Reception
Ceremony & Reception

The Wedding Trends to Keep and Ditch in 2018

We asked some of the country's top planners to predict the future.

Photo by Tec Petaja; Planning by Easton Events

Attention, ladies: With the new year comes new brides (like you!) and new wedding trends. And while we will always love the trends of 2017—think cactus wedding decor, macramé ceremony backdrops, and more—we're ready to dive into the world of weddings of 2018. Because after all, planning this party is basically like a race to be the most cool and fashionable and on trend, right? We think so—and that's why we called on some of the industry's top wedding planners to see exactly what they're predicting in wedding trends for 2018.

You'll have to keep scrolling to see exactly what they said, but (spoiler alert!) one thing is certain: We will all be following in Meghan and Harry's footsteps as we anxiously await the wedding of the year in May (such as wedding attendants of just the kiddos, as is British tradition.)

Aside from copying the world's hottest power couple, the pros are excited to see fresh color palettes, unique escort card displays, and unexpected twists on the traditional wedding in the year come to. Keep reading for more exciting, modern, and on-trend ideas, broken down by the pros who came up with them. Oh, and don't worry: They'll tell you which trends to avoid too!

Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

Photo by Chaz Cruz; Planning by Jove Meyer

The year’s biggest trend: Greenery instead of fabric drapery for outdoor, tented weddings. Think clear tents with lush greenery installations to bring in that natural element and really make things feel organic.

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One trend she’d do away with: Tennis shoes with wedding gowns or tuxedos. I know it's cute, but it's a bit overdone. If comfort is your goal, there are a variety of low heels or elegant flat shoes available. Or, switch into some adorable, comfy flats when it's time to get down on the dance floor (these Rollasole flats are a great option).

Decor trend of the year: Balloons: They're not just for birthday parties anymore! For weddings, balloon decor looks more like a lavish art installation—it's a real statement. White and cream balloons mixed with metallics keep things chic but fun. They can be great for balloon ceilings (Kris Jenner's 60th birthday bash is a great example of this) or balloon walls, which make a striking photo backdrop.

Excited for in the new year: Winter weddings after the holidays. It's so fun to do events in November and December with the festive holiday feel, but the January/February timeframe is perfect for those crisp wintery events where I can be ultra creative!

One thing she’s dying to see a couple do: Use lots of wild and bold colors for their big day! We're still in the era of the elegant, all-white wedding and while some couples are starting to add in a splash of color, I can't wait to go all in with lots of bold hues.

Calder Clark of Calder Clark

Photo by Harwell Photography

The year’s biggest trend: A big call for casual vibes: lawn games, umbrella-topped picnic table seating, local craft brews, al fresco lighting, and an overall chill garden party vibe.

One trend she’d do away with: Photo booths with props…if I never see another one, I’ll be happy.

Excited for in the new year: I’m super excited for interesting color pairings. Our clients are over the blush and gold blend and looking for a reimagining of tones like butter, apricot, and aloe green.

One thing she’s dying to see a couple do: I’m dreaming up a sunken koi pond at cocktails in a tented environment we’re creating. That's going to be a fun one!

Laurie Arons of Laurie Arons Special Events

Photo Courtesy of Laurie Arons Special Events

The year’s biggest trend: As we anxiously await the next Royal Wedding in May, we think American couples will also embrace the British tradition of children-only bridal parties. A group of charming flower girls and ring bearers make adorable attendants for an elegant bride—we think the flock of adult bridesmaids have had their day.

One trend she’d do away with: We’re ready to say goodbye to over-the-top flower walls—there are many other beautiful and unique ways to incorporate flowers into the affair.

Decor trend of the year: Wedding invitations that go beyond paper. We’re seeing a desire to incorporate various textures and materials into the invitation, such as fabric, acrylic, leather, metal, and more.  The layered effect is interesting and really gets guests excited about what’s to come.

Excited for in the new year: We love creating escort installations that double as an art piece or long-term keepsake for the bride and groom. These larger installations are an investment, but they can be displayed in the couple’s home as a living reminder of the guests who came to celebrate on their day.

One thing she’s dying to see a couple do: I love planning surprise parties and would love to pull off a surprise wedding with a bride and groom. Guests would be invited to an engagement party or birthday event, where the couple would then surprise them by getting married. Celebrities have done this in an effort to avoid paparazzi, but it would be a fun idea for a bride who wants to make decisions on her own without too many opinions. It also creates an experience for guests they will never forget.

Shannon Leahy of Shannon Leahy Events

Photo by Belath´ee Photography

The year’s biggest trend: Bold and dramatic floral patterns! From the tablecloths to paper and the dance floor, we're seeing dramatic floral prints with saturated colors on black backgrounds as a huge trend right now.

