As a Victoria wedding planner, we have helped couples plan their dream weddings here on Vancouver Island long enough to become very familiar with what’s popular and trending. Speaking of popular wedding themes, Courtney and I are just back from WeddingWire World 2016, a fabulous conference in Baltimore that brings together wedding planners from all over the world. As a result, we’ve both become just a little obsessed with 2016 wedding trends. Which is why I’m so I’m excited to present our 2016 edition of “Ultimate Guide To Victoria BC Wedding Trends.”
Here’s what we’re seeing for Vancouver Island weddings this year.
Rose Quartz and “Serenity” are the Pantone colours of 2016, and we’re definitely seeing lots of soft pinks, blues and greys in weddings this year. These colours are gentle, very pretty, almost airy – and they lend themselves nicely to Spring and Summer weddings.
Dark Green with White Accents
A lot of my couples are also choosing very classy, darker colour schemes, with gold or white accents.
Here’s another trend that would be so pretty for a garden wedding. Gold has been popular for awhile now, and it’s still going strong. It’s beautiful used as an accent colour, and I’m seeing it more and more on bridesmaids dresses. Gold also pairs nicely with the Dark Green wedding trend.
I love this Victoria BC wedding trend, and I’m definitely seeing it more and more with younger brides. When you want a relaxed vibe but still want to make an impact, think about adding less-structured touches. For example, zig-zagging metallic votive candle holders (like these!) alongside a greenery garland down the centre of a long table will look casual, but also quite visually appealing.
Copper works well with lots of colour schemes, so it’s often used in accent decor. Our Copper Bells on Turquoise Ribbon (captured so beautifully by FunkyTown Photography, below) and our copper tins and flower containers (so pretty when bursting with flowers!) are easy ways to incorporate this trend.
Or don’t just stick with copper! Create an eclectic look by mixing copper, gold, rosegold and brass.
Another fun alternative to traditional flowers. I’m a little garland-obsessed myself, so I love this trend! Incorporate with a little copper (like with our 3’ Swag, below) for an extra pretty look.
Not to be confused with ‘rocker’ chic! Crystal and rock accents, such as geode and agate, add a perfectly nerdy and perfectly lovely touch for the geologically-minded.
Signs and Hand-Lettered Loveliness
In love? Spell it out! In addition to lots of signage and marquee lights, calligraphy decor details are everywhere these days. Calligraphy on clear balloons is particularly nice! Just be careful not to overdo displaying the word ‘love’- once is usually enough.
Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere
Flowers are so beautiful, so why not incorporate them as much as possible into your decor – even in unusual places, like walls, stair railings, and hanging from light fixtures.
When a wedding trend has been as popular as long as sequins have been, couples often start to worry if it’s becoming overdone. But from what I see, sequins are still popular in 2016. Consider using them in
subtle ways, like by adding them to these clear ball vases.
Like sequins, mason jars have been quite popular for awhile. They’re still on trend – but I recommend they be kept to outside weddings or barn settings, where the vibe is more informal. They’re also nice when strung with lights.
SO pretty! Popularized by Kim and Kanye’s wedding shots, flower walls make great selfie backdrops. Greenery wall backdrops are also quite nice.
Tablescapes at weddings are changing, and I think this is a trend that will be with us for a long time. Round tables are being replaced with long, family-style ones. This definitely changes up the tone of the reception, plus, long tables can be decorated so nicely. Imagine light strings overhead, and flower and greenery trailing off the ends – gorgeous!
Farm weddings have been around for awhile, of course. For 2016, the trend is less rustic and more elegant. Think chic wood elements mixed with classic items like white vases and classic wood cross-back chairs.
A versatile classic, it’s no wonder garden roses are back big time.
Pretty and natural, eucalyptus creates that earthy, effortless vibe so many couples want these days.
Long, ‘undone’ and beautiful … these are bouquets so pretty you’re not going to want to toss them at the end of the night.
Consider using a ‘pretty collage’ instead of one stand-out flower. ‘East meets West’ flower schemes are also popular.
Couples are playing with their venue layouts, often creating more ‘hang out’ spaces – and therefore more relaxed and fun events – for their guests. Try to move away from the traditional way of organizing your venue space. For example, create, say, two cocktail areas, or use a variety of sizes of rectangle tables mixed throughout the dinner space.
Fewer Barn Weddings
Unfortunately, fewer barn spaces are now available as venues, as many sites are coming up against municipal zoning and insurance constraints. If you’re hoping for a farm wedding, it’s best to start doing your research early.
Who says you need an elaborate, and often expensive, sit-down dinner for a great event? Brunch weddings are a fresh option for couples on a budget … so get creative with your food options!
We’ve seen some gorgeous winter wedding photo-shoots pop up on Pinterest in the past few years, showing couples how nice a winter wedding can be. So it’s no surprise they’re gaining popularity. Victoria couples should note that some local venues like The Butchart Gardens is only available for Spring weddings.
A fun idea for fun couples! When your guests don’t know they’re coming to a wedding, it can be much more pressure-free – and everyone gets to relax a little.
This is a really fun new trend. Pop-up weddings are a super easy option for couples who want to avoid wedding planning themselves. They can take many forms, but basically, a wedding venue teams up with a complete wedding team (think photographer, decorator, caterer, etc). Together, they create a killer wedding set-up, that couples get to rent out for a few hours. It’s really clever, and as a wedding planner, I’m looking forward to seeing these in Victoria!
