At PartySlate, we sift through thousands of images from the most beautiful and creative events every year. We pour over albums of special moments and personalized festivities, reveling in the sheer joy that comes from people gathering to celebrate. After years of doing just that, we’ve learned a thing or two.
We’ve become pretty good at predicting wedding trends and party trends. Keeping an eye on events allows us to accurately forecast what’s emerging as new and noteworthy in the world of weddings, kids’ birthdays and milestone birthday parties, corporate events, and more.
For example, we anticipated Baby’s Breath’s rise from floral filler sideshow to main act, fringe as a décor and fashion element, tea over coffee at events, and tote bag walls in our trend report for 2022.
So rest assured that you’re in right place for 2023 wedding trends and party predictions. Read on to learn about trending party palettes, popular themes, innovative technology that will wow your guests, and how grandma is making events better (don’t grandmas always make things better?).
1. Goodbye Paper Menus, Hello Printed Bar Furniture
Being eco-conscious is always in vogue. Ditch the paper menus and elevate your bar area with a sleek design that showcases your cuisine offerings. Of course, don’t be surprised when the bar area or catering station becomes the main photo op of your event.
Work with your rentals company to create a bar setup or catering station that matches your event aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to lean into neutrals (another 2023 party trend) for a look that’s clean, yet elevated.
An Elegant Design for Elegant Food Pairings
This moody wedding brought a glamorous touch to an industrial venue. Guests flocked to the bar area to both sip and visualize their choice of martinis, wine, or mint juleps. Next up, guests paid a visit to the seafood station where the most glamorous of small bites captured the spirit of this elevated celebration.
Make sure to see how plenty of tapered candlelight and crystal draped chandeliers perfected the vibe.
Boho by the Slice
Pizza just got a new look at this boho tented wedding set against the Rocky Mountains. Long-designated as a late-night snack, this college staple held its own next to signature cocktails and romantic tablescapes — thanks to ultra chic catering furniture.
Make sure to check out other delicious bites such as pickle-crowned sliders, New York cheesecake, and perfectly toasted tortilla chips with a dollop of fresh salsa.
2. Mini Serving Displays for Big Theming
Last year, we were wowed by clear shelving that made creative catering appear to float; this year, we’re crushing on festive food walls. However, both of these are stationary solutions. What about when you want to bring beautiful bites right to your guests?
We adore these unique tray-passed installations that act as décor and tie to each celebration’s theme. We find ourselves dreaming of ring boxes holding caviar on crackers for an engagement party, baby buggy crudité for a shower, and Rubik’s cubes as cupcake stands on trays for a fun 80’s-theme party.
Take a Seat & a Snack
How better to celebrate an anniversary for a luxe event rentals company than with miniature versions of their gorgeous chair selections? We love how the reason for the event extended to the catering service, including their mini trucks that served as containers for bites.
Don’t miss the event’s grateful tagline as emblazoned on a basket and greenery wall, as well as event signage.
Far From One-Note Bites
Here’s what we know about Jerry: He is partial to tie-dye, appreciates a good Beef Wellington, and loves live music. All of that and more combined into one memorable birthday; “JerryPalooza” featured fun moments like mini guitar cases serving up custom appetizers and full-sized guitars acting as trays.
Click through to see the perfect 60s-party themed backdrop for the band.
3. One-Sip Curated Cocktails & Modern Mocktails
For years, savvy caterers have been preparing perfectly-composed single-bite fare. We don’t know about you, but appetizers are pretty much our favorite thing to sample at every party. But, with cocktails, you have to commit to a whole glass — and unless you’ve got rock star tolerance, how many of the bar’s offerings you can sample?
Enter one-sip cocktails. We’re not talking about a shot meant to be gulped, but a carefully-curated drink with balanced flavors and fresh garnishes. In fact, we’re seeing one-sip options for mocktails too, meaning guests of all ages and inclinations can enjoy imbibing.
Our PartySlate gathering in Washington, D.C. featured lots of firsts for us: a caviar bar, a city-themed soirée, and one-sip drinks. There were beautifully-composed spoonfuls of Moscow Mules with crisp sprigs of mint and test tube mocktails that were pleasing combinations of fresh squeezed juices in a ombré of hues and flavors.
