If the front of your fridge has been as crowded with invitations as ours this year, your summer was full of weddings. Now that summer — and with it, wedding season — has come to a close, that means one thing: we’re headed into engagement season. Next thing you know, your Instagram feed will be full of beautiful proposal pics, and if you happen to be one of those lucky ladies getting engaged this year, that means you’ll be in full planning mode for a 2019 wedding. There are countless decisions to make, and no shortage of inspiration out there between bridal magazines, Pinterest, and your own social media feeds — but sometimes you need a more focused list of ideas. So we rounded up 5 of the newest (and some just newly popular) wedding trends all you 2019 brides ought to know about — from dresses and flowers to reception food and invitations.
Let’s start with one of the biggest parts of your wedding day, both in importance and budget: the dress. Whether you plan to go more casual or formal, if you’re shopping for a new dress, you’re going to notice certain styles and trends repeated, even if it’s not easy to immediately spot them in a sea of ivory chiffon.
It should be no surprise that one of the biggest influences on bridal trends this year is Meghan Markle. Just as Kate Middleton’s long-sleeve lace bodice served as inspiration for countless brides after her 2011 wedding to Prince William, expect to see hints of both Meghan’s ceremony and reception dresses when you’re shopping — most notably the boat-neck-meets-off-the-shoulder silhouette. Another trend we can credit Meghan with? A resurgence of the bridal tiara.
Other dress elements that are rising in popularity for next year are statement bows (think: oversized, structured bows that turn into trains), puffed sleeves, sparkle (all over or just a hint), and 3D floral elements. 2019 brides will also be more likely to wear dresses with geometric patterns and shapes; as opposed to floral lace and sweetheart necklines, there are more straight lines used in dress designs, from details in the fabric to cutouts and trim.
Another wedding dress trend that’s grown in popularity over the past several years isn’t a dress at all — it’s the bridal jumpsuit. More designers are including jumpsuits in their bridal collections, making them an option for formal weddings, but they’re also a popular choice for more casual, smaller weddings (an overall trend for 2019). Jumpsuits are also a fun option for rehearsal dinners or other wedding celebrations leading up to the big day.
After several years of muted color palettes for bouquets and centerpieces, 2019 is expected to see a resurgence of bright, deeply colored flowers. Abundant greenery will continue to be a big part of the ceremony and reception decor, but we anticipate seeing it combined with a more colorful selection of flowers, as opposed to being used on its own or simply paired with white stems as we’ve seen recently.
And speaking of flowers, industry experts are anticipating 2019 to be the year of dahlias. Their unique shape and lack of ubiquity (at least yet, that is), combined with the rich, jewel-tone hues they come in make dahlias the perfect choice for 2019 brides. Peonies and ranunculus will also be popular additions to bouquets and arrangements that lack uniformity and feel more natural and relaxed.
As for how you see florals used in wedding decor, expect to continue to see greenery garland draped along tables and railings, as well as hanging floral arrangements and flower walls. Transitioning arrangements from traditional centerpieces to true decor elements is a modern twist that allows the entire space to feel like it’s become part of the event. And while flower walls pack a big punch and provide a de facto photo backdrop for guests, they won’t come cheap. A flower wall alone can cost upwards of $10,000.
Trends in wedding decor are similarly following the floral trends mentioned above. Bright colors are expected to make a big return in 2019. Colors like burgundy, turquoise, and emerald will be seen in all elements of the ceremony and reception, including bridesmaid dresses, invitation suites and other paper elements (more on that next), florals, linens, and other accents. Pastel and more muted decor will always be a beautiful, classic choice, but we expect to see more weddings create an elegant affair with moodier and more intense colors than we’re used to.
Also, as is typical with trends that come in hot and are suddenly everywhere, copper and rose gold are pretty quickly phasing out. The pink-hued metals were extremely popular for the past few years, but now feel a bit been-there-done-that, and couples are again opting for traditional silver and gold.
Also losing steam in popularity for weddings is the rustic barn wedding. We’ve seen so many versions of it over the past several years, and it seems that we’re finally tiring of burlap, wildflowers, and mason jars. For a similarly unique and unfussy venue, brides are turning to industrial spaces like old mills and factories. The same raw wood and metal accents as a barn, but in a decidedly more modern feeling space.
Invitation Suites and Event Branding
Invitation suites and accompanying event branding like signage, menus, napkins, and more have consistently grown in popularity over the past several years, and 2019 sees no stopping of it. Expect to see even more unique features used on all things paper like geometric cutouts, custom illustrations and watercolors, wax seals, and color-blocking. No matter the style, cohesive and consistent event branding for weddings is becoming more of the norm. And it starts long before the wedding weekend. Your save the dates and invitations are the first hint to guests what your wedding will be like, and more brides are turning to custom stationery companies to handle designing and producing every element from start to finish.
With Instagram and Pinterest becoming top sources of wedding inspiration, the highly photographable detailed shots of invites, menus, and more of these worded elements are catching the attention of all types of brides-to-be. We anticipate seeing custom monograms printed on napkins, koozies, the cake — even decor like the front of the bar. All of these elements help create a wedding that’s completely custom and unique to the individual couple.
Also trending in custom wedding elements? Personalized welcome baskets or gift boxes for guests, in lieu of traditional party favors. These are particularly popular for destination weddings or celebrations where a majority of the guests are coming in from out of town. The baskets can include anything from an itinerary and map for the weekend to local treats and thoughtful gifts relevant to the couple or locale.
As with the trend toward branding your entire wedding weekend, the types of food couples are choosing for their wedding receptions are becoming more personal and inventive. While sit-down dinners will always be popular for certain weddings (be they grand and formal or small, intimate gatherings), couples are getting more creative with the food they serve than a typical buffet selection. This trend will be even more popular in 2019, so expect to see themed food stations instead of one buffet — think raw seafood bars, custom pizzas, tacos stands, and more. The same goes for unique drink options and custom cocktails named in honor of the newlyweds. Why serve beef tenderloin and green beans when you can serve gourmet sliders and fried chicken? This choice becomes even more personal if the food and drink have a special significance to the couple or their families.