What will the hottest wedding trends of 2018 be? Eight Ray Music asked top wedding professionals to share their thoughts in this guide!
Wedding trends are fleeting and many of the hottest trends listed last in our 2017 Hottest Wedding Trends guide will appear outdated compared to the expert’s predictions for 2018.
Over the years we’ve seen trends change dramatically. From the Knot’s assertion in their Hot New Wedding Trends For 2015, that rustic décor and soft palettes were the order of the day to Bridal Guide & Glamour highlighting the growing trend for splashes of vibrant colour and eco-friendly weddings only a year later in 2016.
By 2017, many guides were reporting the move back to neutral palettes and vintage looks. So what will the hottest wedding trends of 2018 be?
The brilliance of the modern era is the individuality and creativity we are seeing in events. Rather than weddings following a few distinct trends, there is evermore variety and unique approaches to wedding planning with people electing to imbue their personality and passions across their wedding day.
Rather than following trends, more and more people are foregoing what’s popular for weddings that represent their personality and passions.
Still, it helps to have an expert opinion on what’s hot in 2018 so you don’t go too far in the wrong direction and this guide brings together a host of top wedding experts to share their thoughts on the hottest wedding trends for the next year.
The expert contributors have been drawn from various industries and this guide covers everything from the wedding entertainment, decor and the menu to floral arrangements and destination weddings.
Some of the expert’s trends conflict. That may be down to geographical differences or personal preferences. After all, the experts who contributed hail from across the world. So use this guide as inspiration to help plan the wedding of your dreams in 2018.
Without further ado here are the expert’s predictions for 2018’s hottest wedding trends.
2018’s Hottest Wedding Trends
Use the links to skip to a section of interest!
A Royal Affair
One of the hottest weddings of 2018 will undoubtedly be that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, so it’s unsurprising that many are suggesting this will impact the hottest wedding trends of the year, this was brilliantly summarised for us by Samantha Poole of Bubbles and Buttonholes.
Royal Sentiment With Individual Flair
Trends for 2018 are going to be very much dictated by the Royal Wedding. The Meghan Markle effect is already in full swing, with us following every fashion move she makes. This will also be reflected in the wedding world in the same way it did with Kate and William in 2011. I think the one thing that strikes me with the young Royals is how they follow Royal protocol, yet manage to reflect their own personal style and keep it young and fresh. Many of today’s couples want that sense of traditionalism, in a regal setting however aren’t afraid to throw out the rulebook and do something a little different. The key with all weddings is to make it personal, something that suits you both as individuals and also your families, and tailor your budget to what suits you as a couple, if you love cake invest in a showstopper that guests will talk about for years, love music? Then let this be the theme of the day with live music acts subtly performing at every element.
Wedding Entertainment Trends
DJ Live & High Energy Bands
Live performances add the perfect atmosphere for evening entertainment. Next year will see a surge in hiring a high energy band or a live sax player, who performs alongside your DJ, to ensure your dancefloor is the place to be!
Stepping up the entertainment
The standard for wedding entertainment is getting higher. For live music, the band has to be tighter, the transitions smoother and every singer has to be a powerhouse. On top of that people want a show, not just a performance. Think syncing stage lights and up-lights for every event and going into 2018 it will be a big feature.
A lot of my 2018 brides are going for more personalization due to them being millennials. They base their personalization off of their interests. For example, they love belly dancing so they have belly dancers. They are in the performing arts so they have aerialists. Just to name a few. A lot of people are going towards musicians that make it into a show.
It seems that many top wedding planners believe eloping abroad to get married will become even more popular in 2018, with brides foregoing traditional customs and locations in favour of instagramable, exotic and exciting destinations.
Destination Weddings: I am seeing an increase in smaller intimate weddings in exotic locations like Thailand, Bora Bora, Seychelles. People are looking for “instagramable” destinations that double as a bucket list vacation and a wedding weekend in one trip.
Twist On Traditions
-Incorporating local entertainment (Steel Pan) and flavours (ie: Jerk Chicken)
-Off resort venues (even when groups stay at all-inclusive resorts) to have a private wedding with no rules
-Personalized details (signage, thank you notes to guests, customizing cake topper)
-Twist on traditions. Grandmother as the bridesmaid etc.
-Remembering loved ones subtly (Japanese fire release, candles burning)
While beach and island locales are always popular picks for destination weddings, many couples are choosing Italy. It’s a great getaway for family and friends, and there’s just so much inspiration.
