2016 Trends: What’s in for This Year’s Weddings


PR expert Meghan Ely shares 2016 wedding trends, including the rise of glamour and simple photography

Meghan ElyAnother year is upon us, and with that comes a slew of new wedding trends. This welcome change allows wedding professionals to diversify their portfolios and explore new ideas with clients. And while certain trends are timeless (I’m looking at you, pastels!), we’re certainly ready to dive into everything that 2016 has to offer.

So what’s on our radar this year?

Going Glam
Rustic chic had its moment, but 2016 is all about going big. From glitz to glam, couples are seeking a wedding day to remember, and what better way to adorn the space with glimmer? “We’re seeing a clear focus for weddings this year and that is one of opulence,” shares Kylie Carlson of the Wedding and Event Institute, who just released their 2016 International Trend Report. “Consumers are spending; however, our couples are more educated now than ever before and know exactly what they want. Keep an eye out for Old Hollywood Glamour and other themes that add an edgy touch to a couple’s special day.”

Dramatic Fashion
Gone are the days of sticking to simple sweetheart necklines and lace overlays – bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses are taking a page from the runway to showcase a bride and her leading ladies’ personalities. “Some current trends will continue strong, including deep plunging necklines, daring skirt slits, and sheer details,” explains Araceli Vizcaino-S of Azazie. “As for newer trends, keep an eye out for geometric lace, printed wedding gowns, high and low skirts, the lingerie look, and a more structured, tuxedo-style bow detail.” Get ready for statement dresses that wow the crowd – couples are all about making an impact when they walk into the room.

Shades of Treasure
Between rich jewel tones and bold metallics, this year’s wedding colors are reminiscent of a treasure chest. Ruby, sapphire, emerald, and amethyst are popular for gem-hued celebrations, while gold, silver, and copper are dominating the world of accent colors. “From candles to chandeliers, couples are adorning their weddings with metallic shades as they embrace their preferred precious metals,” says Igal Sapir of 100 Candles. The combination of the two is simply breathtaking, so get ready for clients to be asking for something a bit more “out there.”

Geometric Patterns
As couples are becoming bolder with their wedding design, they’re opting for dynamic angles over soft curves. “Brush off that geometry textbook because angles are in,” adds Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services. “Geometrics bring to mind images of modern art and couples are just loving the idea of adding some personality to their big day.” Whether this means angular centerpieces or geometric-printed linens, don’t be surprised when your couples want to bring a little funkiness to their Big Day.

Exotic Elegance
These days, destination couples are going above and beyond the traditional oceanfront wedding. “While tropical locales top the list of places to tie the knot, more and more brides and grooms are choosing to go off the beaten path to get hitched,” shares Rebecca Hochreiter of Destination Weddings Travel Group. “From the Tuscan countryside to scenic New Zealand, destination weddings are not just about saying vows – they’re a chance for couples to escape their day-to-day and enjoy an overseas adventure with their loved ones.”

Simple Photography
Expect to see less and less of cheesy posed shots and more and more of romantic natural pictures. Couples are looking to have a genuine experience with their photographer instead of compiling albums of stiff portraits. “Gone are the days of stiff, awkward wedding portraits,” says Kaysha van der Heyden of Kaysha Weiner Photography. “Couples want to look and feel relaxed in their wedding photos. We’ll continue to see couples who choose to share their quirks and emotions through their photos.” When it comes to wedding memories, couples are really seeking to remember the special, intimate moment as opposed to the forced smiles--a nice change for all!

Tourist for a Day
Whether it’s around the corner or halfway across the world, couples are really embracing their wedding city by taking in all of the must-see sites with their guests. “The tourist extravaganza is all about less guests and more events,” notes Alex Chalk of Taylor’d Events. “Not just any events, though – guests are choosing activities that show off their city. For example, in Seattle, couples are flocking to Space Needle dinners, Ride the Ducks rentals, Argosy Cruises, and trips to Chihuly as they show off some of their favorite places, activities, and eats.” Keep these things in mind as you get to know your couples and what really makes them love the city, as it may uncover some unique ideas!

It’s clear that trends are important to keep abreast of, but the key is incorporating these into your business structure. Whether it’s developing a wholesale relationship to offer metallic candles or geometric-patterned linens or simply knowing what kind of dress your client is looking for, understanding what’s “in” for is imperative for making 2016 your best year ever!

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a public relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. Photo by Aaron Watson Photography.


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