Holy wow, yes, another year down and we already have ourselves... January 2018.
What an exciting year ahead full of amazing clients, opportunities and beautiful aesthetics in event and wedding design.

In mid-2017 I was honoured to be asked to contribute to The International Wedding Trend Report.
A report for wedding professionals and couples who are keen to keep their finger on the wedding pulse when it comes to all facids of tying the knot.
Trends from Decor, Traditions, Venues, Linen, Florals + More.
This year the report broadens their report with not only catching UK trends, but interviewing professionals from right around the globe to get the full scoop on how different cultures and nationalities celebrate their big day for the upcoming season.

You can view the video report here.
And sign up for your FREE copy of the full global report here.

In a nut shell, we break down our predictions for the season ahead for you.

 

SIMPLE + SOPHISICATED.

Less is more.
More stunning, more sophisticated, more healthy for your hip-pocket and more room for share plates on the table!
We're thrilled to see styling trends shift away from the cluttered, over the top designs to pulling back and keeping things neat and simple.
No more cluttering tables with oversize blooms and pieces of stationary for every single detail.
Think mixed shapes and textured tables, classic seating, beautiful textured linens, stationary that doubles the menu with the name card and carefully designed florals.

Tables are kept simple whilst couples aim for a focal point in ceiling installations which remain a hot trend for 2018 however out come the festoons which make way for gorgeous crystal chandeliers and beaded pendents. Beautiful!

Top two images via Lara Hotz Photography & She Designs
 

THE DRESS:

The runways have spoken and below we reveal the top trends for wedding gowns this season.

1. Show some shoulder.
Strapless gowns with capped sleeves are big for 2018. This moves away from the 1990's debutante strapless look we've see before and adds an elegant touch with beautiful fold in the fabric for an elegant finish to a traditional style gown.
https://www.glamour.com/gallery/wedding-dress-trends-2018#2

Top image: Rita Vinieris 'Alyne' Spring 2018 collection. POA
Bottom Image: Lola Varna gown. Via Hello May here. POA


2. Dripping in detail.
Runways are reflecting the opulent style of sheer fabrics dripping in an abundance of hand-sewn details. In particular, Pearls. Very intricate and very elegant with free-flowing fabrics that create dreamy movement in the gown.

Top image: Jane Hill 'Dolce' Gown SS17. POA
Bottom Image: Julie Vino gown, Venice Collection. POA.


3. Black detailing.
Black detailing accents the runways this season with accessories making a subtle statement in contrast to a white gown. Think belts, embellishments, pendant earrings and hair accessories.

Top Image: Marchesa Gown. Accessories unknown. POA
Middle Image: Sarah Seven Gown - The Romantics II Collection. POA. via Brides.com
Bottom Image: Samantha Wills Bridal Earrings. 'Whiskey & Roses' AU$69.99 via One Day Bridal. 
 

...And for Brides on a budget:

Top Image: Esther Boutique 'Bellflower' off the shoulder lace dress. $259.95
Middle Image: Esther Boutique 'Hyacinth' Maxi Dress in Ivory $179.95
Bottom Image: Esther Boutique 'Filia' Fringe Earrings $59.95
 

TRADITIONS: What's hot and what is not.

The first thing I always say when a client asks me... 'Is this right?' or 'Is that what we're meant to do?' is, there are honestly no more rules when it comes to your nuptials. How you say them, plan them or celebrate them.
The day is yours to design and orchestrate how ever you like. That's the fun part! Tradition is solely based on what is important to you. There are no rules, only suggestions.
Remember what is important to you and let your wedding day reflect those traits...not because someone says you have to.
In saying that, there are definitely trends appearing as more and more of our couples take on the idea of doing things their way.
Here's what's trending, and what isn't so much anymore.

 IN:
- Cutting of the Cake. Wedding cakes are still a great tradition, however couples are putting a slight spin on this one. Getting the formality of cutting the cake out of the way before the reception really kicks into gear and doubling their cake as a dessert option.
No more storing in your freezer for months and trying to palm left overs off like it's Christmas day. Yay!

- Cocktail hour between ceremony & reception. This one is goodie to keep because whilst you're off having fun with your bridal party and photographer, your guests will need to be kept entertained.. and fed.
Light refreshments and canap├ęs are often the go-to during this time as it encourages your guests to start mingling and loosens up the crowd a little after the formalities.
Another tip of advice here; ensure you have seating available for your elderly, pregnant and guests in heels. They'll love you for it!

Top Image: The Lane
Second Image: Etc. Event Styling
Third Image: Dann Event Hire + The Eventurer
Fourth Image: The Gypsy Roma
Bottom Image: Etc. Event Styling
 

OUT:
- Spending the night before apart. Now couples are using this time for pre-wedding catch ups and having a group gathering rather than split the wedding party and staying seperate until the ceremony. Couples get ready together, and walk down the aisle together.

- Reception bridal party announcement. Couples are preferring to rock up to the reception WITH their guests rather than the usual big formal announcement. They want to get amongst the party more than ever which also translates to our next tradition that's leaving us...

- No more bridal tables! This is one we're loving. No more separation from the crowd. No more front facing table decor and if you're like us.. no more looking like you're sitting centre stage for everyone to stare at. Yes! We love that couples are now choosing to sit amongst their guests. This gives them more opportunity to mingle and is one tradition we're pleased to see slowly dwindle.

