Out Leadership Announces OutWOMEN Initiative for Senior LGBT Women in Business

Beth Brooke-Marciniak and Martine Rothblatt Will Co-Chair The Launch Salon Dinner In March

Out Leadership, a global business advisory organization, today announced the launch of OutWOMEN, an initiative that champions the success of senior LGBT women in business. Beth Brooke-Marciniak, global vice chair of public policy, EY and a member of Out Leadership’s Global Advisory Board, and Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, will co-chair the inaugural OutWOMEN event in March.


Beth Brooke-Marciniak, global vice chair of public policy, EY and a member of Out Leadership’s Global Advisory Board, and Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, will co-chair the inaugural OutWOMEN event in March.

Out Leadership is a global LGBT business advisory organization that partners with the world’s most influential companies to build business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBT equality forward. Comprised of 65 member firms from the financial services, technology, legal and insurance industries, and dedicated to cross-industry collaboration, Out Leadership is a certified B Corporation and operates two industry-specific business initiatives: Out on the Street and Out in Law, and three talent initiatives: Quorum, which aims to increase LGBT representation on corporate boards; OutNEXT, the first global talent development program for emerging LGBT leaders; and now OutWOMEN, connecting senior LGBT women in business.

OutWOMEN is an important new platform for Out Leadership and the goal is to bring together senior LGBT executives to create business opportunities and cultivate talent (in the pipeline) – and thereby drive equality forward.

Leaders in the LGBT business space and people in the trenches, who are working to deliver on the business promise of LGBT inclusion, have long asked: ‘Where are the women?’” said Stephanie Sandberg, managing director of Advisory & Client Services, Out Leadership. “We’ve observed that LGBT women are often under-recognized and underserved in the conversation. OutWOMEN is our platform to serve this impactful network, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.”

Being out, being senior and being seen to have succeeded nonetheless, makes a difference,” said Ms. Brooke-Marciniak. “There are precious few women role models in the upper echelons of leadership. Just five percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and less than one percent of FTSE 250 CEO slots are held by women. Even fewer of these women openly identify as LGBT. Building this network helps each of us to visualize the path ahead to pursue executive leadership, leverage the full strength of our authenticity, and be the role models for tomorrow’s LGBT women leaders.

OutWOMEN will organize global engagement opportunities for LGBT women in significant leadership positions at major companies. In its first year, it will convene a series of private, invitation-only salon dinners in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong. These dinners will center on engaging conversation and facilitating cross-business opportunity among a curated cohort of senior LGBT women executives. OutWOMEN will also host breakfasts at Out Leadership‘s 2016 summits in New York, Hong Kong and London, which will be open to younger women and allies of the group.

There’s a real dearth of institutional and organizational support for successful LGBT women in business. OutWOMEN addresses a clear and present need,” said Ms. Rothblatt, “The women it will serve face unique opportunities and challenges as a result of their shared identities and experiences, and I’m delighted and honored to help guide the initiative forward. It is an awesome mission.”

Out on the Street connects senior LGBT and Ally executives from major financial services firms to discuss crucial innovations at the intersection of business and LGBT, create business opportunity, cultivate talent, and drive equality forward.

The first global LGBT Leadership organization for the legal industry, by the legal industry, Out in Law connects senior LGBT and Ally lawyers from leading global law firms to discuss crucial innovations at the intersection of LGBT and the law, create business opportunity, cultivate talent, and drive equality forward. Convening at three annual summits in New York, Hong Kong and London, Out in Law leaders collectively set a forward-looking agenda for the global legal industry. Out in Law member firms have access to Out Leadership’s proprietary insights and trainings, as well as to its Talent Initiatives OutNEXT and Quorum.

Quorum is the first initiative to identify and place senior LGBT executives on corporate boards. A quorum is the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at a meeting to validate that meeting’s proceedings. The quality of decisions improves as the diversity of the group making the decisions increases. Every company should ask itself, “Do we have a quorum sufficient to make the best possible decisions?

Quorum seeks to increase representation of openly LGBT directors on corporate boards. The boardroom is one of the last areas in which LGBT individuals continue to have almost no representation or visibility. Out Leadership estimate that that there are currently fewer than 10 openly LGBT directors of Fortune 500 companies – less than 0.3%. And only two companies in the Fortune 500 reference sexual orientation in their board’s diversity statements.

