The Wedding Journal

Wedding Trends of 2016

Published in Inspiration.

The Big Day

By Wedding Planner Bruce Russell

Looking ahead to 2016, I think the most exciting new trend that we’ll see hit the industry is around the overarching ‘experience’ and guest journey. Whether it’s a classical ‘grand ballroom’ that harks back to the extravagance of 18th century Europe, or a more eclectic English country house, the real key will be working with couples to come up with immersive, holistic concepts that engage all the senses.

Food and drink is something that I predict will be an increasing area of focus for couples during the planning process. I’m delighted to say that, on the whole, gone are the days of ‘one-size-fits-all-fayre’ and we are instead moving towards really creatively curated menus that  reflect the wider ‘wedding experience’ and offer guests more choice. The same goes for drinks – of course champagne will always have its place at a wedding, but these days we are starting to see more signature cocktails being designed for the reception, using mixology mastery to incorporate different elements to the day.


Kate Nielen Photography Flowers: Larry Walshe

The overarching presentation is also key. Tablescaping has been a real buzzword for this year, but in 2016 I think we will see it move to another level with different textures and layering being introduced to ensure that guests feel that their ‘space’ is very much a cornerstone of the wider design of the day.

Whilst a classic white wedding is perennially popular, we are now seeing couples become a little more experimental with bursts of richer colours punctuating the interior and dress design. Metallics are something I think will become particularly prevalent in the months ahead, with their rich hues of rose gold and bronze warming up the ambience of the event. Strategically deployed with the careful placement of vases and other decorations, these metallic shades can add a dash of opulence in contrast to the traditional glass and mirrors that we’ve seen dominate this space for the last few years.

 It is only by engaging all of the senses, playing with textures and taste, scents and sounds that we will create magical moments for couples and their guests throughout the wedding experience. 


By Hermione Harbutt

Catherine Mead Photography

Catherine Mead Photography

Soft colours are starting to play a major part in bridal style, which looks set to be a popular trend for 2016. Here at Hermione Harbutt, brides are becoming more confident to include delicate pastel tones into their accessories and you will see lots of these hues in our latest collections, with forget-me-not blues, blush pinks and soft golds.

Adding a touch of colour gives an unusual feel to accessories whilst still remaining bridal. It also gives brides the opportunity to include their chosen wedding colour into another element of their wedding and express her own style and personality. The colour duo of blush and gold will be particularly popular wedding colour schemes for 2016, with Pantone naming them as top colours of the year for 2016.

The Dress
By Berta Bridal


We see an ever growing use of illusion necklines, and sometimes even from the waist down. Those kinds of designs were popular for a while, but it seems many designers are catching up as today’s bride is bolder than ever before.

Most brides are looking to stand out, to be unique and different than all the rest. Hence they look for designs from a higher quality. High end designs are usually 100% handmade and in that technique you can achieve beautiful lace appliqués designed dresses on an illusion basis.

If designed right, an illusion gown should reflect both a romantic and classy look, along with a sophisticated and sexy one.

The Dress
By Sassi Holford


2016 is all about individuality, striking silhouettes and stunning fabrics.

Two pieces are back, but this time with a much stronger sense of confidence and personality. Midriffs, cut out backs, high low hemlines – brides are becoming more experimental and are pushing the boundaries of wedding gown style.

I have also seen an increase in demand for less detailed gowns, or ‘perfectly plain’ as I like to call them. The beautiful simplicity of these designs emphasises the accuracy of the cut and fit, but, they can also be accessorised to create a unique look reflecting the bride’s style and personality. My new concept, ‘The Bride Decides’, allows brides to do just that.

The Dress
By Ian Stuart Bride


Big dresses are definitely making a comeback. I see brides willing to embrace the flamboyance and indulge in a big gown for their wedding day. The recession discouraged brides from doing that, but now that things have turned around, so have the attitudes towards being fabulously ostentatious. The spectrum of big dresses will range from beautifully traditional to modern, bright and colourful.

I also see brides becoming more adventurous with their wedding dress, customising is proving incredibly popular, with girls wanting to express their own individual style. 

The Dress
By Naomi Neoh

Naomi Neoh Summer's Eve Ivy back

2016 is the year for delicate open backs and soft oyster hues! Here at Naomi Neoh we believe it’s of upmost importance that the back of your dress is as breathtaking as the front. There are many options to consider for finer details such as an open, full button or deep V back! Why not steer away from the classic white dress and venture into the beautiful tones of oyster? It works great with a variety of skin tones and is an elegant choice for the season. Once you have found your signature style, experiment with soft tulles and textural laces to find the perfect combination to create your awe- inspiring dress!

The Shoes 
By Emmy London

Emmy London

Soft shades are becoming ever more popular and feel more modern, allowing brides to really inject their personality into their wedding day look. So too are statement pieces that become heirlooms to be enjoyed for the big day and beyond.

The Make-up
By Pamela & Andrea


Dress: Andrea Hawkes Bridal

Think romantic, beautiful make-up to complement 2016 ‘s must-have dresses. Creamy luminous skin, subtle pretty pink or bronze eye shadow, curled lashes and well-groomed brows.  Keep the lip colour natural with a balm or gloss finish.

For the brides that want more of a statement and like to focus on their lips, try this season’s hottest colour in bright apple red in either a satin or high shine finish. Keep the rest of the face minimal with healthy conditioned skin and gentle sculpting. 

