Wedding trends for 2019

06 Nov 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, we take a look at the trends couples can consider for their 2019 wedding

While classic and timeless wedding themes will always be popular, a trend-led wedding will ensure couples remain at the forefront of fashion. A wedding should always reflect the couple's personal taste and style and by considering the key wedding trends for the year ahead, brides and grooms can assess all the options available to them.

Here, the experts share 2019's top wedding trends and detail how you can get the look...

Engagement and wedding rings

Halo rings, pear cut diamonds and rings with intricate and unique twists are all tipped to be the most popular styles for engagement and wedding rings in 2019. Coloured gemstones are also big business, as Andrew Brown, founder of WP Diamonds, reveals: “Pink stones will be the hue of choice following Lady Gaga's engagement, as well as sightings on the fingers of high profile women such as Margot Robbie and Blake Lively.”


Mitch Lloyd, owner of Petra Jewellery in Hampshire, says: "We’ve seen a huge demand for vintage designs. A simple way to give your wedding band a classic vintage look is to add a mill grain edge and set your diamonds into a pavé setting – it captures that fine detailing and is still something you can wear and love for a lifetime." Quote Bride Magazine to receive a £50 gift voucher when buying your wedding rings from Petra Jewellery. 


Image: Classic vintage wedding rings with a mill grain edge and pavé set diamonds from Petra Jewellery in Basingstoke

Hen parties

For 2019, hen dos are out and 'zen dos' are in. Brides-to-be and their hens are increasingly swapping drunken debauchery for relaxing retreats, waving goodbye to the hen party stereotype and saying hello to more civilised getaways. 

Head of hen, stag and sten at group travel expert Red7 Sarah Chapman says: "Celebrities and the public alike have had enough of hen dos that result in memory loss, disturbing flashbacks and waking up curled around a doner kebab. Tacky is out. Healthier, more sophisticated hen dos are on trend for 2019. 

"The Zen Do is all about celebrating your nuptials with self-care and luxurious activities that leave you and your hens feeling fantastic – and you can make it completely your own. Popular activities include yoga classes, lounging on a private beach or by the pool, heading to a villa or chalet, cocktail making classes, wine tasting, and private cookery classes from top chefs."


Pre-wedding celebrations

As the final hurrah before the big day, more and more couples are opting for pre-wedding parties the night before – a trend observed by wedding venue The Atlantic Hotel in Newquay. Esther Ledder says: “It is the perfect opportunity to catch up with family and friends from afar, and get together before the big day. We offer a range of private function spaces to cater for pre-wedding parties, with AA Rosette menus and first class service, and have included this in many of our wedding packages.”


Wedding gift lists

The options when it comes to the wedding gift list are now well and truly endless and more on-trend homeware and lifestyle products are coming to the fore. Japandi is a concept based on Japanese and Scandi influences, as the experts at online gift list provider Prezola elaborate: “This trend is all about good food and being sociable with family and friends. Engaged couples creating a wedding gift list love to add gifts that they can enjoy after their wedding. This trend is about clean lines and minimal design but denotes warm, cosy dining. Aesthetically, this trend is neutral Scandi tones mixed with bold Japanese colours.”


Image: Kinto

Wedding dresses

The two royal weddings of 2018 spells a shift in bridalwear for the year ahead. Victoria Arndt, owner of The Bottom Drawer Bridal in King's Lynn, Norfolk, comments: “Less is always more in my book, and it seems the new Duchess of Sussex along with Princess Eugiene agree that minimalism is the way forward. Sassi Holford is always my go-to for a beautifully simple and elegant gown, and you cannot go wrong with her amazing new 2019 collection available at the boutique.”


Image: Jodene by Sassi Holford

Sam Walsh, owner of Sass & Grace Bridal Boutique in Winchester, Hampshire, agrees: “Gone are the days of big sleeves and frills on your wedding dress; the hot trend for next year is sleek and simple lines. The fabric and cut is incredibly important once you go simple, so make sure you explore silks and Mikado with your bridal stylist. You can still choose the shape that flatters your body the best and why not add a sparkly belt for a subtle detail?”