Health Watch: New Lyme Disease-causing Bacteria Species Discovered: Borrelia Mayonii Closely Related to B. Burgdorferi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, report the discovery of a new species of bacteria (Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease in people. Until now, Borrelia burgdorferi was the only species believed to cause Lyme disease in North America.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, first suspected the possibility of new bacteria after lab tests from six people with suspected Lyme disease produced unusual results, according to the findings published today in Lancet Infectious Diseases. Additional genetic testing at the Mayo Clinic and CDC found that the bacteria, provisionally named Borrelia mayonii, is closely related to B. burgdorferi. (To view the article online: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(15)00483-1/fulltext)

This discovery adds another important piece of information to the complex picture of tickborne diseases in the United States,” said Dr. Jeannine Petersen, microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Researchers believe that, like B. burgdorferi, B. mayonii is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged (or “deer”) tick. Photo Credit: CDC

So Far, New Lyme Species Found Only In Upper Midwest

Limited information from the first six patients suggests that illness caused by B. mayonii is similar to that caused by B. burgdorferi, but with a few possible differences. Like B. burgdorferi, B. mayonii causes fever, headache, rash, and neck pain in the early stages of infection (days after exposure) and arthritis in later stages of infection (weeks after exposure). Unlike B. burgdorferi, however, B. mayonii is associated with nausea and vomiting, diffuse rashes (rather than a single so-called “bull’s-eye” rash), and a higher concentration of bacteria in the blood.

The researchers believe that, like B. burgdorferi, B. mayonii is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged (or “deer”) tick. B. mayonii has been identified in blacklegged ticks collected in at least two counties in northwestern Wisconsin. The likely exposure sites for the patients described in Lancet Infectious Diseases are in north central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It is highly likely, however, that infected ticks are found throughout both states.

The newly recognized species was discovered when six of approximately 9,000 samples drawn from residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota with suspected Lyme disease between 2012 and 2014 were found to contain bacteria that were genetically distinct from B. burgdorferi. Scientists analyzed the DNA sequences of these bacteria and found that they belonged to a previously unrecognized Borrelia species. Blood from two of the patients was also tested by culture at CDC, whereby the organism is grown in the laboratory.

To date, the evidence suggests that the distribution of B. mayonii is limited to the upper midwestern United States. The new species was not identified in any of the approximately 25,000 blood samples from residents of 43 other states with suspected tickborne disease taken during the same period, including states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region where Lyme disease is common.


This digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph depicts a grouping of numerous Gram-negative, anaerobic, Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which had been derived from a pure culture. This pathogenic organism is responsible for causing the illness, Lyme disease, a zoonotic, vector-borne, ailment, transmitted to humans by way of a tick bite.B. burgdorferi belongs to a group of bacteria, called spirochetes, whose appearance resembles a coiled spring. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful when used appropriately. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, landscaping, and integrated pest management. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick-borne diseases as well. Photo Credit: Janice Haney Carr

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Nordstrom Launches Exclusive ‘Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28’ Collection

Nordstrom, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of a new collaboration in partnership with international style icon Olivia Palermo. Set to hit Nordstrom stores and http://www.nordstrom.com on February 8th, 2016, the ‘Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28’ collection (https://youtu.be/DJwsD3K0d8Q ) features 32 styles of separates with roots in American sportswear staples, and dresses with a polished and feminine appeal.


‘Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28’ collection Campaign Image (Courtesy of Nordstrom)

As a global fashion influencer through her work as a model, spokesperson and as the executive editor and creative director at her fashion and lifestyle website OliviaPalermo.com, Palermo solidified her standing as a trendsetter for her generation and gained international recognition for her keen sense of style and savvy eye for balancing high and low fashion.

The Spring collection includes versatile separates in signature prints and rich textured fabrics such as suede, silk and leather, as well as an assortment of premium denim pieces including high rise denim culottes, a retro denim skirt, a four-button blazer and a wide leg jumpsuit. These are what Palermo calls “life pieces.”

We wanted to create great separates that are elevated and could mix and match easily to create outfits women can wear all year,” said Palermo. “Versatility was an important goal – being able to wear one item in multiple ways so you always feel polished and put together. A well-cut navy pant can be restyled so many ways and will always be chic. The Military Vest or the Sleeveless Suede Trench can be worn as a vest or as a dress and are the perfect layering pieces, you can mix them with other pieces in your wardrobe to create or change looks throughout the year.”

