November 18, 2018

What’s in for weddings in 2017: A look at the trends coming down the aisle

Certain things never go out of style when it comes to weddings: the ring exchange, the Champagne toast, the first dance. But as in fashion, there are trends  that come and go.

We asked a dozen Los Angeles-based wedding planners and coordinators to look into their crystal balls and tell us what will be hot in 2017, from dress design to dessert. Here are some of their forecasts:


Wedding gowns will be a little more streamlined. That said, bows are back in gowns with a big, beautiful bow right on the derriere. Plunging necklines and backs are in. And some brides are departing from traditional white gowns and opting for blush colors or blues. 

Jackie Dumouchel Combs, Lotus & Lily


For more upscale invitations, debossing stands out — for example, debossed roses on white or cream cardstock. The effect is akin to sculpted paper. Other au courant choices: printed or etched Lucite (typically square or rectangular panels of clear or frosted Lucite) and, in keeping with the vogue for all things metallic, mirrored silver or gold acrylic invitations. 

Paula Gild Stern, Gilded Events

Wedding Party

Many weddings no longer include bridesmaids or groomsmen. When they do, strict rules no longer are enforced. Women are making their best guy friend their “bridesman.” Grooms are having their sister be their  “best woman.”

 — Lauryl Lane, Lauryl Lane Botanicals


Flower walls will continue to be in demand. Those are generally 8-by-10-foot hangings composed of hundreds of fresh blooms — though paper flowers are a modern alternative. They make a great backdrop for photos, especially for social media posts. Sometimes a sofa will be set in front of a flower wall so eight or 10 people can be in a shot with a beautiful background.   

— Jonathan Reeves, International Event Co.

People are going back to a woodsy feeling. Think wildflowers and moss, and birch-wrapped containers or natural wood or cork containers. Some couples are opting not to use cut flowers at all, preferring greener elements. Alternatives include succulents or fresh herbs (avoiding those with strong scents). The effect can still be romantic and interesting, especially if you add votive candles.

 — Randy Fuhrman, Randy Fuhrman Events


Some color schemes are moving darker. Think Dutch masters-inspired palettes like deep emerald and burgundy, or even black linens on tables. Also, mixed metals are happening right now — typically gold, but also silver, copper, rose gold and pewter for floral vessels, chargers, flatware, candle holders and place settings. This is best introduced in little touches. Otherwise, it can feel ostentatious. 

— Lauryl Lane

Gone are the days of a roomful of identical round tables. Instead, people are choosing a variety of table shapes, chairs and benches for a more interesting look.  Some couples are even using bar-height pub tables with stools. Those appeal to a younger generation and represent a move away from formality. 

— Sara Holland and Jenny Goodman, At Your Door Events

Personalization is in. A monogram of the bride and groom’s names in a beautiful font on the invitation will also be picked up throughout the party, on cocktail napkins and menus, for example, or an appliqué on the dance floor.  

— Jonathan Reeves


People want to express their love for their guests through food, so they are seeking out caterers who can deliver delicious “farm-to-table” cuisine. Often they are having it served family-style, which brings together people and encourages conversation. Hotels and ballrooms tend not to do family-style, but people are seeking out alternative places to get married, such as private homes, bars, even old barns. Then you can easily break away from the plated dinner. 

— Ashley Bryan, Mein Schatz Events


Drone video and photography will be in demand, especially for outdoor weddings, whether beachside, mountaintop or resort. Couples want to capture the drama of the setting. They want those swooping aerial shots incorporated into their wedding video. 

— Katherine Dimas, Promise Events

Clever hashtags are the rage to share photos on social media. Often, they are a play on the couple’s names with some other matrimonial word. The hashtag also can be printed on the wedding program and featured on custom signage, sometimes done by hand by a calligrapher.  

— Lauryl Lane 

Because couples want to spend more time with their guests, many are scheduling “first-look pictures” in advance of the ceremony. So instead of the couple seeing each other for the first time when walking down the aisle, they will do a session with the photographer before the guests arrive. 

— Sara Holland and Jenny Goodman


Different is in. People want to push boundaries and integrate their personalities and pasts into the celebration. One couple who loved musicals, for example, turned their vows into a musical number. Another couple very involved in their tango community is planning an Argentine tango-themed celebration. 

— Amy Greenberg, Amy Greenberg Events


Dessert stations, in addition to the wedding cake, are more appealing than plated desserts. They can offer interactive treats like chocolate bark or peanut brittle broken with a hammer by a server in front of the guests. Persian tea stations with fresh and dried fruits, nuts and pastries are also big. 

Serena Apfel, Let’s Party Events by Serena Apfel