Brides should wear something old, borrowed and blue, but those words shouldn’t describe the wedding. Instead of rehashing the fads of last year, use these ideas to make your wedding fresh, new and unique. With everything from sweets to sequins, local experts in the industry give us a sneak peek of this year’s must-do wedding trends. Overall, the trends steer clear of tradition and focus on personalizing the party.
1. LET THEM EAT CUPCAKES
Traditional, tall-tiered wedding cakes are a thing of the past. Instead, choose a cupcake cake or themed dessert bar. Whether it’s pies, cookies, candy or an assortment of all things sweet, dessert bars have taken over the wedding cake scene. “Brides are wanting less traditional and more fun, unique options,” said Kellie Foltz, owner of Sweetly Scrumptious.
2. TOSS THE TRADITION
Don’t want to do the bouquet and garter toss? You don’t have to. The trend is to put a personal spin on the formalities. Involve the guests in another way with a fun game or activity. This also gives guests a chance to break the ice.
“These trends seem to add to the excitement of a reception and create memories that will last for not only the bride and groom, but also their guests,” said DJ Ronnie Choy (AKA “The Danceman”).
3. TRADE THE FLOWERS FOR FERNS
Embrace this year’s theme of bringing in the outdoors. Instead of the usual floral arrangements, let potted trees, ferns or decorative leaves be the focal point of the decor. For a budget-friendly creative centerpiece, embellish bare branches with paper flowers or sparkly jewels.
“Mix it up and recreate your own vibe,” said Rhonda Gribble, owner of Relove All Things Shabby.
4. MAKE MAGIC WITH METALS
Metallics can be anything you want them to be—stylish, whimsical, exquisite or even very natural. “Mixing metals will be huge this year as it adds instant glam, elegance and shimmer to the chosen venue. Metallics are versatile between themes and styles, and are not limiting,” said Ashley Moore, owner of Events & Design by Ashley.
5. THE BOLDER THE BETTER
The pastel tones that dominated wedding color palettes for the past few years have finally faded.
“Our brides have been choosing cobalt blue and deep wine for their accents. We just opened a box of fully sequined bridesmaids dresses, so we also anticipate sparkles! We're seeing brides incorporating more patterns—plaid, stripes, dots—and more traditional laces into their decorations,” said Jillian Forsberg, sales manager of Dress Gallery.
6. PASS ON THE POSED PHOTOS
Posed photographs may look pretty, but candid photos will make you laugh and smile for years to come.
“More wedding parties want to take hilariously funny photos and less posed ones. Also, the staged photos standing at the altar are becoming a passing trend. Wedding parties are opting for more time with just the bride and groom, with only a few large group portraits,” said photographer Tobie Andrews.
7. LOOK LOCAL FOR LIQUOR
Partner with local breweries, distilleries and bars to create a signature cocktail, highlighting the favorite tastes of the couple and supporting their hometown. For spring outdoor weddings, incorporate a fun, playful beer garden.
“Having a selection of craft beers at the bar, including those from local breweries, gives the guests selection and not your typical bar options,” staff of Xclusive Event Services said.
8. REVAMP THE REHEARSAL DINNER
To kick off the wedding weekend in style, treat the VIP guests with an unforgettable meal. Keep the dinner intimate by only including immediate family and people involved in the ceremony. Shortening the guest list also allows for more flexibility with the venue and meal options.
“The majority of the rehearsal dinners like doing plated meals because they do dinner buffets at the reception,” said Shawna Sphar, banquet and catering manager at Larkspur Bistro & Bar.
9. PERFECTION WITH PASTELS
While accent colors lean towards bolder colors, makeup artists love pastels for this year’s wedding look. Adding a touch of color gives a bright and natural vibe.
“Try a soft nude eye, flush hydrated skin, pastel pink lips and a balanced cool tone pink cheek,” said Sheona Sleiman, owner of Backstage Makeup Studio.
10. DRIVE IN STYLE
Party buses have become increasingly popular for weddings because of the convenience factor. With the ability to transport your entire bridal party around town, it’s a fun way to get the party started.
“The bus can also be used as a shuttle service to ensure your guests a safe and comfortable ride before and after the wedding and reception,” said C.J. Owens, owner of Spot’s Party Bus.
11. BRAIDS ARE BACK
Brides started incorporating braids into their wedding hairstyles a couple years ago, and the trend isn’t going anywhere in 2016.
“From whimsical, cascading braids with shimmering beads and delicate pearls woven throughout, to delicate braids blended into loose waves—braids can complement a variety of styles and suit any personality,” said Sherry Knox, owner of Suite Concepts Salon & Spa.
12. CATER TO CREATIVITY
Instead of sticking with the traditional sit-down dinner, more couples are getting creative with fun and lighthearted food options. Provide simple, easy snacking options such as popcorn or other finger foods.
“The ‘out of the box’ options are increasingly popular—like BBQ and pasta bars. Also, the traditional wedding cake appears to be getting a challenge from ice cream bars and cheesecake,” said Stan McIntosh, sales manager of Premier Food Service.
13. GIVE THE GROOM WHAT HE WANTS
In the past, weddings have been all about the bride. But the new trend is for a bride to plan the wedding around what the groom would like. Serve his favorite meal for the reception dinner and his go-to junk food for a late night snack.
“Even the groom’s cake now takes its place near the wedding cake instead of the ‘south forty!’” said Richard Tijerina, food and beverage director of Crestview Country Club.
14. ADD UNIQUE ANTIQUES
The vintage wedding theme is back again in 2016. For a romantic feel, incorporate old-world items and antiques.
“Many couples choose to include family heirlooms within their decor, giving a personal touch to their vintage wedding,” said Rhonda Gribble of Relove All Things Shabby.
15. LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
From ceremonies lit by candles to receptions featuring crystal chandeliers, lighting can transform your big day.
“Lighting has always been important to create the perfect ambiance, but couples are choosing to get more creative with the way they implement it. Creating a warm, inviting atmosphere will allow guests to let their guards down and get comfy,” said Ashley Moore, owner of Events & Design by Ashley.
16. FEEL AT HOME WITH FURNITURE
Turn any wedding reception venue into a cozy atmosphere with couches, chairs, tables, lamps and other substantial furniture pieces. Furniture also makes a great prop for photos.
“This makes guests feel more at home and is an easy way to show your style,” said Kathy Sweeney, director of special events at Botanica.
Salma Makhoul and Paul Maraj
Wedding Date: October 3, 2015
Style: Romantic & Classic
Colors: Shades of pink and purple
Dinner: Combination of 10 finger foods from different cuisines
Dessert: 4-tier cake with a different flavor for each layer, decorated in pink and purple flowers
Beverages: Open bar with red and white wines, sangria, beer and whiskey
Venue: “I love flowers and I wanted my wedding to be outdoors in a beautiful, romantic place. Botanica was the perfect choice with gorgeous fall-colored flowers.”
Dress: “I mainly browsed online and I knew which dress I wanted. I found a shop that had it, tried it on along with a few other dresses and bought the one I had already wanted all along.”
Hair & Makeup: “I wanted a classic updo and simple makeup. I mainly browsed on Pinterest and chose a certain style that I wanted. It ended up being exactly what I pictured.”
Advice: “Plan very well but never expect everything to be perfect on your wedding day. Some things will go wrong — enjoy those. They will end up being funny memories. The most important thing is that you are marrying the man that you love and that’s what matters.”