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Palermo partnered with Nordstrom Product Group, the retailer’s private label design group, to develop the line for house brand Chelsea28, which focuses on modern feminine fashion at an accessible price level. The one-year partnership will produce four collections including spring, summer, fall and holiday. Continue reading

A Park Comes To The Middle Of The Las Vegas Strip

The New Park will Feature Landscape and Design Inspired by the Surrounding Mojave Desert

When one think of Las Vegas, the image that springs to mind is one of glittering lights, luxurious resorts and jaw-dropping attractions. But soon, nestled between Monte Carlo Resort and Casino and New York-New York Hotel & Casino will be The Park, an oasis designed to feel like a microcosm of the surrounding desert landscape that will also serve as the pathway to the new T-Mobile Arena. Set to open in April 2016, The Park will provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of The Strip, allowing guests to relax and unwind in the beauty of modern design while socializing with friends, enjoying delicious food and beverage from charming culinary destinations or strolling through the space to take in the sights of The Strip’s newest architectural marvel.


Artist Rendering of The Park

MGM Resorts partnered with !melk landscape architecture & urban design with the common goal of creating a space where stunning desert landscape and cutting edge design work in harmony. Standout elements such as breathtaking monumental shade structures, theatrical lighting, dynamic water features and meta-quartzite stone sourced from a local quarry offer a modern interpretation of the incredible beauty one finds in the desert.

The !melk team did extensive research, making numerous visits to Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert, studying the geographic and geologic context of area. Their approach was to eschew the Vegas tradition of creating illusions of something else and instead create a place that is directly and authentically inspired by the city’s context, history and landscape.

Once their concept was in place, the !melk team began to search for the perfect desert trees and ground coverings to bring their vision to life. They selected trees such as acacias and honey mesquites (More than 200 mature trees) to provide ample shade from the desert sun. Rather than waiting years for plant life to mature, The Park was designed to be fully grown on opening day, so the team explored nurseries throughout the southwest and meticulously chose the unique trees and plants, which were transported and carefully placed in their new Las Vegas home.

Also hand-selected were the wide variety of colorful blooms that will punctuate the planters. Flowerings plants such as pink hesperaloes, yellow damianitas and purple salvias will create year-round visual interest and color throughout The Park.

Water features, inspired by the Nevada desert’s natural springs, includes a double water wall, which will stand at 8-feet at its highest point and low water tables programmed to allow water to bubble and splash– all designed to create soothing sounds and a calming atmosphere.

Casual restaurants and bars with outdoor seating will flank The Park, providing visitors the opportunity to indulge in delicious fare as they make their way through the space. Whether relaxing under the shade structures, taking photos in front of the spectacular water wall or meeting up with friends, The Park is an enticing getaway that provides a fun, exciting and relaxing cultural experience for all.

Jimmy Kimmel Graces The Cover Of The Robb Report Magazine’s February Issue

Kimmel and A Roster of Industry Icons Unveil Their Ultimate “Bucket List” Experiences

Robb Report, the leading voice in luxury, wants to know what’s on your bucket list? The first-ever Bucket List issue, on newsstands now, profiles a select group of the most influential names from the worlds of entertainment, style, cuisine, business, sports, and music, all of whom have shared their most memorable, matchless, and life-enriching luxury experiences with Robb Report.

Jimmy Kimmel - Robb Report

Jimmy Kimmel Featured on February ‘Bucket List’ Issue of Robb Report (PRNewsFoto/Robb Report)

From an F-16 flight and a high-stakes blackjack game to an African safari and racing at Le MansRobb Report‘s 2016 Bucket List issue explores the world’s ultimate experiences through the eyes of Jimmy Kimmel,Mario Batali, Richard Branson, Sheila Johnson, among others. As a special bonus feature available on both iPhone and RobbReport.com, Robb Report‘s editors share their personal bucket lists, reminiscing about the experiences they have checked off and the ones that are next. (Readers are invited to join the conversation on Instagram and submit their personal bucket lists using the hashtag #RRBucketList.)

Beloved TV personality Jimmy Kimmel headlines the February issue, in which he discusses the ultimate bucket-list weekend he spent fly-fishing with longtime friends chefs Chris Bianco and Adam Perry Lang in Big Sky, MO, home to the Gallatin River where Robert Redford filmed 1992’s A River Runs Through It. Says Kimmel, “You know, I don’t get away much. And to be able to get out into nature and have a little bit of time away from e-mails and telephones—it was really great.”

Kimmel’s great escape—shot by acclaimed celebrity photographer Jeff Lipsky—is memorialized in the pages ofRobb Report‘s February issue and on www.RobbReport.com at RobbReport.com/BucketList, with exclusive video content and one-on-one interviews with Kimmel, Bianco, and Perry Lang.

