2016 Wedding Trends
The following trends have been compiled from many sources in both North America and Europe to guide your selections and inform you of the vast array of options available.
Wedding dresses with soft tulle layers, large ruffles and beaded embellishments are prominent themes for today's bridal gowns. Brides today choose romantic flowing dresses in floor-length styles with combinations of overlaid detachable skirts made of chiffon, organza or tulle so they can remove them later and show a different look for the reception. Many dresses feature intricate embroidery, beaded or sequined embellishments, three dimensional floral details and delicate lace cutwork. A-line dress shapes and high necklines are very popular styles.
Open-back dresses with sheer, detailed lace designs are trending this year as are dresses with lace sleeves. Many designers have also included full ball gowns and shorter tea-length styles in their lines as well as dresses in soft creams, blush pinks and pastel blues.
Shorter trains and veils (especially bird cage veils) are popular as are pretty boleros and shawls. For colder weather, brides choose wraps of faux-fur, velvet or pashmina. Light weight fabrics, including organza, lace, tulle and chiffon, make perfect wraps for the spring or summer bride and reduce sun exposure on bare arms and shoulders.
Pearls, rhinestones and crystals remain the top jewelry choices for necklaces and earrings. Crystal brooches are also a popular accent for wearing on the dress, in the hair or on the bouquet handle. Many brides are also accenting their shoes with shoe clips made from tulle, feathers, fabric flowers and/or crystals.Hair ornaments such as hairpins, brooches, hair vines, flowers (silk or real) and feather fascinators are also popular choices.
Beautiful combs and headbands made with rhinestones, crystals, feathers or pearls have been the trend for many seasons. Some brides are placing their veils directly on their hair or using a single silk flower for a simple, classic look.
Wedding Hair Styles
There are no clear trends in bridal hair styles, although wearing the hair in long romantic waves, braids or loosely pulled back are chosen for brides with long hair.
2016 Wedding Color Trends
The table below includes popular wedding color choices:
See more color schemes and inspiration.
Ninety five percent of wedding bouquets are hand-tied, where the flowers are gathered together and the stems are wrapped in wide satin ribbon. Brides wanting more glamorous bouquets choose beads, brooches (i.e. brooch bouquet), jewel pins, pearls, crystal/rhinestone picks, and monogrammed or rhinestone ribbon to dress up plain ribbon-wrapped stems and blooms. With the continuing popularity of the beach and garden themes, brides wanting a more rustic and natural look to their bouquet add elements such as shells/starfish, feathers, burlap ribbon, berries and pinecones.
The rose continues to be the most popular and elegant bouquet flower. Lilies, peonies, hydrangeas, tulips and orchids represent the trendier choices. Arrangements with a just-picked and looser casual look have replaced the more tightly-bound bouquet shapes of seasons past. Silk flowers are also popular for their versatility and life-like appearance. Visit our extensive bouquet gallery for ideas and inspiration.
Wedding Reception Decorations
Couples are choosing wedding centerpieces that fit with their budget and theme. They use creative vase fillers including loose pearls, fake snow, sea glass, shells, acrylic ice, water absorbing crystals, submersible LED lights and even fresh fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges.
Burlap fabric, lace and mason jars have been a huge vintage-style trend for a few seasons now. Burlap is an inexpensive, natural fabric that fits well with a rustic theme or barn wedding location. It is primarily used for table runners and centerpiece decorations.
Silk rose petals, diamond confetti, and shells/starfish remain the most popular table confetti. Reception chairs are decorated with either tulle, fabric overlays, sashes, floral swags and/or ribbons. Other popular decorating items include Chinese lanterns, tissue pom poms, garlands and oversized balloons.
A popular decorating trend is the candy buffet or confection bar which has been around for many years now. This consists of a variety of candies or treats placed in varied sizes of glass containers and grouped on a table. Pretty silver spoons or scoops in each container allows guests to fill small boxes or bags as take-home wedding favors.
