This past year’s parties were a riot of long and winding table arrangements, drapery-defined spaces, alfresco chandeliers, and more. Some of those trends will continue into 2020 (experiential photo ops and pampas grass show no signs of slowing) and will join a host of other exciting innovations that we’re seeing crop up at celebrations. If you’re planning a wedding (or you just like to be in-the-know), you’ll want to cruise through what’s new so you don’t miss out on fun trends like invitation-inspired dance floors and vintage VW vans as décor and entertainment elements.
1. Baby’s Breath Florals Replace Larger Blooms
Oh baby’s breath, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. We love you on tabletops, adorning arches, and in bouquets.
Sweet & Simple Bouquets
Antonia Flowers gathered tiny blooms en masse for a frilly bouquet that doesn’t distract from the gorgeous gown — or the girl wearing it — at this stunning Amalfi Coast celebration from the team at Wedding Amalfi.
2. Chic Black Accents Break White Wedding Tradition
Black has been the go-to in fashion since Coco Chanel featured the color in her fashion line in the ’20s — the 1920s that is. “I think it’s time to say hello to black accents at celebrations,” says Sara Renee of Sara Renee Events. “Something as simple as a black tapered candle set upon a gold candle holder, or even black flatware is very chic.”
Chargers that Charm
Creative Touch Party Design and Simply Flowers added a touch of drama into their muted scheme of white, greens, and grays with sleek black chargers at this Florida wedding at The Seagate Hotel & Spa – Beach Club – Country Club – Yacht Club featuring great finds from Unearthed Rentals.
A Circular Arch that Even Upstages Nature
The view at Longshore Pavilion at Norwalk Cove makes for a captivating backdrop — and this stark ebony arch adorned with florals from Sprig and Social serves as the perfect frame for the picturesque scene — as well as the couple’s sweet nuptials.
3. Asymmetrical Arches Defy Gravity & Expectations
We were all atwitter over the beauty and increased use of circular arches in 2019 (so much so that we dedicated an entire article to them). Now, as we enter a new decade, a new design has stolen our hearts: creative, unexpected altar shapes.
When a Half Creates a Whole Lot of Beauty
Organic Flora conjured this very new-style floral arch — that’s actually only half of an arch, which makes it fully fascinating, capturing our imaginations and hearts at this celebration at the Klentner Ranch from the Crowned Events Team with inspired rentals from Borrowed Blu and Party Pleasers Event Rental Co.
Shape-Shifting Isn’t Just for Superheroes
Why shouldn’t an altar’s shape be as singular as the couple getting married? This not-circle, not-square, not-triangle has us admiring all that it is: stunningly floral-filled and scene-stealing — from the collaboration of A Good Affair, Wedding & Event Production and Little Hill Floral Designs for this San Clemente, California affair at Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens.
4. Boldly-Patterned Linen Makes a Statement
“You can instantly turn a party into couture status with hand-painted boldly-printed linen. The unique artistry adds dimension and quality like no other,” says Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York, who recently launched a line of luxe printed linen with Nuage Designs. She adds, “A print can instantly bring a blank room to life whether you want to be transported to a tropical paradise or a romantic English garden.”
Beachy Botanical Beauty
This Bronx Botanical Garden wedding planned by Guerdy Design evoked a summer vibe with cream and blue botanical print table linens. Design and décor specialist, Adam Leffel Productions, accented the print with gold silverware and fresh florals and wisely chose clear glass chargers, so the design could show through.
Art Imitating Life or the Other Way Around?
This richly printed linen from the recent Nuage Designs x Ceci New York collaboration sets painted blooms against a striking black background. We adore how DeJuan Stroud, Inc. used the print as the backdrop for his divine design with a mix of bright blooms and dark plum accents at this Glasshouse Chelsea celebration.
5. Vibrant Lounge Areas Help Guests Relax
“We are seeing big color and lots of sensory elements,” says Sarah Drake from Cole Drake Events. “There’s a switch from monochromatic to splashes of fun color.” At PartySlate, we’re seeing this trend expressed in deeply-hued and textured lounge areas at weddings.
All That Glitters is Gold (Chairs)
The timing and décor are perfect for this Gatsby-themed event as we head again into the 20s. We long to lounge in the glamorous spaces created with furniture groupings from Blueprint Studios – Rental at this Samantha Silverman-planned and Mood Events-designed celebration in Pomona, California at The Glasshouse.
Oak and linen seating from Standard Party Rentals is the perfect embodiment of rustic California elegance at this Monterey Peninsula Country Club wedding planned by Charmed Events Group. We love how the cream color creates a serene feeling and how the florals from Gavita Flora add organic greenery.
6. Invitation-Inspired Dance Floors Makes for a Cohesive Celebration
“My clients have really been trending toward custom dance floors. Couples are personalizing their receptions with custom designs that match their wedding invites, colors, overall theme, and personality — and dance floors take up such a huge portion of the reception,” says Christine Godsey of CG & Co. Events.