This issue is really special, especially as we embark on our 40th-anniversary year,” said Brett Anderson, Editor in Chief of Robb Report.Robb Report spotlights and celebrates the best of the best in luxury each month for our discerning readership, and the remarkable experiences on showcase in this issue remind us that even if the span of a lifetime is finite, the possibilities for a life well lived are limitless. I look forward to hearing from our readers just how these amazing journeys, extraordinary explorations, and surprising discoveries impact their own personal bucket lists.”

Also in the February edition, Robb Report test-drives the lithe new McLaren 570S, the marque’s 205 mph,$185,000 “entry-level” sports car. The issue also offers a sneak peek at the year’s most highly anticipated hotel openings and renovations, including the return of the One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas and the debut of the new Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá. And don’t miss a tour of Ralph Lauren‘s new members-only club in Milan, Palazzo Ralph Lauren, where VIPs are invited to shop, dine, and partake in made-to-order special services and events in the highest of style and the utmost privacy.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, Robb Report is the acknowledged authoritative voice in the global luxury market. Widely regarded as the single most influential journal of living life to the fullest, Robb Report covers the newest in what matters most to its discerning and exceptionally affluent audience (and those who aspire to join them), including luxury automobiles, aircraft, fine dining, travel, timepieces and fine jewelry, style and design, arts and culture, spirits, and cigars.

For more information, visit the Robb Report website at RobbReport.com and connect with us (@robbreport) on Twitter,Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Playboy Unveils a New Magazine for a New Generation of Readers

Completely Redesigned Playboy Magazine Features Fresh Franchises, New Contributors, a Renewed Commitment to Art, Literature and Long Form Journalism and, of course, a Brand-new Take on Photographing the World’s Most Beautiful Women

Playboy magazine officially unveiled the most highly-anticipated issue in its 62-year history at the company’s annual party this past weekend at Super Bowl 50 weekend in San Francisco. The long-awaited March 2016 issue (on newsstands Friday, February 12) first created headlines last fall when the company announced it would no longer feature explicit nudity in the pages of its magazine.

Playboy COVER March 2016

Playboy Magazine unveiled the cover for its March 2016 issue featuring Sarah McDaniel, the first non-nude edition of the magazine in its history. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Playboy/Theo Wenner (PRNewsFoto/Playboy Enterprises, Inc.)

Over the past six months, Playboy’s editorial team has been rethinking and redesigning the storied publication, using the intellectual, artistic and literary powerhouse years of the 1960s Playboy as their guiding light. The result is a Playboy magazine for a new generation, full of fresh contributors, new regular features, and an entirely contemporary take on photographing the beautiful women who have made the publication one of the most enduring and successful of all time.

Although the women in the new Playboy magazine don’t bare it all, it doesn’t mean that the March issue is not one of the sexiest in Playboy’s history. This month’s cover model is Snapchat/Instagram luminary Sarah McDaniel as the star of a stunning social media concept cover and pictorial; the March Playmate is Dree Hemingway, whose mother, actress Mariel Hemingway appeared in Playboy in 1982; and artist and model Myla Dalbesio works her magic by taking her own photos for the issue.

Inside the new pages, cover model Sarah McDaniel perfectly describes Playboy’s fresh point of view when she says, “The idea was to look at me from a boyfriend’s perspective.” The pictorials in the March issue are intimate looks at these beautiful women with a very real, relaxed vibe.

Playboy Enterprises Inc Logo

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Playboy Enterprises, Inc.)

The overall dimensions and feel of the magazine have also changed – the size has increased (to 9″ x 11″) and the paper has been upgraded, giving the magazine a collectible feel. And for the first time since 1985, Playboy magazine will be delivered to newsstands without a polybag. The magazine will also benefit from mainline newsstand placement and increased distribution, with nearly 1200 new retail locations carrying the magazine for the first time. In addition, Playboy magazine is expected to be available for the first time via a number of key digital retailers. Continue reading

The Empire State Building Announced The Winners Of 2016 Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest

For The 22nd Year, New York City’s Iconic Landmark to Wed Ten Lucky Couples on February 14th, 2016

The Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., operator of the Empire State Building, has announced the 10 lucky couples who have been selected as winners of the 2016 Empire State Building (ESB) Valentine’s Day Weddings contest.

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, and the Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions as the region’s #1 tourist destination.

The Empire State Building lit in a red dynamic heart of NYC heartbeat lighting in honor of Valentine's Day.


