10 Hot Wedding Style Trends for 2010!

What's hot now? Are photo booths still in? Will rustic outdoor weddings be as popular in 2010? Here's our forecast for the hottest wedding trends of the year.
by Anja Winikka
  1. Trend 1: Retro-Chic Weddings

    photo by Elizabeth Walker Photography
    Retro-style weddings -- at a hotel, in your parents’ backyard, or even at a restaurant -- are huge right now, and we’ll continue to see a lot of the style in 2010. It’s really no wonder: A wedding filled with vintage details, whether from the 1950s, ’60s, or even ’70s, can make for a meaningful heirloom-filled, back-in-the-day vibe, and the decor options are limitless. Use a turquoise-and-raspberry color combo, get milk-glass cake stands for your dessert table, dress the tables with pretty eyelet runners, and ask your florist to arrange your centerpieces in small porcelain vases or silver pitchers. Even your menu options can get in on the action with pigs in blankets and punch (served up in glass punch glasses, of course) at the cocktail hour.

    > Check out vintage Real Wedding slideshows

    > See more retro and vintage wedding detail photos!
  2. Trend 2: Dinner-Focused Receptions

    photo by CA/VA Weddings
    Say good-bye to informal buffet lines and light hors d’oeuvres stations and welcome back the sit-down reception dinner. Think of it as a re-creation of a dinner party in your own home: lots of food and a comfortable setting are both key. To achieve this level of comfort, order starter plates to get guests munching and chatting from the get-go and choose a dinner menu of the meat-and-potatoes variety. Have the meal served family-style so that all the food, wine, and iced tea or lemonade is set in the middle of the table for guests to help themselves, just like they’d do at their own homes. Do it this way and you’ll encourage conversation and create a more intimate atmosphere.

    > Find a reception venue in your area

    > Get more reception decor ideas
  3. Trend 3: Innovative Ceremony Setups

    photo by Kristen Spencer Photography
    This year, it's really all about comfort, so whether your ceremony takes place in a church, at a farm, or in a ballroom, consider adding elements that make your guests feel right at home. Skip the common aisle-down-the-middle arrangement and create a living-room vibe using a mix of couches and chairs, replace all those chairs with hay bales covered with quilts, or even spread blankets on the ground right in front of the altar for the kids. The best part is that anything goes just so long as the details create an intimate feeling.

    > See more ceremony decor photos!
  4. Trend 4: Shorter, Tea-Length Dresses

    photo by Jonathan Canlas Photography
    From ball gowns to slim, structured sheaths, a shorter-than-floor-length style will make a huge resurgence on ceremony aisles this year. And you don’t have to have a casual wedding to pull it off, either -- the key is in the fabric. Find one made with cotton or layers of airy tulle for an outdoor spring or summer wedding, get a silk-satin gown for a more formal wedding, or go for heavy silk with a soft bolero or even an overcoat for a wintertime wedding.

    > See photos of short, tea-length wedding dresses!
  5. Trend 5: Classic White Wedding Cakes

    photo by SMS Photography
    While dessert tables and candy bars have been popular for the past few years, wedding cakes have made a comeback. But instead of the colorful two-tiered styles we saw in 2009, this year it’s all about the classic white wedding cake. Order a simple, round, three-tiered cake frosted with white buttercream or covered in white fondant and finish it with an antique cake topper (from your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding), a few fresh flowers that match your bouquet, or leave it clear of add-ons for an even simpler look.

    > Check out photos of all-white wedding cakes
  6. Trend 6: Textural Flower Arrangements

    photo by Andy Wakeman Wedding Photography
    The typical tall centerpiece, overflowing with roses and calla lilies, has given way to low, textural arrangements that call to mind a springtime garden, crisp autumn foliage, or a snow-covered evergreen. To throw extra color and texture into the mix, have your bouquets wrapped with lace or patterned fabric, or line your flower-filled vases with birchbark sleeves. As for the centerpiece vases, ask your florist to use small planters, classic pedestals, vintage-inspired vases, or even rustic apple crates.