Top Image: Etc. Event Styling
Bottom Image: Gorgeous Occasions 
 

COLOURS OF THE SEASON:

A variation in colour combos are predicted to be hot for 2018 with Pantone releasing their top picks of Mauve, Coconut Milk and Harbourside mist to paint the picture.

1. Violet enters the mix this year. Don't think violet chair sashes, faux silks and actual lavender flowers on tables (PLEASE, NO!)
Cast you inspiration towards hints of violet colours. Mixed with soft apricots, duck egg blues and blush pinks. Like you were beachside at sunset when those tones set in the summer sky.

Top Image: Etc. Event Styling -Styled shoot
Second Image: Pinterest 'Seaside Sunsets'
Third Image: Nomad Styling , Melbourne
Bottom Image: Flos Botanical Studio, Melbourne
 

2. Move out Scandi and welcome back to the darker stained timbers we've seen before BUT let's add muted colours in natural/bush themed tones.
Think dark timber tables, coloured organic-styled flowers, sheer fabrics to compliment (not completely cover) and raw materials for name cards and menus.
This is all about capturing natural elements, giving them a pop of subtle colour and keeping things classy with an Aussie twist as we see boho gone.

A word for this trend?
If you were a 2017 Block addict like we were, then you'll remember Neil Wittacker's word of the season; 'Hygge' -Or as we pronounce it, 'Hooga'.
The Norwegian word adopted by the Danish that has taken the world by storm meaning "well-being." it's a feeling, an experience, a sensation. It means creating a warm atmosphere. It is enjoying the good things in life with good people.
So, naturally warmer toned colours, comfy fabrics, warm candle light and share plates go well with this style.
- Byron Bay have this style down pat!

Above two images: The Events Lounge


3. Tropics. On the contrary Big, Bold, punchy prints and bespoke neon signage are a big hit also.
Loud colours and a whole lot of fun all strung together seamlessly, of course.

  Above Image:  The Style Co.

Above Image: The Style Co.

Now, the trick to perfecting your colour palette isn't to go full blow with everything.
Introduce these trending colours in subtle details.
For cocktail weddings; use in accent cushions, tea light holders, signage and flowers.
For sit-down dinner weddings; The calligraphy on the name card, linen napkins, tea light holders, flowers or the odd coloured chair to add into the neutral mix.

Remember, when the space is set up you see everything on mass. Not just the one mock-table set up you create to initially visualise.
You have to remember to see the space as a whole. This will help you avoid walking in on the day to a see of a dominant colour.

 

FLOWERS A MUST:

The trend of incorporating fresh flowers is as hot as ever as couples remain true to the feeling of bringing the outdoors inside when it comes to reception blooms.
For ceremonies, florals are kept simple rather than large impactful statements like we've seen before. This is due to couples opting for natural outdoor backdrops to their nuptials this year.

To carry; Brides are moving toward smaller bouquets as a pose to the oversized whimsical look we saw last year. Bouquets are kept simple, still incorporating texture and colour but not quite as 'wild' as we've seen in the past.
Rounded posies are still in whilst the tear-drop style firmly remains a thing of the 80's.

 

OPEN AIR:

With the idea of function rooms long gone, we saw a shift towards marquees in 2016/2017 but now we're getting up close with Mother Nature more than ever with open-air style receptions and ceremonies.
Whilst this slightly goes against our inner wedding-planner's advice of ALWAYS ensuring a wet-weather back up is in place, this is taking the concept of an outdoor wedding to a whole new amazing level.
Here's how. And here's how to ensure you've got yourself covered juuuuust in case the heavens do open up on your wedding day.

Top Image: Open air chapel at The Yarra Valley Estate
Second Image: Hamptons Marquee - For Georgeous, available from Kata Lane
Third Image: Tipi - Kata Lane
Bottom Image: The 'Atrium' Marquee - Harry The Hirer

 

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Move out Photo booths, in 2018 we're leaving it to the professionals. 
Couples opt for a duo of professional photographers to capture their day as we see the trend of high quality photo albums bigger than ever as a pose to just a USB of your day.
Couples are treasuring the keepsake moments of their day and rightly so!

Photography styles that are big for 2018:
- Drones.
- First Look.
- Candid rather than posed.
- All day photography. From getting ready to breaking out loose on the d'floor later.
- Decor shots (Pre-guest arrival)
- Videography is back! ...but quality is a must. Think mini movie-style, not backyard style.

Top Image: Kas Richards
Bottom Image: Alex Marks

 

ENTERTAIN US:

With entertainment a huge must for 2018, couples are looking beyond your stock-standard DJ and going for a live-entertainment feel.
Think live bands, additional instruments such as cellos, a saxophonist etc paired with bands that get amongst the crowd and get them fired up.
Couples want a pumping party rather than a formal dance these days.

 

And that's a wrap!
We're thrilled to dive into 2018 with some amazing clients, unbelievable designs and an abundance of opportunity that we can't wait to share with you all.

A big Congrats to all the love birds out there tying the knot in the year ahead. We can't wait to see how you all celebrate.

We hope 2018 brings all that you wish for and would love to know how you're planning to celebrate in style this year... leave us a comment below!

All our love, Lauren and the Etc. Events Team x


...And just real quick:

TOP 2017 trends to do-away with:

- Photo booths. Replace me with a GIF machine.
- Flower Crowns. Replace me with opulent pendant earrings.
- Oversized Bridal bouquets. Replace me with smaller posies.
- Guest Favours, or Bonbonnieres. Replace me with a high-quality food and beverage menu.

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