Deco on the Dance Floor
A Charming Fête planned this glam wedding with an eye for golden detail as they married the invitation design from Minted with the custom dance floor design from SHOUT! for a beautifully cohesive celebration at Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade. Add that spectacular chandelier from Molly Taylor + Co. and we’re enchanted.
A Wedding “Sealed” with a Kiss
This elegant wedding from A Stylish Soirée featured a monogrammed seal — that also served to seal these two lives together. The crest first appeared on invitations, then on a gorgeous, picture-perfect greenery wall, and later in gold on the dance floor at the The Adolphus, Autograph Collection in Dallas.
Nature mixes and matches color with no regard for color wheels or fashion — and it always works. Pop Parties and David Kimmel Design mirrored nature with gorgeous hand-painted florals from the talented Momental Designs — on the invitations and the dance floor, that bloom into real flowers on tables and arched overhead.
7. Ice is Hotter Than Ever
At PartySlate, we’re seeing ice utilized at weddings as unique décor, to further a theme, to serve delectable fare and creative cocktails, and much more — designers are getting creative with the flexible form.
Rooftop spots make for the best city views, and guests were seeing double at this spring Chicago wedding from Jennifer Anderson Events. The planners worked with Kehoe Designs to curate a stunning icy Chicago skyline décor element that doubled as a raw bar. Guests got to see the city’s iconic buildings iced over — minus winter’s frigid temps.
Fill Your Rose-Colored Glasses
Why use a shaker to cool a cocktail when you can filter it through an ice slide weaving between full-bloom red roses? KIS(cubed) Events and Occasions by Shangri-la conceived this chic installation that acts as interactive art at a gorgeous, richly-hued wedding celebration.
Flavored Ice is All Grown Up
We can’t think of a better way to store flavored shaved cocktail ice than in ice itself. The frozen garnish station at this whimsical wedding at Santa Barbara’s Kestrel Park from Percy Sales Events beautifully suspended limes, lemons, and berries in a fresh display, accented by lavender florals from Coco Rose Design.
8. VW Vans are Driving Vintage Style into Wedding Celebrations
Photo Bug Instead of a Photo Booth
Beaulieu Garden in Northern California provided the perfect shady setting for this fun photo bug at this Jacin Fitzgerald Events-planned wedding with beautiful design by Mindy Rice Design. We love how the marquee sign lets guest know where to get their pic snapped.
Desert Lounging in Style
This stylish desert wedding in all shades of blue has us feeling anything but. LB Events + Design and Jesi Haack Design curated a décor scheme that included a luxe lounge area in and around the most improbable of places: a blue (of course) VW van — with help from Found Vintage Rentals and A Rental Connection at Wolf. Feather. Honey FARM.
9. Pops of Colorful Draping Adorns Tents
Michelle Durpetti of Michelle Durpetti Events adds, “I am in LOVE with the return of color in weddings. While a classic palette with whites, nudes and a hint of blush will never go wrong, there is something to be said for rich, bold tones creating a unique and beautiful aesthetic.”
Green & White is Just Right
Gregory Blake Sams Events conjured this very modern plantation wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. We adore how the green and white draped tent plays off the festive, chic pops of pink, including florals from Gathering. Sigh.
Pantone’s Color of the Year Added Coral Style to this Tent
Soirees planned this Atlanta wedding at the beautiful Barnsley Garden. Its rainbow ombré of hues was perfectly executed by Edge Design Group who chose sunny coral draping to extend the colorful palette to the white tent. We love the way the floral slowly merge from hue to hue and how even the bridesmaid’s dresses add to the décor.
10. Don’t Discount Domestic Destinations
Destination weddings don’t have to mean crossing an ocean. Christina Currie of Christina Currie Events says, “We are seeing more and more clients wanting a retreat experience for their wedding guests. They’re enjoying the entire weekend together.” She notes upcoming weddings in popular domestic destination spots Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina and Naples, Florida. Just like Hailey and Justin, we predict more brides and grooms will select these destination wedding spots within the United States in 2020 and beyond — to host a wedding retreat that doesn’t require a passport. Also don’t forget your own backyard as a spot that can be recreated for glamorous effect.
Filled With Southern Charm & Hospitality
The beautiful resort at Montage Palmetto Bluff, just outside Savannah, Georgia, is where Hailey and Justin Bieber said “I do” earlier this year, and we love this lush property for weddings any time of year.
Wine and Dine — and Celebrate
When you get married in Sonoma, California, good wine is a given. Add a beautiful venue like the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and you have yourself a memorable celebration. This wedding from Savvy Event is one we won’t soon forget.