One trend she’d do away with: We've seen enough rose gold for one lifetime. Copper and rose gold have had their moment—and the same goes for any kind of glitter or sparkly embossing.  Another trend we would like to see go away is watercolor artwork and casual cursive. We're ready for something fresh!

Decor trend of the year: We're excited about installations using materials other than flowers, and about creating art pieces that are interactive and outside the box.

Excited for in the new year: I'm excited to be designing in France for Sylvie Gil's workshop.  I'm always inspired by travel and excited to do a fresh take on Provençal style.

One thing she’s dying to see a couple do: I would love to do a wedding where instead of a standard cocktail hour, we create a pop-up museum where guests can move through interesting art installations, take photos, eat small bites and drinks, and have a totally unique, immersive, and creative experience.

Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events

Photo Courtesy of Jove Meyer Events

The year’s biggest trend: I think the biggest wedding trend will be couples moving to more modern, clean, and minimal wedding styles. From stationery that is not filled with loopy calligraphy to minimal table designs, I think the trend coming up will be a less-is-more approach to the wedding. I do not want people to think that a minimal approach means we are doing away with installs or thinking outside of the box for decor, but I think couples will invest in a few more magical things, rather than multiple, less special things.

One trend he’d do away with: I am ready to see mini tented escort cards disappear! I know we can think outside the box to come up with something fun, unique, and interactive. I always encourage couples to think beyond the card—it can be an installation; it can be a board; it can be attached to a wall; it can be projected on a wall…the possibilities are endless!

Decor trend of the year: Acrylic will be the biggest! And when you say acrylic, most people think of clear acrylic but I think couples will explore clear and colorful acrylic in fun new ways—from using it the escort card display, on the tables for menus, or to style flowers with (or on). They may also use it for the ceremony archway or to elevate the flowers on their table without blocking the view of their friends.

Excited for in the new year: I am super excited to work in new venues and renovate a new property upstate!

One thing he’s dying to see a couple do: I would love to have a couple throw a pastel wedding complete with all pastel flowers, decor and a pastel dress code. Fun, fresh, and out of the box!

Augusta Cole and Lynn Easton of Easton Events

Photo by Christian Oth; Planning by Easton Events

The year's biggest trend: The after-party is no longer an afterthought. It has become a critical part of the wedding celebration with its own entertainment experiences!

Decor trend of the year: Adding mood and contrast to the tabletop is a hot design trend. Loose and feminine florals can quickly take on a sophisticated and subtly sexy tone when paired with dark taper candles (as shown above). Also, the world has fallen in love again with mid-century design and it is definitely influencing the wedding world. Instead of Sperry Tents, brides are opting for clear-top designs and clean-lined structures. Thoughtful design based on balance and restraint will be an interesting trend as we see architectural and home design movements influencing wedding looks.

Excited for this year: Our brides are all about the entertainment for 2018. They want their guests to be musically stimulated from the moment they arrive until the surprise after-party experience. The wedding is no longer viewed as ceremony-cocktails-dinner-dancing, but rather as a fluid experience where guests are effortlessly lured to the next exciting act. Music will be integrated like a custom soundtrack for the wedding!

One thing they're dying to see a couple do: Switching up seating assignments in the middle of dinner is a favorite Easton dinner party trick! We would love to see our clients mix it up on larger scale.

Alison Laesser-Keck and Bryan Keck of Alison & Bryan

Photo by KT Merry; Planning by Alison & Bryan

The year’s biggest trend: Destination weddings continue to be big! And our clients are thinking bigger—we have couples coming to us saying things like, “Wouldn’t it be epic if all of our friends vacationed in Italy together?!” Well, you can! Invite lists become smaller and the goal becomes more about creating authenticity, creating an environment that is relaxing and inspiring, and giving their guests the best possible time.

One trend they’d do away with: The ethereal look is a little overdone now, to be honest, and we think the pendulum is moving back towards color and vibrancy.

Decor trend of the year: For destination weddings, the decor strategy is to create something authentic. If you’re bringing your guests to Santa Barbara, for example, you’re going to find that there is tile and bougainvillea everywhere. Decorating a villa to look like a loft in NYC can be done, but why? It’s a huge trend to capture why you brought someone to a place—show them what makes a location special, no matter where it happens to be.

Oh, also, presentation in food and beverage is huge. Charcuterie boards that look like art—yes, that is happening!

Excited for in the new year: Custom experiences. Investing into a quality experience. Communal experiences that make people feel different going out than when they went in. We’re most excited that our clients are turning away from wedding etiquette and becoming more fearless. They’re really thinking about what we can do to make this impactful and amazing for everyone.

One thing they’re dying to see a couple do: Take risks—especially with fashion. We’d love for couples to just own it and wear dresses and suits that they love and are an expression of their personalities. Other than that, anything that involves getting a bunch of people to hop a plane and head somewhere they’ve never been sounds great to us!

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