We bring you the wacky, the wonderful and the wow-factor wedding décor trends to inspire your big day…
A is for Affordability
Every big day budget is different, and while the ballpark figure seems to creep up year-on-year, couples are increasingly becoming aware that their wedding is simply the first day of many days of marriage, and budgeting accordingly. That means wedding décor needs to multitask, working from ceremony to reception, bouquet to tabletop, if it is to earn its place.
B is for Backdrops
This trend has made its way to us from across the pond, where linen backdrops, emblazoned with names or affirmations, have framed the end of the aisle for quite some time. But there’s more – paper crane garlands, tassel tails, even pom-poms are making waves.
“For a rustic look, birch tree arbours, which can often be hired from florists, are very popular for ceremony backdrops. Team it with tree stumps lining the aisle and around the base of the arbour, with candles and lanterns nestled on them,” recommends The Wedding Of My Dreams’ Gemma King.
C is for Confetti Bars
“Another key ceremony styling trend is for couples to get creative with how they display their confetti,” Gemma reveals. “One of my favourite approaches is when the confetti bar becomes a decorative feature in itself, showcasing assorted confetti in glass jars and bowls, ready for guests to help themselves.”
D is for Detail
From handmade table plans to monogrammed place settings, it’s all in the detail for finishing touches. Simple swaps, like colour coordinating your serviettes and draping them over the edge of the table on a charger plate, rather than simply folded to one side, can all contribute to styling that is Pinterest-pretty.
E is for Edible Decorations
A cake table laden with sweet treats is no longer enough for 2018, it seems. This year, all kinds of edible features are receiving a decorative upgrade – and so doughnut towers become doughnut walls, candy buffets become colour coordinated and lemonade dispensers receive a vintage serving cart of their own.
F is for Foliage
You might think you know the trend – greenery garlands and foliage chandeliers that were huge hits at weddings in 2017 – but that’s not all there is to this fresh and budget friendly styling accessory. 2018 is all about the leaves themselves, so why not embrace the organic drama of sweeping fern leaves or flamboyant palm fronds in your arrangements?
G is for Grey
The new neutral, team grey with fresh greens for a gorgeously modern but still traditional colour scheme. Alternatively, blend subtle shades of grey with pure white for more of a smooth and sophisticated Ibiza-glam vibe – this one’s perfect for destination weddings, where the backdrop of blue skies and sunshine show the pared-back palette at its best.
H is for Height
Perhaps your venue boasts a built-in fairy light chandelier or customisable up-lighting? Maybe there are beams or rafters from which you can suspend drapes, pom-poms or floral garlands? Any which way, draw the eye up by decorating the ceiling for dreamy effects. We love the floral chandelier that has taken the wedding world by storm.
I is for Inside Out
Just as recent wedding trends have seen woodland, garden and jungle details drawn indoors for an outside-in style, we’re also seeing couples take the opposite approach, creating outdoor rooms in their venue’s grounds. It could be as simple as pitching a tipi and filling it with scatter cushions and throws for a chill-out zone or a trendy pop-up cigar bar on the lawn…
J is for Just Enough
Cluttered works when it comes to a vintage theme, so if you’ve been hoarding jam jars and mercury glass vases since the second you got engaged, don’t panic. But even with a more eclectic theme finding the right balance is essential, so don’t feel you have to use everything you’ve stockpiled.
K is for Kaleidoscope
While last year white weddings were in hot demand, this year colour is back in a big way, as Victoria Morris from Sophisticated Weddings explains: “all-white elegance is being replaced by deeper colours and vibrancy, with brides choosing unconventional tones like fuchsia to stand out with a dramatic or edgy vibe.”
L is for Lighting
2018 sees lighting soar even higher up priority lists for reception style. Exposed Edison bulbs, timeless candlelight and contemporary coloured lighting can all contribute to your wedding day atmosphere and mood. If your venue doesn’t have a collection of its own to use, hire specialist lighting in.
M is for Materials
If you think that hessian has had its day, you’ll be relieved to know that there are many more materials to make your tabletops pretty. From glitzy sequin-covered tablecloths to whimsical, hand-dyed silk runners, choosing the right fabrics to dress tables with can really finish your theme.