The Bridesmaids 
By twobirds


Tulle wedding dresses were a big feature on the bridal catwalks and we’re expecting bridesmaid styling to follow suit with soft, romantic fabrics.  Pastel pinks and blues were also spotted and with Pantone announcing Rose Quartz and Serenity as their colours of the year it’s likely that these beautiful tones will be in high demand for bridesmaid dresses in 2016.

Individual styling will be much more prevalent in 2016 as couples move away from matchy-matchy style and highlight individual personalities more with different neckline, hair & make-up choices and sometimes even dress colour to suit each bridesmaid.  Wedding dress designers are being more adventurous than ever with the neckline options.  Halter and off-the-shoulder necklines were well represented on the runway and these flattering styles can easily be created with a multiway dress.

The Cake
By Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium



The past few years has seen the rise in personalised cake flavours from tropical and citrus inspired to the downright quirky such as Earl Grey, green tea, wasabi and white chocolate and lavender and honey. Some have shunned the cake altogether for alternatives like cheeses, doughnuts and macarons but the traditional wedding cake is still holding firm.

Trend reports seem to suggest that couples want ‘Instagramable’ weddings with some matching their wedding colours to their home interiors. There is also a trend of bringing the outside in, with secret garden décor being created in traditionally opulent venues. 

The Cake 
By GC Couture


We find that, increasingly, brides will choose their designs based on their own individual taste, fashion style and colour scheme of their wedding rather than any trends. Brides are becoming more confident and are thus happy to order a wedding cake based on their own tastes with no need to feel forced to follow a particular trend. As brides choose more individual themes for their wedding, so too they can choose a completely individual wedding cake. As we have an incredible 50 flavours from which to choose, at GC Couture we have an overwhelming selection for brides to hand-pick their wedding with Pina Colada proving to be a popular choice!

The Flower Girls 
By Nicki Macfarlane



The trend Nicki is predicting for flower girls in 2016 is an increase in the use of beautiful floral and print fabrics, in both soft, delicate shades and bolder colours.  Brides are increasingly choosing completely different styles for their bridesmaids and flower girls and linking them together with a design detail such as a single coloured sash. This trend has been strong for adult bridesmaids in the past year but we are now predicting that this will be extended into the younger attendants. This is ideal for brides who have children of different ages who don’t necessarily want to wear the same style, or for those wishing to create a truly unique and individual look.

The Flowers
By Blue Sky Flowers


We cannot get enough of oversized bouquets, wild natural or contemporary, they will be essential for lots of brides in 2016, even those who just want something to hide behind!

Wild flowers, less structured bouquets, dried flowers, heather, ivy vines, and wildflower posies. Loose, wild displays inside receptions and ceremonies will continue to give that inside-out garden look, expanding on to tables more and more in keeping with the wild natural bouquets that we’ve seen this year.

The Stationery 
By ER Stationery



Wedding stationery trends for 2016 are looking really rather wonderful. Think bold vintage esque colours and calligraphy fonts, rich sumptuous gold, smooth rose champagne, deep seductive navy and soft blush pinks.

Personalisation has always played a key part in stationery and this year is no exception. Couples are looking for personalised drawings of their venue, themselves or things dear to them, coats of arms, beautiful flowing initials and intricate finishing touches that showcase them and add an element of intrigue and excitement about their day.

Save the dates are still popular and rightly so, but couples are also keen to personalise their RSVP’s to fit in with their wedding style with stationers offering RSVP cards and management services to make the procedure easier for their clients.

The Décor
By Brooklyn Bridal

There are so many décor gems on trend for 2016 but we feel that the Brooklyn Bridal ‘ribbon wall’ will be a highlight for next season’s brides.  It’s our most versatile piece, suspend from wooden beams to prettify the ceiling, make a dazzling entrance to your marquee or a romantic backdrop for wedding vows- it is such a statement!

We hand-make all of our ribbon walls, so each one is crafted precisely to the bride’s taste. As well as our boho pink colour theme, our designers can create bespoke walls that match tonally to other palette colours. It’s due to this that brides can use it in so many ways – we can’t wait to see what people will do with them next!

The Food
By Goose & Berry

Kate Nielen Photography -178

Kate Nielen Photography

Interactive and personal catering is the latest trend that is emerging in the world of wedding  catering. Think ice cream being made in front of you in a matter of minutes and pizza made to order out of a van. It creates an interesting and creative way of presenting and delivering food; one that is bound to get your guests attention and create a talking point.

Bespoke menus, cute canapés and miniature versions of the couple’s favourite dishes can really liven up the wedding food and show off the couple’s tastes and personality. In addition, creating food that offer surprises and create a whole experience and sensory sensation are starting to appear through more weddings. Think savoury macarons, herby desserts and cocktails and sweet egg and soldiers.

Informal dining features in many of our weddings, or incorporated in certain parts of the day. Whether it be a canapé display where guests help themselves, food stations, a dessert bar or evening food stations.

Credits: Bruce Russell, Hermione Harbutt, Berta Bridal, Sassi Holford, Ian Stuart Bride, Naomi Neoh, Emmy London, Pamela & Andrea, twobirds, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, GC Couture, Nicki Macfarlane, Blue Sky FlowersER Stationery, Brooklyn Bridal, Goose & Berry