Don’t miss all of the Capitol City theming throughout the party, including clever menu signage in the form of the Washington Memorial.
4. Classic Champagne Towers — With a Twist
Is a wedding or party complete without a Champagne tower? No matter how many years pass, the Champagne tower keeps making its appearance at celebrations around the world. Luckily, this classic idea continues to reinvent itself.
This year, expect to see Champagne towers without the Champagne. You read that right. Instead of our favorite bubbly, we plan on enjoying everything from martini towers to stacked Aperol Spritzes. It’s time to toast to evolving trends.
Glam Martini Tower
You might expect to find James Bond on the guest list at this glamorous all-white wedding. A martini tower glimmered along with the towering candelabras and moody amber lighting.
Make sure to step inside this wedding weekend to see other stunning moments such as a romantic boat ride through the Venetian canals and an outdoor ceremony surrounded by garden greenery.
Stylish Aperol Spritz
This romantic garden wedding wowed with curated pops of color throughout the event — from an aperol spritz tower to bright blue glassware (stay tuned for more trends tied to the color blue).
You’ll also love the gold geometric chandeliers, winding greenery, and delicate pastel blooms that evoked southern charm with just a touch of whimsy.
5. Specialty Cocktail Walls for an Immersive Photo Op
We’ve seen plenty of Champagne walls over the years. But just as Champagne towers are making way for other elevated sips, self-serve walls are embracing everything from signature cocktails to “your beverage, your way.”
Best of all, specialty cocktails walls pair form with function. Consider your wall a blank canvas to reflect your style, party theme, and color palette. You might even find guests eschewing the photo booth to strike a pose while filling their glass.
Strawberry Mojitos With a Hint of Peach
This stylish blue and peach wedding kept the vibe fresh and whimsical with airy drapery, muted linen, and playful bright florals. We especially love how the specialty cocktail wall served up strawberry mojitos that continued the curated pops of peach throughout the celebration.
Make sure to also check out the self-serve appetizer wall where guests were able to indulge in tangy cucumber shooters, chilled yellow tomato gazpacho, and other delectable treats.
Margaritas Made to Please
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur
This destination wedding wowed with thoughtful details like woven welcome baskets, personalized place settings, and a self-serve margarita wall. Even the pickiest eaters were won over with the opportunity to choose from mild to spicy sips.
Make sure to check out the beach wedding ceremony for picturesque views and an abundance of white roses for ultra-romantic vibes.
6. Seafood Towers Get Personal
Mini charcuterie boards hit the big time two years ago, but 2023 is ushering in a new level of elegance with personal seafood towers. Think monogrammed ice in perfect plate-sized portions filled with luxe servings of shellfish.
We love the high level of personalization and pampering. Work with your top catering company to create a memorable moment like this.
We’re seeing ice used in all sorts of creative ways at every type of celebration, from full bars constructed of ice to mini floral-filled cubes accenting cocktails. But combining luxuries and giving each guest their own personal seafood charcuterie served on a slab of monogrammed ice is truly next level — and we love it.
Don’t forget to click to see more photos of this 48th-birthday dinner (why wait for years that end in “zero” to celebrate?) and the other creative ways the monogram was used throughout the event.
Surprisingly, this personal seafood tower served on monogrammed ice may be the least impressive detail of this gorgeous wedding. Think elegant, yet whimsical, florals suspended from the ceiling, a gilded birdcage photo spot, and performers standing on the reception tables.
Oh, and did we mention the Elvis impersonator? You’re gonna want to see more.
7. Caviar Makes a Comeback
There’s no better time for luxury than at a wedding or milestone celebration — and caviar is one of the most luxurious items you can serve. Caviar stations are in high fashion again as we find ourselves in a new era of the Roaring Twenties.
We love when thoughtful caterers pair caviar with a selection of flavors that accent its tiny bursts of rich ocean flavor. Include caviar for a celebration that would make Gatsby himself proud.
Full Moon Manifestation
We adore both the theming of this party and the reason: a full moon. There are so many special touches like mirrored quarter-moon menus and dreamy orbs of light, but the roaming caviar bar is among our favorites. Is true luxury having caviar or having it being served to you wherever you happen to be?
