9 Top Wedding Trends of 2016

Meghan Rooney

It's wedding season, and we're certain your social media channels are serving as a constant reminder and source of inspiration if you're planning your big day—with or without a prospective bride or groom. We're constantly blown away by the gorgeous invites, insane florals, and serious gift bag swag popping up on our feeds, which seems to grow even more impressive with each passing season. Since there's nothing more fun (or more beautiful) than Googling real weddings, we've taken the liberty of compiling our favorite ideas from the 2016 season to fill up your inspiration folder. From hand-painted custom crests to edible tablescapes, below are the top trends to take note of from this season's most inspiring weddings. 

In years past we've seen plenty of color when it comes to dressing the the bridal party, but this season's brides are opting out of brights and pastels in favor of all-white weddings. And when we say white, we mean a loose interpretation as bridesmaids dresses in cream, ivory, and other variations of white, which complement the bride's gown, give way to gorgeous photos and a clean, uniform look, especially for warm-weather or destination weddings. 

PHOTO:

Design by Happy Menocal

One of our favorite ideas to come out this season are the beautiful hand-painted custom crests couples are creating as motifs for save-the-dates and invites, which serve as a theme that is woven throughout the ceremony and reception. This particular crest (pictured above), was drawn up by artist Happy Menocal for Samantha Tritsch and Ryan Fuld, who designed it with a special sentiment in mind: The two lovebirds, which appear on either side of the signature RS crest on the couple's save-the-date, will meet at the top of the crest on the formal invitation to signify the couple beginning to build a life together. The birds will be a theme throughout the festivities as the design will be woven into topiaries throughout The New York Public Library, where the couple (and lovebirds) will tie the knot in October.

Another one of the best trends to pop up this year is quite practical: edible décor. Why not use the beauty of fresh fruit and vegetables for a tasty tablescape, which not only accomplishes an earthy feel but also gives your guests something delicious to snack on between courses or throughout the night. Serving food family-style versus a sit-down dinner or buffet has also made a resurgence as guests can pick and choose what they want on their plate as well as the portion size. This also helps avoid wasting food and the hassle of plating mixups, while still providing the option of several choices. 

We've seen a ton of beautiful neutral floral palettes in the past, but this year bright bouquets and flower arrangements are taking the cake (literally). Let tastemaker Crystal Meers's vibrant floral scheme (pictured above) serve as inspiration for this refreshing new look that adds life to the party.

This trend comes as good news for the guests. Couples are going out of their way to ensure they create a lasting impression of their memorable day with custom, personalized swag bags that go beyond the standard (yet always appreciated) koozie. By creating a motif, couples have made use of their design by providing everything from branded water bottles to apparel like hats and tees that serve as useful mementos for all of their loved ones.

Forget photo booths and disposable cameras, Snapchat's custom geofilters have become the most popular way for guests to document the big day with a personal touch. Enlist the help of a digital designer, like Etsy's TWG Designs, who created the gorgeous filter (pictured above), which mirrored the couple's invitation, to create a personalized design that speaks to the event. Just be sure to save all of the filtered footage before it disappears.

In place of tall vases and candelabras, couples are choosing to go green with ethereal garlands as centerpieces and table décor. A garland also prevents guests from having to play peek-a-boo around flower arrangements that block eye-contact and can ruin the view of the rest of the room.

We've seen tons of different trends when it comes to wedding cake designs in recent years (naked cakes and ombré icing to name a few) but we're huge fans of the latest creation to hit the wedding wire: geode cakes. Made with rock candy, the crystallized cakes are almost too pretty to eat (but are, in fact, entirely edible).

Brides may be able to save a buck or two thanks to the single-flower bouquet trend, which has become quite popular with the use of oversize florals, like the Protea (pictured above). The look is simple yet elegant and doesn't hide the bride, which many overdone bouquets tend to do.

Which new or recent wedding trend is your favorite? If you're looking for a foolproof checklist as a bride-to-be, pick up this wedding planning book ($11) to cover off your bases.

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