15 New Wedding Trends to Watch for in 2019, According to Planners

prince harry and meghan markle inspired floral decor
Photo: Maria Lamb

Consider these brand-new ideas as you start planning your ceremony and reception.

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balloon installation over reception table
Trent Bailey Photography

Here's the thing about wedding trends: They evolve year after year, which means that one year's celebrations are distinctly different from the ones that come after (and before, for that matter!). Though all of these ideas—which encapsulate wedding décor, floral, and fashion components—change constantly, it's rare that a new trend replaces an old one. In fact, we like to think that each year only adds to the already-incredible roster of big-day ideas that exist, meaning the options available to engaged newly-engaged couples just continues to grow larger and larger. That means you can pick and choose the wedding trends of the past that speak to you while still infusing your event with of-the-moment touches.

That's why we're particularly excited about the wedding trends coming up in 2019. They're proof that these major life events are becoming more and more about the couple of the moment—if these touches are any indication, weddings are becoming more personalized than ever before. At least, that's what the majority of the industry's most lauded wedding planners are telling us. And we trust their instincts, and we think you should, too. If their predictions are spot-on, 2019 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting weddings seasons to date.

As for the trends that'll blow your mind in the new year? Brand-new ceremony set-ups (ceremonies in the round are on the rise!), nontraditional floral components (like pampas grass and wheat!), balloon installations, vellum invitation suites, and velvet accents are just a few of the stand-out ideas on this list. Click through to familiarize yourself with all of the brand-new wedding trends top planners expect to see everywhere in 2019.

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Dark and Edgy Color Palettes

moody wedding place setting
M.K. Sadler

Event designer Jessica Sloane explains that weddings "are getting edgier," something we'll see come to fruition in many ways next year. This is particularly interesting, since moodier accents are in direct contrast with the romantic blush décor, soft textures, and bright photography that's dominated the wedding scene in recent years. Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events noticed this, as well—she notes that more and more couples will become more "adventurous with palettes" by "mixing colors that traditionally would not go together" in the new year.

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Return to Classic

classic wedding place setting
Maria Lamb Photography

While modern, edgy wedding décor is certainly on the rise, there are plenty of couples who want to bring back traditional design elements, notes Laurie Arons. This means that the classic ballroom wedding is having a moment once again: "The traditional, elegant dinner party wedding is back in fashion," she says. "For inspiration, think of the special elements in your grandmother's dining room—silver candlesticks, monogramed linen napkins, Battenburg lace overlays, and crystal stemware all have a place in this beautiful and timeless wedding trend."

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Statement Wedding Cakes

statement wedding cake
KT Merry

Amber Karson of Karson Butler Events says that she and her team are "so excited to see the statement cake trend continuing to rise in 2019." Dessert displays with an assortment of treats dominated the wedding scene in 2018, but more and more couples are "trending back towards splurging on one big focal statement cake instead," she says. "There's something so iconic about a wedding cake, so why not go big and bold?" Arons agrees—but says these brazen, eye-catching confections are even better in full color: "Warm bronze, soft gray, pale blue, and gold are some of my favorite fondant tones," she adds.

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Royal Wedding-Inspired Flower Décor

prince harry and meghan markle inspired floral decor
Maria Lamb

It'll be interesting to see how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding inspires the nuptials of the future, but Steve Moore of Sinclair & Moore predicts that the couple's larger-than-life floral installations will be a main source of influence. "No one can forget that dramatic entrance into Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding," he says. "Large flower installations over the door are going to be popular in 2019."

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Vellum Paper Goods

charla jesse wedding escort cards detail
Apryl Ann Photography

These almost-sheer paper accents are ones to watch for in 2019, says Kay. "We have used vellum in an assortment of ways—calligraphed for escort cards, as an overlay for invitations, and as envelopes with beautiful hand-drawn artwork on the inside," she explains. But according to Alia Wilson and Teissia Treynet of Firefly Events, vellum is just one of the many ways paper goods are evolving. Expect to see other unique mediums, like leather, suede, acrylic, and even gold leafing, they add.

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Ceremonies in the Round

ceremony in the round
Photogen Inc.

