2020 wedding forecast

Local event coordinator Jamison Evans shares planning trends, tips and tricks

Courtesy of Jamison Evans

Jamison Evans is a 20-year veteran of the local bridal industry who has been coordinating weddings and planning events since launching her company, Jamison Events, in 2000. She’s also spent time as the general manager of Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu and Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo. An expert in all things weddings, Jamison also hosts a weekly business podcast called “Bridal Business Bootcamp” that explores the inner workings of the bridal industry. The Simi resident says her main goal as a coordinator is always to be in the couple’s corner: supporting them through the wedding planning process and ensuring that their big day goes smoothly.

BEYOND: What are some color and design trends happening right now?

Blush, gold and rose gold hues are still a popular choice for local brides and grooms.

Hues of blues, gold and rose gold set the tone at North Ranch Country Club. (Photo by Lauren Newman Photography; courtesy of Jamison Evans.)

Jamison: We’ve seen a lot of blush, gold and rose gold hues over the past four years or so and I think that’s sticking, along with what people like to call the “rustic-modern” theme. We’re also moving more toward greenery and big, artistic pieces that aren’t necessarily floral but do make dramatic design statements. A lot of it is about making customized displays that are Instagram-worthy and add personal touches.

BEYOND: What about venues?

Jamison: The last few years it’s been more outdoor settings, like ranches, but I think country clubs will come back. Los Robles Greens is one of the most popular right now in the area. Outdoor ceremonies and indoor receptions are big and I think it will stay that way for a while.

BEYOND: Do you think themed weddings will be big this year?

Jamison: I’ve done two “Great Gatsby” weddings already!

BEYOND: What do you think is the biggest wedding trend to watch for?

Jamison: I think Pinterest weddings and the DIY trend has come and gone. Interactive weddings (are big). I did an Indian wedding recently where they had a magician walking around during cocktail hour. My Halloween wedding had a tarot card reader. One of my “Great Gatsby” weddings had drinks being served from a hoop skirt. Character artists are really popular. Interactive desserts, like churro bars, are also really popular. I’m doing a really fun wedding this year that has a hot chocolate and s’more-making station.

BEYOND: Will social media continue to influence weddings?

Jamison: The hashtag trend has come and gone, and I do see more and more unplugged ceremonies. That’s a big one. We’ll have a sign that says: “Please put your phones and cameras away, we’ve hired professionals for this.” For a long time people really wanted that, they wanted people to take pictures and put them on Instagram. But nowadays, couples are telling guests to keep their phones at home until the reception. And I think photographers and videographers like that better, too.

BEYOND: Do you have any budgeting advice?

Jamison: Something I’m seeing a lot of is renting vintage dresses from the Costume Annex in Thousand Oaks. Renting dresses was very common for a long time toward the end of the ’90s. It’s nice to get a designer dress for a discounted rate, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning or storing it. But one thing I usually tell couples is that their budget should be a first pass: 90% of my brides go over their budget. In Ventura County, my average wedding is $35,000 to $50,000. And in 2020, everyone is raising their prices by about 3%. I also recommend ordering about 20% less on the cakes and desserts.

BEYOND: What’s a recent wedding that was a little more nontraditional that you loved?

Jamison: I just did a wedding in Santa Barbara, and I loved the vibe so much. It was an older couple, and they got married at the courthouse on a Friday, and then they went to a nice dinner with just family. The next day they had a 200-person reception, and it was just a party for them. They had their intimate wedding, and a large reception. And that way they were able to accommodate everybody. It was neat.

BEYOND: Are there any wedding traditions that are fading?

Jamison: I’m no longer seeing garter and bouquet tosses. That’s out. What’s been fun is when couples combine the mother/son dance and father/daughter dances into one.

BEYOND: Any major trends that are sticking?

Jamison: Eco-friendly weddings. It was a conversation before, but now things like donating flowers after, going plastic-free and having biodegradable straws are just expected. And I’d say all of my 2020 brides expect gluten-free and vegetarian options. I’ve done more vegan weddings in the last year than I’ve ever done. And that is something that, yes, it’s very L.A., but it’s coming into Ventura County more and more.

BEYOND: Any words of wisdom for brides and grooms?

Jamison: When planning, you have to take what comes and realize that beyond anything else, this day is about the two of you. I like to schedule a five-minute period on my wedding day timeline to have them step away and have a moment just the two of them, to kind of decompress and remember, “We’re here.” It’s an eight-hour day that goes by so fast, and this tends to kind of slow the day down.

BEYOND: Where would you like to see the local wedding industry go in the next few years?

Jamison: What I’ve really seen in Ventura County the last several years that’s unique to this wedding region is community over competition. I’m close with the other coordinators in the area, and I want it to remain like that. Like, if I can’t take a wedding—I won’t take more than 30 a year—I have a list of eight other coordinators that I can recommend to a couple and say, “These are all amazing people.”

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