Wedding trends change as often as the seasons. From the flowers and décor to the latest wedding fashions hot off the runway, we’re covering everything that’s haute and trending in weddings this year so you can wow your guests and stay true to your style on your big day.
Whether you’re looking for utmost sophistication or a more casual feel to your celebration, the trends of 2015 cater to them all. To keep a pulse on the latest designs and inspirations in the Chicago and national wedding industry today, we’ve compiled a list of the top 17 wedding trends for brides to keep an eye out for this year:
1. Woodland weddings
The hot new wedding theme of 2015 is the rustic, nature-inspired woodland wedding, which features earthy yet ethereal elements with a touch of glamor for a forest fairytale like none other. Often staged in the great outdoors, woodland weddings are characterized by earth-toned colors, natural prints and textures, and romantic floral embellishments with hints of sparkle adorning the décor. Brides and bridesmaids dress in delicate lace, long flowing gowns and flower crowns, while the woodland groom dons a boutonniere of beautifully-arranged branches, herbs, moss or feathers. Those without easy access to a meadow can still bring that enchanted forest feel to their wedding by incorporating natural elements, like moss terrariums, branches and whimsical flowers, like baby’s breath, throughout their venue.
2. Instagram #hashtags
Forget the photographer! Let your guests document your wedding experience by having them capture special moments and sharing the images on social media using your very own customized Instagram hashtag specially dedicated to the big event. For a tech-savvy touch, set up chic charging stations on the cocktail tables throughout the reception venue to ensure your guests’ phones stay fully charged and active all night long. Since photos on the web live on forever, you can share your memories and relive your wedding day anywhere and anytime you want long after the festivities are over.
3. Photo booths
Although wedding photo booths are nothing new, we’ve seen an evolution in the use of photo booths from simple black and white photo strips to more dynamic set-ups with funky and fun props, handmade signs and customized layouts. Photo booths at weddings are the perfect way to capture lasting memories on your big day and encourage your guests to let loose during your reception. On-site photo booth scrapbooking is also an excellent way to give the bride a groom a personalized gift from all the guests to take home after the celebration is over.
4. Cakelets and cupcakes
Move over wedding cake, because cupcakes are in! More and more couples are opting to serve up the casual cousin of the formal wedding cake in order to save money or give guests that nostalgic feel of unwrapping these little bite-sized delights. For a more sophisticated version of the popular cupcake trend, cakelets – miniature versions of wedding cakes, with tiers and all – are a fresh new way to give your traditional towering dessert a new spin.
5. Mason jars
Whether for function or décor, Mason jars have taken the wedding industry by storm. More and more couples are finding fresh new ways to incorporate the nostalgic glass into their wedding events, using them as cocktail glasses, votives, vases and more. To add a personal touch to the popular trend, fill your mason jars with ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe or snack to use as party favors for your guests.
6. Alternative registries
Gone are the days when brides and grooms register for home goods at a single retailer alone. Alternative wedding registries, like giftregistry360.com, give couples the flexibility to create the master of all wedding registries, so guests can shop for and purchase all items – no matter the retailer – all in one place. For couples seeking a little help with their honeymoon expenses, online registries like honeyfund.com provide the perfect way to make their dream vacation a reality by letting guests help out with honeymoon-related expenses, like accommodation, transportation, dining or activities.
7. Bold colors
Bright and bold is back with vibrant color palettes hitting the wedding scene once again. Before you go throwing a rainbow of colors around for your wedding décor, however, try to hone in on one or two bright pops of color, like poppy red, tangerine orange or indigo blue, to use as a feature theme color alongside more muted tones, like white, light gold, or ivory.
Whether in the form of retro, cinema-style signs or classic monogrammed initials, marquees are making a comeback in wedding décor in a big way. Oversized, light-up letters of the couple’s initials can serve as a standout centerpiece at the entrance of your reception, while more practical signage can direct guests to the dessert table, restroom or bar.
9. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses
Brides are mixing it up by outfitting their bridesmaids in dresses of mismatched styles, fabrics or colors to break down the formality of the traditional role. Not only does the intentional mix-up make the overall look more dynamic and fun; it also allows each woman to select the dress that suits her personal style or figure the best. If you opt to go with a mismatched look, make sure there is some cohesiveness in either shades, lengths or features to avoid the appearance of a disjointed bridal party.
10. Shoe Show
Women throughout history have always had an affinity for shoes, and this year is no exception. Brides today are making their walk down the aisle more like a fashion-forward strut down a runway with the latest shoe styles sweeping the wedding industry today. From heels with all-over sparkle to vibrant kicks with a bright pop of color, brides are no longer thinking of shoes as an afterthought or accessory to their wedding day attire, but as a main feature in their overall look.
11. Dramatic backsides
Ever since world renowned wedding designers Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Packham and Vera Wang hit New York’s Bridal Market with 2015 collections of wedding gowns with sheer backs and intricate embroideries, open-back showstoppers have flown off the shelves at bridal stores everywhere. With a jaw-dropping, dramatic backside, you can make your exit down the aisle just as memorable as your entrance!
Chalkboards can enhance the rustic vibe of a wedding celebration in a way that’s stylish, trend-setting, versatile and functional. Not only can chalkboards serve as points of information for seating charts and dinner menus; they can also be infused into the décor when used as labels, table markers, personalized accents on glasses, or as photo props.
13. Drinkable wedding favors
To really get your guests in high spirits, think personalized bottles of local wine or craft beer for a trendy and refreshing wedding favor that is sure to be enjoyed by your guests. For the little ones, offer miniature sodas or juices with a late-night snack to take home. If you’re considering drinkable wedding favors for your big day, make sure to keep the overall theme and design of your wedding intact by creating custom labels for your bottles.
14. Welcome bags
What better way to welcome in out of town guests than by treating them to a gift bag filled with useful goodies upon their arrival? Fill totes, gift boxes or bags full of a few things your guests could use throughout the weekend, like snacks, lip balm, water bottles and sunscreen, as well as a list of your favorite nearby restaurants, shopping districts, and must-do activities around town.
15. Naked cakes
For a risqué twist on the traditional wedding cake, couples are choosing to bare it all … on the cake, that is. To coincide with 2015’s popular rustic and woodland style wedding themes, naked cakes shed their outer layer of icing and bare all of their imperfect, yet delectable, layers on the inside. To finesse these charming cakes to perfection, cakeries can embellish these fine works of art with a variety of fruits, flowers and other décor to cater to any wedding style or theme.
16. Flower power
With opportunities to incorporate fresh bouquets at every turn, why not go big on the floral arrangements for your wedding? From oversized cascading bridal bouquets to elaborate flower petal designs lining the aisle, flowers are getting a serious upgrade in 2015. For brides on a budget, choose one central focal point to incorporate a wow-worthy floral feature into the décor, such as a colorful flower and light installation that hangs over the dance floor or a fresh flower archway that serves as the canopy for your wedding ceremony.
17. Black tie
Because classic never goes out of style, black tie weddings give couples and their guests a chance to gussy up for a classy occasion. Whether you’re celebrating in a ballroom or a backyard, weddings provide the perfect opportunity for couples seeking the ultimate sophistication on their big day. From white gloves and bowties to tuxedos and pearls, black tie weddings add a hint of old Hollywood glamor and style to your wedding. As a courtesy to your guests, provide examples of appropriate wedding attire that befits your formal event so nobody feels out of place upon arrival.