11. Punch Bowls Make a Comeback
Hello weddings, 1970 called and it wants its punchbowl back. “A big trend we’re seeing not only in weddings but all social events is the return of the punchbowl! Taking a deliciously-crafted cocktail out of the single shaker and into a pre-batched bowl is a great way to present your signature cocktail,” says Emily Kraus of Wolfgang Puck Catering — Los Angeles.
Ladle a Little
The skilled caterers at Wolfgang Puck — with teams in Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas , and more — don’t just excel when it comes to menu preparation, but they’re also bar experts. We love how they beautify and elevate the presentation with custom-designed ice, edible florals, and floating fruit that gives guests a hint at the cocktail’s flavor profile.
12. Om, Being One with Nature
To say that weddings, with their bouquets, boutonnieres, and colorful tablescapes are suddenly being inspired by nature, would be laughable. But, we’ll go out on a limb (pun intended) and say that we’re seeing nature incorporated in beautifully organic new ways.
Hundred-Year-Old Tree as Altar for Long-Lasting Couple
This wedding makes our trend list twice — between the chandelier dripping crystals against a tree back backdrop, the vine-like climbing florals, and the color-rich petal-strewn aisle — we can’t decide what we love most about this Edge Design Group vision. The planners at Soirees gave us this gift of a celebration with its organic altar set at Barnsley Garden.
Enhancing Nature as Décor
We loved the use of the floral-laded tree in the last example, but this one has us smiling specifically because it’s not integral — it’s beauty for beauty’s sake, a tree off to the side, enhanced as only nature (and Rye Workshop) can. It doesn’t hurt that the wild, yet somehow manicured, terrain at the ever-popular Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis, NY forms the backdrop for this gorgeous wedding perfectly planned by ASE — Amanda Savory Events.
Meandering Meadow Aisle
Sigh. South Lake Tahoe, California provided this dreamy setting, and Mother Nature provided the aisle — with a little help from Jenna Lam Events. Its curve, mix of greenery and tall grasses, and how it draws the eye toward the bank of trees in front of which vows will be taken, all are making us swoon.
13. Rugs Leave the Living Room
Home décor trends have long left their impact on events (see vibrant lounge areas above), and here’s a new twist on the tradition: aisles defined by and accented with rugs. Shags, hides, Oriental rugs — they’re all being incorporated into weddings to add color, history and ambience.
Authentic Local Flair
This Jackson, Wyoming-set wedding looks exactly as if it took place in Jackson, Wyoming. We adore how Lovely Day Events has kept it real by using authentic elements that combine seamlessly, and beautifully, with the wild west landscape at Antelope Trails Ranch. A mix of hides and southwestern rugs forms a unique, perfect aisle leading to a rustic altar with florals from Lily and Company.
A Riot of Patterns & Shapes
Stripes, solids, a pyramid, and the brilliant blue sky above — this wedding has it all, courtesy of the visionary planners at Pink Monkey Solutions. There’s much to admire at this clear-tented ceremony from Pineapple Productions, including the trio of mixed rugs leading to a unique nuptial spot at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa.
Grand Velas in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, served as both the setting and the planner for these beach-set nuptials. In a nod to the natural setting, woven grass rugs were overlapped to form an organic aisle leading to the white-draped arch and the blue sea beyond.
14. Day-Of Photos for Instagram-Ready Couples
Anyone who’s been annoyed by their favorite show buffering knows the frustration of waiting. Savvy photographers have started providing a handful of professional, Instagram-ready images on the day of the wedding so that couples can post perfectly-lit and framed images rather than those bleary, iPhone snaps their guests caught. Rejoice the instant gratification!
Find your perfect photographer on PartySlate.
15. Minimal Moods & Modern Lines
Mid-century Modern designs popular in the 1930s-1950s ushered in simple, chic lines and clean, integrated spaces. The style has long been enjoying a renaissance and now its made its way into weddings.
Overflowing florals that trail to the ground, monochrome arrangements of a single color or flower type — bouquets have evolved from the tight, round arrangement of years past. Now we’re seeing a single statement bloom at modern ceremonies, like this beauty from Carlos Rivas Design & Production at a wedding that took place at one of our favorite spots, New York’s 620 Loft & Garden, and was planned to perfection by NYLUX Events.
OUE Skyspace in Los Angeles provides a beautiful tabula rosa — the perfect chic all-white canvas for inspired design. We love how J Flowered opted to keep the space clean and minimal with brass and glass tables that mimic the bright windows that flood the space with light (plus, the venue boasts a sky slide!).
Clean Design & a City View
NeueHouse, Hollywood never disappoints with their myriad of chic spaces, but we especially love the views from this spot. Fawn Events planned this sunny soirée with a modern design from Best Day Ever Floral Design that included on-trend pampas grass and always-in-style ghost chairs and a spectacularly unique altar.