Lots of current brides dresses now incorporate old-fashioned elements – like sheer illusion sections, sleeves, high necks, and a-line fitted waists. We’re seeing lots of flower accents, too. Many brides are also looking to iconic gowns, like Grace Kelly’s and Kate Middleton’s, for inspiration.
Coupling nicely with more old-fashioned dresses, pearls are making a comeback for brides.
Full veils have been on the decline, but blushers are becoming very trendy.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that today’s bride still wants fresh-faced makeup with glowing, radiant skin. Coral lips are very fashionable this year, too.
Celeb-Inspired Hair Options
Many brides are opting to wear their hair like Kim K on her wedding day (long and loose with a centre part) or Julian Hough (side-swept, messy and pulled back in a ballerina bun). Pretty!
It’s 2016 – who says you need a gown? Lots of modern brides are opting for fun looks, and if that means wearing pants, so be it!
Fun Second Outfits – for Brides and Grooms
Everyone wants to let loose and get down during their reception. Many brides are opting for rompers and jumpsuits for their second outfit – so much easier for dancing. And grooms are now getting in on the fun second outfit option, too. And according to Monte Durham of Say Yes to the Dress, grooms often choose festive, even ‘jokey’ looks for their second outfit.
Bridesmaids, rejoice. Gone are the days of the embarrassing bridesmaid dress – today’s bride wants her team to be pretty and ready to party-down. Bridesmaids now get to wear sparkly long dresses, separates, and even white dresses. So for 2016 weddings, everyone gets to look great!
Bowties, dinner jackets, 1 1/2” inch white cuffs showing below their jacket cuffs, deep lapels, tight suits, patent shoes …. today’s groom is dapper and he knows it. Retro suits are also popular (I love Dave’s look in this wedding I decorated and coordinated!).
Suits Over Tuxes
Dark coloured suits (like cobalt and midnight blue) are great alternatives to tuxes, and they’re definitely rising in popularity. But of course tuxes will always be popular for elegantly themed weddings.
Rise of the Pre-Ceremony Cocktail Hour
Why not get the celebration started early?
If one of your guests has a beautiful voice, have them surprise everyone with a little song during your ceremony. It can certainly be a lot more touching than a simple reading!
Keep it Personal
Even couples who want to keep their weddings as simple as possible still like to have that personal touch – weddings should really showcase who you are as a couple. For example, I’m seeing family crests now used in decor, and birth rings and other nostalgic items being pinned to bouquets and clothes. So try to come up with a thoughtful way to put your unique stamp on your special day.
40% of couples also choose to write their own vows, and many are now incorporating customs related to their heritage, too.
It’s probably no surprise here that the top two weddings songs this year are John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud.’ That said, many couples are opting for indie songs for their first dance, too. And thanks to Pitch Perfect, college acapella groups are becoming prominent, although I have yet to see this here locally.
Even your end-of-night exit can be personalized. Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of glow sticks used.
Couples like to show a little hometown love in their catering selections now, opting for local food choices. Here on Vancouver Island, that often means Nanaimo bars!
Create an interactive experience for your guests by letting them add their own fruits and syrups.
Paired Cocktails and Appys
Margaritas and tacos, mini tacos and beers, caviar and vodka ….. couples are opting for themed food and drink pairings that go together like PB & J.
Roaming Raw Bar
For the couple that can’t get enough sushi!
The creative cake trend continues. This year, I’m seeing lots of cinnamon roll cakes (yum!) and pie stations. Buttercream has replaced fondant, and the naked cake trend is still going strong. Like you might expect, gluten free options are also becoming more prevalent.
Cake As Art
Everyone always oohs and aahs over the cake – so why not take that to the next level? We’re seeing lots more elaborate cakes with more textures and artistic flair. Cakes can even be hung like an art installation …
Kolaches are the newest food trend I’m seeing. They’re Hawaiian rolls similar to doughnuts, and great for an end-of-night treat. Similarly, coffee and doughnuts are also popping up for after-parties.
Not Just For The Bride
Wedding tastings are fun – so fun, in fact, that today’s groom is now likely to attend, too. Sounds like a fun date night to me.
Everyone wants stunning footage and photos to capture their special day – so it’s not surprising drones are increasingly being used to get some great shots.
Social Media Artists
Clearly, social media is here to stay (Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope seem to be the most heavily used for weddings lately). Particularly ‘social’ couples are now opting for Social Media Artists – specialists who help curate all their streams on their wedding day. I haven’t worked with any Social Media Artists on the island yet, but I love the concept.
But of course, not every couple is quite so digitally inclined. Another growing trend in 2016 is ‘unplugged weddings,’ where guests are asked to refrain from using their phones completely. It’s old school in the best way possible.
I’m definitely seeing more mixed genders in wedding parties, especially among younger couples. Today, brides want their brothers, grooms want their sisters, and everyone wants their best friends by their side – and can you blame them?
Who Needs ‘Em?
Keeping with the non-traditional trends, many couples are foregoing old staples like bouquet and garter tosses.
It’s no secret that weddings today can get pricey. Many modern couples are getting creative with their budgets – by, say, cashing in earned points to get gift cards they can use. For example, our local Vancouver Island chain Thrifty’s offers Air Miles, and Costco offers bulk wedding flowers.
If you’re getting married, come up with a unique hashtag and make sure your guests know it. That way, everyone can easily find and share pictures and posts from your wedding.