Spring in Santa Cruz is a time of emergence. As the rain starts to let up, we step into the sun and it’s as if we’re seeing everything for the first time. This honest, vulnerable perspective invites our senses to experience everything more clearly. You and your wedding guests will be approaching your Spring 2018 wedding with this fresh, open perspective. Why not make your big day a feast for the senses?

We’re loving combinations of contrasting elements: organic and built, flowing and edgy, rough and smooth. It’s about experiencing not just colors and shapes, but also textures. As always, there’s no right or wrong answer to your wedding plan because it’s all about what you like and what reflects you. If you keep bringing it back to who you are as a couple, the planning process can be really simple. Just take it one step at a time.

We’ll walk through some of those steps here with you: color themes, flowers, decorations, favors, food menus, and dessert. We’ll share some of the spring wedding ideas and trends we’re excited about for 2018 in Santa Cruz. But we’re also excited to help you find your personalized wedding elements—those that are ready to emerge once you get in touch with your passions and your imagination.

Your spring color theme is a good place to get your wedding planning started. Consider choosing 2–4 colors that you’ll lead with for your decor, dress and accessories, flowers, favors, and desserts. You want these colors to complement each other, rather than compete with each other. We suggest starting with one favorite color and then playing with different combinations around it. Pinterest can be a really great place to browse themes and color schemes, but take care that you don’t get overwhelmed by too many attractive Pinterest wedding options.

More than just a representation of your favorite colors, this scheme will set the tone for the wedding. If you’re going for a softer, more comfortable vibe, you might lean toward blues and greens and play on an ombre wedding color scheme. If you’re going for a livelier atmosphere, opt for warmer colors like pink, orange, and yellow—or introduce these bright shades as pops of color amidst a subtler scheme.

Booking your venue should really come first because you’ll want to choose colors that fit, whether they blend or stand out in the space—whichever style you’re going for, it helps to know ahead of time what backdrop you’re working with.
We love fun pops of color, but you don’t want too many colors distracting people’s attention away from you.
In the spring, it’s nice to find a balance between bright and soft in your wedding hues.
Remember that it’s great to appeal to the sense of texture as well. So, when you’re exploring different color combinations, practice holding up different fabrics and other materials as well:

Crystal Metal Pearl Canvas Wood

Shades of white and blush have maintained popularity over the years, but they are calling for some richer statements to stand out and be focal points for your guests to savor. Peach is the perfect spring shade, mixing a more traditional pink with that emerging sunshine. Here are two couples who played with peach as a focal point: Laura & Peter and Kelly & Ilyssa.

Another great starting point is a cornflower or dusty blue. There are so many color combinations you can achieve from this intimate blue, and we suggest that you really do experiment with many different combinations. You can liven up your palette with bright yellow, orange, or coral pink. You can create a different kind of depth with gray, purple, or greens. Check out Carol & Seth’s ideas.

Green is another color that has maintained popularity in recent years, especially with the trends toward decorative natural greenery. This year, we’re excited about an antique green that is soft but rich at the same time. It’s also a color that would pair really well with a diverse range of colors, from shades of white to pops of warm or cool colors. Here are Tom & Julia’s green ideas.

Sometimes with flowers, more is not always better. Sometimes, choosing really unique and inspiring blooms and then letting them speak for themselves, without crowding them in ample bouquets, is a refreshing change of pace. The flower arrangements that we remember are the ones that challenge the typical ideas of perfection.

Be willing to:
  • Let your flowers feel space and movement
  • Play with different shapes and textures
  • In honor of spring, include some buds, seed pods, and other elements that are still poised to emerge

Experiment with elements among your bouquets and floral arrangements that make a statement. Poppy pods, olive branches, thistles, and—of course—succulents are all edgy and provocative in their own ways. And they’re versatile, able to blend with softer arrangements and are available in diverse colors and textures.

What if your favorite flower choices informed your wedding color palette and not the other way around? The radiant beauty of the Amaryllis and the more modest charm of the Forget Me Not both have a lot to say, especially in the spring. Visit a garden or a flower shop and see what the flowers have to tell you and how they want to be arranged on display.

Pin Cushion Protea


Baby Blue Eucalyptus

While softer colors are front and center this spring, adding bolder decor elements like geometric shapes and metallic materials lend an an edgier, more glamorous feel. Rose gold vases, terrarium-inspired candle holders and centerpieces, and geometric-shaped hanging decorations like lanterns and terrariums add a minimalist, modern feel to otherwise romantic or rustic decor. An angular metallic wedding arch with blunt angles looks stunning when decorated with foliage and flowers that sweep across the upper corner, for example. This style of decor pairs wonderfully with an enchanted forest themed wedding.

If edginess is not your thing, ombre accents create more of a dreamy feel, perfect for a fairytale-inspired wedding. Ombre place cards, tea lights, dip-dyed backdrops, and chair sashes are a few great places to start. If you do choose ombre, however, be sure that the rest of your decor is white or neutral, as pairing ombre with other colors tends to look too busy. Let yourself be inspired by colors, textures, and patterns around you!

Pretty Little Decor Ideas for any Spring Wedding
  • Pepper tables with raw crystals, like rose quartz or aquamarine, for a natural pop of color.
  • Opt for gold or bronze flatware or gold-rimmed wine glasses for an extra luxurious look.
  • Match your jewelry to your metallic tone of choice—it will look amazing in photos!

It’s nice to spin wedding favors in the direction of your event theme and colors—like for a redwood forest wedding. It’s also nice to plan favors with guests in mind and what they might actually appreciate and keep. Just as we see a lot of cake go to waste at weddings, favors often end up going to waste too—whether they make it home with guests or not. So, it’s nice to think of items that are either very useful for people to take away or that are sort of naturally expendable—like fruit!