16. Optical Illusions that Wow
You might think that magic and matrimony don’t go together — but, you’d be wrong. We love the clever new ways that event designers are conjuring scenes that captivate — and confuse.
A Trick of the Eye
We’ve looked at this a lot — a lot — and we’re still not sure if it’s a square white vase painted with a more intricate vase or a picture frame pretending to be a vase overflowing with florals. Whatever the case, we can’t look away from the Gro Designs creation at this Houston soirée.
17. Place Cards that Take Personalization to the Next Level
We love how clever place card displays have become — with some, like candles hand-painted with guests’ names adding an additional décor element and others like local honey with a name-emblazoned label directing guests to their seats. Now, we’re seeing place cards that give insight into a couple’s relationship, further bringing their friends and family into their world.
Guests Reveal a Secret Instagram
This sweet travel-loving couple started a private Instagram with exactly two followers to share and document their life together. On their wedding day, they gave their friends and family a glimpse of the ‘gram under each place card — eventually revealing a grid of colorful images at their luxe Marcy Blum Associates-planned celebration.
Evoke Design & Creative in Washington, D.C. curated this highly-personalized wedding that included a cheeky escort wall sporting painted images of the happy couple in a nod to their shared history — up to and including their most recent moment of getting married.
18. Surprises that Delight Guests — and Sometimes even the Couple
Teresa Blumberg of Miami-based Blumberg Events says, “I am not even sure if this is a trend — and maybe it’s better that way! — but I have decided that if you’re able to add “surprises” to the celebration, it really elevates the experience for the guests. This is true especially if you have the ability to do this in a wedding setting.” We think it is a trend, Teresa, and we love it! She offers real-life examples like having an opera or Grammy-nominated singer perform and ending a celebration with fabulous costumed cirque performers.
Two Surprises at One Sweet Wedding
Guerdy Design planned a meaningful evening for this couple whose wedding planning was disrupted by Mother Nature, in the form of Hurricane Irma. After their “I dos” The groom serenaded his surprised bride with “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran — then she turned around and surprised him (and the rest of the guests) with her performance alongside two Brazilian Samba dancers. It made their special day even more special.
Baby, You’re a Firework
Jodi Cohen of JOWY Productions has pulled off her fair share of perfect moments for her client couples and shared this event in which, the bride mentioned that she wanted fireworks but never thought of it again until Cohen pulled it off as a “HUGE surprise” at the wedding. The bride was overjoyed (as you can see).
Sparklers & Sparkling Wine
“Surprises of all kinds are really fun to incorporate,” says Michelle Durpetti of Michelle Durpetti Events. She says of her own Birch Design Studio-planned wedding, “We worked with the team at The Breakers Palm Beach to create a really one of a kind intro for my husband and I based on my love of champagne and sparklers!” Friends and family were de-“lighted” by the spectacle.
19. Take-Home Treats that Satisfy Morning-After Cravings
Sure we like a good party favor — a sweet little gift that serves as a gesture and a memory-keeper. But, our tummies appreciate being thought of too. We love how thoughtful couples are sending guests home with next morning — or, who are we kidding, in-the-car — treats.
New York-Style Bagels in Chicago
Joyce Pollakoff Events tells us that they have recently featured a to-go bagel bar as a thoughtful touch at Chicago celebrations. “Each guest got a box with the couple’s name and custom logo to go from the bagel store setup along a choice of fresh cream cheeses packed up,” says Pollakoff. Morgan Manufacturing served as the perfect spot for this particular wedding featuring modern lines, touches of blue, and a gracious sendoff.
Boba Tea Bar
Amazae Events brings us this vibrant wedding that took place in Pleasanton, California that hosted a very of-the-moment Boba Tea Bar in handy to-go to the delight of guests. Each cup featured a cartoon of the happy couple that matched the figurings adorning the wedding cake — giving the affair a lighthearted vibe.
20. Unique Performances that Engage and Entertain
We love how a live band can energize a room and how a skilled DJ can fill a dance floor. Modern couples have also begun adding additional creative entertainment to their celebrations. The trend is so strong that we’ve given it its own feature article — but we’re highlighting a few favorites here.
Coffee Shops are Popular for a Reason
Guests got to indulge in unique coffeehouse offerings from Culinary Eye Catering & Events with a lattes and treats station that also showed such artistry and style that it qualifies as entertainment. The on-hand barista also added a lovely olfactory element to the Deer Park Villa in California at the Alex Barranco-planned wedding.
Aerialists Suspend Disbelief
Kat Creech Events planned this Houston wedding to include creative entertainment, delighting guests with aerialists and even a red-carpet ready Joan Rivers look-alike from the full-service team at J & D Entertainment. Ballroom at Bayou provided the perfect towering ceilings for Cirque du Soleil-style acrobats who poured champagne —while suspended in mid-air.