    > See hundreds of wedding centerpiece photos!
  7. Trend 7: Turn Table DJs/Specialty Music

    photo by Leo Patrone Photography
    Everyone loves a live band, but DJs are resurging in popularity -- and we’re not talking about the old iPod-and-speakers setup. We mean skilled turntable DJs who can create a unique mishmash of music tailored to your guests, guaranteeing you a packed dance floor all night long. If it’s in the budget, hire a specialty band that speaks to your relationship or wedding locale (like a jazz trio, bluegrass band, or even funk group) for the cocktail hour.

    > Find a wedding DJ or band in your area

    > See 50 classic first dance songs
  8. Trend 8: Souped-Up Photo Booths

    photo by Real Photography
    The photo booth trend is so not going anywhere -- it’s just becoming more personalized. If you’d rather not rent one, make one. Create your own backdrop using a piece of patterned fabric, a simple curtain, or even paper streamers. If it’s an outdoor wedding, pin the fabric to an arbor or trellis; otherwise, use a wardrobe frame to secure your fabric. If you’ve rented more of a traditional wedding space, ask your site manager whether they have in-house “pipe and drapes” that you can use (a fancy term for a stand-alone bar with a curtain attached). You could also make a completely custom photo backdrop out of wood, cover it with wallpaper or paint, and then decorate it with fun frames or anything else you can think of. Cut out circles for your guests’ faces, or encourage everyone to get comfortable together on a great couch placed in front of the backdrop. And don’t forget the funny props, like hats, fake mustaches, and glasses!

    > Get more creative photography ideas!
  9. Trend 9: Themed Engagement Photo Shoots

    photo by SOTA Dzine
    Just like your dress and reception decor, your engagement photo shoot should be completely “you.” Follow that line of thinking and you’ll understand why couples are coming up with the most creative themed engagement photo shoots, from Mad Men and Breakfast at Tiffany’s to more obscure 1950s backyard barbecue shoots. Not into the theme idea? Tone it down with a couple props, like colorful balloons, umbrellas, or a tandem bicycle.

    > Get more fun engagement photo shoot ideas
  10. Trend 10: Wedding Videos (They're Back!)

    photo by Elizabeth Messina Photography
    While classic cinematic wedding videos are still an in-demand style, couples are also asking their videographers to use motion picture in new and creative ways. A few ideas we love: short wedding Super 8 wedding videos for that grainy, vintage look (which can later have music dubbed in), the one-minute wedding video first created by the Flashdance DJ out of Los Angeles -- a fast-motion version of the dance floor throughout the evening, or an ultra-creative save-the-date video.

    > Find a videographer in your area

    > Check out our favorite wedding video guest book!
  11. More 2010 Wedding Trends

    photo by Michael Howard Photography

    Grand Exits
    We're not saying you should blow the budget on fireworks, but having a formal ceremony or reception exit is not only fun for you and your guests, it'll make for great photos. Alternatives to bird seed: paper airplanes, ticker tape, sparklers, and eco-confetti.

    > See more wedding exit photos

    Book-Inspired Details

    Read much? Go for novel-esque programs and invites, centerpieces atop stacks of book, and bookmark wedding favors.

    > Get more wedding style ideas

    Bright Lips

    Makeup artists say that more and more brides are asking to emphasize the lips. Try out bright pinks and reds to see what looks right on you and finish with a sheer lip gloss on top.

    > Check out more wedding day makeup tips

    Creative Photo Displays
    Rethink interrupting dinner to present a slideshow of through-the-years photos. Instead, set up a digital photo frame on a table in the cocktail hour space, or display your engagement photos on a rotating card display.

    > See creative wedding photo displays

    Classic White China Registries

    Register for classic white, patterned china to mix with more fun colorful dinnerware. Even if you just register for white, patterned dessert plates, you can't go wrong with this registry staple.

    > The ultimate registry checklist

    Family Tree Motifs

    Give a nod to the fam and show off your new union by adding a family tree display to your wedding day. Feature it on the ceremony programs, make it the guest book cover, or display a large version on an easel next to the escort card table.

    > Get more ceremony and reception decor ideas!

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