2016 wedding trends

What are the new and emerging wedding trends for 2016? Read on to find out!

Unplugged ceremonies. They are becoming increasingly popular because they allow guests to really be in the moment. They also help the professional photographers get unobstructed photos of the ceremony.

Friends or family officianting. A lot of couples are now choosing to have family or friends perform their wedding ceremony. Couples need to check laws in their state, but having someone who knows the couple well makes for a truly personal ceremony.

Unique ceremony exits. Gone are the days when guests toss rice as the couple exits the church. A few unique twists on the traditional toss is having guests throw something different like colorful pompoms, confetti from a make your own confetti bar, or freeze dried flower petals, which are much easier to clean up and won’t ruin floors. If your venue doesn’t allow anything to be tossed, there are options. We’ve seen guests waving mini flags, Canadian to represent the groom and American for the bride. Another couple had guests ring bells as they recessed, because in some sects of Buddhism, the sound of bells releases the well wishes of the ringer.


Non-traditional wedding parties. Couples shouldn’t get hung up on matching the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, or even having men with the groom and women with the bride. The wedding party should represent those closest to the bride and groom. If the bride’s best friend happens to be a guy, he should stand by her side as the Man of Honor. Even grandma can serve as a bridesmaid.


Coordinating (not matching) wedding parties. Having all of the bridesmaids choose a dress in the same color or color palette lets each gal show her individual style and guarantees that it’s a dress she’ll wear again.

Different entertainment options throughout the wedding. Think a classic string quartet for the ceremony, a lively Latin band for cocktails, and a fun DJ for the reception. It makes each part of the day feel different and special. Couples can also mix in live music with their DJ by having a vocalist or musician sing or play along.

Diverse and non-traditional food options. Like a food truck, dinner stations, or family style dinners. Dinner stations or cocktail-style receptions allow for a more causal feel and let guests choose what and when they want to eat. Family style dinners are great for guest interaction and more choices.


Beverage stations. Whether it’s lemonade and iced tea welcoming guests on a hot day or an espresso and cordial station after dinner, beverage stations are a big trend for 2016.


Using vertical space to hang flower or lighting installations. It can be florals draped over the head table or hanging lanterns over the dance floor. This year, it’s all about the details that bring the guests’ eyes up!

images via m2 photography, sweetwater portraits, ethan yang photography, and emily wren photography

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