The Knot, the #1 wedding resource, today released its annual Wedding Trends Report of the top trends for 2016. From satellite bars and two-in-one-dresses to choirs performing rock ballads as you walk down the aisle or dance your first dance, the 2016 trends have taken wedding traditions to a whole new level.
"Weddings are more personalized than ever, with couples putting their own unique touches on classic traditions," says Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. "Couples are taking entertainment up a notch by hiring contemporary choirs that will sing an a cappella version of their first dance song, and upgrading the signature cocktail to satellite bars featuring specialty drinks with engraved glassware and elaborate garnishes. Guys are even upping their grooming game and stepping into the spotlight more with custom suits and accessories."
Two-in-One Dresses & Fashion-Forward Florals
Instead of making a complete dress change from the ceremony to reception, brides are opting for convertible dresses that combine a formal ceremony gown and a fun reception frock in one. Picture a dramatic feather skirt overlay that gets removed after the ceremony to reveal a lace column gown you can hit the dance floor in. Additionally, flowers are going beyond the bouquet and centerpieces. Vibrant, floral-printed dresses and traditional dresses with 3-D floral appliqués are flooding the bridal runways. Can't commit to a gown? Try a blooming flower crown.
Wedding Concierge Pros
Wedding planning is getting easier. If an extra hand is needed to execute any element of the day that falls out of the realm of traditional planner duties, there's a pro—and many times, an app—for that. Popular services include proposal assistance, bridesmaids for hire, bachelor party planning gurus, social media mavens and speechwriters. And The Knot can even help couples find the perfect venue with our Venue Concierge Service—for free! Brides can now hire someone to tackle the jobs they don't have time for—including live-tweeting your wedding day and training your four-legged ring bearer.
Say hello to the satellite bar in 2016. In addition to the standard mixed drinks, beer and wine setup, this second bar is designated for a special spirit. It's a great way to personalize the party with your favorite libation, or even serve a tasting of preferred wines. Set up a bar that highlights your preferred drink, like champagne or a specialty gin. If you're down for tequila, try some twists on the classic margarita (hello, grapefruit) or tasteful shooters. Personalize one step further with colored glassware, infused ice cubes or elaborate garnishes, like smoke, that will wow guests.
Contemporary Choirs & Late-Night Karaoke
Keeping guests entertained all night long with special musical performances isn't new, but this year's trend is: choirs! Think 20-person ensembles with amazing a cappella abilities. Surprise guests by hiring a marching band or gospel choir and have them perform a favorite rock ballad for the walk down the aisle or an a cappella version of the first dance song. And if you're hosting an after-party, karaoke is king. A basic karaoke setup and some photo booth props is all you need to keep the party going. Watching friends and family belt out their favorite '90s hits is priceless.
Cakes are getting a design update with graphic prints and textile-like motifs, while plain tiers are acting as a canvas for projecting video displays—the perfect marriage of dessert and technology. The wedding cake is here to stay, but it's no longer the only dessert on the menu. Passed treats, especially of the frozen variety like shaved ice or fruit-infused ice pops with the couple's names on the stick, are trending along with installations like doughnut walls.
Weddings have become weekend-long celebrations, regardless of destination, making wedding websites a must-have for all the details guests need. Enter the web designer. Couples are hiring design gurus to create a completely custom site with a unique URL, bespoke details and personalized illustrations. But you don't need a web designer to get a beautiful site. The Knot wedding website tool offers more than 80 gorgeous wedding website designs that can be personalized to include a couple's favorite photos and links to their registries. Some even offer matching invitations.
The new wedding tells a couple's story, meaning a complete customization of details that goes well beyond monogrammed cocktail napkins. From serving the couple's favorite dish from a local restaurant or having an ordained family member officiate the ceremony, elements will reflect their favorite tastes and interests, making their wedding day uniquely their own. Couples are even choosing original themes that represent the two of them, like a techy bash (a la The Met Gala) or a Star Wars–inspired after-party.
The popularity and accessibility of 3-D printers are on the rise, and we are seeing this come to life in weddings. Paper will always have a place in weddings, but couples are creating memorable 3-D save-the-dates that set the vibe for a modern celebration, and even making a 3-D printed cake topper that looks just like the bride and groom. Some are taking 3-D printing to the next level by printing bridesmaid jewelry and groomsmen cuff links to gift a one-of-a-kind wedding day look.
Food-Inspired Floral Elements: Artichokes and Kale vs. Roses
Bouquets and centerpieces are getting a style boost thanks to untraditional floral elements, like fruit and vegetables. Couples are even including ingredients off the dinner menu in their centerpieces, like kale or artichokes. Pick one favorite, like berries, and include them in bouquets, centerpieces and any installations for a cohesive take on the trend.
You've heard of the second dress—now guys want a unique reception look too. Custom suits with embroidered monograms, velvet loafers and personalized cuff links give guys more style options than ever before in 2016. Grooms are switching to a dinner jacket for the reception or making a "wardrobe change" to wear a different bow tie and pocket square. Some grooms are even starting their wedding prep early with treatments like teeth whitening, "handshake maintenance" (a.k.a man manicures) and regular beard trims in the months leading up to the celebration. Rounding up the groomsmen for a preceremony shave not only provides a fun, bonding moment, but guarantees a well-groomed wedding party.
Locally Sourced Food
The new wedding menu will mimic the offerings at your local farm-to-table restaurant. Forget standard chicken or beef and say hello to "free-range Happy Days Farm hen." Good food, both in taste and provenance, is playing a greater role in dinner fare. Healthy "it" ingredients like kale and sprouted grains will be on the menu regardless of the season. Source ingredients from the wedding locale and make them the cornerstone of the menu. If hosting a more intimate celebration, consider asking a chef to customize a multicourse meal, or serve guests family style.
It's all about shimmer and shine this year. Don't be afraid to mix silver and rose gold or gunmetal and gold—metallics play well together. The addition of luster elevates any look, giving a couple's wedding style an extra-special feel. Add a metallic to the color palette for a hint of glitz or make a statement with rose gold sequin bridesmaid dresses, gilded greenery, foil invites or a sparkle dusted cake.