelle. Alfred Angelo and Watters offer this type of dress here in the UK and we love the idea, especially if you’re getting married on a beach, or planning a chic city-based ceremony with a cocktail reception. These clever two-in-one dresses allow you to kick up your heels and dance all night too!

Straps are back!

On the flip-side, one long-standing style seems to be falling out of favour. “Strapless dresses are decreasing in popularity,” adds Michelle. UK brides still seem to be in love with this traditional design but they are mixing it up with boleros and wraps, creating one look for the day and another for the evening.

Flatter your figure

Continue reading below…

Figure-flattering styles also seem to be big news across the pond. “Layered dresses or those with ruching are bang on trend in the US right now,” says Michelle. If you’re looking for a gown to flatter your figure, you can’t go wrong with some ruching around the tummy. A fitted structured plain bodice with no detailing can be very unforgiving but introduce a few pleats and you’ll be more confident you’ve camouflaged problem areas.

Flirty short styles

Short bridesmaid dresses are huge in the US right now. And now you can get married in the UK as late as 6pm, it makes real sense to dress your best girls in short cocktail-style frocks, particularly if you’re having a drinks reception and dance afterwards. You don’t have to put them in minis or knee length dresses – a ballerina length bridesmaid frock can look equally wonderful. “Plus more and more US-based brides are allowing their maids to choose any style of dress they like within a particular color shade,” adds Michelle. Here at Wedding Ideas we love this trend. If you hate your arms, you’d be horrified if the bride made you wear a halter top – but this way you can choose a dress with sleeves that flatter you. And of course, if you have a particular feature you know is your best, you can choose to highlight it.

family wedding ideas

Vintage dresses with a twist

“Stateside brides lucky enough to have access to their mother’s or grandmothers’ wedding dresses are displaying them on mannequins at the reception” adds Michelle. “This creates a beautiful focal points for the guests, and add an element of genealogy to the wedding festivities.”

Rustic themes

When it comes to themes, the US brides seem to be following in the UK’s footsteps! “Rustic and vintage themes are popular with US brides,” explains Michelle and they are still going strong over here. Wedding Ideas predicts the rustic festival-style theme will be big news for 2014, as will the glamorous 20s-inspired look.

vintage photography

It’s all about family

Personalisation is becoming increasingly important in UK weddings, and the same seems to be happening Stateside, too. “In the US, ‘Family’ is playing an even bigger role in the décor of the wedding than it has done in years gone by,” says Michelle. “Many real brides have displayed a photo of their parents on their wedding day at the reception. Today brides are including these precious photos as table adornments, sometimes surrounded by flowers and favourite childhood books – these can then double up as the perfect take-home treat for children coming to the wedding.“

Food, glorious food

“With food, anything goes,” adds Michelle. “Less of the steak, but heavier hors d’oeuvres.” The same goes for UK weddings. Food trucks are the rage right now, showing up at all times to provide food and snacks to guests, allowing them to party longer, knowing there’s a surprise coming at midnight. Or if you want a more cool, contemporary vibe, food stations are really big right now, too. Offer your guests a choice of seafood, indian food, mexican wraps and more and they’ll be talking about your reception for years to come.

Which US idea do you like best? We particularly like the idea of using family photographs as decorations and having previous family wedding dresses on display. Imagine your grandmother’s frock from the 1950s alongside your mum’s 1980s number! What a talking point!

If you’re planning some vintage styles for your big day our Vintage Weddings section has everything you need to help you plan a fab retro celebration.