Throughout its storied history, ESB has played a special role in love stories around the world. Well known as the setting for iconic silver screen romances such as Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember, this Valentine’s Day, ESB will honor 10 couples and their love stories with a whirlwind day of weddings at the most famous building in the world. This annual occasion is the only day of the year couples can marry at the site USA Today readers chose as America’s “Best Place to Propose.”

The Empire State Building is thrilled to be part of such an unforgettable day for the lucky couples, as we have been for the past 22 years,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, Director of the Empire State Building Observatory and ceremony officiant. “Their stories of love and commitment make this year’s Valentine’s Day weddings at the Empire State Building one of our most special.”

Aruba Tourism Authority, a returning partner, will surprise one lucky couple with an all-expenses paid honeymoon. The randomly selected pair will enjoy a romantic five-night/six-day stay at the adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort to take in the sunshine, ocean and all that the “One Happy Island” has to offer.

Following their ceremonies, couples can enjoy the famous open-air views of New York City for photos with their guests before they are treated to an exclusive VIP breakfast at STATE Grill and Bar, located on the ground floor of the building.

The couples will have their individual ceremonies on the famed 86th floor Observatory throughout the day on Valentine’s Day as follows:

  • 8:00am – Monique and Mike Baratta (Toms River, NJ) – After a proposal on ESB’s 86th floor Observatory, Monique and Mike’s 2006 ESB wedding almost didn’t happen due to Mother Nature’s plans for snow. Although some family couldn’t make it, Good Morning America captured the joyful event for the whole nation to see. For their tenth anniversary, the couple is thrilled to be renewing their vows in front of their children, whose favorite “movie” is seeing their parents marry on live TV.
  • 8:15am – Vijay Lalwani and Hector Jerome Bondoc (New York, NY) – Returning to the spot of their very first date, Vijay and Hector are excited to be exchanging vows in the presence of their dog, Koki, who is known by his Instagram-famous moniker, @KokiStateofMind. Koki snaps pictures nightly in front of ESB for his 23K followers and is looking forward to witnessing his loving dads renew their vows on top of his favorite landmark.
  • 8:30am – Jennifer Nodonly and Warren Sanders (Baltimore, MD) – Jennifer and Warren became engaged after the tragic passing of Jennifer’s father. Through the hardship, their relationship grew and they were selected to be a part of ESB’s weddings in 2015. As traveling with their newborn was not possible at the time, the couple is ecstatic to be bringing their daughter to New York City for the first time to realize their dream of marrying in the city and atop the building they love.
  • 8:45am – Katherine Baglivi and Joshua Coyle (West New York, NJ) – Katherine and Joshua’s Memorial Day date quickly became more than just a summer romance. From that first Fourth of July watching ESB lit as a backdrop to the fireworks that symbolized their relationship, the iconic NYC landmark has been a constant sight for these lovebirds living just over the Hudson River.
  • 9:00am – Shanta Mali and Sean Smith (New York, NY) – Shanta and Sean will be returning to a place that has shaped their lives. After meeting on ESB’s 24th floor, the couple dated but ultimately lost touch. Ten years later, they’ve found each other again and will make it official in the place where it all began.
  • 9:15am – Betsy Narvaez and Carol Cabello (Jackson Heights, NY) – After a memorable first date on Betsy’s birthday, it became clear their summer romance was on the path to so much more. From their subway platform in Queens, they can see ESB’s spire, a symbol of the city where their life together began.
  • 9:30am – Ying Wang and Jinhan Bai (China) – After falling in love their sophomore year of high school, Ying and Jinhan were separated when college called. On one visit to New York City, the couple tried to make time to visit the Empire State Building, but luck wasn’t on their side and Ying was only able to take a photo of the lobby. Now, with the chance to renew their vows on the 86th floor, Ying and Jinhan will share this wonderful experience and the rest of their lives together.
  • 9:45am – Sadeema Taylor and Kearney Bapteus (Port Reading, NJ) – As is often the case, life simply got in the way of these young lovebirds. After overcoming hardships both together and apart, Sadeema and Kearney, alongside their daughters, are finally achieving their dream of tying the knot. This will be the first visit to ESB for everyone in the family and surely one they’ll never forget.
  • 11:30am – Stacey Price and Andrew Frye (Arlington, VA) – After a trip to the top of ESB at age 22, Stacey fully realized how much there was to see beyond her small town. This trip spurred her into a big move and an even bigger love. Together with her die-hard Rangers fan fiancé, Stacey will add another day at ESB to the list of days that changed her life.
  • 11:45am – Christina and Carl Wahrmund (San Antonio, TX) – Christina and Carl married almost 40 years ago with only a judge present. After nearly 4 decades of “smiles, laughs, tears and tragedies,” they will renew their vows with the family that has witnessed the strength and joy of their relationship grow year after year.