Eloping The Traditional
While I’m admittedly biased here, I predict that elopements will be the big wedding trend of 2018. As recently reported by the New York Times, Good Morning America, and many others, many couples are now opting to elope instead of holding a traditional ceremony.
While traditional ceremonies cost $35,000 on average, couples can elope for well under $1,000.. Since millennials are more frugal than previous generations, I think more of them entering ‘marriage age’ will fuel an elopement boom in 2018.
On top of that, the younger generation is all about rejecting traditional and doing things their own way. As personalization is a core part of the elopement experience, I think that’ll further translate into elopements becoming a bigger trend.
A Unique Destination
More and more people are venturing to Iceland to get married. There’s a good reason that Hollywood ventures to Iceland to film the likes of Game of Thrones and Star Wars, it’s because the country boasts some of the most ethereal and breathtaking landscapes in the world. In winter you might be treated to the Northern Lights while summer can provide equally beautiful vistas for those looking to make their wedding truly memorable and unique.
The Hottest Wedding Menu Trends
For the 2018 wedding menu, most of the experts agree the hottest trends will be unconventional and non-traditional in nature. Couples will seek to excite guests with colour and new, bold and immersive experiences – an exciting year for wedding catering!
Beyond Texture, Concrete Cakes
I’ve seen this trend spring up recently on dessert menus (at weddings and London restaurants alike), as well as wedding cake requests. Naked cakes have long had their day (dry cake anyone?), marbling was a big trend, and still is, but the update for 2018 is concrete cakes. It has an edgy industrial type look, and whilst the look is ‘rough’ like concrete, it is best achieved with buttercream icing – which is the most delicious of all the icings! Keep in cool grey tones though to achieve the look.
– These have been popular for some time, but they’re becoming increasingly customized to the couples’ unique tastes and entertaining style. Specialists are even being brought in for curated food experiences – think elaborate display of gourmet donuts where guests get to customize their confection with a variety of glazes and toppings paired with professional baristas. And these stations are not just limited to the end of the party sweets – late night comfort foods like sliders and cones of fries with dipping sauces to choose from are fun. So is a make your own grilled cheese station – guests select their bread and cheese before it gets turned into an ooey-gooey treat. Stations have even started to move beyond the table – wandering oysters and build your own burrata carts are super fun!
– For couples leaning toward the rustic side of the spectrum naked cakes with fruit embellishments and drip toppings very popular. Couples that are more traditional seem to be going with nearly classic cakes but are adding a lot of sugar flower accents but unlike the traditional cakes of yesterday, these cakes have varying layer heights – some ultra, ultra tall.
– While family-style meals were popular in recent history. I’m noticing more and more couples going for the more formal plated dinner again. If you think about it when you host a party at home you often have guests grab from a buffet or pass shared dishes around the table. While it’s an intimate experience, having a chef create distinct flavor profiles on a single plate is an elegant way to set your wedding apart from most other parties you’ll host.
Vegan weddings are happening more and more often… When two compassionate people get married, it’s an opportunity to show their friends and family the joys of a vegan lifestyle. They’ll be blown away by how beautiful and fabulous a completely animal-free wedding can be.
A Touch of Personality
The candy jar bars are out, as well as the 3-course-meal with traditional wedding food. Instead, people will want to show their personality through interactive food stations with their favorite food. That allows people to mingle and have fun, instead of sitting on a table throughout the event. Everything has to be Instagram-worthy. People are getting their inspiration by events such as The Museum of Ice Cream and Color Factory.
One station that we have that is popular for wedding is Paint a Plate. Instead of plates we use artist palettes. Couples pick their favorite meat and guests have a choice of sauces they can use to “paint” their plates and create their own dish.
We also are now seeing food being available in creative stations in non-traditional parts of the wedding, such as when guests arrive to the ceremony. Maybe it’s a display of their favorite sweet, such as a wall of cotton candy sprinkled with edible sparkles.
Farm To Table
Wedding trends for next year are already starting to emerge and we are seeing a surge in creative spaces with farm to table catering. That may seem really specific, but there are actually countless options available. Food is becoming a major priority for couples, and gone are the days of 179 versions of Caprese salad.
Pops Of Colour
Ditch the cake and coffee for nontraditional desserts like sticky buns and vanilla lattes!
Hello, candy bar! Candy bars incorporate nice pops of color and you can customize them however you’d like
Charanna K. Alexander, Love Ink
New, Immersive Experiences
I recently got married in LA and it was so important to us to include regional items so we added an LA Street Taco Food stand to our late night menu and it was a huge hit. I think couples are looking for ways to give their guests new experiences and food is a great way to immerse guests into the culture of the destination. We also included a Caribbean Rum cake as a takeaway for our guests to showcase our Caribbean heritage. I think that in 2018 couples will really depart from the 3 course meal tradition and offer their guest more of a culinary experience that is a bit more free form.