Click to see the whimsical baby’s breath centerpieces and ikebana-style white florals that evoke the moon’s glow.
Caviar and elegance are synonymous. At our Washington D.C. gathering, we were lucky to be able to offer guests a bit of opulence with sustainably-raised California White Sturgeon. Guests were wowed by the rich flavor and the sophistication of the service.
Click through to see the full event and explore all of the clever corporate branding at the celebration.
8. Wine Finds the Perfect Pairing — in Dessert
We all know white wine goes with fish and fowl, while red wine is best with red meat. But what about dessert? It turns out, wine was also made for cheese and chocolates (the perfect after-dinner indulgence).
You can even add an immersive element to your wine pairings by turning dessert into a wine tasting with multiple vintages. With so many reasons to toast, your celebration will benefit from this thoughtful attention to detail.
Convenient but Chic
Wine glasses topped with mini acrylic platters meant guests could mingle without the hassle of carrying their glass and plate in separate hands.
Make sure to see other unique catering moments throughout this experiential activation. Guests enjoyed everything from an “eat your bubble” dish to hand-made ravioli with herbs and edible blooms.
9. Curtain Cakes Create Drama
We are loving this new trend that pairs the pomp of theater with the tradition of milestone celebrations. Curtain cakes feature draped icing that, when cut, will part to reveal a delectable cake below. If all eyes are on a cake during it’s cutting, why not infuse a little extra drama with an of-the-moment design?
Work with your local bakery to create a confection that’s right for you.
This tropical boho wedding brought free-spirited style from its tabletops and lighting to its cake. Pampas grass is the boho adornment that just keeps giving, and we adore how the draped icing mimics a bride’s train.
Make sure to see how the reception created a chic vibe with bohemian basket lighting and dried palm fronds. We also love how the sweets table spelled it out.
A christening is the perfect opportunity for a special touch like a draped cake. The swathes of icing cascade like the celebration’s hydrangeas and orchids and the greenery hanging from the ceiling. We love the elegant aesthetic.
Make sure to see the dinner’s luxe-neutral tablescapes and cute custom cookies.
10. Mushrooms Have Joined the Party — As Décor
Mushrooms are having a moment. They offer dishes a deep umami flavor as menus are trending toward more meat-free options. But, we’re not here to talk about mushroom dishes — but rather mushroom décor.
It’s no surprise that mushrooms have jumped off of plates and joined the party. After all, they’ve long held a place in pop culture — from the mushroom dancers in Fantasia to the “Super Mushroom” in Super Mario.
But now, we’re seeing the rich hues, intricate natural designs, and inherent whimsy of mushrooms at the chicest of events.
This truly unique wedding featured a bride decked in black satin, skyline nuptials, and bodega-inspired food and drink stands. Not to be outdone, the bride’s bouquet featured dramatic, richly-hued oyster mushrooms mixed in with equally-dramatic florals.
Don’t miss the vintage-style photo booth and chic raw space.
Garden Whimsy Wedding
This whimsical wedding featured a lovely design that incorporated mushrooms in a creative way. From the morels and porcinis that accented the place card display to the mushroom-inspired party favors, we adore every detail.
Don’t miss the bagpiper who walked the wedding aisle.
11. Thick Ceremony Arches Make a Big Statement
Move over, minimalism. Epic décor pieces are back, and we couldn’t be happier. Thick ceremony arches are as big and momentous as the moment at hand. Curved or boxy, the shape is up to you. Just remember, the bigger the better. We’re talking more florals, more greenery, and more wow-factor.
Remember, the arch is the focal point of your celebration and the backdrop to your wedding vows. Work with your design & floral team to determine your arch shape and materials. With the right design team, even traditional flower fillers (like baby’s breath) can make a big impact.
This beautiful tented wedding paired free-flowing lines with structured elements. We love how billowing drapery and an organic, wooded backdrop softened the boxy, white rose arch.
Make sure to also check out the wedding reception where guests danced the night away beneath lavish ceiling décor and undulating drapery.
