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Top 2018 Wedding Trends Unveiled by The Knot

From First Look Moments Beyond the Spouse-to-Be to Nontraditional Venues, Cake Bites and More, Couples Are Breaking Tradition and Creating the Ultimate Personal Statement With Their Weddings

The Knot logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Knot) (PRNewsfoto/The Knot)

NEW YORK/ — The Knot, the leading digital wedding brand and app, today released its annual Wedding Trends Report of the top trends for 2018. From unexpected entertainment to experiential dining, brides and grooms continue to break the traditional rules in favor of creating weddings that are a true reflection of themselves as a couple.

“Personalization has made its way into every aspect of weddings, as couples proudly show their unique personalities and styles throughout the food, entertainment, escort cards and florals,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot. “Couples are also making a personal statement with their registries. Long gone are the days of registering just for the sake of tradition. Today’s couples are asking for what they truly want, be it a KitchenAid mixer for the baking-obsessed, a couples massage for their honeymoon beach getaway, or IVF treatments to help start a family.”
The Knot 2018 Wedding Trends Report

Vibe Over Palette

Couples are letting the feel of their celebration dictate the details. Instead of starting with colors, they’re coining words that express the kind of party they’re throwing—like “rustic with a bit of romantic and a touch of retro”—and using that to communicate their vision to the local professionals that’ll pull off their day. Having trouble defining your style? The Knot Style Quiz walks couples through a selection of inspirational wedding photos and keeps track of their likes and dislikes. After analyzing the couple’s choices, The Knot defines their unique style and creates a personalized Wedding Vision that can be shared directly with vendors—that way, nothing gets lost in translation.

The Knot Style Quiz

Statement Escort Card Displays

Weddings in 2018 will give way to the wow-worthy (think: totally Instagrammable) escort card installation that incorporates the couple’s personalities. Create a flower wall and allow guests to “pick” their seats and take home a gorgeous stem. Or set up a large display of personalized thermoses for a woodsy-themed wedding. Love tequila? Welcome guests with Himalayan sea salt shot glasses with their names written in edible ink, filled with tequila and topped with a lime.

Compass escort card wall

photo by RACHEL HAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY; DESIGN BY EMILY CLARKE EVENTS

Asking for Cash

The traditional retail registry isn’t going anywhere, but more and more couples are asking for cash in the form of experiences. Thanks to The Knot Newlywed Fund, you can ask for exactly what you want—from new camping gear or a down payment on a home, to a fund for adopting a baby. Have a cause that’s close to your heart? Attach a charity to your retail registry and The Knot will donate on your behalf each time a gift is purchased off your registry.

Cash wedding gift

photo by DANIELLE KROLL

Balloons and Arches

Balloons make the perfect fun and festive flower alternative and can easily transform a space. Pair colorful Mylar options with basic latex balloons in varied sizes for a real “wow” factor. They can be strung like garlands, suspended from the ceiling, or shaped into a mural-like wall installation. The classic altar setup is also getting a revamp, with round archways or an almost closed circle to stand under and say your “I dos.” The circle is a unique spin on the expected and symbolizes eternity.

Balloon arch at wedding

photo by ALLIE LINDSEY PHOTOGRAPHY; DESIGN BY FARM TABLES & MORE

Foregoing the Favor

More and more couples are opting out of favors and prioritizing the experience over a simple takeaway. They’re treating guests to extras like a specialty sip station, a lipstick touch-up bar, a passed after-dinner treat, or even a fun late-night cover band. Thoughtful welcome bags for destination weddings are still all the rage and this year, couples are choosing to gift a series of small presents parceled out over the course of their guests’ stay. Out-of-towners are welcomed with the essentials, followed by a sweet treat at turndown and a parting gift for their travels home.

Lipstick station at wedding

photo by MICHAEL RADFORD PHOTOGRAPHY; DESIGN BY AMOROLOGY

Unexpected Entertainment

As more couples move away from providing favors and takeaways, they’re focused on creating the most memorable experience for guests, with entertainment taking the main stage. Instead of hiring one form of entertainment like a band or DJ, don’t be surprised to see a steady stream of entertainment throughout the night. From an experiential theater performance and roaming sketch artists, to tarot card readers, astrologists and magicians, couples are pulling out all the stops to create an interactive, unforgettable night that’s personalized to their interests.

