Welcome to Wedding Season, a mini-series in which we investigate all things nuptials related with the help of Allix Cott, the head of editorial communications at Carats & Cake, an online platform helping couples find the best vendors across the country. From unconventional wedding trends to social media etiquette, here’s what you need to know before the big day.
Like most things in life, weddings come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from intimate bohemian ceremonies in wildflower fields to lavish affairs in historical settings. Refined elegance, destination-focused decor, and live installations are all wedding ceremony trends in 2019 that can be applied to present-day ceremonies across the spectrum.
To help inspire your walk down the aisle, we’ve tapped the minds of some of the industry’s top experts in all things planning, florals, and photography to recommend the biggest and best wedding trends this year. Intimate gatherings, live props, and private venues to host your big day are all things that couples are leaning toward this year. If you’re looking to tie the knot in the next year, take a look at these wedding ceremony trends that will guarantee an “I do” for the classic, modern, and trend-seeking pair.
Opt for a Minimal Backdrop
When Mother Nature does her job and provides a stunning backdrop to your ceremony, there is no need to over accessorize. “Let the beauty of an old oak tree, a field of wildflowers or a sparkling stream be the backdrop to your nuptials,” advises Christina Baxter, owner of Cibi Events. “You may wish to frame it with a few urns of organic floral arrangements or simply leave it completely natural,” she adds.
Stick to a Small Wedding Party
“We find that our clients are opting for smaller wedding parties, either having siblings or family only,” says Heather White Sherrill, office manager at Aster & Park. “Having a smaller group alleviates a lot of stress on the wedding day as well,” she adds. Most couples want their friends to enjoy the planning process with them and not to feel the pressure from the duties that go along with it.
Install Live Props
When designing tabletops and ceremonies, look beyond what is on the table or aisle and focus on what is hanging from the ceiling. “For ceremonies, I am seeing the focus shift from aisle decor to statement-making installations overhead,” says Ali Phillips, Owner of Engaging Events by Ali. Carry this concept of installations throughout your reception by incorporating florals both on and above the table.
Consider Private Estate Venues
“Private estates afford event designers the rare opportunity to reveal a property to guests in a new way, often drawing inspiration from elevated perspectives,” says Francie Dorman and Britt Cole, cofounders of 42 North. The chuppah in one ceremony was intentionally designed to give guests a unique perspective of the water, using a combination of raw elements like branches, thick eucalyptus, and full white hydrangeas. “For another client, we positioned a bold floral arch to frame the sprawling Green Mountains in Vermont,” adds Dorman and Cole, “with the same colored petals as an organic aisle runner.”
Embrace Architectural Elements
The focal point of any ceremony, your altar, arch, and backdrop can transform the style of any design. For the coming year, expect to see altars with architectural elements and lots of floral accents. “Custom calligraphy scrolls and backdrops with modern geometric shapes—with added touches of florals and neon signs with custom wording—are going to being to pop up more and more in 2019,” says Diana Venditto, owner and creative director at Eventi Floral & Events.
Spotlight a Statement Aisle
“The statement aisle will be welcomed for couples in 2019,” says Aleah and Nick Valley, founders of Valley & Company Events, “one that is impressive with lush florals and trees or decor but that frames the couple and doesn’t overpower the altar during vows.” Expect to see the aisle itself as impressive and grand, while the altar is left somewhat open to truly showcase the couple.
Lean Toward a Natural Look
“In 2019, brides will be embracing a more natural style that enhances their everyday look,” says Linsey Snyder Wachalter, owner of Face Time Beauty Concierge. Think subtle, nude lips with full lashes or a champagne shimmer eyeshadow with a super-soft pink lip. “For wedding-day hairstyles, full half-up sweeps or one-side sweeps with soft, effortless waves will be the go-to look for brides,” adds Wachalter, on modern ways to enhance a woman’s hairstyle from what she may wear every day.
Trade Pink for Purple
Most recently, couples are swapping classic pastel palettes of light blue and pink for a variety of purple shades from lavender to lilac. “Purple can be paired with an assortment of hues, adding both elegance and whimsy to your overall design aesthetic,” says Thomas Bui, founder of Thomas Bui Lifestyle. Purple flowers were used to adorn both the altar and the sides of the aisle for this stunning outdoor affair.
Highlight Geometric Arches
“Geometric arches at ceremonies will really take off in 2019,” advises Lindsey Nickel, founder of Lovely Day Events. Think circles, triangles, and more. “Couples are growing tired of wooden and metal arches and are constantly looking for fresh ideas,” adds Nickel. Expect to see the continued rise of the bohemian trend throughout much of the coming year.
Focus on Unplugging
In a time of social media, more couples are choosing to keep their ceremonies private. A custom sign to match your décor gives guests a subtle reminder to be present and unplug during the ceremony. “A beautifully calligraphed stand of acrylic, is a delicate piece to have visible near your programs or other ceremony details when guests arrive,” says Danielle Dworkowitz, owner and event designer of Creative Touch Party Design Inc.
Curate an Abundance of Greenery
“Whether you choose to marry in a natural setting that’s already full of greenery or even going so far as to add more greenery to an outdoor space, couples are loving being surrounded by natural beauty,” says Rebecca Ickes Berg, owner of Rebecca Marie Photography. Capturing the copious amounts of natural greenery that adorned this outdoor ceremony space made for an organic and plentiful setting that was emphasized in the final photos.