The dramatic Malibu landscape, with lush greenery and rugged hills, demands décor of equal magnitude. This stunning, floral-filled wedding delivered just that with a towering, ivy-covered wedding arch studded with pink florals.
Make sure to see how this scene became even more romantic with a nighttime wedding ceremony filled with candlelight at every step.
12. Overhead Arches and Floating Centerpieces
The most memorable celebrations deliver the unexpected. We’ve grown accustomed to certain party staples (think centerpieces, dance floors, and uplighting), but we’re always on the lookout for that something more.
Wedding ceiling decorations promise to take your party venue to the next level. Suddenly, a venue becomes more than just an event space. It’s a place where memories are made and milestones are celebrated. This year, we expect to see guests staring up in wonder at overhead arches and floating centerpieces. Look for clean lines and structured, geometric shapes — with an abundance of fresh blooms.
Floating Wedding Arch
A perfect square of upended white tulips floats mysteriously above the wedding altar. A backdrop of floating shelves lined with petite vases impresses with its unique design.
Make sure to keep reading to see how this unique trend carried over to a stunning reception space.
Décor Takes Center Stage
The transition from ceremony to reception at this Dallas wedding was flawless. A circle of lavender-hued, suspended tulips crowned the transparent-tented space. We love how the pop of purple lends a whimsical, yet elegant touch to this all-white wedding space.
13. A Classic Gets a Color Makeover
Disco balls and a dance-all-night parties are a natural pairing. But now, we’re seeing disco balls adorn the most elegant of events — and in different hues. From gold to pink, these mirrored orbs are a design statement that says: “Welcome to a party that is equal parts glamour and fun.”
Work with your design and décor team to curate an aesthetic that fits your vision.
Beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury is synonymous with bombshell glamour, so it makes sense that the company’s “Summer of Glowing Skin” launch would be equally captivating. We can’t get enough of the pink disco balls that outfit lounge areas as well as the stations and displays showing off their new line.
Don’t miss the stunning ocean views that embody summer.
What’s pink and gold and chic all over? This glam Bat Mitzvah party. We adore the ombré of pink hues and how they carry from the balloon arches to the lounge furniture. But the gold amps up the vibe, from a mirrored DJ stand to the gold-mirrored disco balls adorning the ceiling.
Click to see the all-gold dance floor and clip-in hair station that kept guests having fun all night long.
14. British Phone Booths Are Causing a Buzz
London calling — vintage telephone boxes have crossed the pond and are adorning all kinds of thoroughly-American celebrations. We love how floral teams are reimagining the antique British staples as striking design moments.
From chic colors to filled with flowers, these staples of a bygone era are making the newest celebrations feel fresh. Dial up your designer now to request one.
This pinkalicious bridal shower set the tone with artistic invitations featuring the bride-to-be in a London-style phone booth. The clever take on the “ring-ring” theme included a floral-flanked photo booth photo spot and many more very-personal touches.
Don’t miss every single glamorous pink and gold design moment, including the clever mask taglines.
This Wedding Dialed it Up
This modern wedding featured not only personal touches like a timeline of the happy couple’s relationship, but also inspired design. We adore its all-white take on a vintage phone booth — complete with an antique phone.
Don’t miss the unique towering square cake and the custom, monogrammed cocktails.
15. Follow the Fashion Trends With Pearl Décor Accents
Pearls are going to be all over 2023 wedding fashions, so expect event designs to follow suit. We’re envisioning pearl-studded cakes, bouquets with pearl accents, pearl-beaded invitations, and more. Of course, we expect the unexpected; so look for pearl décor in the most unique installations like in the event below.
Insider’s tip: Keep reading to see how this trend foreshadows another 2023 trend on the list.
Swing Into Pearl Season
This chic garden baby shower utilized a soft color palette of pale green and white for a fresh, yet delicate aesthetic. We are in love with the sweets table that featured custom-designed donuts and white-frosted strawberries — and most impressively, a zipline with suspended pearl-lined sweet trays.
Peruse the photo album to see other unique details such as the leaf-pressed cake that brought a new twist to the 2022 pressed-flower cake trend.