Liesl Lamare, Lamare London
Theatre & Interactivity
Food and drink stations are huge! Guests are opting for sushi / seafood bars or even Gin bars. The theatre and interactivity of a food station makes this fun and sociable for guests. There is also an increasing demand for “farm-to-table” dinners.
Wedding Decor Trends
From the comforts of hygge to high glam, high drama affairs, see what the experts are predicting for the hottest wedding trends in decor in 2018.
One intriguing element mentioned a couple of times is how event design follows fashion, so keep your eye on the catwalk to stay ahead!
Hygge & Natural Elements
Hygge is most popularly known as an interior design trend that originated in Norway, and means a sanctuary or cozy place. It has been gaining popularity in the wedding industry, and will continue to grow in 2018. Expect to see lots of greenery, candles, woodwork, and other natural elements that are associated with this trend.
While succulents have been a top décor choice among couples for the last few seasons, there has been a distinct shift toward cacti plants. These prickly charmers are bold and will make a statement on any tablescape, aisle runner or floral arrangement.
Interesting Items & Ceiling Space
The use of ceiling space for decor elements, such as suspended floral arrangements, lights or even interesting items such as umbrellas will be popular in 2018. It will add a unique flare to the wedding design and a nice surprise for your guests.
Mindy Weiss, Celebrity Wedding Planner
Instead of the standard white and ivory candles, couples are looking to add a splash of color to their décor accents. Colored candles on tablescapes or peppered throughout the event space are an easy way to add something unexpected to your décor.
Colored glass and taper candle holders will be big in 2018.Couples are really looking to add a pop to the small details.
Lower, intimate floral arrangements will prevail over taller centerpieces. Low, lush florals allow for conversation across the table but still keep things looking full.
In terms of actual floral trends, Amaranthus is back! This cascading plant gives floral pieces a lush feel and the striking color adds interest.
Clear tents with greenery installations instead of fabric treatments will be a hit next year for outdoor events. Using greenery adds that natural element and makes things really feel organic and crispy.
A touch of Italy
Italian linen tablecloths and napkins in a variety of colors will make things feel more luxe next year.
Laura Devine, Devine Bride
Pantone Spring 2018 Trends
Following New York Fashion Week last autumn, Pantone quickly released their predictions for key colours for spring 2018. The two on my hit list and that I have had most requested for 2018 are pink lavender and ultra violet. This also links in with the royal wedding revival following Pippa’s wedding, as, whilst we didn’t actually see them used at any of the royal weddings, purple symbolises nobility and luxury, and these colours are very opulent.
Lavender colours are particularly popular during the lavender season, when fresh lavender is readily available from around May to late August. Two of my brides getting married in June 2018 are incorporating soft purple hues into their wedding – in a very decadent way, rather than it being too wintry or gothic looking.
Liesl Lamare, Lamare London
Bright, Airy Spaces
2018 will see brides and grooms opting for bright and airy spaces for a modern and clean look. Following on from Pippa’s wedding, the glass conservatory or clear marquee are high in demand for next year. Equally, we’ll see lots of glass and mirrored décor – clear vases, mirror table seating plans and hand written menus on clear Perspex are just some examples of the translucent details which will feature.
Charanna K. Alexander, Love Ink
High Glam, High Drama
2017 was a huge explosion of high glam, high drama weddings and I think for 2018 we are going to see a lot more minimal modern decor in interesting venues. I think people are stepping away from traditional hotel ballrooms and wedding venues and looking for locations that don’t require a lot of decor like a rooftop, art gallery, a quaint restaurant or cafe.
Fashion & Beauty Hottest Wedding Trends 2018
The desire for individuality looks set to extend into the hottest wedding trends for fashion and beauty, alongside a cape or two…
Individuality In Beauty
Mixed metals continue to gain momentum… in regard to beauty (metallic shadows, highlight, lips and nails), but also in regard to decor and venue choice. The industrial trend is going strong, replacing the boho, pastoral themes that have dominated for a few years now. Edison bulbs, bare spaces, copper accents, along with interesting metal accessories and hairpieces are key. Bridal beauty reflects the ongoing trend for individuality… anything goes!