Image: Zach & Grace

However, bohemian brides favouring less restrictive styles will be catered for by a rise in ethereal designs which are both romantic and lightweight. Amy Nichols at The Frock Spot in Norwich, Norfolk says: “Texture will be big in 2019. Layered flowing fabrics will give movement and become a new tradition. A bohemian trend showing soft romance will make a statement gown. Floral embroidery mixed with soft colours such as Moscato Pink mixed with ivory will complete the look.”


Image: Watters Wtoo Yocelyn at £1375

Bridal hair and make-up

The royal brides of 2018 will also have an influence on bridal make-up with neutral colour palettes and fresh, dewy complexions taking centre stage. “Since the wedding of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry a growing trend in bridal make-up is the subtle eye,” says South of England make-up artist Frances Moore. “Usually in a soft brown hue, a light application of shadow is applied to the lower part of the eye along with liner in a golden shade such as Charlotte Tilbury's The Classic in Sophia.”


Echoing this idea, Caroline Swaffield of Amazing Face Dorset comments: “Keeping up with the Korean skincare movement, 2019 brings us neutral soft focus glass-like skin with a luminous pearly translucence and a ‘70s bold or nude lip. For hair, think  big flower crowns and sculptures paired with loose waves or creatively unstructured up-dos. The tiara and bandeau tiara are back too with big diamonds and a shimmering effect.”



Neutral and earthy colours reign supreme as L&J Formal Hire Ltd in Cheshire list: “Pearl grey, graphite grey, ice blue, denim blue, red tartan, green tartan and the green tweed will all be popular in 2019. Grooms now require a diversity and choice of fabrics so we will bring some structure to our composite with waistcoats and accessories in a chequered pattered.”

And as rustic weddings continue to grow in popularity, the trend is reflected in the choice of groomswear available. Heritage fabrics are both stately and suave and tweed is an ever-growing favourite among the groom and his party. Daniel Neilson, Groom Hire Warrington store manager, says: “We have invested heavily in a new line of tweed suits to add to the existing tweed lines. We also have a range of country ties to complement our tweed suits along with a new line in tweed shoes to finish the look.”


Wedding stationery

The first glimpse into a couple’s wedding day, stationery is also adopting a more bespoke approach. Kate Todd, owner of Wagtail Designs, says: “Inspired by Pippa Middleton’s classy order of service drawn by her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge, venue illustrations appear to be a key trend for 2019. It is a unique way of capturing the tone of the wedding before the big day, while animating the charm of the chosen venue and providing a personal keepsake.”


Colours are also taking a darker turn, as stationer Sam Wood elaborates: "A bold and moody palette has evolved in wedding paper with deep plum, dark navy and even black taking centre stage. Jewel tones are a perfect choice for autumn and winter weddings. Keep the look wedding appropriate by adding a bit of brightness by way of ink colour or a punch of metallic."


Wedding themes and ceremonies

With the proposed relaxing of the UK’s laws towards outdoor weddings, couples will have more freedom when it comes to choosing where they say their vows. As a result, businesses such as West Coast Westy which offers beachside weddings in Cornwall and Flexitent Ltd’s adaptable offerings – perfect for woodland settings, will only grow in popularity.


And before such laws are relaxed, couples will continue to make their ceremony as personal as possible. Alice Street, weddings and events co-ordinator at wedding venue Larmer Tree in Wiltshire, says: "We have seen an increase in couples wanting a personal ceremony in which a close friend or family member conducts their ceremony. This allows them to make their wedding day very personal and unique to them, however it is not a legal contract and it requires the couple to legally get married beforehand, but we think this just adds to the celebration."


Image: Louisa Jane Photography

With Princess Eugenie announcing her plastic-free wedding, brides from far and wide are joining the fight to save the world as they strive for eco-friendly, sustainable weddings. The team at Kent venue group FCD Hotels comment: "Natural flower displays are replacing oasis centrepieces, peace silk wedding dresses are on the rise, wedding favours have a focus on charities and plantable seed-paper stationery is becoming more apparent."

