Try These New Popular Wedding Trends Recommended By Industry Experts

From charcuterie boards to watercolor cakes, these new wedding trends are in popular demand.

We all love a good wedding trend. But we don’t love a trend that’s overdone. We’ve tapped industry experts to call out eight trends that have become a bit, shall we say, commonplace and weigh in on how to give those trends some fresh spins.

Illustration by Emi Villavicencio

Old: Dessert Buffet
New: Charcuterie Board

Dessert buffets have been having a moment for several years. In lieu of (or in addition to) a wedding cake, couples have opted for a spread-style assortment of doughnuts, cookies, petit fours, and other bite-sized sweets. And though we love the variety, we have to admit its novelty has worn off. Enter, instead, the charcuterie board: a smorgasbord spread of gourmet meats, cheeses, fruits, olives, figs, and other snackables for guests to graze during the cocktail hour. Display the items on wooden slabs or even stack them on tiered displays. For bonus points, wedding planner Brigid Horne-Nestor of I-do Weddings & Events suggests serving wines that pair well with the nibbles.

Old: Bourbon Bars
New: Other Beverage Samplings

Living so close to Kentucky’s famed Bourbon Trail, Cincinnatians were quick to hop on the bourbon bandwagon—and it didn’t take long for the bourbon-sampling trend to trickle into weddings. While bourbon bars were innovative at first, Horne-Nestor suggests freshening the idea with a personalized spin by offering tastings of something else that’s special to the couple—gin, tequila, champagne, craft beer, gourmet coffee, or even flavored water. She recommends offering three to five different styles of the beverage of choice and serving the samples in the glassware that pairs with the drink (i.e., flutes with champagne).

Old: Extra-Large Bouquets
New: Extra-Small Bouquets

When it comes to bouquets, there’s been no shortage of the bountiful “wildflower” look lately. For a new twist on the wildflower trend, Kristen Sekowski, owner of Yellow Canary Floral and Event Design, suggests a complete 180 with a petite bundle of tiny wild blooms and herbs instead. Try bachelor buttons, stephanotis, Sweet Williams, bouvardia, and spray roses, Sekowski says.

Photograph by Jonathan Gibson Photography

Old: Downtown Photos
New: Mural Photos

Not to rag on the Roebling Bridge, but let’s be honest: Almost every couple in Cincinnati has posed in front of it for their wedding photos. “If you’re from Cincinnati and love the Roebling Bridge, then definitely get photos taken at the Roebling Bridge,” says photographer Jonathan Gibson. “But if not, don’t bother. Find another place that’s meaningful to you.” For a fresher take on iconic Cincinnati photo ops, Gibson suggests scouting Cincinnati’s ArtWorks murals throughout downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton, and Northern Kentucky.

Old: Ombre Cakes
New: Watercolor Cakes

Ombre-colored cakes started edging into the wedding scene around the same time that ombre-hued hair color was becoming ubiquitous. Now that the trend has lingered a few years, Alex Martin, owner of A Spoon Fulla Sugar, says it’s time for a new cake color trend—and that’s watercolor. Like ombre, watercolor can use any color palette, but the finished effect is definitively more swirled and breezy than the organized fade of ombre. “When we ice the cake and do the final coat, we take the different colors and just kind of mix them along the side of the cake. When we scrape it down, [the colors] blend together, and it creates this really neat, artistic look,” Martin says.

Old: Mismatched Blush-Tone Bridesmaid Dresses
New: Mismatched Jewel-Tone and Multi-Textured Bridesmaid Dresses

When mismatched arrays of blush tones and champagne shades first started popping into bridesmaid lineups, they were breathtakingly surprising. Who would have thought you could use hues that were so close to bridal white? But now, they’re so common they’re almost yawn-inducing. While we still dig the mismatched dress look, we think it’s time to cool it on the neutrals. Instead, Kathleen Scarpello of Wendy’s Bridal recommends a mix of vibrant jewel tones or a curated collection of multiple textures, like scallops, sequins, and satin. “People are looking for styles that look like everyone just happened to show up and kind of all match,” she says.

Photograph by Jonathan Gibson Photography

Old: The Accessories Flat Lay
New: Unexpected Accessories Props

If you’ve seen a wedding album in recent years, you’ve likely noticed a few photos of the bride’s accessories (like her engagement ring, veil, shoes, etc.) grouped together in an organized display. Photographers call these “flat lays,” and Gibson warns that they’ve become a little cliché. “I think it started as a good idea, but these flat lays have become pretty formulaic in their approach,” he says. To mix things up, Gibson proposes using an unexpected prop or backdrop to showcase the bride’s accessories. At a recent woodsy wedding he photographed, Gibson perched the bride’s shoes atop a rustic wood pile.

Old: Minimalist Wedding Dresses
New: Funky Bridal Accessories

Sleek Wedding dresses have been a welcome reprieve from frilly trends of years prior, but to give your modern gown a wow factor, try adding an unexpected accessory. A wide-brimmed hat might lend a boho vibe, or sparkle-studded sunglasses could add a touch of whimsy. A brightly beaded necklace could give a pop of color, or dangly earrings might deliver some visual interest. You can even swap out accessories throughout your wed- ding day, “without taking away from the minimalist look” of your dress, Scarpello says.

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