The Biggest Wedding Trends for 2016

February 6, 2015

 

There’s a strong spirit of individualism in the air this new year, with couples keen on infusing their ceremonies and receptions with personality — their own.” How does all of this individuality come together? In the details, of course! Here are the most noteworthy wedding trends we’ve got our eye on this year.

 

The Look

British invasion. Tables are often uncovered or simply adorned with a vintage lace cloth. Lush garlands get turned into runners and loosely styled floral centerpieces hang from above.

Modern luxe. At the opposite corner of the inspiration board is a more sophisticated interpretation of romance. Brides who covet sleek style will gravitate toward clean color palettes with bolder accents. Think varying shades of white or ivory with a burst of poppy red, or black-and-white with a punch of emerald green. Square dining tables, clear “ghost” chairs, geometric place settings, monogrammed napkins and sculptured floral arrangements help set a sophisticated tone for the evening.

Eclectic elegance. Falling somewhere between the above interpretations of romance is a resurgence of the grand wedding — make that grand with a capital G. That means formal tablescapes, butler service, candelabras and other soft lighting, dramatic cakes, lavish fabrics and formal floral arrangements. The eclectic element comes into play when couples choose to take their formal affair outside for a twilight party; opt for a gilded evening with lots of glittering blush-gold touches; replace centerpieces with champagne towers; or surprise guests with a midnight arrival of an ice-cream truck parked curbside.

 

The Flowers

Top blooms. English roses, peonies, hydrangeas, dahlias and ranunculus continue to be go-to favorites among brides.

Gaga for greenery. Herbs like rosemary and mint, lemon leaf, magnolia leaf, ivy, smilax and maidenhair fern are being strung together and used in surprising ways — as table runners or chair swags, to frame cocktail menus, to redefine tent ceilings or to give chandeliers a soft edge.

Fresh pickings echoing the farm-to-table trend in dining, brides are building their arrangements around seasonal blooms that are grown locally or at least regionally. it’s not only budget-savvy, but it also lends itself well to the “just picked” effect that’s also trending.

Free-spirited arrangements rather than building arrangements around one flower or one color, florists select blooms that look like they were plucked from the same wild garden, or that fall within a color palette, placing non-floral items — such as berries, fruit, acorns, even paper cutouts in the arrangement. the finished look is unstructured but magical.

Look up. Centerpieces are no longer confined to the center of the table. in fact, clever brides will be hanging their showcase blooms from above — no more peeking around a tall vase to talk to your table partners! Floral chandeliers are another way to give your space an ethereal feel, whether indoors or out.

The Invitations

Buttons and ribbons and gems. Couples will be generating excitement for their celebration by wowing guests with an invitation suite that’s delivered in attention-grabbing style: wrapped in shimmery cellophane; boxed in decorative paper; tied up with ribbon, leather rope or baker’s twine; studded with crystals; or adorned with dried flowers.

Perfect penmanship. The ink palette is swinging away from neon brights toward more subdued tones.

Selfie-sational. Couples are spending money on fun, professional engagement photos so why not use more of them? It is going to be ignificant uptick in couples choosing invitations and save-the-dates that feature photography — anything from formal portraits to action shots to quirky set-ups.

Not your mother’s paper. The selection of paper choices continues to grow. We will see more laser cut-outs, more handmade paper with silk threads, more textured paper and more embroidered or stitched paper. Brides still like the idea of bringing elements of their gown into their stationery suite.

 

The Drink Report

Champagne with a twist. Champagne towers have returned — big time — for formal affairs. A more casual, colorful option: mixing in fruit purées to create a signature cocktail that matches your palette.

Smaller sips. Be the flights of craft beer; shots of different bourbons; wine samplings; sangria that goes from white to pink to deep red; or even a lemonade or fizzy soda bar, couples are letting guests sample an array of beverages. These types of different drink stations are yet another way to let guests peek into your personal tastes, with the added bonus of helping you keep your bar budget in check.

Open bar not required. Planners are seeing more couples offering wine, beer and liquor that has a theme. For some, that means serving only local labels, for others it means showcasing drinks from their home states or from their favorite vacation getaway.

 

The Taste

Family-style dining. Guest interaction is a big goal for today’s couples. And nothing gets a conversation started quite like a meal served family style, with guests passing beautifully plated entrées and sides.

Just a taste, please. Tasting stations have taken over the cocktail hour, with couples showing off their favorite foods in manageable portions. From oyster shucking stations and mac ’n cheese bars, to make-it-your-own taco stands to local food trucks pulling right up to the patio, the idea is to surprise your guests with an unexpected assortment of party food.

Locally sourced and seasonal. Farm-to-table dining has gained so much solid footing that it’s almost expected these days. It could mean to keep the menu “chefs choice” until the farmers planner works with tell them what ingredients will be available that week. So in the winter that might mean roasted trout with parsley bacon salad and in the summer smoked brisket with peach BBQ sauce.

Snack attack. Just when it seems like the party’s about to wind down, couples rev up the energy with late-night snack trays brought right to the dance floor. Milkshakes, snow cones, warm cookies, even pizza are just a few of the trending midnight munchies.

Re-imagined classic cuisine. While you can rarely go wrong offering steak, chicken and a hearty vegetarian option, caterers say couples are asking for lighter, healthier versions of traditional entrées. That means grilled flank steak vs. filet mignon, roasted free-range chicken breasts vs. chicken cordon bleu, and grilled or roasted vegetables (brussels sprouts and cauliflower are the current “it” vegetables) vs. baked potatoes and steamed carrots.

 

The Cake

Shine on. Metallic icing and dustings of glitter will be strong again this year. New for 2015, however, will be the mixing of gold with silver on one cake. Tempting to touch texture, especially ruffled and tulle looks, will be very important in 2015. Lace patterns, pleats, and textured buttercream frosting also remain strong trends for brides going for a vintage or soft, romantic feel. For a modern wedding, the texture might be a three-dimensional lattice, herringbone or other geometric pattern. Another tactile approach is to have your designer roll out black fondant and hand-paint it to look like a chalkboard.

Draw second glances. For weddings with a more eclectic concept “naked” cakes (as in no or minimal frosting) are trending.

Special flavors. Couples are choosing cake flavors that are rooted in their hometowns or family heritage, where they began dating or a favorite destination. Honey lavender, coconut, and zucchini lime are just a few that Teufel offers. 

 

The Music Report

What’s old is new. Couples are requesting updated renditions of wedding classics. Instead of Etta James’s soulful “At Last,” for example, they might choose the acoustic version by Jason Mraz. or swap Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” with indie-pop sensation Ingrid Michaelson’s re-interpretation.

’70s style bands, aka “yacht rock.” Think Hall & Oates, Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers. What started as an underground music movement based on the comedic TV/online series “Yacht Rock,” this musical genre is gaining major play at weddings. 

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