I love bringing you all good news (I mean, does anyone really want the opposite?!), so I’m incredibly proud to announce that I’ve recently been elected to the Advisory Board of the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planners, a learning academy that prepares graduates for a professional career as a wedding and event planner, stylist, or designer!
As a longtime collaborator with the Academy, I’m interviewed each year about celebrity wedding and event trends happening in North America. My tips are included in the Academy’s annual Wedding Trend Report along with those from other awe-inspiring experts around the globe. Working in an advisory capacity, I’ll now have new responsibilities throughout the year, which I couldn’t be more excited about! More on that to come! In the meantime, I wanted to kick off our month of wedded bliss with an overview of 2018 wedding trend predictions from yours truly!
Finding Beauty In Imperfection
On the heels of last year’s trend toward finding inner sanctuary using greenery and natural elements, the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planners has declared 2018 the year of “Wabi Sabi.” Wabi-whatsy?! No, not the green stuff you put on your sushi! Wabi Sabi is based on the Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in imperfection. We’re going to dish all month long on how experts around the world plan to interpret this concept because it differs regionally. You might be asking yourself, how do trends evolve and how can one predict what’s going to be popular? In short, trends are about relevancy and what we care about as individuals. So, the Academy looks to arts, design, fashion, and interiors to determine what trends will be taking over the wedding and events industry.
Interpreted in event design (especially here in the United States), Wabi Sabi will become a peeling back of elaborate visuals until what remains is true and authentic. A palette of neutral hues and natural textures that are inherently imperfect will dominate this year’s styling.
Additionally, we expect couples will select spaces that feature well-worn interiors with emotional charm—venues that have exposed timber, roughly hewn tables, and frayed raw-edged fabrics. We anticipate floral design will be sparse, with brides and grooms opting for solitary blooms placed in artistic vessels with a lot of negative space in between for ease of viewing. Anxious for party tips of your own to help you plan a smaller event? Check out our 65 Super Secret Party Tips Guide!
5 Wedding Trends I’m Seeing With My Clients
It’s All About Rarity.
Rarity of food, experiences, and basically every aspect of the event. Very, very unique entertainment seems to be a trend here in Los Angeles coupled with the overall concept of immersion and getting guests involved. Whether it’s via food installations, an interactive attraction such as a mobile bar, or entertainment that includes the whole party, there is a desire for lots of interaction and bringing everyone together. Uniqueness in any form will always be the end goal with the luxury market. Often it reveals itself in little ways, like making everything in the centerpieces edible.
Marrying (literally!) two very different upbringings. For instance, you might have a tried and true Manhattanite marrying the midwest farmer’s daughter on the family farm and weaving those lifestyles together. Or, from an international perspective, a couple from two different areas of France might want to infuse elements that reflect each of the different regions they’re from: pine or thyme, rosemary and lavender because they are from different regions, each with their own specialties.
Unique Experiences: whether it’s wearable tech like a tiny camera hidden in the bride’s bouquet, or having a celebrity chef appearance or Jean-Georges on hand to sign menus, my couples always request unique experiences for themselves and their guests.
Living in the entertainment capital of the world, my celebrity clients adhere to strict diets. That has naturally spilled over onto the public at large. I dare you to find someone in California that isn’t gluten free, vegan, paleo or doing a ketogenic something or other! Seriously, we are the kings and queens of food restrictions! And as scientific research supports some of these eating trends, even France is having to succumb every once in a while to gluten free situations! All of this is to say, my clients are extremely discerning about the menus at their events.
At a very, very elevated new level, like very quick car service so that no one waits at the valet, or seamless experiences over the entire wedding weekend and the cocooning of guests. One thing to be aware of, this level of service requires much higher staff ratios.
Celebrity Destination Wedding Locations
The most popular destination spots I’m seeing this year are places in the Caribbean that survived the hurricanes because celebs love beautiful, interesting, secluded beach destination spots that aren’t absolutely impossible to get to, but still haven’t been “used” by everyone already.
I also predict we’re going to start seeing places like Dubai and the Seychelles become popular destinations because of the recent weather challenges in the Caribbean.
