The Hottest New Wedding Trends for 2017

The new year brings new ideas for all things wedding, from invitations to flowers, cocktails to cake...and more!

The Invitations

Take note of these top trends for your stationery suite and reception signage.

Double duty. Jennifer Dailard of J grace luxurious event stationery, says couples are asking for menus that anchor a table setting. a custom laser-cut acrylic or mirrored charger plate with the menu printed in the center, for example, is a conversation piece that’s also functional.

Paper form follows fashion. “Wedding invitation styles often mimic what’s happening in fashion and home decor,” says Jill Ryder of Shindig Bespoke, a custom design studio based in new York City and Philadelphia. For 2017 that means mixing two patterns, like stripes and florals, on the backs of cards or on envelope liners, as well as textured paper.

wedding invitation
Photo courtesy of Shindig Bespoke

Handcrafted. “Hand calligraphy is such a strong trend that it’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to learn how to do it themselves,” says Chancey. Fortunately for those with a less steady hand, sites like minted and Wedding Paper Divas feature a wide range of invitation suites that look hand-calligraphed.

The Taste

Wedding food is getting a fresh update for 2017. Bon appétit!

Custom menus. One of the best ways couples can share their story with guests is through food. Whether you want to serve dishes that represent your culture(s), that are reminiscent of the place where you fell in love, or that fit into your venue choice, caterers are working with couples to develop a custom menu. Guests are still getting their beef, fish and vegetarian options, “but with a twist,” say Jose Vazquez and Sarah Kuhlberg of Colette’s Catering and Events in Southern California.

Local specialties. With more couples infusing pride of location in their hometown celebrations, local flavors are taking the spotlight. For example, in Utah buffalo is often featured as both a main course and as an appetizer, says Cousins. In Vermont, maple flavoring can make several appearances in the menu. Gulf shrimp is on display in various parts of the South, and so on. (The trend carries over to drinks.) “It’s an extension of the farm-to-table trend that popped up a few years ago,” says Chancey, “but even more fun for the guests.”

Paired up. Wine-and-cheese pairings have become a familiar site at cocktail receptions, but the idea of matching different foods with different drinks is being carried over to other types of beverages and appetizers, says Hall. “It elevates the guest experience by keeping folks active and engaged,” she says. Some duets to consider: wine and pasta, cake and craft beer, margaritas and guacamole, or for a wedding brunch, try mimosas and pastries.

wedding tacos
Photo Credit: Evin Photography

Photo Credit: Lex and the Lotus Photography

Flavors to go. When it comes to favors, meaningful edibles are the way to go. One couple Bosse recently worked with handed out sugar cookies in the shape of states they’d visited. Other ideas include boxed European chocolates or a bag of candied nuts scooped up hot and fresh from a late-night food truck as the dancing comes to an end.

Still going strong! Family-style dining (where dishes are offered in portions for each table), small bites (think sliders or soup shooters), and food trucks.

wedding food
Photo Credit: Max and Friends

The Drink Report

What's old is new again. Signature cocktails and his-and-her drinks have become reception staples. But in 2017 bartenders and mixologists are moving away from the very sweet and/or colorful pours in favor of old-time classics, including the moscow mule, a Pimm’s Cup, and the sidecar.

moscow mules
Photo Credit: Jessie Alexis Photography

Next: Cake, Photography, and After Parties ►



The photographs from your wedding day will be a timeless memento of a truly special day. Wedding photographers can be very expensive, specialize in a number of different styles, and offer a variety of levels of service. Choosing a wedding photographer takes careful thought and consideration about what sort of pictures you want to document your wedding day. Do plenty of research and interview a number of the candidate before making your choice. 1-Decide what style of wedding photography you prefer Here are a number of different styles of wedding photography, and different photographers will specialize in different styles. Traditional- classic-Photojournalism-Illustrative -Fashion 2- Start looking early: Booking your wedding photographer should be one of the first things you do after you have booked your venue. Wedding photographers are in high demand, especially in the busiest times of year for weddings, and many of the best ones will be booked up a year in advance. 3-Ask for personal recommendations. The best wedding photographers will tend to develop a reputation, and may be known locally to your friends are family. Start your search by asking people you know and trust if they have any recommendations, either through personal experience, or word of mouth. Talk to people you know who have got married in the last few years and ask about their experience. 4-Avoid hiring family or friends. It may be tempting to hire somebody you know to be your wedding photographer. You may be drawn towards hiring someone you trust, who knows you and your partner well, and you think will understand what kind of pictures you want. While this might turn out perfectly well, it is highly likely that this person will not have the technical skills and experience to give you the best photos. 5-Search online. A great way to search for wedding photographers is to look online. There will be a very large number of people advertising their services, so think about how you can focus your search more closely and narrow down the results. Look for people with plenty of experience and lots of information about themselves and the photography they produce. You should also look to see if they work with an assistant or solo. 6-Examine a photographer’s online presence. As with anybody advertising themselves on the internet, you will need to think carefully and critically about how they present themselves. Try to find reviews of the people you are interested in by searching for their names. You should be cautious with reviews and be prepared to make up your own mind, but the more information you have the better. 7-Create a shortlist. Once you have been through the profiles and seen some of the photography of a number of wedding photographers, you need to narrow this down to a manageable number. Then you can arrange to meet, interview, and inspect the portfolios of your chosen few. Think carefully about who you want to interview, and consider what elements are most important to you. 8-Prepare thoroughly for the interviews. Once you have drawn up your shortlist and arranged the interviews, you should spend some time preparing together with your partner. You will need to draw up a list of specific questions that you want to ask, as well as thinking about the soft skills that you will want your photographer to possess. 9- Talk about the photographer’s style. The first thing to discuss is the style and ideas of the photographer. You will have seen some pictures, but you will be able to get better and more complete understanding by talking it through in person. Ask the photographer to describe the style they shoot in and be sure to ask any further questions if anything is unclear to you. !0-Ask about the photographer’s experience. One of the key things to talk about in the interview is the level of experience each of the photographers has gained. You should ask how many weddings the photographer has shot, and how many similar to yours. Different weddings have can hugely different requirements and expectations, so it’s important that you understand how much experience they have that is especially relevant to you. 11- Ask if the package includes an assistant. You should always ask the photographer if the deal they are offering includes an assistant to help them with the work on the day. Having an assistant, especially if the wedding has more than around 50 people, is likely to be an important addition. 12-Ask about what the photographer will do on the day. It’s important to find out detailed information about how the photographer will work on the day of the wedding. You need to determine whether they are prepared to stay a little later if it runs on, and how they plan to interact with the guests. Will they be taking lots of candid shots, or will they be corralling people around a lot. 13-Determine how you will receive your pictures. Find out how long you can expect to wait for the pictures, and in what format they will be presented. You need to make sure you know what your photographer will pass on to you at end of the process. The number of photos, the format and resolution of the photos, as well as the way they are presented are all crucial questions 14-Examine the portfolio. Your potential photographers will bring along a portfolio of their pictures to the interview. It’s important that you spend plenty of time looking through this in detail with your partner. Ask the photographer to give some context for the pictures, including asking about the style used, and the type of wedding it was. 15-Evaluate your interview notes. Spend some time looking back through the notes you made during the interview to help you decide. These notes are a record of the interview that can give you a good idea of the impression you got from the photographer. You can compare the scores across the different shortlisted candidates with your partner, and evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses.