How to Actually Use 2018’s Biggest Wedding Trends

An expert weighs in on how to make your big day the trendiest ever.

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We are currently in the depths of winter, otherwise known as the anti-wedding season. That said, looking to the future and getting some planning done can’t hurt—especially if your big day is coming up in the new year. Thanks to an extensive report on the 2018 wedding trends by virtual marketplace WeddingWire, we already know what some of the big projected trends are. But how to implement them?

Enter: Barbi Walters, an event stylist and designer at The Lynden Lane Co., a Southern California-based event design and production firm specializing in weddings. As someone whose everyday life centers around weddings, we figured there was no better person to go more in-depth about each of the decor predictions. Here, Walters shares her take on why each decor trend is gaining prominence as well as her expertise on creative ways to implement each one.

On the comeback of the traditional, elegant ceremony:

Everyday life is so much more casual now. People are excited to have an excuse to get out of their high waisted Levi’s and put on something fancy. That excitement isn’t exclusive to the ladies; gents are all too happy to wear the newest fashion trends in tuxedos. Companies like Black Tux are making it easier than ever for men to up their tuxedo game.  

Black tie doesn’t stop at your guests attire: Make sure that the staff’s attire complements the wedding [by requesting] white gloves and tails for the wait staff. Have “champagne butlers” to greet your guests as they depart a ceremony area and head to cocktail hour. Another elegant touch is to have the butlers holding napkins that are embroidered with your new monogram. Not only does it look beautiful, but you can keep them for your family celebrations for years to come.

Another thing to consider in an elegant setting is how your guests will feel as they experience your wedding. Is everything that they could ever need taken care of in the most elegant way? When they arrive at the ceremony, is there a beverage awaiting them? Is the ceremony taking place on the grass? In that case, we would want anyone wearing heels to be able to grab a pair of heel caps to avoid sinking into the grass. Replace all standard and industrial looking amenities in the restroom and curate it the way a hotel would—beautiful soaps and hand lotion, and custom napkins for hand drying. Do this all the way through the event until the guests leave to make sure from start to finish they are wowed at every turn.

On navy being used as a primary neutral:

Navy really does complement almost every color and style. It’s elegant and classy when paired with gold or silver. It’s modern and edgy when mixed with chartreuse or burgundy tones. Mix it with sands, taupes, and greens for the perfect complement for your boho wedding.
We love seeing the groom in a dark navy tux while his groomsmen wear a more traditional black tuxedo. Another unexpected way to use navy would be [via] a stunning navy velvet aisle runner, surrounded by deep jewel tone flowers and lush greenery.

On silver and chrome being used as the primary metallics:

Silver and chrome look fresh again after several years of rose gold and gold being the accents of choice. We have been guiding our couples towards a more residential vibe in their wedding decor, and you only have to walk through your favorite furniture store to know that this metallic palette is the new go-to.

We are big fans of mixed metals at an event to keep it from looking like you bought everything at one store. The key to successfully and cohesively mixing metals is to make sure that they are the same finish; for example, matte gold and matte silver are perfect together.

One way to sneak a little silver into your table setting is with napkin rings. We love this style, as it keeps your napkins beautifully rolled, adds a little “oomph” to the place setting, and you can keep them after your wedding to reuse for dinner parties.

Using beautiful antiqued silver vessels for your flowers instead of the standard glass options will really elevate your tablescape. You can get as [creative] as you want with this. Love going to the flea market on a Sunday? Spend some time curating your own mix of antique vases and your table will be unique and represent your style better than any store-bought collection ever could.

On woodsy decor rising in popularity:

When we think “woodsy,” we think natural and a little undone. Beautiful wood bowls filled with lush greenery on the tables. Soft colored, loose weave linen runners that are not straight or tailored. Warm, natural-colored candles in cut crystal hurricanes.
The guest’s gifts can be something sourced locally and packaged beautifully. Craft lavender essential oils in a beautiful linen bag, tied with hand dyed silk ribbon and a note to “sleep well” after you have partied all night, is the perfect way to say thank you. Especially if your wedding is a destination wedding or you have a lot of guests coming from out of town to witness your nuptials, we always suggest bringing in unique local gifts that will give your guests a new appreciation for what the area might be known for.

On how to achieve the hanging flower trend:

Towards the end of 2017, we started seeing more flowers upside down than right side up. There is something so magical and romantic about hanging flowers. It gives an ethereal feeling that flowers in a vase just don’t accomplish as easily. It doesn’t have to end with just flowers, as it really is beautiful when it’s a combination of flowers and greenery. You can achieve that full look much quicker and for less money than you could with, say, all roses.

You can either use your hanging floral arrangement just to highlight one area—such as the entrance to your dinner—or you can go all in and do a floral ceiling treatment that takes your guests’ breath away. When it comes to hanging flowers, more is more. You want this to look lush and intentional. We say leave this trend to the professionals, as it is a time consuming project.

On bringing in texture:

Though this seems to be new to the wedding industry, this is an age-old design principal. By adding texture to your event you create layers, which makes the design much more engaging. We saw velvet everywhere this year in linens, draping, chair covers… you name it. We don’t expect that trend to disappear in 2018.

That said, texture doesn’t only have to come in the form of your linens. You can add texture in your glassware or chargers; if your wedding is old-school glam, cut crystal is going to have a much bigger impact than a standard wine glass. And of course, don’t forget your flowers.  Florals are trending towards beautiful grasses, rich colors, and most importantly really layered and textured arrangements.

See more wedding stories:

Newlyweds Share Their Biggest Wedding Day Regrets
These Are the Biggest Wedding Trends for 2018 So You Got Married—Here’s How to Be the Best Spouse Ever

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Elly Leavitt

Writer and Editor

Elly enjoys covering anything from travel to funky design (tubular furniture, anyone?) to the latest cultural trend. Her dream apartment would exist on the Upper West Side and include a plethora of mismatched antique chairs, ceramic vessels, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases—essential to her goal of becoming a poor man’s Nora Ephron. You can probably find her in line at Trader Joe’s. You will never find her at SoulCycle.