Biggest Celebrity Wedding Trends For 2018
DRAMA! We’re going to see dramatic, oversized bouquets, old school glamour and exaggerated whatever – be it extra large bows, throwback ruffley sleeves, capes, capelets, and interesting, detailed veils.
Trend Buckers: those celebrities who say, we don’t need no stinkin’ trends! They’ll want glamour but you’ll see them walking down the aisle in those very “now” pantsuits.
Classics with a Twist: there will be a return to the traditional and classics, but always with a twist. I think we’re going to continue to see a lot of blush, kind of riffing off the rose gold trend but with little fashion secret details.
Small Batch Everything: is still going to be really big to underscore that attention to detail and quality I mentioned.
What Trends From Last Year Are Carrying Over?
Boho is not going anywhere any time soon, especially because a lot of celebrities relate to that relaxed, casual vibe that permeates Hollywood. Geodes and crystals, which have been popular, will be even more frequently seen in cakes, place cards and accessories. Unique liquors will continue to garner attention as couples gravitate toward signature cocktails. Brown bars will not only include whiskey and scotch, but all kinds of interesting beer and beverage stations. By and large, you’ll continue to see quality over quantity across the board.
Lavender & Moody Metallics
Copper has been huge for several years now and has pretty much run its course. Brass is now the preferred metal to design with. And speaking of colors, I know how much you love Millenial Pink, because I do too, but we’ve closed the door on that shade. Taking its place are lovely lavender hues.
Another exciting design facet that’s gaining momentum includes a move toward “earthy” luxury, including the use of organic materials, dark woods, and handcrafted items done in earth tones. We predict a huge shift away from blonde woods and Scandinavian aesthetics that have been popular for years and expect to see marbled appearances on wood and ceramics.
Wedding Trend Predictions For Apparel
In fashion, the trend is psychotropic, where bright saturated colors and botanical motifs dominate. Since Ultra Violet is the Pantone Color of the Year, don’t be surprised if you see iridescent fabrics replacing last year’s sequins. (Given the color, we also expect a futuristic interpretation of the trend, which could include hanging and iridescent objects. Experts in Asia are planning on lots of stars, stardust, night sky, moon and celestial themes for weddings.)
Also trending on the runway is black and white polka dots, flowing fringe, and leather and beads, which would suggest boho style is still popular. But we think it will be interpreted differently for weddings. Feathers were also seen during fashion week this year, which goes hand-in-hand with the naturalistic styling of Wabi Sabi.
The Mood Down Under
In Australia, the most popular look will be Barefoot Glamour, with couples choosing settings at the beach that combine coastal and luxe for a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. Aussie event planners have noted the use of metallics and high end materials in the weddings they’re creating with a desire to blend opulent celebrations with natural freedom. This style is Ideal for those who are inspired by the sea but still want their wedding to reflect glamour and richness.
Wedding Trend Predictions For Europe
UK millennials are known to be travelers and they usually have diverse friends from all over the world. These couples are drawn toward artistic styling from far reaching locales. We’re seeing requests for wedding styling that makes use of velvet, silk, patterns that feel exotic, and moody color palettes ranging from dark burgundy to emerald green.
According to photographers, couples are moving away from posed shots in favor of candid moments. People are also growing tired of over saturated, over processed looks. There is also a resurging interest in physical photography products such as albums and frames. Because much of our lives are lived digitally now, people are returning to these nostalgic implements, which for years were considered trite. Now, there’s a renewed interest in having keepsakes visible.
More On Venues, Themes, Decor, Catering & Floral… Next Week!
Don’t worry, there’s plenty more coming throughout the month of April, and I seriously can’t wait to share it all with you! If you recently got engaged or want to plan the event of a lifetime, let’s chat and find ways to make that happen! Until next week, here’s the world’s rockinest party guide, on the house, cuz I love ya!
Need more wedding inspiration ASAP? Check out some of our most popular weddings posts!
P.S. If you love this article be sure to share it with your friends! And, don’t forget to check out the complete 2018 International Wedding Trend Report (with input from moi on pages 36-37, 40-42 and 122)!