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2016 trends that REAL couple are using

Wait...all the trends I see online aren’t “real?”...what does this mean? So often there are articles on wedding trends that either 1. Just repeat trends from last year, 2. Make things up, or 3. Include cool ideas that are a little far-fetched for the normal couple. (For instance, maybe you don’t have a $100,000 wedding budget and can’t afford to spend $10,000 on florals, that, of course look amazing, but are not realistic.) Also, trends vary region by region and by wedding season. So here’s my list of 2016 trends (by category) that I’m actually seeing couples follow here in Charlotte.

Wedding Dress

Bring on the champagne!...color that is. Wedding dresses this year tend to have champagne color underlays, giving dresses a bit more depth and adding *just* a splash of color. Brides getting married in all seasons are loving the champagne touch to their dress, but Fall brides tend to be more on board with the color (which I think makes total sense, being that Fall weddings tend towards darker and richer color schemes overall). So if you’re out shopping for your dress, try something a little more colorful and see if you find yourself in love with the trend too!


More greenery please! Brides are ditching the solely colorful blooming bouquets in order to incorporate more greenery into the mix. This is not only a Charlotte trend, but a national one that is going strong in 2016. Using greenery allows for a lush feel to the wedding while keeping floral budgets down. Worried that green doesn’t match your color scheme? Don’t. Live greenery decor is seen as a neutral. Not much to complain about with this trend (neutral and affordable)!

“What if I still want colorful blooms?” If this is your thought process (you are not alone), the trend is to go natural and seasonal. Here are a few seasonal flower ideas to get you started:

  • Spring: Peony, tulip, sweet pea

  • Summer: Poppy, summer chrysanthemum, sunflower

  • Fall: Dahlia, rose, celosia

  • Winter: Carnation, ranunculus, gardenia

Color palettes

Metallics… seen as neutral colors and a pop of shine, metallic accents are being incorporated into most weddings this year. The trend is slowly moving from glitters to the use of more foiled looks, but you’ll see both in 2016. Golds, rose-golds, and bronzes are used most, with silver the least likely metallic to make an appearance.

Marsala...This deep red is set to appear in weddings all throughout the Fall. The tone is rich and pairs nicely with lots of accent colors. Golds, blushes, slate blues and greys all complement the versatile color. Use it to add a pop of color throughout your wedding, or as a bold main statement color.

Dusty Blue...Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...this color will be seen ALL year! It’s almost harder to find colors that don’t match this calm but eye-catching color. Pair it with peach, white, ivory, gold, bronze, cranberry, blush, navy, and more. This color is perfect for creating a vintage, whimsical, and/or romantic wedding feel.


While calligraphy is an ever classic choice, many couples in 2016 are switching to the more contemporary hand-lettering style. The font is usually consistent across the save-the-dates, invitations, programs, and place cards. Hand lettering tends to be a little easier to read, and is seen as a little more relaxed and fun as opposed to the more formal calligraphy look.


Similar to a buffet or station, but on the table, family style dinners are trending in 2016. Couples are opting to purchase foods like you would for a buffet, but instead of setting up a row of tables or stations where guests go through a line, platters are served on each table for guests to help themselves. The trend makes for a more intimate affair, where focus is placed more on the meal and those sitting at your table. Pros: no one has to wait in line. Cons: food isn’t necessarily kept as warm for as long. To me, this trend is all about the vibe you’re going for at your wedding, as well as whether or not you want the food to be a focal point. This trend caters towards those who want a relaxed and casual atmosphere and a more intimate feel.


First look. noun.: where an engaged couple arranges to see each other just prior to their wedding ceremony to get a sneak peak, some precious moments alone-ish, and reaction photos from the photographer.

How many couples do a first look? My clients are split right down the middle at an even 50-50, and Katy Clatterbaugh of Katheryn Jeanne Photography says that about 40% of her couples have opted to schedule a first look into their big day. So while having a first look may seem like a wedding trend on Pinterest, it seems the more realistic way to describe it is as a reasonably popular option that about half the couples in the Charlotte area take advantage of. There are pros and cons to doing a first look, and it seems like the traditional surprise of seeing each other for the first time during the walk down the aisle just slightly wins out as the more popular of the two options.


Fondant has officially exited the scene. Enter buttercream and more buttercream. I’m finding most 2016 couples are still wanting and using wedding cakes, but about a quarter of my clients are opting for something different (pies, assorted desserts, or cupcakes). One thing has remained with those choosing the “alternative to cake” route: all of the couples are still getting a small cake for themselves so they can still participate in the traditional cake cutting

All the best,


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