For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.empirestatebuilding.com, www.facebook.com/empirestatebuilding, @EmpireStateBldg, www.instagram.com/empirestatebldg, www.youtube.com/esbnyc or www.pinterest.com/empirestatebldg/. For more information about the Aruba Tourism Authority and STATE Grill & Bar, visit www.aruba.com and www.stategrillesb.com

The Knot Unveils the Top Trends in Weddings for 2016

Contemporary Choirs, Satellite Bars, 3-D Printing and Personal Concierge Pros Are Making Their Way Into 2016 Weddings

The Knot, the #1 wedding resource and an authority on all-things wedding, has released its annual Wedding Trends Report of the top trends for 2016. From satellite bars and two-in-one-dresses to choirs performing rock ballads as you walk down the aisle or dance your first dance, the 2016 trends have taken wedding traditions to a whole new level.


The Knot logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Knot)

Weddings are more personalized than ever, with couples putting their own unique touches on classic traditions,” says Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. “Couples are taking entertainment up a notch by hiring contemporary choirs that will sing an a cappella version of their first dance song, and upgrading the signature cocktail to satellite bars featuring specialty drinks with engraved glassware and elaborate garnishes. Guys are even upping their grooming game and stepping into the spotlight more with custom suits and accessories.”

The Knot Wedding Trends Report for 2016:

Two-in-One Dresses & Fashion-Forward Florals: Instead of making a complete dress change from the ceremony to reception, brides are opting for convertible dresses that combine a formal ceremony gown and a fun reception frock in one. Picture a dramatic feather skirt overlay that gets removed after the ceremony to reveal a lace column gown you can hit the dance floor in. Additionally, flowers are going beyond the bouquet and centerpieces. Vibrant, floral-printed dresses and traditional dresses with 3-D floral appliqués are flooding the bridal runways. Can’t commit to a gown? Try a blooming flower crown.

Wedding Concierge Pros : Wedding planning is getting easier. If an extra hand is needed to execute any element of the day that falls out of the realm of traditional planner duties, there’s a pro—and many times, an app—for that. Popular services include proposal assistance, bridesmaids for hire, bachelor party planning gurus, social media mavens and speechwriters. And The Knot can even help couples find the perfect venue with their Venue Concierge Service—for free! Brides can now hire someone to tackle the jobs they don’t have time for—including live-tweeting your wedding day and training your four-legged ring bearer.

Satellite Bars: Say hello to the satellite bar in 2016. In addition to the standard mixed drinks, beer and wine setup, this second bar is designated for a special spirit. It’s a great way to personalize the party with your favorite libation, or even serve a tasting of preferred wines. Set up a bar that highlights your preferred drink, like champagne or a specialty gin. If you’re down for tequila, try some twists on the classic margarita (hello, grapefruit) or tasteful shooters. Personalize one step further with colored glassware, infused ice cubes or elaborate garnishes, like smoke, that will wow guests.

Contemporary Choirs & Late-Night Karaoke: Keeping guests entertained all night long with special musical performances isn’t new, but this year’s trend is: choirs. Think 20-person ensembles with amazing a cappella abilities. Surprise guests by hiring a marching band or gospel choir and have them perform a favorite rock ballad for the walk down the aisle or an a cappella version of the first dance song. And if you’re hosting an after-party, karaoke is king. A basic karaoke setup and some photo booth props is all you need to keep the party going. Watching friends and family belt out their favorite ’90s hits is priceless.

Sweet Endings: Cakes are getting a design update with graphic prints and textile-like motifs, while plain tiers are acting as a canvas for projecting video displays—the perfect marriage of dessert and technology. The wedding cake is here to stay, but it’s no longer the only dessert on the menu. Passed treats, especially of the frozen variety like shaved ice or fruit-infused ice pops with the couple’s names on the stick, are trending along with installations like doughnut walls.

Wow-Worthy Websites: Weddings have become weekend-long celebrations, regardless of destination, making wedding websites a must-have for all the details guests need. Enter the web designer. Couples are hiring design gurus to create a completely custom site with a unique URL, bespoke details and personalized illustrations. But you don’t need a web designer to get a beautiful site. The Knot wedding website tool offers more than 80 gorgeous wedding website designs that can be personalized to include a couple’s favorite photos and links to their registries. Some even offer matching invitations. Continue reading