International Wedding Trends


aisleplanner_KylieCarlsonThe world of weddings has changed dramatically over the last decade and we are no longer at the mercy of traditions. There is an almost anything goes feel to many celebrations in the 21st century with the personality of the couple in question being at the forefront of the design.

Nevertheless, we do live in a slightly celebrity obsessed world and just by watching some of the bridal inspired reality TV shows you can see where this is influencing the wedding industry.

If you speak to most wedding professionals, you will find them recoiling from the word trend as they prefer to plan/design/cater/create a wedding that is unique to their clients. However, whether we like it or not our clients are influenced by trends, and so as professionals it is our job to be aware of them and know how to incorporate them, whilst still maintaining that personal feel.

Part of my job as the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning is to spend time researching to see what is popular and trending, not only in the wedding industry, but in industries such as interior design, fashion, architecture, popular culture and literature. From here we are able to ascertain what is likely to infiltrate its way into weddings for the forthcoming season.

Every year we put together a comprehensive report, The International Wedding Trend Report, and we collaborate with over 50 wedding experts from around the world to produce a report that is truly global. This year we are seeing a clear focus for weddings and that is one of opulence. Budgets are back and couples are spending. However, couples are more educated now than ever before and know exactly what they want. There is a definite break from tradition as couple’s look to put their own stamp on things with a really edgy component to the decor. Metallic accents are everywhere with combinations such as rose gold and gunmetal being a firm favorite.

One trend that is going strong in Europe is the festival inspired weddings. We have seen a definite resurgence in interest in them over the last 5 years. Festivals like Coachella and Burning Man are known internationally and are having a huge influence on the design of many weddings.

The dominant colors often come from the Pantone Color Report but it is the jewel tones and metallic that are the runaway winners, with big chunks of quartz used as display pieces and unpolished semi-precious stones on tables. Hues such as rose gold, yellow gold and rich copper are the big favorites. Mixed metallics are where it’s at with rose gold and gun metal being the perfect combo. And let’s not forget the sparkle, or what we used to call “bling.” Glitz like gems, crystals, glitter, and sequins are big favorites.

wedding trend report

A huge area of focus for many couples now is the food and drink with creative menus being woven into the design of the overall day, and a move away from standard beverages. There is definitely still a push to more crafted drinks and signature cocktails with mixology being a big hit. Let’s not forget adding an interactive element to the dessert, it is almost a requirement. Guests expect more.

Venues such as wineries, museums, art galleries and boutique hotels are still topping the list, but with return to nature and festival weddings being two of the top themes for 2016, botanical gardens and open fields with teepees and tents are definitely up there too.

Couples are looking to create floral focal areas in their venues with hanging floral decor including threaded flowers, floral chandeliers and massed flowers in photo frames. Floral design itself will be abundant with gorgeous masses of blooms and beautiful textures with florists using seasonal flowers to bring a truly beautiful romantic feel, and using lots of stunning foliage to add another dimension.

Design in general is about creating an experience with brides being more daring and edgy in their choices and enjoying mixing a traditional element with contemporary table decor really leaving the overall feel being quite eclectic.

This is just a snapshot view of the trends we are predicting in 2016, but for a more comprehensive look you can download our International Wedding Trend Report on our blog.

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About the Author

Kylie Carlson
Kylie Carlson

Kylie is the Director of The Wedding Planning Academy in Australia. She is an internationally renowned speaker and is on the Advisory Board as the only Australian Representative for Event Solutions Magazine, one of the industry leaders.

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