Top Wedding Trends of 2016

We are a couple months into 2016 and are noticing some awesome (and very different) wedding trends emerging! Here are some fabulous finds and growing wedding fads to consider for your 2016 wedding:

1. Metallics

I may fall into the blonde stereotype of loving everything sparkly or covered in glitter, but this rising wedding trend proves that I am not alone.

Silver, gold, and shiny metallics of all colors are becoming central design concepts in this year's weddings. We're talking rose gold invitations, gold sequin linens for a glamorous sweetheart table, copper raised ceremony programs, glitter painted mason jars, you name it. If it’s sparkly, you’ll likely see it as a central design concept at weddings this year.

2. Long, rectangular tables

While several large round tables have been the norm for reception layouts for some time, many couples are looking to break from a conference-style feel to a more elegant, sit-down layout. Longer rectangular tables are replacing those 32” rounds. We love the “mad tea party” feel of this look!

3. Mix and match centerpieces

When it comes to centerpieces, no two tables need to be alike. Mix and match short and tall centerpiece ideas, or maybe even have different centerpieces themed for each table number. For example, if each table number represents a favorite movie, have the decorations reflect that. If you want Toy Story and Finding Nemo as table names, decorate one table with your favorite childhood toys and the other with nautical, under the sea decorations. Just like your eyebrows, guests' tables can be sisters without having to be twins ;)

4. Cake alternatives

Couples are swapping out the expected tiered cake with fun alternatives, like a large tower of Oreos or a wall of fresh-baked donuts. Not every couple necessarily identify as “cake people,” so why not reflect that same sentiment in their big day? Maybe you want a tower of Oreos or a wall of donuts frosted to match your color scheme. Whatever your favorite dessert may be, go big with it and ditch that standard wedding cake idea (unless you’re as in love with cake as I am, in which case carry on as usual).

5. Brunch weddings

We could go on and out about all the awesome things you could do when planning a brunch wedding. Lots of yummy breakfast foods & sweets to serve, mimosa & coffee bars, more time to space things out, much more sunlight time for photos, better availability and pricing of venues, a more laid back wedding style, what is there NOT to love? Brunch weddings are some of our favorites.

6. Practical registries

Swap the fine china for some hiking gear, honeymoon necessities, or favorite movies you could both watch over and over again. Newlyweds of 2016 don’t always need traditional registry items like silverware or linens. Some couples have already been living together for a while and have accrued most of the basic home necessities. Maybe you would rather have shower guests donate to a honeymoon or first home fund, which is definitely more than okay!

7. Go big or go home

Couples are trying to find new, exciting ways to keep their guests entertained at their wedding. They’re replacing DJ’s with live bands and bagpipers. They’re planning show-stopping surprises and themes so big, their guests won’t be able to stop themselves from Instagramming every moment.

Whether it’s a speed painter (like the wonderful Tom Varano pictured here) or a Vegas themed event filled with showgirls, blackjack tables, and Elvis impersonators, wedding receptions are becoming the event to top all events. Depending on how much money the couple has to spend, there may even be a famous surprise guest to perform a song or two (anyone else wish they were one of these lucky couples from this Maroon5 video?). There is no limit to how jaw-dropping you can make your wedding day!

8. GoPro

No need to stress out over a small drone passing over your cousin’s outdoor wedding ceremony - she just happened to hire a really cool, tech-savvy photographer to capture the day’s moments from a new perspective! GoPro’s are becoming ever popular cameras for capturing moments of the newlywed’s day, whether it’s an aerial shot of the ceremony or reception by drone, a time lapse of the venue setup, or the quirky perspective of the doggie ring bearer. GoPros are capturing moments both big and small in a whole new way.

9. Unplugged

This is a trend we are more than happy to jump on board with. Smart phones and tablets are without a doubt incredible technological advances. We now have instant communication and access to limitless information right at the tip of our fingertips. Super cool! Except they're not always the most practical for every situation.

Our addictions to social media and capturing every moment to post on the Internet aren’t just perpetuating our generation’s inability to communicate properly in person with other people, but they’re making it even more difficult to truly enjoy life’s special moments. How can you be fully present in one of the happiest moments of your friend or family member’s life when you’re watching it through the camera on your iPhone or posting a live Twitter feed about the ceremony?

