The Hottest New Wedding Trends for 2016

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Recent years have seen brides rush to recreate their version of a royal wedding or something straight off a Pinterest board. But as we greet 2016, it’s clear brides are much more interested in going down the aisle their own way. “Couples today want a wedding that showcases who they are, that’s a fun experience for their guests and that won’t look or feel dated — ever,” says event planner Alison Laesser-Keck, of VLD Events in southeast Michigan. Here, top wedding pros share some key elements to this personal spin on romance and fun.

Bright on. Metallics are surprisingly versatile, says New York City event-planning guru Harriette Rose Katz. “Depending on how and where you bring them into your celebration,” she says, “they can be elegant, whimsical, ethereal or even very natural.” (Think glitzy golds to pop out room decor at a black-tie wedding, copper lanterns at an outdoor reception or on a rustic tablescape.) No matter the venue or theme, designers across the country say rose gold will show up on everything from rings to table linens. Even the food and drink get in on the trend, with shiny blush icings on desserts and rose-hued cocktails. One metallic that is on the wane, however, is silver.

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Just picked. Arrangements that feature both whatever is in season and whatever is local are gaining traction. Sometimes couples request a “wild” look, say Casey Schwartz and Kit Wertz of Flower Duet in Los Angeles. “What they’re after are freshly picked blooms.” These free-form bouquets and centerpieces often include a mix of big and small blossoms in more than one color, and might use spiky flowers or fruiting vines to serve as exclamation points.

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His and hers cocktails. What better way to give your guests a glimpse of who you are than by serving them your favorite libations? Laesserkeck points out that this trend is not only easier on the budget (no more guesstimating for an open bar) but it’s an instant conversation starter.

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On a roll. Food stations that were all the rage even up to last year have conceded to the classic sit-down dinner. “But that doesn’t mean guests are stuck in their seats,” says Carla Ruben, founder of New York City’s Creative Edge Parties. To keep things interesting, caterers are bringing back gueridon service, where servers arrive at the dinner table with a cart filled with all the makings for customizable appetizers and desserts — everything from caesar salads, pastas and tartares to gelato, doughnuts and milk-and-cookies.

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Back to buttercream. After taking a backseat to fondant-covered cakes, buttercream textures are in demand again, says Erica O’Brien of Erica O’Brien Cake Design in Hamden, Connecticut. “Brides are liking the more organic finish that you get from traditional buttercream,” she says. What keeps these cakes from being stuck in the ’80s are contemporary colors for the blooms and different textures.