Today’s weddings are all about personalization. From succulent escort cards to paper flower backdrops, brides are finding more ways than ever to leave a creative mark on their big day. But you can’t say these brides aren’t still traditional. Even as DIY is hitting an all-time-high, the details are trending toward natural materials and less formal settings that evoke a nostalgic vibe of simpler times. Couple this simplicity with handcrafted details and you’ve found your modern bride.
Trend One: Down on the Farm
Trading in formal venues and decor for a down-home feel? That’s what the farmhouse experience is all about. The rustic trend may have been around for a while now, but it’s certainly not going anywhere- it’s growing bigger every year. Last year, 15 percent of weddings were held at a barn, farm or ranch – up from just 2 percent in 2009 – according to research compiled by The Knot.
Some couples use the trend as a decor influence, while other couples take “farmhouse wedding” literally, holding their ceremony in an actual barn. “People love the organic feeling of being in a barn space,” says Lauren Grech, owner of LLG Events in New York. “It’s a great way to bring in the outdoors indoors.”
The personalization doesn’t end there though. The trend is extending into all aspects of the wedding, including the way refreshments are displayed and served. ” I see couples bringing their own vintage cake stands or tiered cookie displays,” says Samantha Gieseke, owner of Plan Our Day in Houston. Some brides will place desserts, including cupcakes with homemade paper liners, in plain wooden crates.
Trend Two: Tropical Brights
Brides who want a memorable wedding aren’t shy about using color, especially in the summertime. “Tropical colors are a great way to express boldness and vibrance,” Tutera says. From brightly colored florals to colored glass vases, brides are incorporating the color scheme anywhere that can be personalized. Some brides will even offset the neutral pallet of dining plates and flatware with colorful stemware.
The playfulness of the tropical brights trend really takes bloom for the centerpieces. “I’ve seen bud vases painted different colors as centerpieces or lined up along the center of the table,” Gieske says. “Sometimes they’re all different shapes and sizes.”
For a wedding in Tuscany, Grech worked with a couple who used centerpieces of lemons, yellow roses and sunflowers flanked by curling olive branches from the venue’s vineyard. The pop of yellow also carried over to the escort cards as they were attached to fresh lemons.
What’s ahead for tropical brights in 2019? Look for oranges and purples to make their way to wedding tables. “It’s no longer just millennial pink,” Grech says.
Trend Three: Dark Beauty
While tropical colors may not be appropriate for late-season ceremonies, brides can still make their weddings glow with the jewel-toned hues of fall. “Fall colors don’t all need to be dark and gloomy,” Tutera says. “Using metallics, whites or ivories, with accents of navy, burgundy or emerald green, is a great way to express a bright look.”
Gieseke says she’s been seeing jewel tones of Marsala, maroon and emerald green in linens and flowers, as well as the ink color of the invitations. But brides aren’t stopping there – they’re also incorporating burgundy-colored flowers into their headpieces. Grech notes, “Peonies are big, fluffy, flowers that look gorgeous in jewel tones.”
Trend Four: Winter Whites
Winter ceremonies naturally evoke this simplicity of traditional white wedding. They are typically decorated with greenery because it stands out against the stark white background of winter. Some brides will even add touches of glitter or sparkle to their greenery and centerpieces to mimic snow twinkling in the sun.
Though the color pallet is minimal, winter weddings use the same amount of decorations as those held in other seasons. The secret to making winter weddings elegant is in the way the flowers are arranged and how your table is set. Using chargers, candles and lush, full-petaled flowers with lots of texture creates a very elegant winter wedding.
Trend Five: Creative Backdrops
No matter the materials, today’s wedding backdrops are truly one of a kind. “At the altar, I’ve seen ribbon walls in all different colors hanging from the arch down to the ground,” Gieseke says. She’s also seen macrame dream catchers used as altar backdrops, as well as homemade banners hanging above cake tables.