There is also the matter of professional wedding photography. You are likely paying a lot of money for a professional photographer to capture moments in the most professional, beautiful way. You are certainly not paying a professional to capture photos of your guests taking photos with their cameras, smart phones, and - even worse - iPads. A photo of you and your loved one standing at the altar with your quirky uncle Sam stepping out into the aisle to get the perfect shot with his iPad is probably not something you want to pay someone big money to capture forever.

When it comes to the unplugged wedding debate, we believe Huffington Post put it best.

10. Flower Granny

Not every couple has younger family members or family friends to fit the traditional role of flower girls. Instead of doing away with a flower girl altogether, why not fill the role with some special ladies in your life that have loved and cared for you since birth? Asking your grandmothers to play the role of flower girl is a great option.

Don’t feel comfortable asking your grandma to be your flower girl? Check out this other awesome alternative (and be prepared to giggle).

11. Singing vows

As a girl who only sings in the shower, alone in my car, or anytime a High School Musical song begins to play, this is one of those trends that I give tremendous credit to couples for. If you have a love of music that practically parallels your love for each other - and the talent to wow the crowd - why not sing your wedding vows? It is a fun way to incorporate your personal style (and killer chords) into your wedding day, leaving your guests and new spouse with a moment to treasure and remember.

12. Wooden decor

This year, couples are keeping things natural and rustic by incorporating more wooden decorations. You can use wood for limitless decorating possibilities. You may have wooden signs adorned with your favorite love quotes decorating tables and walls, wooden tiers for cake and desserts, pallets painted to show a timeline or seating arrangement, branches incorporated in vases, or maybe even a stunning wooden archway for outdoor ceremonies.

13. Song requests before the wedding

While you’re asking for an RSVP, guest count, and meal choice, why not ask your guests which awesome songs they want to dance to at your reception? Not only will you be helping to make your guests happy, but you’ll be making the task of building a playlist for your DJ so much easier.

14. Grand exits making a grand comeback

While most of 2016’s biggest trends habitually break away from more modern tradition, here’s a trend that brings us back to earlier times. We can thank the rising popularity of Pinterest planning for this 2016 trend. Who doesn’t think that all those photographs of sparklers, bubbles, and multicolored confetti are stunning? Like most things wedding related, newlyweds (we’re looking at you, brides) want more and more to emulate the fantasy weddings they build on their Pinterest boards, and show-stopping send offs are no exception.

15. Convertible wedding dresses

Why settle for just one look when you can have two? Brides are loving the look and feel of convertible wedding gowns. Having a long, bustling gown for the ceremony is regal and elegant, but a shorter, more chic gown offers a little more wiggle room on the dance floor. Channel your inner celeb at the Academy Awards with an outfit change of your own on your special day.

16. Jumpsuits for the Rehearsal

Jumpsuits are a fashion statement that has been making its way back onto the fashion scene since last year, and wedding fashion has not been immune. Soon-to-be brides are swapping out the white cocktail dress or sundress adorned with lace accents for a more comfortable, alternative look.

17. Mismatched bridesmaids gowns

Brides are starting to let go of the standard desire for all bridesmaids to dress identical (with the possible exception of the Maid or Matron of Honor). Choosing one common detail of the dresses, like a dress color or style, and then allowing the bridesmaids to choose their own gown within that standard is giving bridal parties a lot more freedom. They can now purchase a dress they can afford, that suits their individual body type, and that they would assuredly wear on another occasion. As long as the bride isn’t the nit-picky organizational type, this trend is a total win-win.

18. Take a hike

Nature lovers unite for this fun wedding idea! If you and your fiancé spend most of your free time on adventures in the outdoors, why not celebrate your love in the same fashion? Couples are planning stunning ceremonies and receptions in their favorite natural spots in the woods and by lakes and streams. These adventurous weddings allow for some fun in the sun, a more casual ambiance, and some fantastic wedding photos.

However, be prepared for the worst. Be sure that if you’re planning any sort of outdoor wedding, you have backup plans for all that may go awry, like unforeseen stormy weather conditions.

This year is promising to be off to an exciting start in terms of fun, new wedding trends! What are your thoughts? Are there any trends you’d be willing to showcase on your wedding day, or are there any that don’t particularly tickle your fancy (dare we say, sound like a lot of hooplah!)? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy Planning!