Deer Park Country House in Devon offers its top tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to your wedding:

  • Brighten your day using in-season and ethically produced flowers
  • Choose an outdoor ceremony
  • Create invitations using recycled materials
  • When choosing your wedding breakfast, the greenest option is to source local; fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown in Deer Park’s own walled garden
  • Why not add some festival glamping to your special day? 


Image: Liberty Pearl Photography

The team at Upton Barn in Devon predict sustainable ceremonies too: "Couples are consciously planning their weddings to be as ecological as possible, with less waste and more locally sourced goods and services." They continue: "2019 weddings will be vibrant with bold hues; think fuchsia pink, scarlet red and electric orange.”


Image: Jill Evans Photography (the wedding of Laura and Alex at Upton Barn & Walled Garden in June 2018)

Shelley Jones, event director at Colshaw Hall and Merrydale Manor in Cheshire, confirms: "We’ve seen more colours starting to make their way into wedding colour palettes with lilacs and pinks making an entrance and we expect there to be more vibrant colours in 2019."


Unique and unusual wedding settings are also on the rise. The team at Country House Wedding Venues share: "2019 is all about standing out from the crowd. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind location, a striking décor or the option to completely personalise the day, a venue with the wow factor will give couples that impressive backdrop to make their day even more memorable." 


Image: Rivervale Barn outdoor ceremony

Wedding set-up and décor

“Rustic furniture is trending strongly again for 2019 along with rose gold and gold cutlery,” says David Robinson, director of The Banqueting Hire Service which covers East Anglia. “Glassware is also popular, particularly crystal and coloured glassware, and is a great way of adding to your desired look."

Centrepieces will be especially trend-led, with couples using floral displays for optimum impact. Rachel Terrett at Elmore Court in Gloucester says: “We can see black candles being a strong look for 2019; pair with metallic holders to give a beautiful and striking look. The darkness of the candles means you can be bold with vibrant floral colours.”


Image: M.A.N.D.O.R.I.A

Beyond the wedding table set-up, mirrors whether used as signage or a table plan – such as this design by Devon-based hire company Simply Celebrate – offer a chic, elegant and sometimes glamorous touch.


Wedding flowers

Statement flowers are in for 2019, with the wedding colour palette transitioning from conventional whites and creams. Laurane Herrieven, marketing manager at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, says: “Flowers are moving towards a richer colour palette of maroon and navy, incorporating bright accents and a bold aesthetic in their wedding décor. Think floral chandeliers, elaborate grass displays and bold texture combinations.”


Image: Lifeline Photography

Megan Nurse at Bridget's Flowers in King's Lynn, Norfolk, agrees: “Lots of beautiful foliages of all variations, tropical flowers such as protea, succulents and even air plants are now having their time in the spotlight. Dahlias are a great substitute for peonies when they sadly go out of season. Greens and silvery foliages have still got the hot spot but purples and blues are also favoured.”


Further elaborating on the floral colour palette of 2019, Hollie Plumstead of Elizabeths the Florists in Norwich, Norfolk, says: “The blush pastel pinks are fading out and the moody blooms are full of dramatic burgundy, magenta and navy blues. Carrying on from 2018, foliages are still being used to create loose and textured bouquets really helping those colourful petals pop. Rose gold, coppers and sparkle are certainly here to stay for 2019 and English country garden flowers will always have a place in the market.”


Dressing various areas of your venue with flowers creates great photo opportunities and stunning talking points. Tracey at Floribundi in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, advises dressing venue staircases both inside and out to create a striking walkway and photo backdrop.


Wedding catering

The wedding menu will always leave a lasting impression with guests and wedding food continues to evolve for 2019.

“The trend in catering still has a strong emphasis on sharing platters, which has been popular for the last two years and is still looking favourable for 2019 and 2020 weddings,” says Clare Guymer, managing director of Leeds-based caterers Juste Nouse. “Both rustic and continental dishes are popular with sharing cheese and cake stations for desserts.”


