Southern Wedding Trends

After years of Pinterest trends morphing weddings into more casual or uniquely themed events, this summer’s weddings are returning to tradition in everything from décor to flowers to cakes.


“That traditional, classical, elegant look is definitely back,” says Beth Baldwin of Baldwin Events. “Three years ago, the majority of my brides wanted the décor to reflect the Lowcountry ‘look’ – with burlap, mason jars, farm tables and benches instead of chairs – that whole ‘gone to the country’ feel, with a little Lowcountry spin on it. I see that trend kind of disappearing. Brides now want a little bit of a more lush, elegant, blingy look.”

Elegance, glam and classical style are popping up in various ways. Here’s a look at some of the biggest trends this year for Southern summer weddings.




Brides are incorporating “bling” into everything from linens to centerpieces. There are a lot of rented chandeliers and polished surfaces in general. Brides can also add some sparkle using high-end linens with a pretty sheen. More formal tablescapes, soft lighting, dramatic cakes, lavish fabrics and formal floral arrangements add to the elegance.




While bold, bright colors have been returning to weddings this year, the trend in the Lowcountry is a bit more understated, Baldwin says. On Hilton Head, more brides are sticking with softer hues or more traditional color palettes. “I’m seeing a lot of rose gold and blush. Everything in that blush family is definitely popular color right now. And navy, white and gold are always popular colors for summer weddings,” Baldwin says.


Southern-Wedding-Trends05HAIR, MAKEUP AND THE DRESS

Buns, braids and baby’s breath accessories are trending, with brides going for glamorous makeup done by professional makeup artists. When it comes to gowns, lace abounds. Two-piece dresses are making an appearance on some aisles, and though traditional white will always be the most popular, some brides continue to opt for pastel hues of pink, champagne and even blue. Bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen attire are getting more personal, with brides and grooms allowing their attendants to customize their looks, as long as the outfits complement the overall scheme and theme.



Food trucks are still hot, and although options are limited in the Lowcountry, brides and grooms are still thinking outside the kitchen when it comes to food offerings. The idea of having an attended dessert station is a new trend, Baldwin says. You might do an ice cream bar with a server offering toppings and sprinkles. Southern and uniquely Lowcountry foods are still popular for weddings as well, with flavors and presentations ranging from upscale to down-home.





Signature drinks are still very popular, and unique cocktail bar stations are a fun way to get your guests into the spirit — and the spirits. Whether it’s a fancy lemonade (spiked and virgin) stand, a bubbly bar or a small setup making mojito magic, couples are setting a playful mood with what they serve and the way they serve it.




Brides are going for an elegant look with their bouquets, using lush, full-looking flowers or flowers with very dramatic flair, Baldwin says. Peonies, roses, hydrangeas and garden roses are quite popular, and with all of them peaking season this summer, the cost of beautiful flowers for the bride won’t break the bank. Look for the return of the cascading bouquet, which was the standard for brides many years ago.




The traditional tiered wedding cake is back, with fresh flowers or a bit of sparkle on the cake itself rather than the “naked” cakes, cupcakes and cake pops the industry has seen in previous years.

“It’s the whole move back toward more of what their parents did,” Baldwin says of the styles of today’s couples.

Groom’s cakes are still done in the South, though it’s not as strong a tradition as it once was. They’re often dished up during the rehearsal dinner the night before the ceremony.


Southern-Wedding-Trends010‘GREEN’ WEDDINGS

The “green” wedding trend continues to gain traction, with brides and grooms being careful with the potential waste associated with pulling off such a large-scale event. They’re repurposing things like ceremony flowers and pew markers to use at the reception, and opting for, say, rented glasses versus plastic cups to use during cocktail hours. They’re also choosing wedding favors that are either edible or actually useful to wedding guests, rather than giving away 100 little handmade tea light holders that could wind up in the trash. Baldwin says giving away small tubes of sunscreen or little bites of pralines make perfect favors for Lowcountry weddings.