10 New Wedding Trends We're Seeing Right Now

The evolution of wedding trends doesn't stop for anyone.
by Andrea Fowler

Wedding trends are always changing, but the good news is we're here to tell you what's what. From invitations to favors, check out which trends were hot last season and what's coming down the pike.

  1. Invitations Then: Formal Engraving

    Wedding invitation trends with calligraphy
    Susan Baker Photography; Michelle Lange Photography

    Invitations Now: Captivating Calligraphy

    In this age of technology, couples are revisiting the art of handwritten invitations. Not only does it make each guest feel as though their attendance is genuinely wanted, but it also makes for an even more personalized keepsake. Different calligraphy styles can allude to different wedding themes—for example, sweeping lettering fits perfectly with a romantic or whimsical wedding.

  2. Ring Bearers Then: Little Ones

    Ring bearer wedding trends
    Cly byt Mathew; Two Pair Photography

    Ring Bearers Now: Furry Friends

    Asking your little cousin to be the flower girl or ring bearer will never go out of style, but there's a new kind of cutie taking over the aisle: dogs. Couples' dogs are just as much a part of the family, and with ceremonies shifting away from traditional churches, there are more opportunities to incorporate canine companions in the wedding day. Deck out their collar with a wreath of flowers and maybe sign them up for a lesson or two (yes, there are actually services that train your dog for the wedding day) so they're ready to strut their stuff.

  3. Bouquets Then: Succulents

    Bridal bouquet ideas and trends
    Ashley Lester Photography; Christina Lilly Photography

    Bouquets Now: Statement Stems

    Succulents may just be the mason jar of flower arrangements—they were everywhere. While they're still a popular choice, there's another stem threatening to steal the spotlight. Big-headed blooms like king protea and dinner plate dahlias are being used to create attention-grabbing focal points in bouquets. And greens are trending too—vines, ferns and eucalyptus are paired with complementary flowers to round out arrangements.

  4. Bridal Accessories Then: Veil

    Bridal veil and flower crown trends
    Melanie Gabrielle Photography; Onelove Photography

    Bridal Accessories Now: Flower Crowns

    Modern brides looking for new ways to express their personal style while walking down the aisle are turning to headpieces. Instead of donning a traditional veil, flower crowns are being worn in their place. Colors combinations can be totally customized, and the style can range from rustic to whimsical, with the blooms being curated by the bride herself, giving it that extra-special feeling of total personalization.

  5. Appetizers Then: Seated Plates

    Wedding appetizer trends
    Borrowed Blue Photography; Lauren Kinsey Photography

    Appetizers Now: Passed Bites

    The farm-to-table movement has had an effect on just about every facet of food, including the presentation. There's been a shift to a more casual, hands-on experience. Instead of seated courses, cocktail hours with passed hors d'oeuvres and unique food pairings have come out in full force, encouraging a mix-and-mingle experience between guests.

  6. Photography Then: Instagram

    Wedding photography trends
    Jamie Beth Photography; Cly by Mathew

    Photography Now: Insta 'Graphs

    Wedding hashtags will always be crafted to punny perfection, but nothing beats a printed-on-demand photo. What we're getting at here is that the new photography trend is actually a throwback: polaroids. (Have you seen the cute Polaroid-style cameras these days?) Guests can play up their photography skills and everyone leaves with a few more tangible momentos from the day.

  7. Flower Trends Then: Centerpieces

    Wedding flower trends
    Paul Johnson Photography; Purrington Photography

    Flower Trends Now: Suspended Arrangements

    Ceiling florals are everywhere. We're seeing centerpiece-size arrangements suspended above family-style tables, lengths of lemon-leaf garlands strung through rafters, and chandeliers draped with hanging blooms. This faux-ceiling effect is becoming popular because of the higher frequency of garden and natural-themed weddings, but it also helps to customize the size of a space and make high-ceilinged rooms feel more intimate.

  8. Wedding Cakes Then: Naked

    Wedding cake trends
    Christina Lilly Photography; Dear Wesleyann

    Wedding Cakes Now: Over the Top

    Maybe it's a karmic balance thing, but wedding cakes are going from totally naked to totally decked out. Swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction, couples are opting for ornate flower designs, intricate piping, fondant appliqués and tall tiers.

  9. Desserts Then: Chocolate and Vanilla

    Wedding dessert trends
    Joanna Fisher Photography; Carrie Patterson Photography

    Desserts Now: Gourmet Flavors

    Couples are supplementing their dessert options with gourmet cupcakes and self-serve treats. And we don't mean the expected chocolate and vanilla—we're talking tropical fillings, expertly crafted garnishes and couture details, like dark chocolate ganache drizzling or torched meringue frosting.

  10. Favors Then: Take-Home Favors

    Wedding favor trends
    Corbin Gurkin Photography

    Favors Now: Welcome Baskets

    Weddings aren't just a one day affair anymore—wedding weekends are the hottest thing since naked cakes. According to our 2015 Real Weddings Study, about 20 percent of couples are choosing to have destination weddings (which is defined by 200 miles or more away from home), which is even more of a reason to extend the celebration. And with those extra days tacked onto a guest's stay, the favor has turned into a welcome basket to supply goodies and information about their stay. Basically, instead of "Good-bye, thank you for coming" couples are saying, "Hello, we're so glad you're here!"

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