Published on October 20, 2019

Wedding season can cause a mild case of déjà vu. After a summer of romance—publicly declared and officiated—the myriad white dresses, tiered cakes, and cream florals can blur into a single memory. 

But not all nuptials need to look the same. We asked four wedding tastemakers to tell us which trends they’re retiring and the non-cliché details they’re embracing, instead. From unconventional venues to unexpected floral arrangements, these features will make your celebration feel as unique as your relationship.

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Photography by Chris Bernabeo; Courtesy of Lilli Sherman

Skip: The Signature Cocktail
Lilli Sherman, founder of Lilli Sherman Projects, cautions against this classic wedding trope. “Let’s face it—a signature cocktail is usually just a sugary, mediocre version of a classic drink that’s been rebranded with a personalized name for the couple,” she says.

Try: A Large Variety of Wine
Instead, Sherman strongly suggests sticking with wine and offering a wider selection than usual: “The less traditional venues will allow you to bring your own wine, so feel free to get some funky, natural stuff (just make sure you have something classic for the parental set). And who says you need to serve only one type of each? Instead, select only a case or two of each wine.” 

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Courtesy of Elizabeth Jamie

Skip: The Pastel Bouquets
“For a few years now, wedding flowers have pulled inspiration from very muted palettes,” explains florist Elizabeth Jaime. While she’s still a sucker for soft pinks and light peaches, she knows there are more exciting floral options out there. Event and floral designer Jess Weaver echoes Jaime’s sentiment, elaborating that “sweet, romantic wedding flowers with rustic design details” can feel contrived. 

Try: Bright, Tropical Arrangements
Instead, go for some pops of color and unconventional breeds. “I’ve been seeing a lot more tropical arrangements—bright, painted palm leaves, anthuriums, and bird-of-paradise,” says Jaime. “My work tends to skew very colorful, so I’m all for it.” Weaver opts for “tight and clean aesthetics, paired with textural greenery and foliage.” She often pairs dried products with fresh flowers. “Thinking outside the box on florals and greens can help you get more out of your budget and make a statement,” she notes.

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Photography by Chris Bernabeo; Courtesy of Lilli  Sherman

Skip: The Chalk
When it comes to signage, Weaver begs couples to stay away from the oh-so-played-out chalkboard.

Try: Modern Typography
Instead, she elaborates, “a wild, textural floral element is well complemented by stationery and signage with amazing typography and modern but natural table settings.” 

Skip: Too-Cute Cupcakes
According to Lara Halabi, owner of Fluffy Cakes, geode cakes, cupcake towers, and ombré cakes have become a little too trendy on the wedding circuit.

Try: Going Nude
Instead, the coolest crop of nuptials has been requesting painted floral buttercream cakes, black wedding cakes, geometric designs, and naked cakes, to name a few. 

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Photography by Chris Bernabeo; Courtesy of Lilli  Sherman

Skip: The Conventional Venue
Sherman isn’t a fan of venues that play no part in most couples’ daily lives. If you feel uniquely drawn to a vineyard or a particular church, then go for it! But she cautions against falling prey to the notion that the venue must be the showstopper. “Since when did everyone and their mother decide that they needed to get married at a farmhouse?” she asks.

Try: Your Favorite Real-Life Spot
Your venue, along with everything else, should feel like you and your partner,” says Sherman. “Love that neighborhood red-sauce joint? Take it over for a night. Have a favorite public garden? Call the parks department. Have a weekend dim sum tradition? Host the ultimate dumpling party. As an extra perk, these unconventional locations often don’t require preferred vendors, so you’ll have more leeway in beverage selection, DJs, and more.” 

See more wedding trends:
The Wedding Floral DIY We’re Seeing Everywhere
Sophie Turner’s Florist Predicts 4 Fall Bouquet Trends
These Are the Trendiest Wedding Flowers, According to Top Floral Designers

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