Wedding caricatures

photo by SHANNON COLLINS

First Look Beyond Your Partner & Wedding Parties Reimagined

The first look with your spouse-to-be is huge, but this year, we’ll also see couples do an official reveal with other VIPs in their life. Moms, dads, bridesmaids, grandparents and more will enjoy a first look with the photographer in tow to capture their priceless reactions. The traditional wedding party is also getting a twist. Couples are mixing up their wedding party with people of the opposite sex standing on either side of the couple and honoring certain relatives in special ways (like flower grandmas!).

Grandma flower girls

photo by ASHLEY ELIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY

Signature Eats & Experiential Dining

Signature cocktails have been a long-standing tradition at weddings, so couples are switching it up and opting to claim their food. Ask guests to choose from the “his” or “hers” entrée option, or name passed hors d’oeuvres instead. When it comes to food, presentation continues to trend, but this year, couples are taking it one step further with “experienced” cuisine—like a hanging installation of nibbles, open-fire cooking, or a chef plating something in real time.

His and hers wedding dishes

photo by DANIELLE KROLL

Passed Cake Bites, Hand-Painted Cakes & Inventive Flavors

Let’s face it, by the time the cake is cut, everyone is on the dance floor. So bring the cake to them! Have your baker prepare bite-size pieces to be passed while guests get down. Also trending? Hand-painted confections. White wedding cakes have become a canvas for personalization and hand-painting is a popular way to add a bespoke touch. Not only is the design on the outside important, but creating a flavorful bite like no other is totally on trend. Step aside chocolate and vanilla, new flavors like cookies and cream, Funfetti and exotic pairings (think: bourbon and mocha), are taking center stage with fillings and frostings.

Wedding cake slices

photo by ADDIE JUELL

Nontraditional Venues

As couples create a wedding uniquely their own, more are stepping outside the traditional reception space and hosting their weddings in unexpected places: boxing gyms, pop-up barns, historic libraries and large homes with sprawling backyards. Met at a summer camp? Host your wedding under the stars surrounded by nature. Love music? Choose a concert hall and be rock stars for the day. Looking for more inspiration? Check out the new book The Knot Yours Truly. Chock-full of beautiful real wedding photos, fresh ideas and tips, this book has everything you need to plan a unique wedding that perfectly reflects your relationship.

The Knot Yours Truly

Single Stem Bouquets & Baby’s-Breath Revival

Single stem flowers are making a comeback. Opt for a sculptural stem, like an oversize tropical leaf, a calla lily, or a big-headed bloom like a peony or dinner-plate dahlia for maximum effect. Baby’s breath, that inexpensive stem of tiny white flowers, is making a return, in big and small ways. It pairs perfectly with on-trend greenery and works well for flower crowns and other small hairpieces. Want to go big? Create “clouds” of baby’s breath suspended above your dinner tables for a dramatic effect.

Palm frond wedding bouquet

photo by BIRDS OF A FEATHER PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORIST: FLOWER ALLIE

It’s All About the Sleeve

From caps and bells to barely there, sleeved silhouettes will be big this year. Also hot for 2018 is the cape. Sheer capes, lace capelets, hooded style and pearl-encrusted designs all made their way down the runways. What’s not to love about this removable trend that’s a more fashion-forward take on the classic veil? For men, suit colors and textures are getting an upgrade. Black, navy and gray suits will always be in style, but today’s guys are opting for more colorful alternatives (think: burgundy, dark green, even dusty mauve).Textures (like casual tweeds and herringbone patterns) are also playing a big role in groom and groomsmen’s ensembles.

In 2018, The Knot is hosting The Wedding of the Year. To enter for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid wedding like nothing you’ve seen before, couples must take The Knot Style Quiz and send their version, plus details about themselves, to WeddingoftheYear@TheKnot.com by January 31, 2018. See full details and contest rules here.

Wedding dress with bell sleeve

About The Knot

The Knot is the nation’s leading online wedding resource and app offering an all-in-one planning experience—from finding inspiration and local vendors to managing all guest experiences and wedding registries. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 wedding website TheKnot.com, its mobile apps, The Knot national and local wedding magazines, and The Knot book series. The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely them. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), which helps people navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments—from getting married to moving in together and having a baby. Please visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on TwitterPinterest and Instagram.

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Side-Note

In 2018, The Knot is hosting The Wedding of the Year. To enter for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid wedding like nothing you’ve seen before, couples must take The Knot Style Quiz and send their version, plus details about themselves, to WeddingoftheYear@TheKnot.com. See full details and contest rules here.