Gone are the days of the traditional wedding ceremony, says Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Events. "The ceremony set-up has stayed mostly unchanged, until now. I am seeing a lot more couples embrace nontraditional ceremony arrangements," she adds. "Couples are way more open to ideas like doing the ceremony in the round or a long, winding aisle. Switching up the set-up is just another way they can create a personalized experience."

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Balloon Walls

balloon arch over doorway
Dennis Kwan

According to Mindy Weiss, balloon walls are the new flower walls. "Balloons are no longer just for kid's parties and New Year's Eve—they make for wonderful, celebratory décor for any event, including weddings," she explains. These types of decorations "aren't your old balloon arch from the homecoming dance," adds Culver, who also claims that other types of immersive displays, like selfie stations, next-level seating charts, and creative food set-ups, will be just as big.

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velvet table runner
Tec Petaja

The best part about velvet? Depending on the color you choose, it can be an all-seasons fabric, says Lynn Easton of Easton Events. You'll want to work with a specialty linen company, she notes, if you want to incorporate this up-and-coming trend into your 2019 wedding's décor scheme.

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Nontraditional Floral Components

stephanie jared wedding ceremony semicircle
Mirelle Carmichael Photography

According to Lyndsey Hamilton of LH Events, expect to see plenty of unexpected flower add-ins, like pampas grass and wheat, replacing fresh blooms in the floral installations of 2019. "We love using wheat and pampas grass as an alternative to flowers—grasses are chic, unfussy, and add another layer depth to the design," she says. "From highlighting the aisle in your ceremony, to creating a moody vibe at your after-party, pampas grass can elevate any element of your wedding." In addition to nontraditional floral elements, new types of installations will be just as noteworthy, add Wilson and Treynet: "Florals can be displayed in countless ways throughout the wedding. We've been seeing florals displayed from the ceiling, covering archways, and most recently as a part of the furniture!"

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Personalized Place Settings

place settings with notes
Tec Petaja

If you're throwing a smaller wedding, you'll be able to take advantage of one the most personlized trends on this list. Couples are replacing generic place cards with hand-written notes, says A Day in May Event's Alicia Fritz. "Writing a note at each place setting is a special touch to incorporate into your big day," she notes.

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Custom Illustrations

custom illustration on save the date
Patricia Lyons Photography

Here's another trend that'll help you personalize your 2019 nuptials: custom illustrations. This often entails hiring a local artist to render some part of your big day, says Allison Jackson of Pineapple Productions, who advises using the artwork in multiple ways to get the most bang for your buck. "Commissioning an artist can be expensive, but we encourage our clients to use the artwork in multiple ways to optimize the value of the investment," she notes. "Artwork that might first appear on a save-the-date telling the story of the couple's relationship may reappear on the invitation, on linen napkins, or even on a band backdrop."

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Build Your Own Welcome Bag

build your own welcome bag
James & Schulze

"Mindful gifting is a big trend for 2019," says Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions. "We see clients sending out welcome information digitally and then having a 'goodie bag' assembly station at a welcome party—as opposed to having the bag waiting for a guest behind a hotel check-in desk."

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Bringing the Inside Out

outdoor wedding lounge
We Are Bubblerock

Making an outdoor space feel as homey as possible is a major 2019 décor strategy, notes Lauren Fremont of Loli Events. "We have been saying 'bring the outside in' for years, but we are seeing a lot more of 'bring the inside out,'" she says. "Couples love outdoor weddings, but to make them feel more like a fabulous dining or living room, we are bringing typical indoor pieces to the outdoors." Bringing the outside in, however, isn't going anywhere anytime soon, adds Jackson: "One strategy we will be employing in 2019 is the 'building' of trees to create the proper scale needed for the venues with high ceilings."

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minimalist wedding reception table

According to Wilson and Treynet, this major interior design style has migrated over into the wedding sphere. As for the secret to pulling off a minimalist wedding that still feels special? "The key to this trend is a simple color palette with two or three colors and clean lines," they note. "We love using florals that have more architectural shapes and incorporating natural elements like wood tones, stone, and marble."

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Statement Lighting

lyndsey magellan wedding shoes
Katherine Ann Rose

Expect to see creative lighting modalities (how cool are these lanterns?) in 2019. "We're getting creative with lighting and thinking beyond traditional options like string bulb lights," says Karson. "We're finding inspiration in residential inspired lighting and are even inspired by what's hanging in our client's homes!"

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