16. Mix & Match Glassware Creates an Eclectic Table
The most memorable tables combine contrasting elements to create interest. Last year, we were gaga for green glassware and how it was outfitting chic celebrations everywhere — but now, one hue simply isn’t enough.
Designers are mixing and matching colorful glassware to create a totally-personal aesthetic. We’re seeing vintage and modern styles in all colors of the rainbow. Ask your rentals team about the range of glassware that they offer.
Say I Do to Amber & Blue
This glowing Greek wedding married the sunset, string lights, and stylish design for a remarkable reception. We appreciate the alternating hues of glasses that picked up colors from the lush arrangements.
Click to see how lemons brought more freshness to the affair.
From the balloon installations to the whimsical tabletops, this children’s birthday party featured fun moments galore. We adore how the pastel rainbow palette made its way to the tabletops in delicate multi-hued glassware.
Don’t miss the chic bounce house (yes, you read that right) and the sundae station.
17. Not Your Classic Checkered Dance Floor
It’s time for a fun twist to a classic design. Even though we love Grandma’s aesthetic (see below), that doesn’t mean we’ve written off technology completely. Black and white checkered dance floors are leaning into high tech with Instagram-worthy optical illusions.
Pro Tip: Make sure you enlist the help of a great band to get your guests on the dance floor.
Hi Tech, Full Color
From the moment the couple entered the ballroom to a shower of confetti, this party was in full swing. Guests, dressed to the nines, flocked to the high-tech checkered dance floor for a night of high-energy celebration.
Make sure to see the metallic balloon décor, emerald wedding cake, and moody tablescapes for even more inspiration.
18. 60s Themed Parties Bring Peace & Love to a New Era
The 60s are groovy again, baby. The pandemic saw a revival of tie-dye, with many using their “shelter in place” time to create their own custom garb. Other fashion, design, and décor inspiration from the era weren’t far behind: Enter the era of the 60s-theme party.
The “far out” bright colors and oversized graphics of the decade are adorning everything from corporate events to 60th-birthday parties. We dig the vivid palettes and the all-hits playlist of a 60s theme. The flower power is strong with these events.
This music festival-themed 60th-birthday party transported guests to the swinging sixties. We adore the colorful, totally groovy stage backdrop, tie-dye inspired signage, and oodles of daisy décor. Every detail of this “JerryPalooza” helped create a festive environment.
Click to see the totally-innovative way that servers let guests know what was on their tray (you’ll want to copy it).
This party is retro done right. From the Mister Softee truck to the groovy dance floor, we are wowed. The immersive clear-tented celebration evoked the era with a palette of yellow and orange with pops of green. The party rocked the theme from the linen to the custom dance floor.
You really don’t want to miss the upended daisies ceiling installation.
19. Your Grandmother’s Aesthetic
We always knew Grandma was cool. As the world leans into newer technologies, part of us yearns for a simpler time — back when families gathered at the tables without cellphones, and board games brought people together.
As vintage weddings gain in popularity, we’re seeing some of Nana’s favorites back in vogue: China place settings, artful embroidery, and good old-fashioned cast iron skillets. You might as well say, “Everything old is new again.”
This one-of-a-kind kid’s birthday cake is straight out of Grandma’s embroidery collection. It’s hard to believe that the icing is really icing and not the backdrop of a hook rug.
Take a peek inside this enchanted birthday party to see how these cakes started as blank canvases (yes, you read that right). Guests had the opportunity to indulge in arts and crafts before sampling their delicious artwork.
Fine China Place Settings
Back in Grandma’s kitchen, fine china was a staple of any celebratory meal. We love how every piece of china is a work of art. The delicately-painted birds and butterflies on this wedding china complement the garden wedding aesthetic found throughout the reception.
Click to see how this beautiful tented-wedding celebration wins us over with its ivy-covered bar and lush floating greenery.
Mini Cast Irons
This rustic, fall wedding was ultra cozy with personal-sized skillets laden with baked sweets and vanilla ice cream (with just the right amount of melt).
Click to see other perfected catering moments such as the assorted Moscow mule bar, individual crudites, and fresh-mulled cider.