Most popular looks include soft romantic monochromatic makeup looks in shades of blush or peachy pink on eyes/cheeks/lips, barely there shadow paired with major, lush lashes, and simple makeup looks punctuated with a super bold lip in crimson or fuchsia. For hair, traditional brides are still opting for updos of every variety from undone to sleek, but more brides are choosing loose curls or waves for a modern, sultry feel.
Liesl Lamare, Lamare London
Capes Are In
In terms of bridal fashion, capes are a huge trend for 2018. These elegant cover-ups add a sophisticated touch to your ceremony, which can then be taken off to reveal a bit more skin for the evening.
More Colourful Dresses
Dresses won’t just be white, as more brides are opting for colorful gowns for their big day. Not only that, they are going for bolder looks such as dresses that have capes or really ornate appliqués.
Laura Devine, Devine Bride
Pippa’s Wedding Dress
The OTHER royal wedding! On the flip side of dry hire and DIY weddings… are the Middleton’s!
Since last May, the most notable trend to come from Pippa’s wedding is her dress. We have seen loads of copycat dresses show up on catwalks since Pippa’s wedding in May. Her style wasn’t dissimilar to her older sister’s, but instead of a covered chest and modest sleeves, she went for a slightly more modern take by having shorter capped sleeves. Pippa, like her sister, kept a very classic and simple style for her wedding, and we’ve seen a resurgence of this type of wedding and wedding dress thanks to the Middleton’s and Pippa’s wedding in 2017.
General Hottest Wedding Trends 2018
The best of the rest. In this year’s general trends the experts are predicting smaller more intimate guestlists and much more personalisation of the big day.
Spiritual & Wellness
For 2018 weddings you’ll see the continued rise of spiritual and wellness practices. People are gravitating more and more to these types of energies and inner explorations, so you might see Henna artists, tarot card or intuitive readers, healing sound baths etc… And as a shamanic practitioner I have been asked to officiate more weddings in 2018 than ever before and also lead various ceremonies in the days leading up to the wedding, like guided meditations specifically curated for the couple or fire circles involving releasing the old and what no longer serves them on the night before the wedding.
Alexandria Proko, Alexandria Catherine Events
Smaller Guestlists, More Intimate Affairs
More Intimacy. It’s already starting, and will carry into 2018 … wedding guest lists are getting a little smaller. The average is between 120-150 guests right now for a reception and we’re going to start seeing counts closer to 75-100 guests instead. Couples are opting to invite fewer guests and spend those extra dollars on more personal touches and unique experiences for their guests.
Selective and Spoilt Guestlist
One of the growing trends is a move towards smaller wedding sizes with more money being spent on each guest. Couples are being more selective about who they want to invite for their intimate wedding day and yet they really want to go all out and spoil each and every one of those guests.
This makes sense to us because most people would rather enjoy the day with their closest family and friends than to be around people they’ve possibly never met… We always encourage couples to make decisions for their wedding that are personally meaningful. One of the best ways to do that is to be selective about who you want to invite.
Andrea Freeman, Andrea Freeman Events
Today’s couple knows that their guests are busy people and there is a lot pulling for their attention. They want their invites to really stand out and send the clear message that this is the invite of the year. So not only are they requesting couture custom-designed paper pieces, but they’re also incorporating a variety of personal items – everything from random bric a brac to precious flowers that last a full year and keep the party in everyone’s mind during the time between invite and celebration.
This whimsical artistic writing is a wonderful way to add a personal touch to your wedding. For years it has been popular with invitations, custom napkins, or guest favors. This year I’m seeing it used in really fun and interesting ways. Clear lucite chairs at the head table with names written on them are taking the place of place cards at one upcoming celebration.
Laura Devine, Devine Bride
Pick + Mix Planning and Dry Hire Venues
Brides now want something different, they want flexibility. They want to do the fun bits themselves but often need a helping hand to finish off DIY décor, help on the day. They don’t want to be restricted to only what their venue serves. Food and drink vans, bikes and pop-ups are becoming ever popular. From gin to gelato. From pies to pizza. And from coffee to cake.
In London, they key trend has been personalisation and conveying the personality of the couple through their wedding. Pick + mix planning, specialist suppliers, people and help per hour, and dry hire venues are in such demand that I’ve made a business from it! (I offer various flexible pick + mix wedding planning and styling packages.)
Kylie Carlson, International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning
Fashion Before Events
The tropical-themed weddings that were big last year will see an evolution starting in 2018 with the psychotropical trend. It is a concept that brings hyperreality and nature together and results in vivid saturated colors, and synthetic botanical motifs. Expect to see it pop up in the fashion industry first, and quickly follow into event design.”
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