“Macrame, ribbon and garland are a great way to do DIY creative backdrops,” Tutera says. He has seen couples string textured ribbons to a pole or even a piece of conduit piping for a backdrop. At some weddings, brides have even built a wooden wall laden with cascading flowers to create a dreamlike effect, Grech says.
Couples are also using backdrops as a “selfie station” for guests to take snapshots with each other . “It’s a quick and easy project that makes a big impact – and the pictures turn out great,” Tutera says.
Trend Six: DIY Signs
Signage ties everything together, so it’s no surprise that brides are taking the opportunity to DIY their own wayfinding sign. “I have used pieces of reclaimed wood and burnished the writing on to create a very finished, yet farmhouse-chic look,” Tutera explains.
The key to creating signs that stand out is the lettering, he says. “If you can make the lettering look great, then the rest of the sign will look great.” Those who failed penmanship can pick up cool-looking vinyl letters or stencils at a craft store.
Another option is chalkboards. Grech has attached sprigs of moss to them to display photos of coming attractions at the dessert table. Unfinished wood pallets and mirrors are other trendy options for posting information or directions.
Trend Seven: Escort Cards
Seating directions are getting so imaginative that escort “cards” have become a misnomer. Tutera has seen everything from wine corks to sprigs of lavender with a name tag attached by a delicate string. At a nautical-themed wedding, one couple wrote the name of their guests’ names in metallic ink on oyster shells. “Using a creative card or holder is a great way to incorporate a little personal detail,” he suggests.
Grech once hired a calligrapher to draft beautifully crafted names onto hexagonal marble tiles. She’s also used cocktail stirrers inscribed with guests’ names and table numbers. These kinds of personalized takeaways can also double as favors that guests can enjoy using long after the wedding day.
Trend Eight: Greenery and Garlands
Flowers, petals and leaves are a great way to add a natural touch to everything from cakes to signage. To make these touches stand out, do something unpredictable, Tutera advises.
With floral arrangements, less can be more. “Single stems in unique vases can be great on tables,” he says. ” Florals inside a terrarium with a little added sparkle can also bring a great look.” Boutonnieres don’t have to be big or fancy to draw attention either. Think about using flowers with unusual textures instead of flaming bright colors.
Sometimes leaves alone are enough to make a statement. Garlands without blooms can make for a refreshing backdrop. Grech has seen guests relax and loosen up at “living bars” backed by a wall of lush greenery.
Trend Nine: Mood Lighting
Brides are moving away from the glare of loud, overhead lighting and romanticizing their setting with simpler styles of uplighting and light strands. Edison bulbs and bistro lights are finding new life as the vintage lighting trend continues to grow, but the best way to display these strands is to hang them above the vent space in consecutive “V” or “X” formations – it creates a more attractive layout than straight lines.
Fairy lights are also gaining popularity. “I think it’s because they’re so versatile,” Tutera says. “You can use them in a terrarium as table decor, hang them in a large frame and attach pictures to them at a welcome table or incorporate them into a centerpiece. the battery-operated ones are the easiest to use.”
Some couples string fairy lights around wine bottles to give a 1950s-Italian-restaurant feel, Grech says. She’s also seeing votives tinged with mercury to give them a gold, silver or rose-colored sheen.
A new lighting product coming into vogue is Fairy Berries – small, round lights you can place anywhere, including centerpieces or water-filled mason jars. “They twinkle slightly, so they are the perfect touch for creating a magical effect,” Tutera says.
Trend Ten: Experiential Design
Experience matters. From the moment the ceremony begins, to the second the reception ends, couples care about keeping guests engaged. Millennials are even trending towards inviting fewer people, but spending more per guest to guarantee an experience they’ll never forget.
At wedding receptions, interactive experiences make for great photos as well as party fun. “Instagram-worthy moments are what clients want,” Grech says. She has seen wedding guests playing living chess, hauling life size pieces across courtyards as they pose for pictures. “Love swings” for two are also becoming a hit.
What do you think? Are you loving these current wedding trends?