Candles, always a popular choice for centerpieces, lend a romantic feel to any room. Choices include pillars, tea lights, tapers and floaters. Since some facilities do not allow candles, alternatives include faux tea light candles, battery operated LED lights and submersible LED lights.
Today's couples most often pay for their own weddings and make their own decisions about what they want for their wedding day. Using a budget calculator allows them to allocate their money and prioritize wants and needs. They want to enjoy a wedding that is uniquely theirs, and one that displays their own sense of style and personal taste. Personal touches (DIY: Do it Yourself) appear throughout the entire wedding and can be found in attire, centerpieces, bouquets, favors, decorations, stationery, photography, themes, gifts and locations.
Although completely optional, couples now choose more unusual, useful and personalized or handmade wedding favors to thank their guests for coming to their wedding. In many cases, the favors do double-duty as place-card holders, table decorations, send-offs and even centerpiece arrangements where larger favors are grouped together in the center of the reception tables.
Wedding favors can be incorporated into a candy buffet for guests to take or used to add splashes of color to tabletops as well. They can also be ready-made or personalized favors embellished with ribbon and decorative accents that coordinate with the wedding theme or color scheme.
This is definitely an area of weddings that has gone the DIY (do-it-yourself) route in recent years. Tip: Have some fun and get the wedding party together to help make them with you!
Mansions, churches, beaches, country clubs, resorts, hotels, public gardens, parks, museums, yachts and private homes are the most popular locations for weddings.
Wedding inspiration boards have gone mainstream with many brides using the social media network site Pinterest.com to focus their wedding ideas, color schemes and decorating details. Choosing a wedding motif is also helpful in coordinating the overall wedding day decor or theme.
Today's couples most often pay for their own weddings and make their own decisions about what they want for their wedding day. Using our free and easy wedding budget calculator allows them to allocate money and prioritize wants and needs.
Planning a wedding can be an enjoyable and simple process! Our wedding planning section has a variety of helpful tips and tools to help couples plan every detail.
Cakes, Cupcakes & Desserts
Wedding cakes decorated with handmade icing flowers, chocolate shells/starfish and delicate dots and edible pearls remain popular. Couples are choosing cakes that fit with the location, theme and season of their wedding. Three to four layers is the average size for a wedding of 150 people.
Buttercream or smooth fondant frostings are most common. Popular cake flavors include lemon, chocolate, carrot, spice and "white" although some couples are choosing non-traditional flavors such as gingerbread, espresso and hazelnut. Flowers, sculptures, bunting and large monogrammed letters are replacing the traditional bride and groom cake top.
Cupcakes are a fun and less expensive alternative to wedding cakes and a cake cutter is not required. Although they are less formal than a traditional wedding cake, many of the professional cupcakes we see are lavishly embellished with real or icing flowers and pretty cupcake toppers.
A popular reception trend is the candy buffet (also known as a confection buffet or a dessert bar) which has been around for many years now. The display consists of a variety of candies, almonds, desserts or other favorite treats placed in and on various glass containers and trays and decoratively grouped on a table at the reception. Pretty silver spoons scoops or tongs in each container allows guests to fill small boxes or bags as take-home wedding favors.
The photo-journalistic (candid) approach to wedding photography is preferred by many couples over the traditional posed shots. Capturing the day's events as they happen helps tell the story of their wedding. Naturally, posed pictures are still enjoyed and requesting that some of the photos be black and white is common.
Currently, the top wedding themes are beach & nautical, winter wonderland, vintage chic (think Great Gatsby), woodland & rustic, and diamonds & bling, aka glamour & sparkle! Destination and ethnic-influenced celebrations also remain popular choices.
Stationery adorned with ribbons, beach items, feathers, rhinestone buckles or floral accents remains in high demand. Ribbon is used for decoration, or to simply hold the invitation together. Handmade stationery is a more personal, and with the popularity of scrap booking, stamping, and various computer programs available, there are endless creative options. Many couples choose to add this personal touch to their wedding.