We love weddings. Even if we've already planned and attended our own, going to the nuptials of our friends and family members is a true delight, and when it comes to the decor, we never know what to expect.
To get some insight on what trends might be big in 2019, we consulted with a variety of wedding industry experts on what to look for in the coming year.
Honestly, we're pretty excited by what 2019 weddings will have to offer, from the food to the florals. It's a good time to be a bride… and an even better time to be a guest!
1. Small plates & snack platters will be big
Multiple sources told us that traditional seated dinners and buffet stations are trending downward in favor of a more modern approach.
"I think a big food trend we will see in 2019 will be small plates for wedding dinners and grazing boards [display boards]," Joy Schmidt, director of catering and conference services at The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel in St. Louis, tells SheKnows. "Small plates offer couples an ability to serve a variety of foods that still allow the chef to present in an artistic fashion. Although people enjoy the variety a buffet or stations offer, small plates offer that variety without lacking in presentation. A visually impressive grazing board can not only be stunning, but it keeps the guests full and happy."
Better yet? No waiting in a long buffet line.
2. Shabby-chic & bohemian make way for elegance & drama
"More couples are looking for unique wedding venues and opting for portrait sessions either before the ceremony or immediately afterward that are dramatic and high fashion, which tends to go along with the feel of the entire day," Elizabeth Williamsberg, a wedding photographer in Colorado, tells SheKnows. "While I'm still shooting a lot of weddings in our state and national parks, more and more weddings for next year are opting for historical buildings, especially those with an industrial or art deco feel to them."
Photographer Michelle Tverberg has also noticed this trend. "I am seeing for 2019 the trend of luxury hotels being 'in.' For a long time, we have seen outdoor location weddings being the ultimate trend, including barns and gardens. However, hotels are really stepping up and coming back into style, and I can see why, with many providing outdoor garden areas for the ceremony and walking into a glorious reception space with climate control as well as accommodations available for any/all of their guests," he tells SheKnows.
3. Fall weddings, not spring or summer
Every expert we spoke with tells us spring and summer weddings are making way for fall ceremonies instead. Maybe global warming is to blame? Either way, prepare your calendar for a busy autumn in 2019.
4. Florals are getting a big update
With a move toward more showstopping food offerings, centerpieces have been changing too.
"With food being the centerpiece, we've seen floral trend upwards — in the hanging variety," photographer Lexia Frank tells SheKnows. "Massive floral installations are now hanging from the ceiling instead of resting on the table and blocking guests' views of one another," and getting in the way of those artful displays of food.
And it's not just florals. Couples are opting for less traditional arrangements in general according to Jamie O'Donnell, wedding and event planner. "The casual Mason jar and rustic trend is fading out, but the idea of elevated and tailored greenery, living bars and plants along the aisle are coming in for an elevated natural look," she tells SheKnows.
5. Color is big
Gone are the pastels of yesteryear. Several sources tell us to expect weddings in 2019 to be a riot of color.
"Adding color into your wedding is huge. Millennial pink is officially 'out,' and purples, emerald green, blue and orange are officially 'in,'" Carly Long, marketing and public relations coordinator of LLG Events, tells SheKnows.
It's not just in the decor either. O'Donnell tells SheKnows, "Brides and Bridal Designers are embracing color and showcasing their personality. We’ll continue to see color in tux selections too. Navy has been trending for the last year… we may be seeing burgundy and a continuation of velvet tux jackets into 2019."
6. Unplugged weddings
It seems like a lot of couples are annoyed by their guests staring at a screen the whole wedding or having wedding pictures up on Facebook before the reception is even over.
"I think unplugged weddings are going to be huge next year," Erica Hartwig of Organic Moments Photography tells SheKnows.
Several of the experts confirm this trend, so if you're a wedding guest in 2019, expect to leave your phone at home.
7. Experiential ceremonies
Many of the wedding industry pros say couples are veering away from traditional ceremonies and receptions in favor of adding experiences their guests will love.
"Although couples still care about how things look, they're becoming more and more concerned with creating an amazing experience for their guests and making sure everyone leaves having created amazing memories," Erin and Drew Coles of The Metropolitan Players tell SheKnows.
Whether this means having more time on the dance floor, putting on special musical performances or even getting in acrobatic acts, expect to see fewer traditional events like parent dances and garter tosses at any upcoming ceremonies.
8. Destination weddings
Several experts say destination weddings are getting more and more popular.
"Destination weddings are huge and only getting bigger," Alison Laesser-Keck, event producer and designer, tells SheKnows.
Expect smaller but more detailed and intimate ceremonies in locations where couples can spend a whole weekend with their closest friends and families instead of just one night. After all, a wedding is a celebration!