Image: Zoe Ann Photography

Similarly, Tony Beales, managing director of Dorset-based Beales Gourmet Catering, advises: "Weddings don’t need to be too formal. One dining trend that is gaining popularity is the 'Table Roast'. Boards of succulent meat joints are brought to your table ready carved, along with sumptuous sharing bowls of seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and not forgetting the yorkies."


For couples with a sweet tooth, dessert tables are still a firm fixture. Francesca Cribb, group marketing manager of Bijou Wedding Venues, says: “An evening buffet at a wedding should be perfectly balanced by sweet and savoury treats. The savoury option is usually included within your minimum food requirement, but for couples looking to enhance their evening reception, indulgent sweetie carts and dessert tables are becoming increasingly popular choices for 2019 wedding couples.”  


Or why not combine your sweet and savoury items with an afternoon tea? Mandy Hart at Swingletree Vintage in Dorset says: "For a wedding with a relaxed atmosphere, offering time to chat and mingle with family and friends, what better way to celebrate than with a vintage afternoon tea? In 2019, couples are putting a twist on the traditional afternoon tea with their own individual themes."


Fresh ingredients locally sourced are key to ensuring a unique wedding menu and mobile bars continue to provide a quirky evening food option, such as Rusty and Roses’ wood-fired pizza horsebox in Newbury. Drinks should also be considered and mobile bars are perfect for providing bespoke beverages like Norfolk-based Bubble & Pips’ ‘his and her’ cocktails and mocktails.


Wedding cakes

Semi-naked wedding cakes are still on trend and colourful decoration is key to a spectacular showstopper. Bekka Page of B’s Bakes in Norfolk says: "At B’s Bakes we’ve watched as trends have changed from fully iced to cupcakes to naked cakes and now to semi-naked and buttercream cakes which are dominating the 2019 order book. Versatile in design, the cakes should be teamed with delicious fresh fruit and berries or stunning fresh or sugar florals.”


Image: Blake Photography

Wedding transport

While wedding transport will always remain vast and varied with classic cars, London Routemaster buses and VW campervans all firm favourites among 2019 wedding couples, a trend coming through are the stop-offs couples make to spend some quality time together as newlyweds.

Kevin Ketteridge, director of Silverline Limousines & Wedding Cars in Norfolk, says: “We are always open to random suggestions and requests from our couples, In the past 12 months we have chauffeured our newlyweds to McDonald’s drive-throughs for chicken nuggets, Tesco for jam doughnuts and Great Yarmouth seafront for a ride on the snails, to name a few. We have also chauffeured at themed weddings and Peaky Blinders for the groom’s party has become an extremely popular theme.”


Wedding favours

As we are seeing a continuation in couples making their wedding day as unique and individual as can be, this bespoke approach carries through to the wedding favours. From homemade jams and chutneys to personalised wedding poetry and magazines such as Wedition, there are several ways to add a personal touch to gifts for your guests.


Image: Arina Photography

Destination weddings

What destinations are tipped as the top spots for 2019 weddings abroad? Emma Davison, branch manager at Premier Travel, says: "Cyprus and Italy are both proving really popular destinations for an overseas wedding. We have seen lots of couples booking this for 2019. They are affordable destinations for the bride and groom as well as the guests, but people need to book early to secure the location they want."


Image: Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Wedding photography

Finally, our attention turns to photography and the ways in which you can ensure amazing wedding photographs to be cherished for years to come.

Photographer Emmelina Stork who covers Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex, offers her key trend: “If there's one trend that's taking everybody by surprise it’s the smoke bomb. These fun props take off in gorgeous clouds of colour, creating a dreamy backdrop that's completely angelic and gorgeous. Not only do they put on an epic show that promises to make your wedding photos unforgettable, they also offer a playful way to add a non-traditional and unexpected element to your wedding, bringing it alive with a burst of colour.”


Are you a couple getting married in 2019? Don’t forget to share your wedding story with us: SUBMIT YOUR WEDDING

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