The 2016 Wedding Trend Report – featuring predictions from 45 leading international wedding planners and suppliers – is a rich source of the latest wedding trends, with plenty of inspiration for planning your own celebration
Photos: Joe Dodsworth; Caitlin + Jones
Wedding trends – as we all know – change as often as the seasons, and who better to chart the shifts in what brides and grooms want than the wedding planners? That’s why the Wedding Trend Report 2016 makes such fascinating reading . With over 45 global contributors, ranging from florists, photographers and stationers to event planners and chefs, it is a rich source of inspiration on colours and themes in 2016 and beyond.
This second annual report is created by The International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning, which runs international training and accreditation programmes for professional wedding and event planners. This year’s trend report features the predictions of a who’s who of hallowed stylists, including Bruce Russell from the UK, Nightingales from Australia, Colin Cowie from South Africa and Brit Bertino from the US. You’ll also find contributions from key suppliers – from photographers and florists to entertainment and lighting specialists.
5 wedding trends to watch
The report picks out trends on an international level, but consensus among the experts suggests that five key themes are prevailing: festival, vintage glam, whimsical, fairytale and back to nature. These are influencing everything from the choice of location, tablesettings and flowers to the drinks wedding couples are deciding to serve at their celebration.
For 2016 and beyond, glamour is top of the wedding wishlist. This includes incorporating some of the fun and fantasy elements found at festivals into the wedding day – be it through venue, wedding styling, flowers or the mix of food and entertainment. It suggests a more unconventional approach is prevailing, with couples cherrypicking the setting and themes they have enjoyed not just at other weddings, but at live events they have attended. And whether the couple’s taste is Burning Man, Glyndebourne or Glastonbury, the festival spirit is definitely adding something lively to wedding formats.
In general, the experts agree that there will be more opulence in wedding design (and higher spends), with jewel colours and lots of mixed metallics used within wedding design. Some experts single out the emergence of vintage glam elements – often delivering an eclectic look to wedding dressing and definitely ramping up the glamour of the occasion.
There is also a whimsical and romantic flavour to many celebrations – both in choice of overall design and in the details – with key fashion trends such as lace and sparkle also dressing wedding tables. Personal touches are a key element of this look, so it’s cool to organise things your way without focusing too much on convention.
Whimsical is closely associated to another key theme singled out by the wedding planners – fairytale. This magical spirit can be incorporated into overall styling as well as in glamorous and gitzy elements such as fabulous centrepiece cakes and huge flower displays. However it is translated, this means we will be seeing many more imaginative and fantasy flourishes according to the planners.
Many experts agree that food is playing a starring role – delivering more substance alongside style. This includes a distinct back-to-nature aesthetic, with earthy and satisfying menus. We can expect to see not only more casual classics (think superior burgers or steak – cooked to perfection and served with style) but also hearty communal fare such as sharing platters piled high with antipasti or fine cheeses.
The Wedding Trend Report also singles out special drink mixes. Some planners credit the James Bond effect, following the release of Spectre, and predict cocktails (shaken and stirred) will take their place alongside champagne or prosecco at the reception. Other planners are already seeing a move into the bolder realms of mixology, where special and unique drinks are created as a key part of the celebration and served in unusual and theatrical ways.
View the expert trend predictions at Wedding Academy Live, 2016 Wedding Trend Report