At Tamara Wendt Events we always try to stay on top of industry trends through continual research, and learning from top industry professionals. We take great pride in engaging with our clients to determine their personal style and dreams for their Big Day.
We take the top trends and put a unique, personal spin on each event, and really make an effort to not fall down a Pinterest rabbit hole with cookie cutter events. Of course, since our clients all have so much exposure to trending ideas in magazines, Pinterest, and the internet at large, we do see similar ideas being popular within a single season. Upcoming 2018 is looking to be a fabulous year for wedding design, here are some of the top trends we are experiencing.
After several years of brides and grooms keeping their weddings more “low-key” we have experienced a shift back to more elegant affairs. In fact, over 50% of our brides list “elegant” as a top adjective to describe the style they are trying to achieve. This elegance is showing up in a very refined manner: plated dinner, formal attire for the wedding party, and champagne toasts.
However, we are seeing less and less in the way of traditional color palettes. Fewer formal black and white weddings have left an opening for the rise of new color trends. Such as the cool hues of “slate blue.” This color can pop up anywhere from delicate chiffon table drapes to beautiful bouquets that incorporate hydrangeas and delphinium. Couples are pairing this shade with crisp whites, warm champagnes, and often pastels like blush or the ever present “millennial pink” to add an extra pop of color. Metallics are still playing a leading role; gold is still in the lead, with silver back on the rise, and still some rose gold and softer champagne gold.
Elegance isn’t exclusive to dramatic trumpet vases or classic candelabras. While our clients aren’t listing “rustic” as a goal as often, they often still strive for an ambiance of “garden,” “whimsical,” or “outdoorsy” styling, no matter their venue. Greenery table runners and lush garlands are still prevalent, but mixed with more modern geometric terrariums, chic marble or agate details, wooden elements like harvest tables and planter boxes, and as always, layers of candlelight with pillar and floating candles.
From floral arrangements to table linens we are seeing a lot of texture incorporated in wedding design. Both bouquets and centerpieces are steering away from tight, structured looks that have been seen at the formal events of the past decade or so. Greenery, in particular, lends itself nearly any style for a lush look. Eucalyptus, salal, and ruscus are great additions to create a beautiful, soft look in most arrangements, and are a great way to stretch a budget. If your style allows dusty miller, lamb’s ear, or a touch of various ferns can also make the design of your florals really stand out.
Another way we see texture incorporated is through table linens. Satin and taffeta tablecloths, lace and chiffon overlays, these are all a great way to come up with a unique combination of elements to make your design stand out. We are still seeing sequins play a role, but we try to use these modestly to make a great impact: head tables, cake tables, cocktail tables. Our favorite place we are seeing sequins is in the details of overlays where it can really tie a look together.
We have found that a real goal for our couples is to create a special guest experience. They want their guests to really feel appreciated for joining them and are hoping that they leave feeling closer to them as a couple. Gone are the days of purchasing bulk items for guest favors, we see more and more couples coming up with clever ideas of giving their guests something personal as a “thank you.” A bride of ours from Vermont brought individual bottles of maple syrup. Another bride gave her guests locally made honey, and a couple who came from a family of pork producers even gave their guests packets of gourmet pork rub.
But these individual items are not a requirement for your wedding. We also see a lot of couples using their menu as a way to step out of the box. A tip we always give our clients is to talk with their caterers about options that may not be listed on the catering menu. We find that many chefs are happy to go “off book” and create a more customized menu with couples. Your options also extend after dinner; we still see tables full of dessert options that don’t necessarily include traditional cake, ice cream sundae buffets, and the always appreciated late night snack, often as simple as pizza or another classic “finger food.”
Keeping your guests fed isn’t the only way to ensure they go home happy. We are experiencing a rise in booking live bands for receptions. Choosing a good musician or band that can perform as well as serve as emcee for the night can really have a positive impact of your guests’ excitement and overall experience, keeping them on and around the dance floor until it’s time to say good night.
The one thing that nearly all of our clients have in common is they are looking for a way to personalize their wedding. While couples don’t steer too far away from tradition, they do find a way to make the event uniquely their own. This can start with custom stationary for Save the Dates and invitations, and can carry through with table numbers, place cards, menus, and other reception signage.
This can extend far beyond printed materials; wedding parties are subject to less rules than ever. Bridesmaids, in particular, have not been limited to perfectly matching dresses for some time now. Different hues, different dress styles have been something our clients have enjoyed combining, and now they’ve begun to introduce prints to the mix. This must all be done with a level of care and finesse; we recommend trying to stay with a particular designer or dress material to keep the look cohesive, but having of Maid of Honor in a floral print and the rest of the bridal party in a shade found within that print can be a fun, modern spin on traditional dresses.
Reception design has always been an avenue for us to add personal touches. One of our current favorites is adding a vinyl wrap and/or monogram to existing dance floors. Think white dance floors with names, monograms, or logos applied in the center. Custom backdrop applications are another way to stand out. We are no strangers to dramatic backdrops created from a number of materials. With voile fabric, sequin panels, glamorous floral arrangements, birch branches, the options are nearly endless. And since photo booths continued to be at more receptions than not, this is another place where a custom backdrop can be utilized. Open air and interactive photo booths are more popular than enclosed booths. So, we like to create custom options (hedge walls, printed panels, floral additions) to make these backdrops really stand out.
Overall, 2018 will be a great year for brides and grooms who are looking to explore custom options for their wedding design. What is most important to remember is not to feel like you have to abide by dusty traditions. Focus instead on what feels genuine to you as a couple and how you would like to feel on your wedding day. We wish you all the best in your planning!