Couples today want their wedding to reflect their unique story, and they’re finding creative ways to do it. With the variety of venues, dress styles, flower options, food choices, decorations and invitations available, and websites like Pinterest and The Knot to provide ideas and inspiration, couples can mix and match wedding elements to make their day memorable for everyone involved. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the latest trends to choose from if you’re planning a wedding.
Until De Beers launched its famous “A Diamond Is Forever” campaign in 1947, diamonds were not synonymous with engagement rings, and today, more brides-to-be are wearing colored gemstones or gemstones in combination with diamonds. Less traditional diamond settings such as two-stone diamond rings, east-west settings that lie horizontally across the finger, and vintage settings are also popular right now. Other engagement ring trends include floral, intertwined or braided bands, and yellow or rose gold instead of traditional white gold or platinum.
Most brides still wear white for their big day, but for those who want something different, pink dresses will be the most popular alternative in 2017. Floral-printed dresses also are making a splash on bridal runways.
The fall 2016 bridal fashion week showcased a lot of skin, with deep V necklines, off-the-shoulder designs, cut-outs with either lace or sheer insets, and back-bearing styles. Three-dimensional floral details that appeared in 2016 also remain a popular choice with designers. Corsetry, peignoir-inspired designs and more relaxed lace gowns that reflect a Bohemian style are also prominent on the runway.
In contrast to the more revealing styles, some designers went with capelets and ponchos as gown toppers, something that ties in with another trend, convertible gowns. Convertible gowns reflect a trend away from having a second dress for the reception, while still allowing for a different look and easier movement for the bride who wants to dance. Some convertible features for 2017 include removable bows, trains and layers.
Choosing a color scheme sets the mood for your wedding and makes decisions about flowers, decorations, and favors a little easier. Pantone’s color of the year in 2016 was actually two colors, Rose Quartz and Serenity, a dusty periwinkle blue. Now these colors are showing up in weddings either together or separately and are mixed with grays or ivory. Metallics are still popular, but in more muted shades than bright gold or silver.
The setting of your wedding also influences the mood. Barn and garden weddings will be popular in 2017. Choose the tone you want to set first and foremost, keeping in mind a rustic barn or garden can also be elegant, and a ballroom or restaurant doesn’t have to be formal. The food, decorations, set up and presentation all contribute to the overall effect.
Additional trends for 2017 include smaller, more intimate weddings, which allow the bride and groom to spend more time with their guests, and themes such as rustic chic, vintage, boho, tropical and fairy tale.
One of the biggest decorative items at a wedding are the flowers, and 2017 will see flowers that reflect the Pantone and metallic color schemes as well. According to the Society of American Florists, more subdued colors of flowers mixed with muted grays will be popular, as will tropical flowers with jungle-inspired looks. Couples will use more greenery and fewer flowers as well as mixing in succulents and herbs and using more interesting filler flowers than baby’s breath. Non-traditional bouquets and centerpieces will include fruits and vegetables. In addition, couples are opting for fewer traditional roses in favor of in-season flowers or a mix of seasonal flowers and roses.
More than any other wedding trend, food and how it is served has really taken center stage, with brides and grooms embracing a variety of different food trends and incorporating them into their celebrations.
Some couples are choosing to have brunch or daytime weddings, which can be less costly and might feature an omelet or waffle station, yogurt parfaits and Bloody Marys. Others are moving away from traditional sit-down dinners, with some opting for seating guests at long tables instead of rounds and serving dishes family style.
Another big trend is food and drink stations. Stations make things fun for the guests and reflect the couple’s favorite foods or their families’ heritage. Think of a food court of choices with an elegant presentation, such as:
- A barbecue station with different meats and sauces
- A seafood station featuring crab cakes, mini shrimp cocktail and salmon sliders
- An Asian station with wontons, spring rolls and chicken skewers
- A build-your-own fajita or taco bar
- A mini station featuring bite-sized comfort-food favorites like soup shots, macaroni and cheese bites and tiny sandwiches.
Perhaps one of the hottest trends that you might be surprised to hear is crossing over into weddings is food trucks. If you like this idea, you have to consider your venue carefully. Food trucks need permits and a place to park, and you’ll want the trucks located conveniently for your guests. If you like the idea but don’t think it will work for your venue, look for a caterer to provide street foods at your venue instead of having your guests go to food trucks.
Today’s earth-conscious couples like using organic, locally sourced foods at their weddings. Also popular is offering food as an experience, such as having a chef make fresh guacamole or sushi. Breakfast for dinner is also a rising trend, so don’t think you can only have waffles or omelets if you’re having a daytime wedding.
When it comes to drinks, couples have been offering signature cocktails for a number of years. Now, they are also offering drink stations highlighting a specific type of beverage, such as mimosas or margaritas available in different flavors or a craft beer station. Non-alcoholic drinks also lend themselves to stations, such as one with different lemonades, sodas, or flavored waters.
Just as cupcakes had their moment, other desserts are now popular at weddings in addition to or in place of a traditional wedding cake. Pies and dessert crepes are two such options, as are doughnuts, which come in lots of different flavors and colors for variety and a pretty presentation. Don’t feel pressured to have a cake just so you can do the traditional first slice. These days it’s fine to do a ceremonial slice of pie or split a doughnut instead.
If you want a cake, wedding cakes with buttercream icing are making a comeback, replacing fondant. Naked wedding cakes, with minimal or no icing and decorated with flowers or fruit are also popular and fit in well with rustic or boho themes.
A 2016 trend continuing into 2017 is the late-night snack for the after-dinner dance crowd. After dinner and dessert, couples provide snacks such as pizza, French fries, popcorn, personalized ice pops, snow cone bars, or cookies and hot chocolate for their guests.
Destination Weddings Prove More Than a Trend
Destination weddings have a lot going for them. They take place in romantic locales, are usually more intimate, provide a vacation opportunity for guests and a honeymoon destination for the bride and groom, and they typically cost less than at-home weddings. According to the Destination Weddings Travel Group’s annual statistics and trends forecast report, the average cost of its customers’ weddings has been less than $10,000 for more than a decade.
Just like at-home weddings, couples want to personalize their destination weddings. Some are turning to smaller hotels that offer more privacy and customization options. Using locally sourced food and flowers not only reinforces the location but is more cost-efficient as well. Serving a local liquor or cocktail also is a great way to tie into the locale.
Destination weddings usually involve a few days of activities, and couples are providing custom maps or guides of things for guests to see or do in their free time. Including touches from home in the wedding and small favors for each wedding-related event are also trending.
The Destination Weddings Travel Group reports couples going with a rustic glam feel at their weddings. They’re using metallic and natural accents like wood and stone to achieve this mood.
Tropical beaches remain some of the most popular wedding destinations, with Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Costa Rica at the top of the list. Couples who are concerned about the Zika virus can look to places not affected by it, such as Hawaii.
Not all couples head to the beach. Some choose a spot that has special meaning for them, others select a new location to explore with their close friends and family. The Destination Weddings’ report says more couples are heading to Canada, Iceland and Italy. Same-sex couples are finding they have many more options about where they tie the knot, with Ireland, Spain and South Africa emerging as popular spots.
Whatever kind of wedding you have, put your signature on it by incorporating a few of these trends or setting some of your own.