N is for Nautical
There’s no denying that a big day on the beach will be great fun for all your guests, but don’t leave it behind when you head indoors. You could introduce laid-back deckchairs, mix-and-match bottle vases and cool, New England-inspired reception decorations to style your seaside theme.
O is for Outdoors
Remember that, in many cases, there is more to your venue than just four walls. If the grounds are yours for the day too, decorate them! Streamers, bunting and balloons look just as lovely hung from trees as they do from beams.
P is for Personalised
Whether we’re talking bespoke cocktail stations, pegged up Polaroid photos or personalised place settings, everyone loves to make the day their own – your guests included, so make sure at least one element of your wedding reception styling gets your guests involved. “Conveying the couple’s personalities through their wedding is becoming a big trend,” Laura Devine from Devine Bride adds.
Q is for Quirky Touches
There’s often a great feeling of wanting to do something different, something not done before to make your wedding uniquely yours, but that doesn’t mean ruling out popular themes. Turn to smaller details, like the guest book, as Gemma from The Wedding Of My Dreams recommends: “Ask guests to sign a puzzle piece, or to add a date night idea to a keepsake jar.”
R is for Roses
While an immaculate ball of roses may be more traditional than trendy, roses are still stars in the world of wedding flowers. Garden roses come in almost any colour, David Austin roses have petals pretty enough to rival a peony and avalanche roses are small enough to suit a jam jar setting – a versatility that makes roses every stylist’s heaven.
S is for Statement Flowers
The blooming archways that have adorned church doors for years are lovely, yes, but they also come at quite a cost, so expect to see more couples creating a statement without relying solely on size. Proteas, dahlias and parrot tulips can all be deployed seasonally in bouquets and table arrangements with effects that wow.
If you have set your heart on a large scale floral feature, Liz Inigo Jones from Blue Sky Flowers has some advice: “The idea of marrying your true love under an arbour of flowers and foliage is fabulous – where there is space, go big! You can reuse the arch afterwards for a photobooth, or a couple’s sweetheart table could be placed under it for the reception. Where an arch isn’t possible, oversized floral urns are a great substitute.”
T is for Transparent
Glass is pricey and potentially a bit of a health hazard when combined with free-flowing fizz, but Perspex makes the perfect alternative. Try it for your chairs for a look that is Scandi-cool and ultra chic, or choose transparent candelabra and bead garlands for a style that screams glamour.
U is for Ultra Violet
With Pantone picking the punchy, cosmic shade of Ultra Violet for 2018’s prestigious Colour of the Year title, it’s sure to inspire styling for plenty of weddings this year. Don’t be daunted by the brightness – calm it down with grounding greys or ramp it up with plenty of glitter for a galactic look that is more stellar than subtle. “This rich and regal shade also works beautifully well with coral tones, soft apricot and masses of foliage,” suggests Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers.
V is for Venues
At the very heart of reception styling will be the venue that you have to dress. “One of the top trends for 2018 is couples looking for unique spaces in which to marry. Industrial warehouses, old breweries and former railway stations are fast becoming popular choices – the key is to find a space with the scope to decorate to your taste,” explains Jo from Couture Events.
W is for Wanderlust
Travel themes have long been favourites for weddings, but they’re evolving. Postcard table names become collected curiosities from the couple’s favourite countries to visit, and favours might be brought back from a recent trip to surprise guests with. They’re also getting more specific, so general globetrotting gives way to place-specific themes – Italian, French or Moroccan, for example.
X is for Extra
Embrace the maximalist trend that has taken interiors by storm for your on the day styling too. Of course you must keep your budget in mind, but within the confines of your spending power, just say yes!
Y is for You
However you approach decorating your dream day, in order for it to live up to its name, it needs to reflect your loves as a couple. Putting your passions and personalities at the heart of your wedding in every choice you make is a trend that’s here to stay.
Z is for Zones
As less conventional venue set-ups explode in popularity, traditional layouts divided by room are lost and creative solutions for large, open spaces found. Try DIY pallet-wood bars and oversized LED letters to bring a distinct bar area and dance floor to life with a bright and buzzy vibe.