Peaches make great table markers with toothpick flags stuck in them, especially if you’re drawn to the peach-centered color scheme. They can also be a refreshing snack during a break from the dance floor.

Plantable paper is a novelty item gaining popularity lately. You can find favor boxes, confetti, and even place cards made out of compostable paper with seeds contained in it. So all people have to do is go bury the paper under some dirt somewhere!

Tea bags are classy, and they’re not the kind of silly trinkets people can’t use. You can even find tea bags that are shaped like elegant pyramids in individual pyramid boxes for some extra appeal—an added touch if you are incorporating geometric elements into your decor!

Mini succulents will be exciting favors for people to find at their tables. If they remember to carry them home, succulents are easy to care for. We believe they’ll be trendy for a long time still. You can present them in tiny pots or even mini watering cans.

A personalized rubber stamp is an intriguing way to go if you plan to have small bags or boxes for favors. Fairly inexpensively, you can design your own stamp online and have it delivered in time to make easy DIY favor containers.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a shift away from fancy, multi-course plated meals at wedding receptions. It seems that the days of sending a “chicken or beef” request with your RSVP aren’t coming back anytime soon. Buffets and family-style meals are still going strong and will continue into 2018, but with a delicious new theme—luxury comfort food.

Elevated versions of classic soul food like mac and cheese au gratin laced with truffles, buttermilk fried chicken with garden herbs, and garlicky smashed baby potatoes will delight at many weddings in any season. For spring, including seasonal produce like artichokes, asparagus, green peas, and spring onions will lighten up even the richest dishes. What sets dishes like these apart from those of the past is not only their gourmet status, it’s their ethical ingredients. More couples than ever will be consciously choosing locally grown and organic produce and meats to feed their guests.

Food Themes to Look Out for This Spring

  • Veggie-tastic dishes that are inconspicuously meat-free
  • Gluten and dairy-free delicacies, like ancient grain flatbreads and fermented nut cheeses
  • Fusion cuisines (think Korean taco bar)
  • Food stations for an interactive and exploratory experience
  • Gourmet, artisanal products like freshly baked sourdough breads, pickled vegetables, and locally made cheeses
  • Simple farm-to-table meals featuring spring produce served family-style

The craze for local and organic carries over into wedding drink trends for 2018. Craft beers made in small batches at micro-breweries offer unique flavors and a great opportunity to support small, local business. Couples are also seeking out special wines from lesser-known, up-and-coming wineries to give guests a fresh new experience. Bargetto Winery and Soquel Vineyards have some wonderful options that will please your guests. Make an appointment or stop by for a tasting and they’ll help you pick the perfect wines for your big day.

Craft cocktails are still wildly popular, especially ones that feature unique elements like botanicals, bitters, and nectars. Sangria is the perfect springtime drink that is always a crowd-pleaser. Don’t be afraid of creative blends using California spring fruit, like apricots, cherries, or even rhubarb for a tart twist! Your unique combination could become your signature drink. Not serving alcohol or want some tasty non-alcoholic options? Virgin craft cocktails are a great idea.

Consider Other Non-alcoholic Beverage Options
  • Kombucha, a fermented, slightly sweet tea beverage with refreshing bubbles, looks exceptionally elegant in a champagne flute.
  • Jun, a delicious, wholesome, and super healthy effervescent sweet elixir screams springtime with its light and fruity flavors.
  • Craft sodas from locally made companies, like root beer, ginger ale, and cherry cola will delight the kids and those who are kids at heart.
  • Sparkling or still mineral water infused with cucumber, mint, and lemon is sure to refresh any thirsty guest.

The days of fondant-covered cakes are over and we are seeing more and more natural and effortless wedding cake designs. Naked cakes with roughly brushed icing allow pretty layers to peek out from underneath, creating a rustic, relaxed, and artistic effect, while metallic detailing with sharp angles adds an upscale, luxurious feel. Cakes with marbled or ombre effects look gorgeous with subtle spring colors and seasonal blooms.

If cake isn’t your thing, opting for a doughnut wall with gourmet flavors like maple bacon, mango passionfruit, and chocolate chili is sure to satisfy the diverse tastes of your guests. Of course, couples want cakes that not only look beautiful, but taste delicious too. Modern flavor combinations perfect for spring include earl grey and lavender, vanilla and cardamom, and cherry and almond.

Considerations for Choosing your Wedding Dessert
  • If guests have dietary restrictions, like gluten or dairy allergies, make sure you have an option for them—whether it’s a separate cake, cupcakes, or doughnuts.
  • Make sure the cake matches your decor and overall wedding theme.
  • Consider the cake-cutting ritual—is it important for you to have a cake-cutting photo, or is cheersing with a doughnut more your style?

As you can tell, there’s a lot to consider when planning your spring wedding. And of course, on top of all of these fun details, from the decor and the cake, you’ve got to find the right Santa Cruz venue for your ceremony and reception. While it can be tempting to do it all yourself, with so many moving parts and so many decisions to make, it is a better idea to choose an all-inclusive wedding venue.

All-inclusive venues make the planning experience a breeze, so that you can focus on all the fun details and truly enjoy the wedding planning process. With a personal planner who knows the ins and outs of the Santa Cruz wedding scene to work with you in the months leading up to the wedding, you’ll be able to bring your unique wedding vision to life with the help of an experienced professional and their team of skilled vendors. And on your big day, they’ll make sure everything runs smoothly and effortlessly, so that you can enjoy the most important day of your life.

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At Kennolyn, it’s our passion to help make all your wedding dreams come true. We would love to work together with you on all the little details of your wedding—from the food to the flowers. Our beautiful all-inclusive wedding venues located in the Santa Cruz mountains provide the perfect place for a stunning spring wedding. To learn more or to start your wedding planning journey, contact us today.