From bridal showers to gifts, we give you the hottest trends for a season of tying the knot in style.
Three wedding day essentials that never go out of style: creativity, love and personality. So, how does one curate a timeless yet on-trend event? Bruce Russell at Bruce Russell Events (brucerussellevents.com) in Silicon Valley blends his clients’ personalities with creativity. “When clients send me inspirational images, I’m constantly thinking of ways to make things personal and different,” he says. “I prefer to set trends than follow them. That’s why the creative aspect is so important in wedding design today. Innovators think outside the box, so I seek to build a team accordingly for our clients, and their lifelong memories are reflective of that.”
Building the best team means avoiding the pitfalls of trends that will feel tired in two years, and instead welcomes guests to an experience that’s forever on-trend. We explored Silicon Valley and found the latest wedding innovations that are here to stay.
Destination Weddings Close to Home
A destination within a destination is on point right now. With ease of travel not exactly easy these days, opting for a wedding across town doesn’t mean forgoing the extended quality time with loved ones. Couples are expanding local wedding experiences into a weekend of festivities close to home.
Enter Santana Row (santanarow.com), a destination in San Jose that checks all of the boxes, before and after the big day. A group will love the Europeanstyle dining and shopping avenue that includes 100 shops, services and spots to eat—all on one block. The Gents Barber Club is a swanky spot for the guys to get ready, La Donna Bridal has gowns covered, and Hotel Valencia can host not only guests but also the celebration. Drybar can get guests glammed, and Vintage Wine Bar—with a 19th century chapel facade—can host bridal showers, proposals and photo ops.
Park James Hotel in Menlo Park
For larger groups looking to celebrate all in one place, Signia by Hilton San Jose (signiabyhiltonsanjose.com) welcomes wedding groups of up to 1,200. With stunning ballrooms adjacent to foyers drenched in sunlight with views of downtown (an idyllic ceremony backdrop), style abounds here. Looking for more? The property boasts a unique pathway for a baraat procession in the heart of downtown San Jose. Make multiday celebrations easy for guests to experience with everything at one location, with something new and special each day.
Great meals await at Tetra Hotel.
Bridal Showers and Rehearsal Dinners
Engaged couples are seeking to celebrate with as much pomp and circumstance as possible after giving up years of partying. The result: bigger, better bridal showers, over-the-top rehearsals and welcome parties worth writing home about. In downtown Menlo Park, the Park James Hotel (parkjames.com) offers a city escape without the big city. Th e property features Indooroutdoor space that’s ideal for posh rehearsal dinners and chic bridal showers with lots of flexibility. Th e foodie-friendly Oak + Violet offers live music several nights a week with probable celebrity sightings too.
Looking for an experiential shower? Draeger’s Markets (draegers.com) welcomes guests with its cooking school (complete with Champagne), and it’s also a great opportunity to bring families together in a cooperative, fun environment. Couples can even plan a date night for a more traditional cooking class and stock up on any one of 3,000 wines and liquors, custom gift baskets or gourmet grocery goods for a night of romance and fun. With four locations (Menlo Park, San Mateo, Los Altos, Blackhawk), a gift registry and home goods department, floral department and catering consultant, Draeger’s has become a one-stop wedding shop.
The new Tetra Hotel in Sunnyvale
Gifts That Really Say Thanks
Moms and dads, wedding parties and shower hosts are all due their share of thanks on and before the wedding day. That show of gratitude has grown from a formulaic matching gift to one that’s completely unique. Westfield Valley Fair (westfield.com/valleyfair) also has become a hub for brides and grooms. Look for designer jewelers like Cartier and Tiffany & Co., wedding party gifts at Jo Malone and Breitling, wedding attire at Jimmy Choo and Bloomingdale’s, and, of course, great gifts for family too. To say thanks at a celebration, host a bridal luncheon at iChina (it also welcomes tea ceremonies), dine at Eataly in one of its private spaces (great for rehearsals), or celebrate an engagement or wedding reception at the newly opened Mastros.
It’s not just the bride who wants to look her best over a wedding weekend. Wedding parties, parents and guests are getting into the prewedding beauty routine. Upgrade just about anything with a membership or VIP experience (group or individual) at the award-winning Blackhawk Surgery Center (blackhawkplasticsurgery.com) in Danville. Led by Dr. Stephen J. Ronan, MD, FACS, the center is known for having one of the best teams in the Bay Area. There’s a membership program and event and individual treatments ranging from breast surgeries to removal of brown spots, and ongoing treatments like fillers, hydrafacials and Botox injections. The entire wedding party can get treated at a private gathering for those wanting to look picture-perfect before and after the big day.
Modern design elements grace Tetra’s public spaces.
Picture-Perfect Wedding Meals
Wow wedding guests at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley (fourseasons.com/siliconvalley), a sleek and modern urban oasis to call home for a wedding weekend. Whether the big day calls for a contemporary ballroom or a microwedding, the property knows how to create a showstopping culinary experience. The team even serves a signature popcorn cocktail for an Insta-worthy wedding moment. Enjoy drinks in the Sky Suite (up to 40 guests) for a unique setting with a private-residence feel and breathtaking views of the Peninsula Bay Area. Or say “I do” outside with a ceremony in the courtyard surrounded by manicured gardens. Just a short distance to downtown Palo Alto, take the BMW house car for quick trips into town for a weekend’s worth of activities.
The party awaits at Signia Hotel in San Jose.
COVID brought the microwedding by necessity, but the idea of quality over quantity is here to stay. Whether a wedding for eight or 80, Tetra Hotel (tetrahotelsv.com) in Sunnyvale, just 12 minutes from San Jose Airport, is ideal for parties with out-of-town guests and couples seeking something different in their own backyard. The modern understated luxury of the property feels warm and inviting for intimate events. The pool deck is perfect for ceremonies or rehearsal dinners, and the ballroom welcomes receptions up to 80. Make it a weekend experience with nearby wineries, concerts, hiking trails and sporting events bookending the big day.
A gorgeous tablescape and room set up perfectly for the big day at the Four Seasons.
All That Shines
We can’t think of a more personal choice than a wedding ring— something that should reflect a personal and timeless style. Enter Smythe & Cross Fine Jewelry (smytheandcross.com), now in a new Los Altos showroom, which offers couples a custom design process. Rooted in traditional European jewelry making with classic designs and clean lines at the heart, the team ensures all selections will remain relevant for generations to come. Expect exceptional gemstones, precious metals and style elements, along with an experience that includes computeraided design technology and traditional hand fabrication. The result is a truly bespoke design, meticulously crafted by some of the world’s finest jewelry artisans. Bonus: Patrons also will love the boutique’s designer pieces too.
Photography by: LEONARDO MIRANDA/UNSPLASH; COURTESY OF BRANDS