20. Earthy Palettes are Giving Muted Minimalism Vibes
Earth, Wind, & Fire had their moment, but now we’re loving Earth, Sand, & Clay. Layered neutrals are creating a chic aesthetic at the most high-profile celebrations, including Kim Kardashian’s most recent dinner party.
Conjure a stylish desert vibe at your next party. Select a palette that includes wheat, tan, cream, and almond — then build interest with textures like linen, basket weaves, wood grain, and even interesting shadows (your av/lighting team is your best friend here). You can even encourage guests to dress in trendy neutral hues — just imagine how gorgeous the party pictures will be.
At this ILIA Beauty celebration of inspirational women, guests enjoyed an open-air dinner party and an elegant neutral palette. We love how layered shades built on each other for a cohesive design.
Click to see creative catering moments and how Ikebana-style florals elevated the soirée.
21. The Year of the Blue Wedding
For couples looking for a bolder wedding color palette, it’s time to consider a blue wedding. In a world of blue skies and deep-blue oceans, it was only a matter of time before we turned to nature for inspiration.
Whether you’re looking for a light and preppy aesthetic or something more glamorous and modern, blue is the hue that keeps on giving. It’s time to embrace blue hydrangea, drapery, linen, and more.
You can find even more blue-hued inspiration here: 7 Ways to Wow With a Blue Wedding.
Blue Above and Below
Modern meets ultra romantic at this outdoor engagement party. We love how billowy-blue drapery creates canopy tenting with blue-sky views while lavish hydrangea cascades from tablescape to polished black flooring.
See other picture-perfect details such as sleek black chargers, velvet seating, and opaque blue glassware.
Tranquil Blue Wedding
We love the variety of blue hues and patterns at this outdoor tented wedding. China and vases pair with solid and patterned blue-hued linen. Bright blue hydrangea and white candles continue the blue and white color palette.
Click to see the blue hydrangea bouquets for wedding portraits with a whimsical pop of color.
22. Flash Forward
Airy, naturally-lit photos have their place — and they’re not going anywhere. But an increase in flash photography at weddings and events is really catching our eye. Nothing adds drama quite like well-placed flashes of light and the resulting deep shadows.
Flash photography tells us where to focus. It points out what’s important and shades what is not. The flash directs the eye, a magic trick performed successfully by only the most skilled artists (choose your event photographer wisely).
Wedding Drama (the Good Kind)
The photographer for this elegant wedding captured the perfect sunset-moody shot of the happy couple under their truly magnificent chuppah. Daytime images are nice — but, wow, this one is evocative.
You’re gonna want to click through to see the glowing all-pink ballroom reception and the glamorous tabletops.
A disco theme is perfect for flash photography. A disco is a naturally dark place, and we love how this engagement party is photographed with flashes of light illuminating the most chic details of the party.
Don’t miss the on-point invitations, signage, and napkins that make for a personalized affair.
23. Drone Shows Astound Partygoers
Drone shows are a trend that is really emerging in popularity. To be clear, we are not talking about drone photography (which has become a must for capturing any outdoor wedding or party), but about drones filling a night sky with a light show.
There is a certain spectacle we’ve all come to expect with a well-done fireworks display, but how about upending your guests’ expectations altogether? A drone show is a carefully choreographed collection of lighted drones which create interesting aerial formations. They can be synchronized to music for an even more immersive experience.
People Also Ask…
Where can I find a venue for my event?
Head to PartySlate’s curated venue directory to find the perfect event space for your celebration. Make sure to use the filters to narrow your search by location, venue type, guest count, amenities, and more.
If you see a venue that you like, click into their PartySlate profile to see how real party hosts configured the space for their celebrations.
Where can I find vendors for my event?
Check out PartySlate’s curated vendor directory to find the best party vendors in the industry. Utilize the filters to narrow your search by vendor type, event type, location, and more.
You can send an inquiry directly through the directory or click into their PartySlate profile to see real examples of their work, read reviews, and discover important FAQs. Scroll to the bottom of their page to peruse their trusted event partners for additional vendor suggestions.
Where can I find more party inspiration & resources?
PartySlate is your go-to resource for wedding and event inspiration. Click on the following to start planning your one-of-a-kind celebration: